How can digital technology be used to maximise social value through infrastructure projects?
I'm a professor in institutional economics in the Department of Management at Birkbeck. This is an event I look very much forward to it's also it's partly because it's uh it's quite an innovative topic here it's not something we have divided very much into before it's the kind of combination of technology digital technology and social value and then in major infrastructure projects in the and there seems to be quite a lot of interest to this we have an unusually I would say the high number of people registered for this event and so and hopefully here there are also several who have not previously been a member or being on the on the list of people who are invited for the seminars or workshops of the Center for Innovation Management Research at Birkbeck hope you will find this interesting and will go on attending here the topic here is based is based on a contribution by Jeremy Gelpin who works at the company Costain and has been a postgraduate student at Birkbeck he produced an excellent dissertation and we asked him to write this up in terms of the working paper in the research in the research center here we and some of you would have read it some others would be able to access it and read it after the seminar Jeremy has also been instrumental in inviting people for the panel here and we have an excellent panel with people who are on the cutting edge of various aspects of this topic we're discussing today have cutting-edge knowledge and also practical experience about it and look very for look forward to the debate with among panelists and the audience and Jeremy here we have not much time, we have one hour there is a presentation from we start with a presentation from Jeremy and then brief inputs from each of the panelists and maybe a brief response from Jeremy and then we'll have we are targeting about 20 minutes for general discussion in the end where both the panelists and the audience can take part because it's a very little time there I think we will benefit from having two kind of fora here one is the online discussion and the other one is the chatbox and so if you have any questions on along the way we encourage you to make comments and questions on the chatbox and also to for Jeremy and the panelists to answer this along the way so that's it, so I'll encourage you to unmute on the if you haven't already done so and then mute your phone when you make a presentation but now I'll give and the word to Jeremy Thank you very much, Klaus, good afternoon everyone thank you for joining us for this session as Klaus said this working paper was developed from a master's dissertation study that I carried out sponsored by Costain and my name is Jeremy Galpin and I'm the lead for Costain social value consultancy and for those who may not know who Costain is the purpose of Costain is to improve people's lives by helping to connect and keep the nation moving to keep the water clear and flowing power communities sustainably and keep people safe and these research recommendations will inform our smart contracting and consultancy operations and helping our clients across the UK's transportation water energy and defense sectors improve their business performance by enabling their infrastructure programs to be safer better greener faster and more efficient So I'm going to present just for a quarter of an hour initially on just an overview of the research that's been carried out after just presenting some of the context and then on some of the recommendations that I've made before we move on to our panel discussion and in case I forget thank you to everyone who's participated today and in the research over the last couple of years we face an unprecedented challenge in combating the rising temperature of the earth at a time where the pace of change and the fragmentation of society is accelerating globally this time of challenge also presents a huge and exciting opportunity to significantly shift the basis on which we invest in infrastructure so that decisions are sustainable by the widest definition and contribute to the global well-being of humanity as well as delivering a just transition to a low-carbon world the shift in policy context with respect to social value in the last three years is quite remarkable and we have learned from the Covid pandemic that governments and society can make dramatic and significant decisions when critical as the transforming infrastructure roadmap 2030 illustrates and you can see the picture on the screen we need to make integrated decisions at a systems-level considering the relationship between the natural environment the built environment and services the decisions we make must be both aligned with global societal outcomes represented by the UN SDGS and on policy that reflects our values as a society if the business cases on which we make infrastructure decisions are to have the trust and confidence of stakeholders we need to improve this engagement and the transparency visibility and accountability of those processes we need to ensure that we can feedback on the outcomes we achieve including social value through the lifetime of the asset having identified social environmental and economic outcomes for the whole life cycle of our assets we must then define capture and visualize the relevant data and use it to maximize impact and provide feedback to our stakeholders digital technology has been a key driver in innovation and productivity leading to hugely significant reductions in global poverty and a transformation of global connectivity it has a critical role to play I believe as an enabler of social value in the 650 billion infrastructure investment pipeline the primary aim of this working paper is to inform readers as to what opportunities exist to use digital technology to maximize social value through major infrastructure projects and the working paper focuses on two key questions what are the opportunities for the use of digital technology in maximizing social value? and what are the risks and barriers to the use of digital technology to maximize social value? a critical appraisal of the literature leads to the conclusion that there is a significant lack of research into the intersection between digital technology and social value the consequence of this is that social value is not being maximized this is in part due to the rapid pace of technology and the lag in the equivalent academic research but additionally a lack of integrated cross-discipline research into