Going Local

Monday, June 05, 2017

18:00 - 21:00

In the wake of Brexit and Trump, and with rising populist demagoguery around the world, the current zeitgeist hints at a growing reaction against globalism and a longing for more local, tribal connections. There is, of course a negative connotation with a more inward looking and reactive society, but the desire for localism is also rooted in a positive, democratic, more sustainable way of life.

Businesses especially must adapt to this cultural shift, both to understand how their market is changing and to respond to the social challenges that have led to communities rejecting the status quo. Successful brands are focusing on the local in a creative and supportive way, taking the initiative and connecting to consumers, either by localising products more effectively or building major new propositions from local roots.

How are leading corporates and challenger companies making the most of this cultural shift? By “going local”, how can they build a stronger and more sustainable, grassroots connection with the communities they operate in and serve? 


Bola Gibson TSB Bank

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Clare Sutcliffe Code Club

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Kathryn Geels Digital Catapult

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Leo Johnson Broadcaster

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Lucy Clayton Community Clothing

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Mike Barry M&S

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Round Tables

Going local

How should organisations adapt their strategies to the emerging trend for localisation and why?

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Synopsis: Most companies have already ongoing and long-lasting initiatives that relate to “being a good neighbour”, however the challenge is to move beyond “standalone”, CSR-type of initiatives to a truly integrated business approach to engagement with local communities.

Key Challenges
 How can large multinational companies with economies of scale engage with a hyperlocal value chain and what does this mean?
 How to measure local community impact and how can this be then effectively communicated to stakeholders through reporting and other channels?
 How to personalise/localise your service offering and products while keeping a global brand consistent?

Definition of local
 Participants found the definition of “local” subjective and open to interpretation.
 Some argued that you are local where you are visible: on the high street in your branch, online
 In another way, you are local where you have relationships: for instance, you can have
community impact in your coffee grower’s community.
 Some argued that you can only be truly local if you offer a personalised experience to
customers that relates to them. This could mean, for example, recreating the old “high-street” where your local butcher knows your name and reconnects customers on a personal level with the brand.

Key Barriers
 Brand and quality consistency: while work with small-scale suppliers (e.g. sourcing vegetables from local farmers) can be appealing to customers looking to buy more local produce, managing this on a scale is challenging as you cannot possibly source all raw materials within a 30-mile radius. Assuring consistent quality throughout all branches is a key unique selling point of multinationals.
 Limited market intelligence on local issues: While businesses have a wide knowledge of global mega-trends, translating these to issues in Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds etc. requires a different lens. (e.g. dropping living standards, young unemployment in the UK etc.)
 Measurement of local community impact: While inputs such as employee volunteering, cash donations, in-kind donations etc. can be measured, the impact this has on local communities is a lot harder to establish.

Key Enablers
 Corporate purpose and value: every decision companies make need to relate back to its corporate purpose and vision- integrating localism is a key enabler.
 Internal employee engagement: staff surveys show that employees care about how they can add value to their local communities.
 Empowering local branch managers to understand key issues in their area
 Measurement
 Measuring the commercial benefits/increased brand awareness of personalised customer email campaigns
 Enabling branch managers to easily track and report donations made to local charities (e.g. Neighbourly)
 Employee surveys: measuring staff satisfaction as a result of volunteering in local communities
 Community impact measurement however remains a quite challenge (anecdotal reporting can
be a way to report, rather than quantitative.)

What next?
 Participants made personal pledges, and a few ones are summarized below.
 Reflection on the definition of hyperlocal and what does local mean in the UK vs. further afield?
 Mapping of corporate activities and where local community impact can be strengthened.


How should organisations adapt their strategies to the emerging trend for localisation and why?
Defining the term ‘local’ is a challenge and is context dependent. Sometimes local can be perceived as within 500 metres of home others times much further away. For some people internationally, local can even relate to their home country.

But is local about geography? Or is it more about a sense of belonging?
Whilst millennials are now more connected than ever before thanks to technology, they are also starting to seek more human interactions again. They have grown up in a globalised world where capital is transient, but there is confusion and chaos. They are still waiting for a credible story about who they are. This is a generational shift. We are in a time where people are anxious about a loss of identity and want to feel part of a community. Mike Barry brought up the question of ‘somewhere versus anywhere’. There is a shift of people seeking to move into the ‘somewhere’ category where they will feel more grounded and safe, being surrounded by local connections, friends and family. In this local environment there is also a greater sense of authenticity and believability.

So how prominent is this issue of localism within the business community?
‘Going local’ as a business strategy works for some industries and business models more easily and tangibly than it does for others. Some large companies such as M&S and TSB have been successful in making their branches and stores feel more personalised to the community in which they are located. However, many are still determining that more benefit can come from a shared growth agenda. It is important to highlight that there is a huge economic discrepancy between city and the so-called left-behind regions, and a going local strategy alone won’t solve this.

