COTA Australia Proposal

co-designing an innovation and enterprise platform for the future



It's not an easy question to answer.

In a world of uncertainty, constrained resources, and changing funding models, services will need to think and operate differently. With Consumer-Directed Care set to make a transformative difference for Australia's ageing population, consumer co-designed and sustainable  business models will be key to adaptability and innovation for those engaged with, and providing services, to Australia's ageing population.




This proposal aims to address the intentions articulated in the COTA Australia Consumer Engagement in Aged Care manager role through an innovative methodology.  

We thank COTA Australia for their flexibility in considering this proposal and welcome any feedback, including suggestions to improve the proposal.

The proposal has two sections.  The first articulates a proposed way forward to address the intentions of the role, whilst also considering key issues identified in our preliminary background research.  It proposes: how we would work with COTA Australia; how we would connect with those outside of COTA Australia (and map value networks); and how we would use co-design to help build an innovation platform for COTA Australia and its constituents.

The last section introduces the proposed project personnel.



we start with you


We start with you and your people

Our preliminary research has identified that much work has been done by COTA Australia, and its key constituents towards supporting the development of CDC (E.g. Home Care Today online resource) and consumer engagement in aged care.  Yet we anticipate that further internal corporate knowledge is yet to be articulated and harnessed towards creating strategies to help enact COTA Australia's vision and help position itself as a viable business proposition in a changing funding landscape.  In order to build on what has been articulated, we propose to start by gaining deeper insights into your "un-captured", internal expertise. 

We leverage your knowledge & expertise

Using a strengths-based inquiry approach, we propose to leverage your knowledge and expertise to gain deeper insights into:

  • What you have tried (and why)?
  • Who you have involved/harnessed?
  • What worked?
  • What could be done differently?
  • What else could be tried?
  • What might your future picture/s look like? and
  • Who else might you involve to support you?

WE help articulate your value proposition & visualise options

An important part of this process is ensuring diverse perspectives are captured and articulated.  And getting everyone on the same page means helping bring together those diverse insights into a coherent and shared future picture/s.  

By asking "How might COTA Australia deliver its vision?", and by building on the future possibilities already articulated by COTA Australia, we propose to work with you to articulate your value proposition and then translate that into a program of work to test, further build on, and iterate, with those within and outside of COTA Australia.


with whom could COTA Australia c0-create value?


Build on existing relationships & networks

We acknowledge that COTA Australia has already completed significant work in reaching out to, and building relationships and networks with key constituents to help build and enact the vision of COTA Australia, CDC and consumer engagement in aged care.   For example, the Home Care Today initiative already begins to articulate the "how" and "who to involve" when working towards transforming services towards CDC.

Yet we acknowledge that further work needs to be done to ensure COTA Australia can broaden its reach, influence and relevance.  Importantly, we propose that this opportunity needs to be contextualised within the shared value that could be created, and leveraged, for both COTA Australia and its constituents.


We propose to adapt Design Thinkers Academy's Value Network Canvas as a tool to help articulate and understand the ecosystem/s COTA Australia is a part of, identifying existing, and new, opportunities to co-create value with COTA Australia's constituents.

Drawing on Porter and Kramer's concept of Shared Value, we propose to use the Value Network Canvas to help understand how value flows through the ecosystem/s COTA Australia is a part of.  This can help towards designing a richer, and more culturally-congruent, multi-stakeholder social business model for COTA Australia.


how might COTA Australia co-design an innovation platform with consumers and others?




The Business Model Canvas, helps articulate and visualise 9 key elements of enterprise:   

  1. Key Partners
  2. Key Activities
  3. Value Propositions
  4. Customer Relationships
  5. Customer Segments
  6. Key Resources
  7. Channels
  8. Cost Structure
  9. Revenue Streams

Initially developed by Dr. Alex Osterwalder through his dissertation at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, Business Model Generation is now a worldwide best-seller.  The canvas has been praised in both business and the social sector as a fast and effective way to convey any organisation's business logic in order to help make clear, strategic decisions.

We propose to use the Business Model  Canvas to help articulate, and visualise, COTA Australia's existing and future potential business models.

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 5.12.03 pm.png

An additional aspect of this process is identifying the environmental context within which business models are generated.

We therefore propose to help map:

  1. Key trends
  2. Market forces
  3. Macroeconomic forces
  4. Industry forces

Understanding the changes in your environment will help COTA Australia adapt your business model more effectively to shifting external forces and changing funding landscapes.

The Value Proposition Canvas articulates:

  1. Customer Jobs
  2. Customer Gains
  3. Customer Pains
  4. Gain Creators
  5. Pain Relievers
  6. Products and Services 

We propose to use the Value Proposition Canvas to help articulate and re-conceptualise your key constituents as "customers" with their own segmented "profiles".  From there we will help you to identify how your offerings could create value for your key constituents and therefore achieve "fit" with your customers needs and wants.

Importantly, this process can provide deep insights into consumer needs, wants and desires, thereby providing a valuable information base with which to help providers understand the value of consumer engagement in aged care.

co-designing with consumers, service providers, & other key stakeholders

Importantly, we do not propose to conceptualise, or build, this innovation platform ourselves. We're firm believers that end-users are the experts in their own lived (personal and professional) experiences.  We therefore co-design with end-users to ensure that the end-result is contextually relevant, meaningful and helps make a difference in their lives.  

We propose that co-design is therefore important to ensure COTA Australia harnesses the expertise of its key constituents.  We will work with COTA Australia to create co-design opportunities (e.g. summits, workshops, one-to-one, virtual meet-ups, etc) that are sustainable, feasible and time-appropriate to test ideas and help build a platform for COTA Australia's future innovation.

For a case-study of our co-design process in action, click here.



WE PROPOSE THAT THE ABOVE APPROACH WILL HELP cota australia CONNECT, and co-design, WITH its key constituents AND BUILD A PLATFORM FOR consumer engagement and INNOVATION in aged care.


proposed project personnel


principal consultant

Rajiv Ramanathan

Rajiv Ramanathan is the founder of Practical Visionaries, a diversity and innovation agency that has helped Not-For-Profit agencies with their service and product development strategies for diverse audiences and marketplaces. This included helping one of Australia’s largest mental health services prepare for an increasingly diverse customer base as part of its strategic positioning for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Spanning a diverse and 20 year history in the not-for-profit and public sectors, and more recently in social entrepreneurship, Rajiv brings with him key experience in diversity, service and product innovation, social and market research, project management and entrepreneurship. 

◼︎ For Rajiv's detailed curriculum vitae, click here.

Additional expertise

Depending on the scope of the project, we are also able to engage other relevant experts including:

Suhit Anantula

Suhit works at the intersection of entrepreneurship, design and social sciences with a focus on social change. He heads Business Innovation at The Australian Centre for Social Innovation and is a Strategy Designer for Business Models Inc.  His focus is to solve adaptive social challenges and is a consultant and facilitator for innovation, business models and strategy. 

Suhit works across sectors such as families, child protection, domestic violence, ageing, arts and cultural sector, educational challenges, indigenous issues, digital technology, environment, food and nutrition. He partners with individuals in governments, business, social enterprises and social sector organisations to create better outcomes for people.

Suhit holds an MBA from the International Graduate School of Business and blogs at



Rajiv Ramanathan, Director, Practical Visionaries

Level 1, 93 Norton Street, Leichhardt NSW 2040

T: 02 8585 1399 / 0417 144 171