social value the majority of the literature identified is in the intersection between social value and infrastructure as you can see in figure 6. limited literature has been identified on the use of digital technology for social value and the focus of this research is to address the even more significant gap in the intersection between social value, digital technology, and infrastructure the research interviewed a total of 12 participants in the five categories of social value leaders or specialists technology leaders, asset owners, project managers or social value practitioners and policy influencers and the interviews were carried out in the midst of lockdown between the 1st and 20th of August 2020 and 12 recommendations are made related to policy implementation the definition of specification of social value improving the measurement of social value-enhancing stakeholder management through the delivery of social value and the upskilling of managers So turning now to the recommendations the first one is about refining the definition of social value So my first recommendation is that an up-to-date context-specific definition for social value in the infrastructure sector should be agreed and embedded into policy and practice and the working paper covers some of the existing definitions that are in place and I put this definition forward for consideration that social value for infrastructure assets is both the intrinsic and extrinsic impact of the asset on the well-being of society throughout the assets life cycle I'll just read that one more time so social value for infrastructure assets is both the intrinsic and extrinsic impact of the asset on the well-being of society throughout the assets life cycle so what do I mean by intrinsic and extrinsic so intrinsic social value is the social value belonging naturally and essentially to an asset this social value needs to be considered at optioneering stage as part of the development of the business case and balanced with environmental and economic benefits and the value toolkit is one mechanism for this this social value will be embedded into the technical specification of the asset an example of this is the tideway project where the intrinsic value of the super sewer is in cleaning up the river Thames What is extrinsic social value? so that is the social value that is over and above the intrinsic value of the asset and is not essential to the functioning of the asset and to give an example again on tideway that is the volunteering that we do in the community it adds social value but it's not essential to the delivery of the asset itself and ppn o620 that's come out since this research was done defines from a procurement point of view social value for public sector but it focuses very much on the extrinsic social value the second recommendation is around multi-capital's approach a holistic approach to the implementation of social value using a digital framework based around a multi-capitals model for the achievement of policy objectives or major infrastructure projects this approach needs to be embedded into the whole life cycle of the asset including planning and this, of course, is the work that construction innovation hub leading and Ellis on the panel to talk about the Value toolkit This is a more controversial one perhaps the opportunity of social media and I'm going to use a series of quotes from the research as we go through just to bring it to live so I think we are scared of Facebook analytics we don't know how to use it and it's social media and Cambridge Analytica, therefore, it is bad so using any of that for good seems like the wrong place to start for some people but I think there is a lot of potential so my recommendation five is that develop an ethical and methodological framework of good practice for the use of social media to maximize social value moving to investable metrics again a quote government needs to intervene to create a market in well-being that can be added to costs and used in cost-benefit analysis and is investable and since the research, the government's published a supplementary guidance the green book around well-being recommendation six is a standardized digital framework of social value metrics is developed for the infrastructure sector and recognized by the government the metrics should incorporate both qualitative and quantitative data and the impact on stakeholders these metrics are developed together with regulators and the financial sector to move to investable metrics linked to societal well-being the next opportunity is using a systems-level approach again a quote to define value we need to bring all the data together to understand the interactions within the system and across multiple layers, once we start integrating these systems and layers there is huge potential for future scenario mapping, for example, how does improved biodiversity affect people's well-being so my recommendation seven is to embed social value data into digital twin development enabling better decision making on social value across the whole life cycle of the infrastructure asset and Mark will talk a bit about this and the work that Costain doing with Anglian Water on the panel Measuring outcomes and impact I get a quote I think we have learned in the past three months that digital is not a perfect substitute for physical relationships, but it is a lot less worse than we thought and can be 70% to 80% as good but you can do five times as much for zero-carbon recommendation nine is to leverage digital tools including artificial reality virtual reality and apps on mobile devices to make the collection and measurement of primary outcomes data context relevant and proportionate to the benefits Improving stakeholder engagement we have talked about fear before April 2020 I think about half of people who have said you can't do it people won't open up you can't build relationships that social value is by definition about people and digital is the antithesis of people I think we are over that perhaps not we're not suggesting digital as a replacement for physical but recommendation 10 is that the industry builds on the shift to digital in engagement and consultation with stakeholders to design standards for a new normal approach using a blend of digital and face-to-face to increase understanding and build trust a related one capturing the stakeholder voice and I know this is very close to David's heart from commonplace the collective has more weight in make in terms of making change happen so one of the things we are interested