Webinar summary and on demand viewing

Did you know that most mammals – but not humans – can synthesise vitamin C? Or that the original inventor of the oil drill tried to strike it rich (pun intended), but failed to patent the design?

We kicked off our webinar, ‘Reframing Social Value: The relationship between insight, impact and investment,’ with a few stories and a massive throwback to 1747 and trials of treatments for scurvy. (Yes, really.)

But there was a point to our story. It was all in aid of repositioning social value in the context of how we can deploy robust evidence as insights to help make sound, strategic decisions about investment.

Many of the decisions we have to inform are tricky – where we place a road or how we design a home – and these decisions have significant impacts on people, communities and the environment. Social value is a critical part of the puzzle.

Thinking and capability on social value measurement has matured, and we have moved from an ‘outputs’ focused mindset (the number ofapprenticeships we’ve delivered) through to one that considers impact: what has actually changed as a result of a project, programme or intervention (improvements in confidence and employability as a result of undertaking an apprenticeship).

To be sure we capture all of this robustly, there are a few questions you can ask yourself:

1.    Why are you doing it? (Are you completely clear about how your project should impact people?)

2.    What information do you need to make an informed strategic decision? (This could be about what to invest in, where to invest, or what to stop investing in!)

3.    What level of rigour do you need to help you answer the above? (Keep it proportionate.)

Valuation can help inform decision-making, and holistic evaluation can help you understand the impact and inform future-decision-making. But they need to be designed and incorporated from the start of projects. Resource is finite and should be directed where the impact will be greatest; don’t miss the opportunity to capture the evidence you need to inform business critical decisions.

We were delighted so many could join us for the webinar led by Simetrica-Jacobs Chief Executive, Mary-Kathryn Adams, and Chief Economist, Ed Dallas, and for a lively Q&A that followed. We fielded questions about making the case for social value to Boards and senior leadership, how social value considerations can be incorporated into commercial sponsorships, acceptable thresholds for evaluation as a proportion of project budgets, and the relationship between social value and sustainability.

By popular request, we are delighted to make a recordingof the webinar available on demand! Please click the link below to view.

We hope you’ll join our Leaders & Innovators Network for the latest news and priority access to upcoming webinars and follow us on LinkedIn, where we’ve launched our ‘Three Things’ series with accessible advice, tips and tricks on all things social value. You can also find more information on how we apply valuation and evaluation by reading about some of our project work.

Finally, if you want to find out how you can apply any of this in practice or have an idea for a project, book a 1-1 with Chief Economist Ed Dallas.