Glossary for Making sense of Social Value (2019)
The definitions for social value and its related terms are fluid and change depending on who you ask and when.
An agreed definition of social value does not exist and rather like beauty, social value is in the eye of the beholder. So, rather than providing a static dogmatic definition of social value and its associated terms, I have tried to define, measure and capture the language of social value by collecting definitions from the perspective of various others. These ‘others’ could be individuals, groups, or organisations in cities, towns and villages across the UK or the world and so definitions will naturally differ depending on context. I make no claim to these definitions. I agree with some but not with all but they are either generally agreed by most of the people most of the time, or come from a particular perspective.
The definitions are not intended to be comprehensive but should give you enough information so that you can undertake your own research and come to your own conclusions.
As the field of social value is dynamic and evolving, I will periodically add to and/or update the list. If you have any you would like to have added, or indeed if you think you have a clearer definition, feel free to email me and I will review and make the necessary changes. Remember though, these definitions are deliberately broad and are used as a general rule of thumb by most of the people most of the time mostly. Specific sectors, organisations and individuals will have their own versions of many of these explanations and if this ambiguity causes you concern, you are in for some sleepless nights. Embrace the vague, cuddle the imprecise and take the ambiguous out for a drink and a film.
Neil Capstick January 2020