How can companies get buy-in for a ‘going local’ strategy?
Shareholder voice is key and needs to be used as leverage. There is a question of leadership and whether current CEOs would buy into a strategic localisation shift. Do we need to wait for the CEOs of the future? Is that too late?
Overall the local strategy needs to be part of the bigger business transformation piece, aligning with what the business needs and what the customers are saying they want. The issue with some companies is that they can’t be genuine about actually caring for the community, which has driven a loss of trust.

What about the importance of communication?
If a bigger company does plan to adapt to localisation, communication needs to change. They need to switch their communication style from big-company language to a local voice that people can relate to. For smaller companies, speaking in the language of the local community is part of their DNA.

Are we really being authentic?

Community voices are increasingly replacing expensive production and celebrity endorsement in advertising.  How can businesses ensure that their community marketing, outreach and engagement initiatives are truly authentic? How can marketeers effectively reflect the diversity and challenges of our communities and act as a positive driver of change?

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• Role of measurement in defining authenticity?
• Really big focus on marketing – how can we ensure that they truly authentic? Does purpose need to be really done on the inside first?
o One of the most important things was having personal anecdotes from our people – this can help to feed and market to an external audience
o Can they help to change the narrative of a company/the brand image of that company?
o So what? What did you do? Why did you do it? And what happened because of it?
• Permission: does the company have permission to go and talk about what they are doing?
o Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness
o There can be a lot of loyalty gained by making mistakes and talking about them
o Sometimes you need to take a step back and determine what is material to your company
o It’s long been thought that if you are doing something good, you shouldn’t talk about it because that is more authentic and humble. But is that the right way?
o But what is your business about? What is your mission? Does that need to adapt based on the current climate i.e. Brexit and less spending power? Find your role and loop the communication back to that.
o Use real people not celebrities and explain the true journey that they have been on

Red Flags (warnings):
• If you aren’t being authentic, then you are going to lose trust and lose business, its more than just a nice thing to have
• Agencies should be building movements, not just campaigns. How can an agency turn ideas into action? What are they doing?
• There is also pressure from the investor community for more authenticity – what used to be solely a sustainability issue is now more real risk. Climate change is a real issue now and you need to think of it as a risk rather than a charity piece.

• User generated content used in marketing sometimes this gains more traction that the brand’s own marketing efforts
• To be authentic you must be flexible and willing to grow and adapt with your local community
• What does this mean for the future of marketing and advertising? They are designed to gloss over human issues and mistakes – are we going to be less purist about marketing and more concerned about telling stories?
o There is a value is being truthful and telling the whole story – this can address some of the cynicism that people have and reducing the opportunity that people have to attack what you are doing
o Example: invite bloggers and vloggers to make their own marketing piece – this human to human is really powerful
o Will there be more of a collaborative voice and people pooling those resources to get one big good message across? But some of these issues can be seen as being competitive differentiators, so how realistic is the goal of collaboration?
o Surely collaborating looks more authentic and makes a bigger impact – do we believe this? Can you use this to borrow and lend from others to better your offering?
o Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad – they missed the point – what do they stand for?
o Should we be asking people what they think rather than telling them what you think they want to hear. What do you think as a business? Tell them? Who are the humans behind the brand? (Trust Barometer)
o We are doing this because it’s the right thing to do and it makes business sense – don’t need to shout about it – talk about society and environment as it makes business and not so much just philanthropy
o Is some of it common sense and bringing the message back to that?
• Transparency good, trust important, marketing under scrutiny, be honest about your mistakes, and take some risks
• Environmental behaviour change charity
o Focus on the youth audience and tackle excessive consumption to live happier, healthier lives and have habits with less impact on the environment
• Reflecting the diversity and challenges of our community
Heineken’s world apart ad

Changing behaviours from local consumer to sustainable co-partner

How can business drive progress on changing consumer behaviours?  How can we go further and encourage consumers to be supportive sustainable champions, enlisting everyone to play a role in driving sustainable solutions?

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Key Points Raised
-How do we encourage a behavioural change to enforce continuous sustainable champions?
-‘Local messengers’ have the potential to have an unparalleled influence within community movements
-Are Millennials actually the so-called ‘sustainable champions’?
General consensus was this generation is outspoken and made a point of looking at things differently. But when it came down to it – they were all talk, no action.
- What is important to the everyday person? Balance between being a sustainable champion and getting the most out of your everyday life -it's a combination of values, balancing priorities, time and convenience and an individuals drive. Does this result in people shopping ‘locally’ because it’s easier?

-‘Local’ – does it have to be geographical or can it be personal?
-Finding a way to get people to connect the dots between their actions and influence is the hardest thing
- Trying to get people to take charge of responsibility
- Educating people; many people want to do the right thing but just don’t know how or feel overwhelmed
- Not just seeing sustainability as a leisure activity
- Not beating yourself up when not 100% sustainable
- Strong distrust with what really is happening with waste – overflowing city recycling bins and general waste bins, is it a hoax? Would they spend the time to separate the waste?

