A focused division within DrawHistory, Counterbrace is a social research and learning lab that goes where others won’t, to investigate and evolve the unjust systems holding society back.

Counterbrace (formerly known as SynqUp) is the evolution of a practice Kosta Lucas has led since 2016. We combine rich social research with grounded community practice to investigate and address complex and polarising challenges — from extremism to climate anxiety and everything in between — in order to evolve the unjust systems holding society back.


To learn more about Counterbrace’s inception and evolution, you can read more in our blog below.

Our Approach

While Counterbrace is a division within an agency that helps clients and partners find progress by “refusing to play it safe”, all of our work is grounded in three core values to ensure that the benefactors of this work are respected, protected and empowered as much as possible: everything we do is human-centred, conflict-sensitive, and guided by lived experience.


We have a collective approach to problem-solving that starts with the diverse people we’re designing for and ends with new solutions that solve real problems. Each inquiry starts with understanding that solutions lie in the communities where the problem is experienced.

Guided by lived experience

We believe that organizations and individuals should realise and recognize the prevalence of trauma, understand how trauma affects all individuals involved in a community, and respond by putting that knowledge into practice.


We know that research is always part of the context in which it takes place. Our team holds space to account for power imbalances in order to allow multiple nuanced perspectives to manifest through our work.

Research & Insights

  • Future Foresight
  • Trends Forecasting
  • Generational Research
  • Semiotics & Cultural Insights
  • Segment Discovery & Illumination
  • Consumer Behavior Insights

Community Engagement

  • Consultation Design and Delivery
  • Community Program Development
  • Non-traditional Stakeholder Engagement
  • Dialogue Facilitation and Moderation
  • Community Education Resources
  • Activation Planning

Organizational Strategy

  • Organization Vision & Purpose
  • Process & Program Design
  • Change Management & Socialization
  • Capacity-Building Training and Tools
Contact us today

Tell us where you want to go

Counterbrace is all about having the conversations you want to have, but can’t. Get in touch so we can help you explore the challenges and possibilities you want to unlock.

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