About 70 people attended this keynote event at Perth’s Social Impact Festival on 16 July. Our four guest speakers each addressed the question for ten minutes, questions from the audience were discussed by the panel, and a catered networking opportunity followed.
Two of our guest speakers, Ben Carpenter (CEO of Social Value UK and Social Value International) and Awerangi Tamihere (COO of Commissioning For Outcomes Whānau Ora Agency), brought international perspectives from the United Kingdom and New Zealand via electronic link-up. We had a national Australian perspective from Simon Faivel (Director of Social Ventures Australia and Chairperson of SIMNA) and a local WA perspective from Ross Kyrwood (CEO of YMCA WA and YMCA National Advocate for Young People and Community Impact).
The speakers were all very clear about who they consider to be responsible for catalysing change from their perspectives and addressed the question in one or both of two arenas of change – long term change in the capacity and wellbeing of communities and long term change in the social value culture and practice of organisations.
For change in communities they presented complementary views that community members, funders and service providers are jointly responsible for catalysing change because sustainable long term change will only occur in communities if all three of these stakeholders work together with the community being the senior partner.
For change within funding and service delivery organisations the case was made that the responsibility lies primarily with the CEO and Board to catalyse long term organisational change by raising the monitoring and evaluation of social value to the same level of importance that Boards and CEOs currently give to finances. Feedback from attenders indicated that about 80% learned something useful about social impact measurement at the event.
The networking opportunity was well attended with a lot of animated discussion and new contacts made. About 60% of attenders reported that they increased their professional network at the event and about 45% reported they shared their knowledge and/or experience of social impact measurement.
Ric Dale, Chair SIMNA WA Committee