CEO Report – February 2021

Hello and welcome to the first of our monthly reports from me Ben, the CEO of Social Value International.

As January comes to an end, and for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere the promise of Spring is on the horizon, I have been reflecting on the previous 12 months.

It seems crazy to think that just 13 months ago, 600 hundred of us were together in Taiwan for Social Value Matters 2019: Going Mainstream, a stark reminder of how quickly things can change. This year has been challenging for our members across the world, and I do hope that you and your families are all keeping safe and well. 

However, despite the struggles 2020 brought, as I reflect on the last 12 months there are so many positive developments from across the movement and I wanted to share my thoughts on some of these developments with you today.

The game is real: The world is changing fast. SVI’s mission to change the way the world accounts for value is within reach. Our ideas, that have for many years been a niche concept and discipline, are now undeniably part of mainstream thinking. In 2020 the International auditing & assurance board (IAASB) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) ran consultations on assurance of impact and the creation of a sustainability standards board. The EU Commission consulted on updates to the Non Financial Reporting Directive. The game is real. SVI responded to all of these consultations and our views are in the mix but the fight is just beginning if we want the new normal to explicitly account for wellbeing and inequality.

It’s time to be bold: Increasingly it appears there is a division between those who believe a gradualist approach to integrating non financial information is the best way forward, starting with a limited scope of materiality and focusing foremost on climate change. SVI has always argued for full integration of social, environmental and financial value and the impacts that matter most to those people whose lives change. We must stand firm on this and work with allies who share this position. The race to meet the 2030 goals is on and I would argue that we don’t have the time for incremental changes.

We are growing: The reputation of SVI has risen in the last few years, not least due to our involvement in the IMP’s structured network. Our ideas are rising to prominence and our time is coming. Our networks are growing organically and faster than ever.  There are now 27 affiliated networks and the last two Social Value Matters conferences have shown our ability to convene a global community that share our mission. (Save the Date for SVM2021: 20-21 October 2021 in partnership with Social Value Thailand) 

Partnerships & collaboration: We must continue to strengthen our relationships and partnerships to achieve our goals. Last month SVI announced a new strategic partnership with the UNDP that enables us to work more closely with their country offices as they operationalise the SDG Impact Practice Standards. These standards are very closely aligned to SVI’s approach, rooted in meaningful stakeholder engagement, impact dimensions and decision making to optimise contributions to the SDGs. Look out for more announcements each month.

Join the movement: I’m delighted to see the rapid uptake in the revised SVI practitioner pathway as we build a network of like minded professionals committed to changing the way the world accounts for value. The future is bright but we must be braver than we’ve ever been and work more collaboratively than ever to create the change we want to see. I look forward to working with you all to make this happen.

As always, the team at Social Value International are here to assist you in any way we can, and we all look forward to working in collaboration with you in 2021. 

Kind Regards,

Ben

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