Project Description

Study on Competency Factors of Public Interest Activists

What changes will happen in public service in the next 10 years?

What competencies will we have to develop?

In June 2015, we began studying what sort of changes would occur in public service in the next decade and how to prepare for it at the request of the Seoul NPO Support Center. It was GingerTProject’s first research project and lasted 6 months.

Through interviews, workshops, and surveys with 191 public interest activists, we discovered trends of change, 7 competencies to respond to this change, and 5 essential values to maintain throughout change.

“I think we should continue to consider how to face change.

The thing I can do now is observe and understand the direction the non-profit sector is heading in.

If we share these changes within our own organizations as an “observer”,

the role of “field pioneer” is not far from our grasp.”

-Jiyoung Lee, public interest activist competency factor research participant

Project Processes

  • As this was the first attempt at imagining the future of public service activities, the entire research process was experimental. We primarily used two methods: action research, where participants directly participated in activities, and scenario interviews, where we asked participants to imagine themselves 10 years in the future.
  • Ahead of the game! This project allowed the participants to discover the necessary competencies to lead and not just respond to inevitable change. 

Project Insights

Below is the summary of the changes we recognized and the abilities needed for public interest activists to respond accordingly.

  • Major Future Trends
    • Low income, high cost, low growth
    • Diverse and complex social problems
    • Growing importance of technical competency
  • 7 Competencies Needed for the Future
    • Cultural creativity
    • Change management
    • Motivational skills
    • Collaborative resolution skills
    • Storytelling ability
    • Technological competency
    • Utilization of various platforms
  • 5 Essential Values
      • Ethics
      • Diversity and Respect
      • Trust and Responsibility
      • Learning and Growing
      • Performance Management


Public Interest Activist Competency Research Report and Self-Diagnosis Toolkit

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