in is whether there is a data model that encapsulates the relationship between a community and the place it occupies so recommendation 11 is that digital tools including emerging social software platforms artificial intelligence and mobile devices are used to enhance stakeholder engagement and present the data voice in real-time creating a continual transparent conversation around place integrated with social media and using the wisdom of crowds to improve decision making and finally, the need for digital leadership skills digital is an enabler of social value but in this quote, the case is yet to be made as to whether digital actually increases the social value delivered or enables the delivery of social value more effectively and efficiently I'd be interested to see what the panel think about that and then a comment about people's understanding about data people don't really understand data from a legal perspective they think data is a bit of a free-for-all they think they own data but they don't the truth is no one owns data there are rights restrictions and obligations that apply so recommendation 12 is that managers are up using digital learning of course to maximize social value including contracting accountability and management processes the risks and opportunities of data management and digital security and there's a whole suite of digital leadership training available on the supply chain school if you're interested So I wanted to finish by addressing an important point very briefly about digital poverty, if we're to engage with our stakeholders using digital tools we have to address digital poverty and there's a couple of a number of statistics from the digital poverty alliance I just can choose one which is that 25 of vulnerable children do not have access to a suitable device for learning and to give an example what we're doing so I'm chair of governors at the London Design and Engineering UTC and this academic year we have issued every single one of our learners with their own laptop and that's part of our contribution to addressing that issue So thank you very much for your time and for listening to me and I'm going to hand over to Klaus now for the panel discussion Yes thank you Jeremy so let's proceed with the panelist Ellie is uh the first in line so it's your attorney Thank you very much, so thank you for inviting me to join you today and I'm really delighted to be here and I'm Ellie I'm a partner at Akerlof and the Industry Project lead for the Construction Innovation Hub's Value Toolkit so by way of introduction I led social impacts in the community team for a tier-one contractor for just under 10 years and in that time I developed social strategies measured and reported our national impact and supported clients in realizing better outcomes now my background unlike Jeremy's is very focused on the social infrastructure side so maybe I bring a slightly different lens today most recently I've been central to the development of the Value toolkit which helps clients define measure and realize better social environmental and economic outcomes as referenced in Jeremy's paper, in addition, I'm proud to lead ESG for akilov and I'm an active member of the social value community in my time in the built environment and social value the role of digital technologies has changed almost beyond recognition but the potential is still exponential with digital technology my view is that we can hear from unheard voices and make our design and planning process more accessible and inclusive we can evaluate options to optimize the outcomes we can do simple things like use modeling to identify pinch points in construction programs enabling us to better manage the impact on communities crucially and something we really advocate for in the value toolkit we can create a thread between investment decisions and the actual outcomes realized so that we can be really sure that we're driving continual improvement and there are many more benefits to the potential inclusion of digital and social value working together but I'd advocate one of the things that Jeremy said which is in my view digital is by no means a silver bullet the increasing interface between digital and social disciplines has practical and also potentially ethical challenges which we shouldn't shy away from bringing to the floor I think we are at a really exciting juncture and jeremy's paper and the debate today from my perspective feel perfectly timed to support a more structured dialogue on the opportunities and challenges of integrating digital technology and social value so I'm not sure if I need to hand it over to someone else but that's me yeah thank you very much Ellie so we'll proceed with David you need to unmute your phone No, it's the classic, hi good afternoon, thank you very much all for being here, and thank you for having me on the panel it's an absolute pleasure to be here as it's been a pleasure to work with Jeremy at various points in the past few years and it's absolutely fantastic to be here as sort of validator all your wonderful work I'm David John McLaughlin, I'm a co-founder of commonplace we are a digital platform provider for public engagement probably the leading one in the UK now we have worked with several hundred customers over 1500 various projects many of them related to infrastructure and have engaged close to four and a half million unique individuals in different online engagements in the UK so just numbers give you an idea that this is an idea that whose time has come it is possible it is doable and lots of people engage we work across a variety of topics we started in core infrastructures and built environment but we now extend all kinds of areas of social policy my own personal background is as an urbanist it's what I've always been interested in how places develop and how people can influence the development of places so I started my career in the dying days of the Greater London council helping people in the royal docks engage with the future of the royal docks helping people in west London to talk about the economic development there and I've never really looked back that's what I've done that's what I love a key aspect of social value as Jeremy reminds us is actually understanding what it is that people value and in order to understand what is the people value you have to talk to them you have to talk to as many of them as you possibly can in our day and age digital enables that there's no question about that clearly there are limitations so the first use of digital-based on our experience