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In conversation with Social Value Engine


In the lead up to our Annual Conference & Awards Dinner on 7th November, we caught up with Rab Campbell, Growth Director at Social Value Engine Ltd, one of our award sponsors.

Thank you for your sponsorship this year. What is your role at the forthcoming event?

“We are sponsoring the Social Value Champion of the Year award as we believe the nature of economic development is changing rapidly. Understanding the social impact of projects is increasingly important to the continued wellbeing of society, but it can be challenging to measure and evidence it. New skills and innovative approaches are required, and we look forward to seeing the submissions for this award.”

The title of this year’s Annual Conference is ‘Grow for Good? Reappraising the UK's Growth Objectives’. What does that mean to you?

“It means embracing the fact that local authorities and VCSE organisations are at the heart of community development. It involves rebalancing the desire to grow GDP with a better understanding of the needs of local communities, ensuring investment projects provide both a social and economic return on investment. This requires a fuller and more mature understanding of the social benefits (and dis-benefits) being delivered through investment activities.”

What aspects of the conference are you especially looking forward to?

“We are looking forward to all aspects of the conference, but would also highlight our pre-conference webinar running on 1st November demonstrating how our mindsets, systems and insight should determine social value rather than taking a narrow transactional approach which sometimes sees it as an ‘add on’ to our core activities.”

What do you think the next 18 months holds for economic development professionals?

“We believe there is currently a tendency for the delivery of social value to be seen as a ‘problem’ to be resolved by procurement departments. Over the next 18 months we would like to see more collaborative approaches involving economic development professionals, procurement professionals – and their supply chains – working more closely to deliver a high-impact three sector approach to local community's needs.”

What services does Social Value Engine provide that may be able to help them?

“The Social Value Engine is a digital platform for local authorities and their suppliers, including VCSE organisations, to measure and enhance the societal impact of projects. It can be used by both economic development and procurement professionals to evidence SROI more effectively and holistically. Our platform equips you with the means to take control, measure your impact, and ultimately, create a better place for the people in your community.”

Tickets for the IED Annual Conference & Awards Dinner in Birmingham are available to IED members and non-members here.