Reflections on 'Enabling collaboration in ecosystems to unlock social value'

On Tuesday 3 October, Leeds University Business School hosted the latest Ideas in Practice conference at the University's Cloth Hall Court Building.

The all-day, in-person conference ‘Enabling collaboration in ecosystems to unlock social value’ was hosted in partnership with the Institute for Collaborative Working and the Social Value Portal. Further sponsorship for this Ideas in Practice conference was provided by Sellafield and Vercity. We received in excess of 100 registrations and welcomed around 80 delegates on the day to participate in the packed agenda. 


Woman sat at table during seminar


Our new Director of External Engagement, Catherine Thristan, introduced the conference, highlighting LUBS’ status as a triple-accredited Russell Group university and our performance at REF 2021, where 90% of our research was rated as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”.

In her keynote, Elena Sinel, Founder and CEO of Teens in AI, addressed how teen activity in technological development can lead to substantial social output, with examples coming from global cooperation amongst teens in alleviating PPE shortages during the Covid-19 pandemic; ICW and SVP told us how they work to meet primary business goals alongside hitting social value requirements; Jon Brazier, Operations Director at Vercity and MODUS Services, revealed in interview with Dr Helen Hughes how the Ministry of Defence main building has integrated the FREDIE (Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement) initiative to revolutionise workplace culture; case studies on the TransPennine Route Upgrade Programme and space industry and nuclear ecosystems spotlighted social output projects in the region; and lastly, we heard from our LUBS colleagues and external speakers during the panel session, chaired by Visiting Professor of Research Impact David Loseby. Engaged, lively discussion from the audience largely centred around the key question: “What’s next for social value in our institutions and industries?”

Feedback from the conference has initiated conversation around whether this will become an annual engagement opportunity. We hope for our academics to benefit from the connections made, which should, in turn, lead to more regular and accessible collaborative projects between LUBS academics and industry leaders.

Find out more about upcoming Ideas in Practice events.

Author Grace Carter is an Impact and Engagement Officer in the Faculty Research and Innovation Office at Leeds University Business School. She organises and executes the Ideas in Practice series.