How elevating the world’s events will connect 10 million people by 2026.
Mel Nurse, Co-Founder of More Human (author)
One of my drivers for founding a purpose-led startup was my penchant for systems change.
That captivating idea that big picture thinking, and logical modelling of the reality around us, can reveal the previously overlooked levers to pull to bring about real change in the world. BIG change.
As an ex-systems engineer who worked a 5 year stint in the charity sector, this was clearly the most innovative way to have a sizeable positive social or environmental impact.
One of the really cool things about mapping systems is that you make visible connections between different worlds — economic, psychological, behavioural, technological, civic, health. Connections that provide insight, ideas, and potential. This new perspective makes it apparent just how influential market forces can be on social outcomes, whether by design or by accident. What if we could align the power of economic and market forces to match the direction of high impact social outcomes? Profit and purpose, interwoven by design. Where global business success produces a scale of positive impact that improves millions of lives. It’s an idea that’s been very important to me for a number of years.
Which is why I feel it’s time to share a bit about our developing Theory of Change at More Human.
A More Human world
Spurred on by personal experiences, Emma, Duncan and I came together to address loneliness in later life. We spoke to lots of experts, looked at lots of scientific research and intervention evaluations… and also met an amazing lady called Rita.
Over the course of 9 months, Rita had gone from being depressed, house-bound, and very lonely to being a cherished leader of a local choir, chess club, befriender and teacher.
We identified 2 key ingredients driving Rita’s transformation from lonely to connected:
A human invitation A neighbour invited Rita to a local lunch hosted by a progressive care home, showcasing their activities programme. She kept pestering her until she said yes, and went with her.
A brilliant social structure, led by a fantastic human The care home activities programme was run by a brilliant human called Danni, who had incredible people skills and immediately made Rita feel welcome, despite her nerves. Danni made such an impression on Rita that she decided to become a resident. Danni kept inviting Rita to join in with the regular activities, and over time offered her more and bigger opportunities to get involved in the running of activities and supporting of other incoming residents. She eventually led the choir on a tour of Birmingham!
We believe that if we can build more human bridges for people like Rita, there will be significantly less loneliness in the world. So we founded More Human to use the power of technology to make more human invitations and more brilliant social structures accessible to everyone.
Our impact goals
We plan to meaningfully connect 10 million people in the next 5 years.
We will increase the quality and size of personal networks, and increase the frequency of beneficial social interactions — in order to increase connectivity, reduce loneliness, and ultimately increase life expectancy and life satisfaction.
We’re doing this by building and scaling a social events platform that makes it easy for anyone to build and sustain brilliant social structures (quality clubs, groups, classes — i.e. regular group social events), and that encourages more invitation behaviour amongst people browsing and attending events.
Our platform is a unique combination of:
An AI assistant for organisers — including smart market-driven prompts, high quality drag and drop content created by expert event partners and celebrity hosts, and automated promotion — no more filling in blank forms or getting overwhelmed by the workload of organising
Behavioural nudges for potential attendees — our social cues and incentives encourage invite sharing, meaning finding someone to go with is a sociable pleasure without the social risk
A simple personalised event feed, driven by AI and accessible across digital and traditional channels — making discovering relevant new events a leisurely experience without the noise
Our theory of change
Our central impact hypothesis is that if we make it easier and more rewarding to organise high quality social events, this will generate more attendances, each of which has the potential to provide high quality bonding opportunities and therefore increase the quality and size of attendees’ personal networks, reducing loneliness and increasing life expectancy over time.
We have many assumptions underpinning the detail of this hypothesis, the key ones of which are included in our assumptions map below.
For those of you — like me — who like a diagram, the detail included in our summary systems map might be of interest. This is very much a working document, evolving as our knowledge does.
We started out building tools into our software platform that improved the reward of organising to increase the motivation to organise, and then things to increase the ease of organising. We’re now moving down the yellow levers on the map, building features that enable anyone to produce high quality content without a lot of skill or experience, and an incredible consumer experience that increases invitation behaviour and the probability of attendance.
One thing to note is that the health of the events market in a local area is a key driver on the economic side of the system.
Zooming in on some elements in the map, we can see this reinforcing loop of economic drivers that influences attendance (and therefore the other social outcomes we care about, featured in the earlier map). Which is why, as a business, we have enabling impact goals around supporting SMEs, sole traders, and voluntary groups in the leisure sector.