is you can get community views secondly if you do it correctly or what we think is correctly you are very transparent on commonplace every comment that's ever been made pretty much is visible forever the com the internet never forgets and we create provenance for decision making by retaining consultation websites indefinitely at our expense after licenses expire because we believe that that's part of changing the nature of the dialogue between authorities that precipitate change and they vary and communities I think a couple of other things that digital brings one is consistency are entering things into a database therefore you're committed to a repeatable format that format is repeatable even if you're gathering data and face-to-face activities you still want to create and bring in data that's compatible and can be used in the same way and across projects we're working with the quality of life foundation for example on the post-occupancy evaluation they have a very clear model which they have researched and validated on how you assess people's quality of life in the months and years after the occupy new development we can bring that to the public and repeat that it, as Jermey mentioned this is an issue of digital poverty I think one of the key challenges we face is explaining to our customers that the expectation of engagement from the public is very high it's conditioned by the experience in other areas of life it's not like it used to be that engagement, is a consultation episode that happens and then you have a gap of years before somebody comes back to you and tells you, oh now we've decided to do this yes lots happened in the two or three intervening years but we know nothing about it as the public Amazon wouldn't treat you that way even your water company doesn't treat you that way anymore so why should other areas of decision making so a key challenge is for infrastructure developers for other people who affect the built environment and communities to understand that they need to have a continuous engagement strategy for the duration of their project which starts pre-planning and ends if it does at all post-occupancy within that there's room for digital but around digital, you have to think about the people who are not going to be online you can and you can use digital to identify who is not online and direct the boots on the ground resources to where you have gaps so digital may not reach everyone but can help you hugely to reach everyone I'll stop there Thanks a lot, David so mark is the next one in line Thank you, Klaus and good afternoon everyone it really is a pleasure to be here, and thank you for the invite to join the panel So I'm Mark Hedges I'm from Anglian Water very briefly my background is in capital delivery and the digital transformation of capital delivery for Anglian Water a little more recently more into asset intelligence and the importance of good quality data and how and how that affects the effectiveness of our organization and fundamentally just to reflect back on one of David's points there we have put our toes in the water in terms of different ways of engaging our customers through social media for example and that cascaded down to capital delivery through sharing things like traffic rehearsals from the impact of works that we were about to fundamentally go ahead with trying to understand the impact of that on our customers you know we're generally digging up our own customers' roads so therefore bringing direct impact to their lives so that that's an interesting one but the amount of engagement we received just through that was phenomenal Just moving more broadly we currently have a project that literally is installing a brand new water pipeline from the north of the region down to the south so from an area where we currently have an excess of water down to areas of water scarcity that's known as the strategic pipelines alliance and you know we're very fortunate to have Costain supporting us as a partner on that project and it's a true alliance it's not a joint venture it's a true alliance in the way that that the partners are incentivized and Costain have been fantastic and Jeremy himself through the support of what we're trying to understand through that project being different we want to set that project up as an exemplar the project has a sustainability delivery group and Costain are very active in that group and we've been very impressed by their engagement and their drive actually towards helping us understand yes the social part of our six capitals framework but also other parts and how we can make the most of that so fundamentally understanding that and Jeremy's work has sort of helped us understand how we might take that initial toe in the water approaching go from good to great and it is great to be part of the panel so thank you Thanks a lot so last of the panelists is Isabel so welcome thank you everyone great to be here I am the CEO of Social Value UK and I've been invited here by Jeremy who is one of our individual members and Costain is one of our organizational members Jeremy reminded me that he has a qualification from us at level one of my right practitioner so congratulations to you Jeremy on getting that and that's my relationship with Costain now with Jeremy Just a little bit about us at Social Value UK, we are the professional body for social value and impact management within the UK and we serve our members in a variety of ways we advocate which is one of the major roles that I play within Social Value UK we also train and provide sectoral conferences for specialists in the field, so you may have attended our ESG conference very recently and indeed Ellie was speaking at it very very professionally I might add as well and we also provide a networking facility for our members and try to join communities together that are interested in social value and impact management and finally, as I've mentioned we provide training and standard setting for social value and impact management as sectors so that's the work that we do and in terms of my role as I was mentioning I was recruited specifically to advocate that's my background I've worked in the fields of law education and politics and most recently I was the vice president of a major political party so a lot of the work that I will be focusing on going forward is spreading the message of social value and impact management and making it relatable to ordinary people who may know nothing about social value at all not necessarily even realize why it's relevant or why it would be useful