Social Enterprise Futures brought together the UK social enterprise community to celebrate what the sector has achieved over the last year and also to look ahead to a future where social enterprise will never be more needed. Here are all the recordings from what were an inspiring two days!

Day 1

Opening and Paul Polman

After an introduction from the four home nations we went started Futures with  a discussion with the Co-founder and Chair of IMAGINE and former CEO at Unilever, Paul Polman.  Paul spoke passionately about the sector, talking about the need for widespread reform of our economic system, a change in corporate governance and the need to work in partnership to build a more inclusive economy. Perhaps most impressively he stated that social enterprises should not be just asking for a seat at the table, rather they should “own the table”

You can read some of the key takeaways from Paul’s speech in this short piece.

Over a century of wisdom to take with us as we define our future

This session included some of our sector’s most respected and best-known leaders who discussed the issues they dedicated their careers to taking on and what challenges we face looking to the future.

You can read some of the highlights of the session here.

New perspectives from 2020

This was followed by the next generation of social entrepreneurs, who shared their stories and ensured that everyone felt reassured and excited about the future of the movement.

Read more about the new perspectives session here.

An audience with social enterprise 2020

One of the highlights of Futures was this incredibly inspiring whistle-stop tour across the home nations hosted by SEUK’s patron, Director and comedian, Chris Addison. It also included the announcement of the 2020 Roll of Honour, recognising the achievements of individuals and businesses who were at the heart of community responses to the pandemic.

Find out who made it onto the Roll of Honour here.

Day 1 closing address

Day 1 of Social Enterprise Futures was brought to a close by our Chair, Lord Victor Adebowale who was joined by Executive Board Member at SAP and the global buy social ambassador, Adaire Fox-Martin.

Day 2

Day 2 opened with the social enterprise version of ‘This Morning’ hosted by SEUK’s Chief Executive, Peter Holbrook.

Peter was joined via satellite link by the leaders of social enterprise trade bodies from the home nations and the Crown Representative for the VCSE Sector, Claire Dove. Watch their contributions here:

What can we learn from the Timpson story to accelerate our growth?

Our first main session of Day 2 was an interview with the Chief Executive of Timpson, James Timpson, which was carried out by Liam Black.  James spoke in-depth about the company’s unique culture and what motivates his attitude to business. 

Read some of the highlights from this session here.

Can we build a future for social enterprise in a world of greater work insecurity, low pay and automation?

“There is no route to the future that does not have social enterprise at its centre. There is no route to levelling up that does not include social enterprise. No route to stronger communities, to socially responsible businesses, to better society as a whole without social enterprise.”

These were the words of former PM, Gordon Brown in his recorded address to the sector.

Following his barnstorming speech was a panel discussion focused on the world of work, how it has been changed by the pandemic and what role there is for social enterprise when we’re faced with more insecurity, low pay and the threat of increased automation

You can also read an overview of this session here.

Mainstreaming social enterprise within the economy

Sadly the business minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, couldn’t make it to the event and instead sent over this pre-record which was heavily focused on the Government’s plans for dealing with the climate emergency.

The video was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Chris White and featuring Louisa Ziane from Toast Ale and Rosie Ginday from Miss Macaroon

Read some of the key takeaways from this session here.

How can social enterprise be a solution for our planet as we face the climate emergency?

The next session expanding on the topic of the climate emergency bringing together four very different social enterprises which each in their own way are using their business model to create a more sustainable world. 

Read more about some of the key themes discussed this session here.

Survive or thrive? Why inclusion is your best secret weapon

The second half of the second day started with an interactive session run by Jane Cordell and Hormoz Ahmadzadeh from Result CIC which focused on the intersectional inclusion. It showed the importance of diversity and in recognising our own internal biases. It certainly got the audience thinking and ready to implement their own action plans to champion diversity.

Read the top 3 takeaways from this session here.

How to take your social impact idea and deliver at scale

Next up we were joined once again by Liam Black who interviewed the amazing Professor Myriam Sidibe, who was responsible for driving forward a global handwashing initiative which has reached an incredible 1 billion people! She spoke about her life working at Unilever, the key themes of her book ‘Brands on a Mission and whether corporates can make the world a better place.

Read a summary of the discussion here.

Delivering a better future – here’s how we make it a reality

The penultimate session had the ambitious title of ‘Delivering a better future – here’s how we make it a reality.’ The stella line-up included the CEO of the Co-op Group, Steve Murrells alongside some pioneering social enterprise leaders. To introduce the session Steve provided us with this short lecture.

This was followed by a discussion on some of the key themes:

You can also read the key takeaways from the session here.

Is social enterprise the future of business? – Kate Raworth

“If you’re not being social there’s a real risk you’re being anti-social” – Kate Raworth

Social Enterprise Futures was brought to a close by the sensational Kate Raworth, economist and author of the groundbreaking ‘Doughnut Economics’. She introduced her revolutionary economic model based on meeting “the needs of all people within the means of the living planet.” and argued passionately for changing the way we do business to make it re-generative by design.

The closing summary of Social Enterprise Futures by SEUK Chair, Lord Victor Adebowale is also on the above video.

Read a summary of the key points made by Kate in this piece.