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  • 3 minutes
  • 01/08/2022

The Social Value Manifesto:
A work in progress

Guy Battle provides an update on how 2022's National Social Value Conference saw all attendees gather together to create a Social Value Manifesto.

The 2022 National Social Value Conference saw us take our first step to creating a manifesto for the next ten years of social value. The event was full of energy and passion and proved once again, as if anyone thought otherwise, that social value is a movement.
One of the defining mantras of this movement is that if we want to achieve our goals, we must collaborate. We already see this at the most basic level as businesses offer their social value solutions as they pitch for work. But it goes much further than that. We have a shared goal, and whilst we might have different ways of getting there, we are all clear about our destination.
This power of the crowd was shining brightly during our Social Value Hackathon – with over 300 people in the room and 700 people online, we generated over 100 ideas and began our journey towards developing a manifesto.

So, why do we need a manifesto?

The aim of the Hackathon was to develop a series of ideas and challenges that could form a part of a Social Value Manifesto describing our shared plans to affect change.
‘A manifesto is a published declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government’ 
Well, we are not a political party. Although we don’t have voters to keep happy, we do have views, intentions, motives and a goal. We believe that by working together in the spirit of radical collaboration, we can help our communities flourish and regenerate; healthier, greener and fairer.
At the Hackathon, we identified ten themes and the room (and virtual rooms!) generated some amazing ideas. Here are some of my favourites:

  • General: It’s a journey of embedding a culture – we need to cut the jargon and focus on action!
  • For Central Government: We need a coherent strategy across central government with long term planning and engagement.
  • For Local Government: We have to be more flexible to support the supply chain by widening their definition of local; acknowledge impact over geographical boundaries.
  • Business: We should make it a requirement to publish through Companies House a social value report, audited and independently verified.
  • On helping small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs): We must create standardisation and simplification in public procurement social value requirements for SMEs and VCSEs.
  • Diversity: All bidders should be required to complete a diversity monitoring form covering things like board of directors composition; inclusive hiring policies and supply chain.
  • The Climate Crisis: We will develop a carbon reporting tool to enable baselining and target setting, and move to climate being mandated and not an add-on.
  • Raising standards: We should consider a certification or grading system for businesses to show their ethical commitment.
  • Community engagement: We need a social value local plan created by several community stakeholders

What’s next?

The National Social Value Taskforce is now working to bring all of these disparate ideas together to create a Social Value Manifesto that is action based and time limited. Watch this space and if you do want to be involved, please do reach out to the Taskforce.
NSVC22 hosted the world’s first Social Value Hackathon. Sign up for more information on the National Social Value Conference in 2023, including line ups, sessions and ticket releases here.
Guy Battle