A Focus on Wellbeing

There is increasing recognition and convergence in definitions of social value and impact being about our wellbeing. Social value is about things that impact on our overall wellbeing, as individuals, as families, as communities, as a nation.

Social Value International talk about social value as ‘a broader definition of value that includes the worth or importance stakeholders place on changes/impacts to their wellbeing that are not captured through financial transactions.’

Here in the UK, we have many definitions that also reference wellbeing:

  • The Government Green Book says ‘Social or public value … includes all significant costs and benefits that affect the welfare and wellbeing of the population, not just market effects.’
  • The British Standards Institute BS8950 Guide to Enhancing Social Value says ‘social value is created through the generation of personal and collective wellbeing over the short and long term’.
  • The Public Services (Social Value Act) 2012 requires public authorities to ‘have regard to economic, social and environmental well-being’
  • The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act talks about ‘sustainable development’ and defines this as ‘the process of improving the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales’.

Office for National Statistics

The Office of National Statistics talks about ‘how people in the UK are doing as individuals, as communities, and as a nation’. Through their national dataset 10 broad dimensions of wellbeing have been identified and are regularly tracked for the UK population through the Measures of National Well-being Dashboard: Quality of Life in the UK. The 10 dimensions are:

  • Personal (subjective) wellbeing
  • Health
  • Our relationships
  • What we do
  • Where we live
  • Personal finance
  • Education and skills
  • The natural environment
  • The economy
  • Governance

BSI BS8950 Guide

The BSI BS8950 guide says wellbeing ‘captures states of being where subjective and objective psychological or physical human needs are met in varying degrees, with increased wellbeing corresponding with better states of physical and psychological health’.

Understanding what affects our overall wellbeing as individuals, families, communities, and a nation is increasingly important for managing our social, environmental and economic value, and our overall impact as organisations. It is also increasingly important for meeting our legislative responsibilities, managing our organisational risks and opportunities, and responsibly contributing to our national economies.

Wellbeing of Future Generations Act

The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act outlines this by defining 7 connected wellbeing goals for the nation:

  • A prosperous Wales
  • A resilient Wales
  • A healthier Wales
  • A more equal Wales
  • A Wales of more cohesive communities
  • A Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language
  • A globally responsible Wales

Scottish National Performance Framework

The Scottish National Performance Framework outlines 11 national outcomes:

  • Grow up loved, safe and respected so that they realise their full potential
  • Live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe
  • Are creative and their vibrant and diverse cultures are expressed and enjoyed widely
  • Have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy
  • Are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society
  • Value, enjoy, protect and enhance their environment
  • Have thriving and innovative businesses, with quality jobs and fair work for everyone
  • Are healthy and active
  • Respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination
  • Are open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally
  • Tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth and power more equally

How we can help

Social Value UK has developed a workshop that looks at the increasingly prominent concept of wellbeing in social value measurement and beyond. Visit our Workshops page for more information.

Understanding wellbeing, social value, and our overall impact, and learning to measure and manage these are imperative if we are to successfully work together to achieve a more sustainable and equitable future across the UK, and the globe.