Social value on trend in the UK

Last week team Matter&Co went into overdrive to run Critical Mass – the UK’s leading conference on social enterprise, impact investment and social value. The two-day event brought together over 500 delegates from 34 countries to discuss global challenges and opportunities for the social economy.

In part thanks to the honest and engaging speech by Antony Bugg-Levine – one of the individuals recognised for coining the term impact investment and chair of the Global Impact Investing Network – #criticalmass15 became the sixth highest trending hashtag in the UK.

Joining in the Twitter fest was UK social investment organisation Numbers for Good. Quoting Bugg Levine the team tweeted: “There are haters, hypers and doers in social investment. Doers can't be haters or hypers. #criticalmass15.” Also busy helping to infiltrate Twitter feeds across the country with messages about social enterprise and impact investment was deputy CEO of Social Enterprise UK Nick Temple. He tweeted Bugg-Levine’s comment that while we might be "winning the battle of rhetoric" there’s lots left to fight.

For around an hour on day one of the conference the Critical Mass hashtag was more popular than that of the Q Awards – which was founded in 1990 and is one of the UK’s biggest music award celebrations. The social media success of Critical Mass follows that of the Social Saturday campaign – which again saw social enterprise trending on Twitter throughout the UK. While some have argued that public awareness raising of social enterprise has not been prioritised for long enough in the UK – with more attention being focussed on developing policy – these social media wins are surely a step in the right direction.