This is a summary of the key points and next steps that came out of the two group events RealWorth held under the auspices of Social Value UK in London and Manchester in May and June 2017.
Key Messages from Attendees at the Events in London & Manchester
- 82% of those polled at the London event, and 92% at the Manchester event said they were willing to participate in a thought leadership group to develop the themes discussed over the two evenings into a tangible plan of action. Infographic summaries of both events are here Manchester and London
- This means we have a core of 40 people from right across the sector, including designers, developers, planners, property owners, lawyers, accountants, constructors, representing the public, private and third sectors who want to take this forward and “do something” to ensure that the Built Environment is a force for positive and lasting social and environmental change.
- There is a similar number of people who want to get involved, but who either couldn’t attend or have heard good things about the events from colleagues
So, the answer to the question “Do enough people care enough to do something?” is a resounding “Yes”
So, what should happen next?
Having heard from panelists and participants representing various sectors of the industry at the two events, the audiences were asked for their thoughts on “What the priorities should be for the agenda of the new thought leadership group?” The most popular area was lobbying policymakers to change legislation, but there was also support for the need to publicise the benefits of social value, connect property practitioners with agents for social change, and to develop gap funding mechanisms.
We always knew it was going to be a challenge to connect a diverse group of people and organisations from different areas of the UK.
Our suggestion now is to try to build cohesion, increase numbers, and build momentum of the group. Because there were several views on the way forward, we are planning to convene the early meeting(s) to further define the group approach and objectives, share best practice and identify new supporters and contributors.
The first meeting(s) will be held in early September at a venue to suit the attendees. The location of meetings will rotate to make it as fair as possible for everyone, and we will set up facilities to make it possible for those who cannot attend to contribute remotely.
The meeting(s) will be held under the auspices of Social Value UK and convened by RealWorth. The spirit of the group will be an open and collaborative co-production of ideas. We will continue to work closely with other existing Groups including the Constructing Excellence / CHY Working Group on Social Value.
As conveners, we will strive to find the appropriate balance between leading this group and responding to its members needs and wishes. To this end, in the next fortnight we will circulate a draft agenda for the first meeting for comment and review by participants.
If you are interested in joining the Group and want to make your ideas and thoughts known, we have set up a group registration & survey here. Please take five minutes to complete this in the next week or so and we will do our best to incorporate your views and thoughts into account in this set-up phase.
We plan to finalise the agenda for the first meeting and to confirm dates, venues etc in early July.
We are very excited at the prospect of catalysing a new approach to creating social value in the built environment.