Our vision is for a world where decision making, ways of working and resource allocation are based on the principles of accounting for value leading to increased equality and well-being and reduced environmental degradation.
Over the last couple of years there has been a reduction in global inequality but there has also been an increase in inequality within countries. We also passed the point where 1% of the world’s population now own more than 50% of the wealth. There are now more people who have had to leave their homes and their countries than ever before. Climate change is having an increasingly damaging effect on people’s lives from direct flooding to increased food insecurity.
For those of us that belief that part of the solution to these challenges is a new approach to accounting for value, one that results in changes in resources flow to activities which contribute to positive social and environmental outcomes, it could be argued that things are not going well.
Nonetheless over the last year there has been an increasing global recognition that what we account for and report on needs to change, from initiatives like Integrated Reporting, SASB, and the Natural Capital Coalition as well as the growth of Impact investing and Social Enterprise. There have also been changes in legislation to raise the bar on accountability including the Social Value Act in the UK, Non-financial reporting requirements in the EU and Stock Exchange reporting requirements in Taiwan, to name a few. Both practise and legislation is shifting. Social Value International has continued to grow, adding new national networks to the community, releasing more guidance on standards, developing new training products, and forming new partnerships across different sectors.
There is a slow but steady move to convergence around the basic principles that should underpin global standards for accounting for social and environmental value. There is a bigger community of social accountants and impact analysts and there are more organisations in all sectors measuring and reporting on social and environmental impacts, there is more guidance, more tools and more systems available to support practise.
However given the rate of change in the world, the rate of change in social impact is not fast enough. A shift from measuring to managing and from managing to maximising value is required. If this happens the rate at which principles converge and standards are agreed will also increase.
This conference will focus on this challenge, across the four key areas of principles, people, practise, and power we will be seeking to develop plans for how we can move to maximising social impact, making more use of principles that are designed to maximise value, sharing experiences of what has worked and learning how we can more effectively lobby for policy changes.
This year our conference will be in Istanbul in partnership with Koç University Social Impact Forum. We will be hosted by Koç University, just outside of Istanbul and have the run of the facilities. This means we will be able to have many small group sessions, reflecting international and sector experiences and themed around principles, people, practice and power. Sessions will mainly be in English with some in Turkish. Our plenary’s, which we will be designed to get us thinking, will have translation.