Impact Summit / April 14, 2019

Why now is the time for values-led business

Values-led organisations are thriving in the unique business landscape of today. Socially-driven organisations are pioneering new methodologies, rethinking structures, solving problems and supporting the economy. We created Impact Summit to celebrate that, and inspire more of it.

Making an Impact

For a long time, concepts like ‘impact’ and ‘values-led’ have been abstract, undefined and subjective. Even if you were changing the world as a business, it was almost impossible to measure those effects. We’ve been living on limited, anecdotal evidence as a means of lifting and championing purpose-driven organisations, but those days are over.

Technology has changed the game

Technology has given us information, transparency and connectivity, but also brought up new complex challenges for the modern-day, particularly around ‘data-gone-bad’. However, it’s worth remembering that data-gone-good has changed the way we interact with businesses. We now have the means to assess information on everything from workplace culture to environmental impact on tax history. With the rise of social media, we can publicly promote and share brands that match our values. Increasingly, the power is with the people.

Beyond information and transparency, technology also represents one of the fastest-growing sectors for work, accessibility and innovation. Our Tech For Good track at Impact Summit 2019 will explore the positive role of tech and data in today’s world. Speakers on this track include Irina Preda from Code Your Future. Her team works with refugees and disadvantaged groups, providing them with some of the most sought-after skills and connecting them with companies looking for talent.

It’s cool to care

We care. You care. But now it’s about more than that. The general public is now holding businesses to more rigorous standards, building the movement towards more conscious consumerism and supporting brands that have something to say.

One such brand is Hey Girls, founded by Impact Summit speaker Celia Hodson in 2018. Hey Girls launched menstrual products that use a buy-one-give-one model to combat period poverty in the UK. Brands Tampax and Always (both owned by P&G) have historically dominated the sanitary market, but within a year of trading, Hey Girls was stocked by supermarket giants Asda and Waitrose. Not only that, they had donated 2.3 million products to those in need.

This is the shift in action, and there’s more where that came from.

The vision has reached the top

One reason we host Impact Summit in Scotland is that, here, the belief in this movement extends beyond the individual and into the heart of the systems and organisations. At the centre of it all is the Government-supported Scotland CAN DO initiative, a network of over 100 different organisations. These organisations are working together towards Scotland’s vision to become a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative society.

At Impact Summit 2018, Nicola Sturgeon launched Scotland CAN B – a global partnership between BLab UK and Scotland CAN DO to accelerate and strengthen values-based business in Scotland. This year, Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, will speak at Impact Summit. He will further the ground covered last year and keep the Scottish Government engaged with the people driving change from the ground up. We have never before seen such loud, proud support for businesses that put purpose over profit.

Values-led business isn’t a trend; it is the future. Are you ready for it?

FutureX Team