February 12, 2018
Maximising Social Value
SoUK·LB - Social Enterprise Hub hosted one of the UK’s most renowned experts on social value over two days, in a first-ever visit to Lebanon, with an open talk at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and a workshop at the Beirut Digital District, in the heart of the capital.
In an eye-opening and thought-provoking presentation, Jeremy Nicholls, Chief Executive of Social Value International and Social Value UK, addressed an audience of entrepreneurs, non-governmental organisations, business-owners, corporate social responsibility practitioners, and students on social impact and accounting for value during an open talk at the Olayan School of Business – AUB, in collaboration with the Global Compact Network Lebanon, a United Nations strategic policy initiative for businesses.
Mr. Nicholls highlighted how the existing approach to measuring and accounting for value – primarily financial value - is failing us and leading to greater economic and social inequality in the world, and thus why it is becoming imperative for us to integrate social and environmental value in our measurement approaches if we are to truly achieve social transformation. Using the analogy of how financial accountability is rigorously applied to maximize financial value for shareholders, Mr. Nicholls described the motivation for establishing social value accounting systems that aim to change the way society accounts for value more generally, and stressed that this is the bigger solution that we should be working towards.
On the second day, Mr. Nicholls led a workshop on maximising social value for founders, executives and staff of early and growth-stage social enterprises that are part of the SoUK.LB support programme and whose vision is to achieve a systemic social change.
“Inequality is the virus that is eating away at the fabric of our societies. Changing our culture and our accounting systems to maximise social as well as financial value will help prevent this and be part of the cure.” – Jeremy Nicholls.
Jeremy Nicholls is the Chief Executive of Social Value International and Social Value UK, network membership networks for those interested in measuring, managing and accounting for their social value, united by a common vision of changing the way the world accounts for value and reducing inequality. He is also a director of the FRC Group (a social business based in Liverpool), a member of the IRIS advisory committee, a contributor to the Social Stock Exchange admissions panel, and a board member of the Social Investment Business (a social investor). Mr. Nicholls is a regular speaker and writer on social value including 'There is no business like Social Business' with Liam Black, several SROI guides including the 'Guide to SROI' and a column for Pioneers Post.