to their particular organization and in being invited here today to look at Jeremy's paper which was excellent absolutely outstanding we're also here to contribute to the debate and some of the principles that we operate by are particularly relevant here so Social Value UK operates by eight principles three of them I think are really important when it comes to digital technology so the first is all about engaging stakeholders and we've heard a little bit about that already from our speakers we also have a principle of valuing what matters and another principle that we have our new principle eight is being responsive and in the digital technology space what we would argue for is that the engagement of stakeholders really has to engage with stakeholders across the board and mark has spoken a bit about that in a very impressive way and it's really important within this space not to focus exclusively on leaders, on managers, on practitioners, but to hear the voices of people who are impacted by the projects that you are running and so who are the shopkeepers who may be impacted by the roads that you are building what about the villagers whose houses may be demolished what about them if you are creating space to build roads for example and what about the people who drive on your road so not just talking to the thought leaders who are all present and always willing to share and they may well represent the voices of ordinary people but um even in one of the papers that I was reading on a subject along these lines they talked about the government being a stakeholder and indeed they are in a very broad sense but bear in mind that the government doesn't necessarily represent the voices of everybody we've got a big move towards proportional representation for a good reason so that's just food for thought in terms of engaging stakeholders and then in terms of valuing what matters when we talk about some of the words that have been used like safer better etc we also talk about words like more efficient and one of the things that we would argue is that when we really do engage with stakeholders we really have to take into account what they view as more important so where do the words well-being arise and what does well-being mean so when I go into hospital and I think well I would like to have a certain service and I would like my well-being to be looked after the words good and bad mean very different things to different people so to really bring it to a very relatable level to those people who have children here or have children in their family and when I'm speaking to my children about what's good and what's bad they would say I had a really good day today and I'd ask why and they'd say well I got to play on the ps4 for a couple of hours and as a parent, I would say that is actually very bad so our values vary according to us as individuals and that's why it's so important to hear the stakeholder voice and I'll end with the third principle that I'm talking about which is our principle number eight be responsive and David has talked about ensuring that when we get to the end of a life cycle of a project and all throughout we are engaging and really looking at this data that we're collecting and all of this research that we are engaging in and ensuring that we are responsive and I will talk more about that as we continue our discussion those are three of the areas that I really wanted to focus on in terms of how social value UK will contribute to this discussion great Isabel I wonder if Jeremy do we have any comments or in a way to continue or start the discussion here thank you, everyone, for your feedback and comments I think perhaps to just pick up on one um one element that touches on what isabella and others have talked about um so one of the uh the barriers to actually asking stakeholders about what impact we have on them and by stakeholders I mean the people who are the beneficiaries of the activity we're delivering or those that are impacted by it has been the cost of asking about what impact we've had on them so if you take isabella's example of hospitals it's asking the people in the hospital what the impact of the hospital environment has had on them and then using that to assess the impact and that I think is the big opportunity with digital because by operating at scale and using digital survey tools and using apps and making accessible you can get this impact data on the impact you've had on stakeholders efficiently and effectively so you can no longer justify not doing it and to give an example where we're trying to move to if you take volunteering on major projects where we want to move to is where we're asking the people that we're volunteering with and finding out over time what impact our volunteering is actually having so we can move to instead of counting the hours as a measure of success we counting the impact and that is one of the most exciting opportunities I think of digital and for me that answers the question as to whether digital can actually improve the social value we deliver because we don't have data on a lot of what we call social value and this is where digital can help us and that way we can get better So let's have a broader discussion, I suggest that for those of you who have not used teams before then on the upper line there is a small emoji or the face with a hand so if you click on this you can click on the hand and then I can see if people are who are interested in contributing yeah there anyone who wants to start here any one of the panelists who have commenced to what has been said by the other panelists I'm happy to speak and if you couldn't see me before my camera seems to have gone on and off so here I am in my full glory if you could see me I was really excited by what David had to say in terms of I think you mentioned amazon at one point and some of the slides that I had prepared to show you would have been very exciting except I won't interfere with the technology here and try to attempt but I will describe what I was going to be showing you and this is what excites me about the use of digital because one of the comments within Jeremy's report talked about feedback from how scary in many ways it is about the capability of what digital can achieve and it's somewhat breaches of privacy and the invasion into our personal life but there is also a fighting element and so I screenshotted some of the recommendations that Amazon has got for me and I'm one of those people who when I go online I'm really, adverts make no difference to me I'm pretty