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New sources of innovation?

Added: (Wed Jun 04 2003)

Pressbox (Press Release) - New opinion-forming research from Article 13 indicates that organisations engaging in regeneration, social inclusion and sustainable communities initiatives, have been finding new sources of innovation.

The engagement of the private sector in regeneration and sustainable communities initiatives has been seen as crucial in tackling the persistent challenges of deprived neighbourhoods.

The Problem
The economic aspect of this deprivation is significant. Historically, low income areas have been disproportionately affected by a combination of three factors of change in the UK economy: the decline in manufacturing, the growth of the service sector and the deformalisation and deregulation of the labour market. This leads to high levels of locally concentrated “worklessness”, which has its own impact of “reducing the numbers of working role models, limiting job-finding networks, creating alternative networks in the informal economy and breaking the link between education, training and work” .

Government Policy
Government has recognised the significance of these issues. Earlier this year, in her keynote speech, Barbara Roche MP warned that “if we fail to break this cycle (of social and economic exclusion and multiple deprivation) then both individuals and society as a whole will pay a high price”.

Accordingly, government has taken the lead in addressing these issues. Various action plans and mechanisms have been put in place, including government’s commitment to neighbourhood renewal, sustainable communities and the National Strategy Action Plan, various funding initiatives and targets have been set up, many targeting the private sector directly.

What does this mean for business?
Article 13’s research shows that most organisations demonstrate a good grasp of the wider implications of these issues. These might be the impacts of deprivation and exclusion on communities: growing anti-social behaviour and crime. Some businesses go further and recognise the potential impact of social exclusion and deprived neighbourhoods on their business: difficulty in recruiting, motivating and retaining the right, or anti-social behaviour aimed directly at their business or staff. However, when asked about their role in practically tackling some of these issues, there is somewhat less clarity or immediate relevance.

What can business do?
For business, getting engaged with issues such as regeneration or social inclusion can seem like an “obligation”, something they feel they “should be doing”, something that is expected of them. This is where Article 13’s recent work gives a refreshing perspective, by exploring the opportunities awaiting discovery within this agenda.

This is only a very brief outline of the research. To read the full Expert View, visit www.article13.com .

Ends


Article 13 unlocks the innovation opportunities of corporate social responsibility to deliver competitive edge and a “new way of doing business”. We implement these opportunities in business and government, both within the UK and internationally.

We are innovators – identifying the key issues and emerging trends for CSR through our work, through our original research and through our strong networks. www.article13.com distils the best of the information for you in our opinion forming articles, briefing papers and best practice case studies. Be sure to visit the site regularly as we analyse a new trend and topic area every 6 weeks.

Article 13's co-directors, Neela Bettridge, Jane Fiona Cumming and Dr Paul Toyne, have extensive experience in a number of critical fields: business strategy, participative planning and processes, the social and environmental arenas and communications. Article 13 also draws on the wisdom of distinguished advisors: Professor Dave Owen, Chris Hoare, Professor Colin Gilligan, Neill Irwin, Andrew Acland and Professor Mike Jones. This panel, in turn, is complemented by a network of specialists drawn from the social, environmental, economic, ethical and business worlds.

For further information please contact:
Lucy Shea
Article 13
Bradley House
26 St Albans Lane
London NW11 7QE
Tel: 0208 731 7700
Fax: 020 8731 8800
lucys@article13.com
www.article13.com




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