Author: Tim Cummins
As social expectations grow, organizations are increasingly focused on defining 'purpose'. This was a major theme at the 2019 World Economic Forum and momentum has continued, most notably with the recognition by 181 top CEOs that 'business needs a purpose beyond profit'.
The challenge with developing purpose is in part how it is defined, but even more how it is then measured. The social value movement is clearly a major contributor to this realization of purpose. As a concept it considerably pre-dates the awakening of the CEO community, but the last year has seen a surge in interest.
Contract for Change
I am delighted to be leading a working group within an overall initiative that's operating under the banner 'Contract for Change'. The purpose of the initiative is to bring social value to life, to develop guidance and methods that make it real. My contribution is to gather data and insights from around the world on how different countries and regions are defining and implementing social value, in particular within public sector procurement. But my interest extends also to private sector initiatives since we know from IACCM members that there has been substantial progress in tackling environmental, social and governance issues. Late last year, I also gained some exposure to the field of Relational Economics, where academics are exploring ways to capture and measure intangible value.
Overall, this is a truly exciting field because it offers the prospect of the sort of innovative thinking that will drive the changes we need to address sustainability, inequality and social cohesion. It is core to the mission of IACCM and its members – and we are in many ways uniquely positioned to drive this agenda forward. But the overall 'Contract for Change' initiative needs volunteers, willing to contribute to its various working groups. Equally, my particular working group needs people who are willing to explore direction and progress within their specific country or industry. If you are interested in being part of this important movement, please let me know!