impervious to advocates in the sense that I screen out or I filter out what I see but I was looking at amazon today for the purposes of this actual discussion and I realized that it was recommended to me that I buy a certain item and I found it very interesting because somehow amazon had figured out that I have got children in my household but it was recommending that I actually buy a mug for my teacher to say thank you for the exams that I have just sat except I don't have a teacher and I haven't said exams but somehow it figured out that I do have children who have and that might well have motivated me to buy that mug and what was so interesting about that is that when I look around me and I'm sure that you can think of examples as well there is so much individualization in terms of the power of what digital tools are capable of that if we were able to harness this in terms of social value it could be incredibly exciting it would be very rewarding and it would actually capture the stakeholder voice so much more neatly on an individual level and at Social Value UK you probably are aware that we're knocking on tick boxes we're not keen on mass standardization that puts people into large groups without acknowledging them into individual voice which is why I'm so keen on the views of the others in terms of the others on the panel in terms of hearing from stakeholders individually alongside using these digital tools and I think that there is so much scope when we look at the way in which social media and even email marketing is used to adapt to the voices of individuals so that we do reflect the values of people as people as opposed to large homogenous groups so I just wanted to flag that idea of you're looking at the way that amazon does the things that it does and being able to tailor that or being able to incorporate those principles into ensuring that we also measure and recognize social value in the work that we do thank you Isabel in the chatbox there was an interesting question now about the tension between the digital tools and the issue of digital poverty and David will have a response to that yeah a couple of things I mean I think the question the question is slightly provocative because it's asking a tool to resolve societal conflict and I think that would be an abdication of responsibility by people who in the democracy we elect to prioritize and make ultimate decisions the question is can we help these decisions be better informed and therefore more acceptable to communities and can we by asking properly in a timely manner also mitigate some of the friction that goes into these large debates or debates on large infrastructure and small infrastructure and therefore make decision making the process more efficient more transparent therefore slightly cheaper and also allowing for more mitigations for things that we find out quite early on that people care about and maybe we can't address directly so to give you an example quite some time ago we did a constellation a railway station in South London and it was clear that one of the sectors that was going to be damaged if that station area was closed for a long time was particular barbers and hairdressers serving a local ethnic community and by knowing that in advance space could be created by network railers there was to actually accommodate those services they could carry on helping the community which meant that those shopkeepers and their customers were less resistant to the idea of the redevelopment so knowing that in advance enables you to sequence differently to create mitigations in advance and it may be that the development will still be unpopular with quite a lot of people but nevertheless, you will have shown yourself to address some of the concerns ultimately you will not please everybody all the time and a platform may be able to statistically average what people want but that won't necessarily be the optimal decision to make so there's always a balance to be made there I think the other the other point was about how do you collect voices and avoid bias given the fact that some people have that there's differential access to digital so we don't go quite as far as what Isabella was Isabel was suggesting that we actually know everything is that much as amazon does but we do know enough so that we can identify where there are gaps in engagement as I was saying earlier so you can go and address those gaps in a variety of imaginative ways and digital gives you ways of doing that to give an example on an engagement website you can provide space for particular community groups to highlight their concerns their interests and their activities they're then incentivized to bring in members of that of their community to respond to the consultation as a whole so you provide a sense of ownership of curation of the consultation to voices that otherwise would be unheard I'm thinking for example of younger people under 24s who are generally very digitally connected but not particularly civically engaged so bridging that I think is really interesting and as I said earlier it's imperative to have communication strategies that take into account the fact that digital as Jeremy was saying can do 80% extremely well with very low carbon but the remaining 20% is absolutely crucial Yeah David I'd just like to build on that a tiny bit just in one of the examples that I was referring to you know we did share an animation but both of some works we were proposing but also of a suggested diversionary route for people to sort of take to try to be helpful and the feedback that we got was really at the ends of the spectrum so the people who were on a certain social media platform we we who we chose to sort of publish on we're really pleased with that level of engagement but I think we have to realize that even when we talk digital we're actually talking like different methods of digital and my my mind goes to those boxes at the bottom of forms you know would you like to be contacted by email or text or phone call or social media or you know I think we we have to recognize certainly with our customers that that there are even when we say digital there are preferred and non-preferred means and I think yeah from what you were saying David about certain age groups as well you've got preferences within those that there's an infrastructure owner operator like us it's quite difficult to to have a one-size-fits-all approach Thank you Mark there is an interesting question in the chat but Ellie have you any comments for this kind of theme I think David given a