I talk a lot about social impact don’t I? But what is it and how important is it in my life?
Social impact could be described as:
The effect of an activity on the social fabric of the community and well-being of individuals and families.Social Enterprise UK
It is important to understand this and if, like me, you’re involved in helping organisations to improve their social impact, you have to be prepared to live by these principles too. You will know that I describe myself as curious and passionate about making a difference. What you won’t know is how I extend social impact principles into my own life.
- Social: I give back my time and engage with my communities: my local community – I worked with the committee of our local village hall who wanted to make strategic changes; my professional community – I sit on the board of a membership organisation for consultants and am designing a programme to improve civil society consultancy capacity in Eastern Europe; and my community of identify – I mentored one of the co-founders of Queer Britain – the UK’s LGBTIQ+ national museum
- Environmental: We reduce the food miles for our food where possible, using local suppliers as much as we can; avoid buying from locations or suppliers with poor environmental supply chains, use public transport where possible, reduce the use of plastic at home (of course we recycle plastics, cardboard, paper, glass, etc) and we have reduced our consumption of beef specifically, we have improved the land management on our property which included improving and managing the surface water run off so that this additional water does not cause erosion and safely makes it into the local streams, contributing to the quality of the stream water
- Financial: I support two organisations that focus on increasing capacity through skills transfer, research and advocacy for improved social cohesion and engagement
In addition, in my work I apply various codes of conduct / practice guidelines of the organisations that I am a member of: EUConsult, UKES, etc. In short they all require a high degree of integrity and professional conduct. I interpret this to mean: be flexible, collaborative, inclusive, transparent and accountable.
Ok, I could probably do more on the environmental front, but it is crucial to live the principles that you are applying in your work every day. I do have three overarching principles that I refer to as my overall guidance, but that is a story for another day.
What are your principles that you live and work by? How do you incorporate them into your life?