Taming the Wild West: How technology can charter a new frontier for social value


The UK’s economic growth is lagging behind most G7 economies, while our income inequality is one of the highest, along with our regional inequality.

We need to grow our economy, but we need to do so in a way that is shared by communities across the country, including by the businesses that have helped to drive it. By encouraging businesses to think beyond profit alone, we can harness the trillions of pounds they inject into the economy to help create transformational social, environmental and economic impact in our communities. Our
previous research shows that a purpose-led economy could provide a £149bn boost to the UK GDP per year, making the opportunities in this area vast.

This paper, which has been produced in partnership with GS1 UK, considers how a new vision for social value can build trust in the social value agenda and help unlock economic opportunities, enabled by technology.

Importantly, we need mechanisms to drive that behaviour change. Measuring and tracking the social, economic and environmental impact of how we spend our money is one way that we can achieve this. Using these insights to shape government procurement decisions, worth over £300bn a year and equivalent to 13% of UK GDP, is another lever that we can pull to encourage business to think long term.