really holistic answer to the question probably quite similar to the answer that I would have given I think for me there is a role for digital tools within dialogue within that stakeholder engagement but there is a really important role for digital tools and data that comes ahead of that step and David's talked about being an informed client or an informed investor and I think that's really critical from my perspective and one of the things that anyone's ever that has ever done a requirements assessment as part of creating their social value strategy has in some human senses used that big data already but we probably are quite guilty and I certainly have been guilty of this in the past of looking at the project that I'm working on in isolation in a little mini silo and actually what big data enables us to do is look at the overarching system and see where we can target our interventions so that they're most impactful so for me yes there is a role for for digital tools within dialogue within stakeholder engagement of course but actually informing that stakeholder engagement before you get there I think that's a really interesting role for data and digital tools Thank you there was an interesting question on that in the chat from Danny here about the relation to intrinsic and extrinsic value of digital on infrastructure projects and a request for I guess Jeremy here to spell out what this means in practice in for instance building a new broadband networks So thanks for that question Danny and I think it the answer is at various different levels so I think in common with and depends on the scale of the project but for significant investments such as new broadband in a whole area you should really be looking at using the multi-capitals approach right at the outset of the business case So what outcomes is the new broadband network going to achieve from an economic point of view from a social point of view and from an environmental point of view for example new broadband can bring people to make a transformative difference to communities in terms of connectivity for work opportunities for education and everything so it starts with getting that right right at the beginning and then it's about saying well what data are we going to collect around these metrics through the whole life cycle of this new broadband network and those are mainly going to be intrinsic benefits to the broadband network but then in terms of the delivery and operation of the broadband you're going to need people who put it in the streets you're going to need people who then maintain it and operate it so throughout the life cycle there will be ways that you can add social value during the both the delivery and the operation of the broadband and that's where the extrinsic benefits come from so new skills and opportunities for people to be involved in installing broadband but also in operating and supporting customers who are then using broadband I hope that helps explain Danny the answer to your question yeah there are no one who have any questions at the moment so if anyone have some then just raise your hand or make a comment One of the things that we talk about at Social Value UK in the context of Sorry about this I can see your question you know I was just gonna share the final slide which has got the three questions that we were dealing with just to remind people yeah, do you want to go ahead Jeremy were you going to comment? No just to say those are three questions if there's that we were focusing the panel around so I think we've begun to deal with all of those but if people on the have got questions related to those or we haven't quite dealt with any of those questions it's just to remind people Yeah the comment that I was going to make in terms of value and you were speaking about the benefits of Broadband in a particular area etc and you use that example really great example what we also emphasize is that we don't just look at social value from what might be viewed as a positive point of view we look at the impact not only of the great things that are going to happen as a result of that broadband being positioned within that community but we also look at the negative impacts and we attempt to modify those so for example where we may use a particular workforce in order to build certain infrastructure etc is that having an impact on people who may have left a certain industry to be able to work on this particular project so does it have a negative impact in one way or another? does the additional arrival of lorries in that area increase pollution? would it have an impact on children walking to school and a rising impact on their asthma? so there is a limit to the amount of impact that one can measure but i just wanted to emphasize the fact that we don't just advocate that we look at all of the good things that happen or the way that we define good all of the good things that happen as a result of a project but we also look at the negative impacts and how we can counter those or how we can address those or even just incorporate them in our assessment to be able to say that that we achieved xyz but these are also the outcomes that we didn't necessarily want or think would happen David, you have a comment on this discussion yeah I was going to take it to social media to comment on something Jeremy said so I better pause now and come back later well Ellie, do you have a comment and I know that there was a question right earlier in the chat that was around how digital tools can help standardize metrics which was one of the questions that Jeremy had posed for us and I thought it would be worth sort of giving my views on this which which may not be aligned to everyone else's but this is all in the interest of a healthy debate so when we set out on the journey of creating the value toolkit we looked at creating a very standardized metrics a set for assessing how people were performing and we received significant pushback from both industry and client-side around creating that standard metric set I think the challenge with having a very tight standardized set of metrics for measuring social value and is that you end up losing some of the freedom to make the right choices about the interventions that are going to have the most impact but I do think that there is a bit of balance to be had in that actually if you do have some standardization to metrics what you can do is ensure your data is interoperable and part of the challenge that we have in social value at the moment when we measure is that we're not comparing apples