Social change steering committee

Consulting young South Africans in the quest for social cohesion


Our client, a social change steering committee in South Africa, brought together the academic, private and public sectors to help achieve nationwide social cohesion by 2030.

As a starting point, the committee wanted to consult citizens to establish a benchmark of social cohesion in South Africa (as it currently stands), as well as areas that needed to be addressed. AudienceNet was commissioned to consult one of the priority population segments; relatively affluent young people (18-35 year olds) living in 8 regions in South Africa.


Findings from the research were presented by AudienceNet at a stakeholder event in South Africa.

The research is informing on-going discussions between key stakeholders. More specifically, it is assisting the steering committee in prioritising policy areas and developing strategic targets that will help them to achieve their goal of social cohesion by 2030. The research findings were made available to the public in March 2018, upon being launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Our method

AudienceNet built a longitudinal online community that represented the population segment in terms of demographics (age, gender, race/ethnicity), and geographic distribution.

  • The community lasted for 3 weeks and included one-to-one conversations with moderators (for privacy) and peer-to-peer discussions.

  • Discussion topics and tasks focused on what social cohesion means to citizens, how socially cohesive they perceived South Africa to currently be and the future of social cohesion in the nation.

  • In the final week of the community, participants were shown two distinct scenarios (one positive, one negative) and asked to debate the likelihood of either happening by 2030. The scenarios were developed by AudienceNet based on discussions that emerged from weeks 1 and 2.