Friday, November 13, 2009

all social accounts are a fiction... said Steve Wyler, CEO of the Development Trusts Association in the opening address of this years' Social Audit Network conference.

And you know what - I think I agree with his argument: the relationships between what we do and the effects we claim to create can be 'hazy' at best, and the metrics and systems we create to quantify these are also currently relatively limited and varied; so, technically speaking, social accounts include a greater or lesser degree of 'made up' narrative of how we see we've impacted the world for the better. BUT what they do offer us, and the true value of them, are the stories they allow us to tell - and stories, as Steve reminded us all, are the most powerful tool we have to create social change.

The conference was also useful as it gave platform to the Social Return on Investment model (which I'd always been wary of), but was encouraged to hear from the SROI project that its not meant to be taken as an absolute financial value in abstract than can be used in like-for-like comparisons, but rather that its true value is in allowing an organisation to allow the people its benefitted to identify and prioritise what they see as being the ways in which that organisation has improved their lives, and what they see the value of that being to them - a true grass roots / bottom-up approach rather than a mandated top-down policy initaitive...
All in all, a good day to reflect, to be challenged, and to make new friends...
( - but that's a blog entry for another day...)

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