and apples quite often we're comparing apples and pineapples or apples and oranges so there does need to be a degree of standardization or possibly the use of Ai to be able to interpret data and make sure that it is interoperable so there are a couple of questions there for me and the government at the moment are producing some standardized government construction metrics there are a couple of social value ones in there for me this is an interesting and potentially proportionate step towards standardizing metrics Thank you but I think it's your turn now David Yeah just for my experience on standardizing I completely agree with Ellie you really need to allow for the freedom it's good to have a core of repeated questions across the piece we did some work with highways England for example we agreed with them that was a core of six or seven questions that would be asked across I think it ended up being 22 different locations but within each location, people were free to add two or three more questions of their own that particularly related to local circumstances So that kind of method works I think you also have to be very careful that the metrics you use are analysis friendly, free text is extremely difficult to analyze Ai in this respect is very much its infancy I can tell you because we bear the scars very difficult it's much easier for Amazon to use Ai because the kind of things it deals with is my parcel didn't arrive to ride faulty I don't like it it's broken that in ai can do very quickly and amazon has a lot of money to throw at it When you're doing more subtle things of priority it's incredibly difficult to train Ai to actually understand what people are saying So there's a balance there and I would say whatever you do think about what it's going to be like to analyze before you pose the question particularly if you end up getting thousands and thousands of responses which you hope to get Great there are we're not much much time left there are two questions I think we should get some responses two the first one is from Marg Lee about what is the best practice in terms of objective social value metrics and what is missing there I think that's a very interesting question I wonder if any one of you have the of the panelists and Jeremy have a comment? I wondered whether Isabella wanted to comment on that one otherwise I'm happy to yeah you'll do so Jeremy thank you well at social value UK as I said we espouse principles as opposed to particular methodologies and we try to be fair in terms of the idea that so many of our members that there are so many means of measuring social value on the market and debates as to which means is more preferable one over another and so I'm not actually going to answer that question by saying that we recommend a certain framework or that we endorse one but what we do recommend is that you look at the social value principles that we have set up, there are eight on our website, and ensure that the framework that you do use complies with that because we set the standards and so hopefully because we are neutral on this matter we have some authority in terms of the principles that we espouse but I think that there is in response directly to the point I think that there is a hunger for some sort of comparison and some idea of what will work for the individual organization because at the end of the day if we're saying that we want to engage with stakeholders and short ensure the individual voice is recognized we would be a bit hypocritical by saying actually this one framework works for everybody you as individual stakeholders yourselves needing to have a set of principles or metrics to use you will know what works best for your organization so we are looking at actually running some sessions workshops so that our members and external people who are not part of our community are able to come to us and get some idea of comparison in conjunction with us so that they can decide what's best for themselves Thank you any other comments on that question if not let's have the very last question that's from Helen Lawson Smith about where how is this what is the how does this relate to government policy thank you um there was if I just expanded there has been some comments about governments and government policy but this debate is so wide-ranging I just wondered who was listening within government which governments departments and should could this be universal across government departments the sort of things that you're saying so thank you anyone who wants to comment on this I can comment from my experience of the value toolkit I think the government are absolutely focused on achieving better outcomes for the investments that they make and in my experience that goes all the way from cabinet treasury through to IPA or infrastructure performance authority and crown commercial and then into the local authorities as well so I think it is really a priority at all levels of government at the moment and because ultimately they need to be able to demonstrate that where we are making investments we're making the right investments to realise the best outcomes for both our natural environment and also our social environment so for me in my experience it certainly is a high priority at the moment Yeah people are nodding here so I think we have run out of time now so I'd like to thank everybody here for their contributions not least Jeremy and the panelists and I see some of the last input on the chat that it's a very interesting debate a lot to follow up on and so on and it seems to me that this has been a very good debate it's wide-ranging but it's in many respects an eye-opener but I also think it's in a sense it's kind of a beginning in the sense that some a lot to do here to and I think this kind of combination of research and more practical application here is very very encouraging I think what Jeremy has done is what is ideal in terms of what you will do when you start on when you do research in an area where there's very little so to do proper literature review and to to make some expert interviews here so that is a great and that you know that would lead to to other other questions hopefully so you could say about case studies about more testable hypothesis and and also links to to to theory and so on I hope we can we can go on from here and I hope that also the panelists would be interested in contributing so it's not something we have discussed but I think this debate would encourage us to do so so so hopefully we can we can be in in contact and also people who attend