sam thorp

helping people, solving problems
Who I am
Photo of me

Hi, I'm Sam Thorp.

I'm currently a consultant at Social Ventures Australia, where I work to help not-for-profits, governments and funders to be more effective at reducing disadvantage.

I'm the founder of ChangePath, Australia's leading charity assessment engine. I've worked in charities and NGOs across three continents and both hemispheres. At heart I am a maker and a fixer, attempting to build new things to improve organisations and the world. I love getting to the heart of systems to understand how they work and what could make them work better.

I'm fascinated by science, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and the various points where they meet. I've worked in NGOs, consultancies and web startups, spent three months at Singularity University at NASA Ames studying high technology, researched Parkinson's Disease for a year at one of Australia's most prestigious research institutes, and am driven to constantly self-improve.

I'm also much more modest in person.

I live in Sydney, Australia, and cultivate a wide circle of friends from all parts of the world, each of them amazing in unique ways. I'm more likely to assume something is a mistake rather than malicious intent, I grow a beard at random intervals, and I enjoy making intricate gifts from origami.

What I do

I'm a generalist, with an array of skills from project management to data analytics, from programming to public speaking. My sector expertise is focused in health, not-for-profits, and research.

Project Manager
I am a PRINCE2 certified project manager with a history of managing publications, training programs, and events. In doing so I have maintained an unbroken record of running projects on time, under budget, and of uncompromising quality. I also organised a successful attempt to break the World Record for largest custard pie fight.

I am an accomplished and enthusiastic public speaker, an eloquent wordsmith, and a lover of stories. I have spoken at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Antidote Festival in 2018, at the Stars conference in Zurich in 2013, was chair of the Future Focus conference in Stockholm in 2016, and was invited to speak at Oxford on commercialising innovative ideas. My writing has encompassed research reports, marketing copy, grant applications, and media releases.

Researcher and analyst
During my career I have developed strong skills in both quantitative and qualitative research. I was research lead for a study of incentive prizes and global governance initiatives for the creation of a new $10m international prize in Sweden, where I ran and analysed interviews with innovative competition organisations. On the quantitative side, I have run data analysis for the Australian Medical Association and built financial dashboards for London South Bank University.



  • Founded ChangePath, Australia's leading charity ratings platform.
  • At London South Bank University, created a business process map for staff that became a division-wide program.
  • Won the Peter Farrell Cup for business planning, where my team of four beat national MBA teams in designing a business plan for a real piece of IP.
  • London South Bank University: Research, Enterprise and Innovation "Best Colleague", 2016. Silly, but appreciated.
  • In my proudest if not most significant achievement, I organised the breaking of the world record for the largest custard pie fight.

Work history:
I'm currently working at Social Ventures Australia. Previously I worked at London South Bank University, where I acted as the bridge between academia and the commercial sector. I also run ChangePath and consult for Exponential AB and Swedish for Professionals. Previously, I've worked at Cancer Council NSW, small biotech firms, a web startup, and another NGO in varied and interesting roles.

I have a bachelor of science with first-class honours majoring in biotechnology, a bachelor of commerce majoring in business strategy, a diploma of innovation management, and am a graduate of the Singularity University graduate studies program. I have continued to develop my skills through courses in data analysis, algorithms, and technology transfer.


From sculpture to electronics to origami to pottery to baking, I'm a big fan of creating things with my own hands when I can. Often for gifts, occasionally for myself.

Real, physical books preferably, but not exclusively. Unashamably enthusiastic about classic science fiction - Asimov, Niven, Heinlein, Clarke, etc. I'm an avid reader of The Economist, Hacker News, the Verge, and webcomics of all stripes.

I follow technology trends avidly, especially in bioscience, tissue engineering, the quantified self movement, and a variety of other nerdy niches.

My work
Research Reports
Contact me
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