-Gamification – in tandem with raising awareness
- Making a visible display/public opinion
- Positive endorsement more powerful than negative consequences
- Understanding the difference between communities groups, who they listen to, who they reach and therefore how best to approach each group
- Role of employees as volunteers can have a significant benefit; outside of the office communication builds trust, makes it easy to participate
- Segmentation of customer base allows for the alignment of specific interactions and actions to make the most impact.
- Adapt levels of interaction and engagement
- Making it personal – online community can highlight

- Hubbub – Cigarette recycling/Football voting infrastructure. Targeted key influential market; 20 year old males. Started a viral movement and started to get people thinking about acting sustainable – but does it spread? It allowed people to see other people’s actions, and the impact of what a simple action can do. Along with other campaigns, it makes people start to take charge of sustainable responsibility and was a nudge for people to do something different.
- Anglican Water allocated funding to gain an extensive understanding of behavioural change within communities to combat the expensive ‘flushing’. Anglican Water began to see the significant influence in which ‘local messengers’ can have; by having someone within the community understand the impacts of everyday actions that were effecting the local environment – they became the spokesperson for the company and managed to create a noteworthy difference to the issue.

Empowering employees to go local

How can companies engage and empower their own employees as a force multiplier for deep local impact and trust building? How can companies effectively manage, measure and scale the positive impact of their local giving and engagement initiatives?

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Why Go Local:
• There can be disconnect/lack of enthusiasm when supporting global charities.
• Volunteering within communities puts a face to larger organizations giving them a more human side.
• People feel a sense of community when supporting local charities.

How to Promote Participation:
• Support a relatable cause, for example a food company could promote volunteering with local food banks.
• Alternatively, let people follow their interests and choose their own opportunity.
• Sharing co-worker’s experience to encouragement further engagement.
• Provide days off to volunteer or in exchange for volunteering completed on weekends.

Obstacles with Going Local:
• Difficult to quantify and measure such impact.
• Does each region cultivate its own program or should it be down globally for the company.
• Often companies only give 2 or 3 days for volunteering, which can be seen as too little time to be impactful.
• How to organize and involve everyone when there are a large number of employees working from home.
• Immense administrative and logistic duties to orchestrate large scale volunteer efforts.
• Human behavioural element: the challenge of getting people to participate, to fill in volunteer forms, to download apps, etc.

Solutions to overcoming obstacles:
• Technology is key in efficiently managing, measuring and scaling volunteer efforts.
• Apps can be utilized to organize, track and share employee volunteer experience.
• Include a balance between local and global options.
• Although all data may not be quantifiable, anecdotal evidence can be just as valuable.
• Each company is unique therefore their programs must be tailored to them.
• If volunteer days are organized for employees attendance is much higher than when left up to the individual.
• Make volunteer opportunities as accessible as possible, i.e. geographically close to home/work.
• Match volunteer days with periods of lesser work load.
• Have a single day when everyone goes out together.
• Micro volunteering: volunteering a couple hours over longer period of time instead of taking out an entire day.
Virtual volunteering.

Energising community engagement

How can businesses build, energise and maintain deep levels of engagement at the community level? What kinds of localised projects (such as distributed energy generation) can businesses undertake to build enduring local engagement and empowered communities?

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• Does being local always mean going via charities? Can you go directly through the community? Going via charities does allow companies to bring scale and expertise, but you may lose the localism if they are a large charity.
• How can companies use what they have for social purpose?
• There is more work to be done to engage people at a local level even if things are well received internally.
• It can be difficult to understand what a community really needs.
• It can be difficult for smaller companies to go local as they may be under greater scrutiny from the community.
• If somewhere is really diverse, how do you create a sense of community? Different opinions on this – some think it could be difficult but also an opportunity.
• How do you define what is local – i.e. for some ‘local’ make be the UK, for others the areas where they supply resources from, and for others, the local town centre.

• Businesses should be more open about what they do to promote locality. They should want to be transparent though there is a balance to be struck – need to sound like you’re going local for the right reasons.
• Some companies haven’t looked at the business benefits of going local.
• There is a balance between having to sell products but also have community impact.
• Companies need to embed locality into a company and believe in it rather than just ticking a box.

Solutions and opportunities
• Lots of companies are trying to rediscover their history and reconnecting with local communities. Trust in a brand/company is the most important thing, especially at a small, community level.
• Companies can help people get back in to work e.g. travel to interviews.
• It can be good for local people to choose charities to give to – both employees and customers.
• Establishing civic pride can be important to connect with a community. Local people should be involved and there should be a sense of belonging.
• People on the ground need to be involved, even those who may not be as visible.
• When shops/businesses are not open, they could be used for community activities. Could be good for both sales and community – dual benefit.

• The food tech industry is good at bringing people together e.g. food waste/food banks for those in need.
• Clothing industry – services can be brought on site e.g. in factories to help local people with services.

Going beyond the business case

How can businesses go beyond traditional business performance measures and start to measure the social value that they create? How can companies play an active role in creating social value in the communities they operate in - responsibly and at scale?

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The following theme emerged during discussion of measuring social impact: how to best measure social impact depends on what the social impact measurements are used for. Discussions indicated that social impact measurements have three main uses:

1. Monitoring and evaluating outcomes of social impact initiatives
• Since there has been considerable success in recent years at improving the scope, accuracy, and reliability of environmental impact measurement, it is tempting to believe that success will follow in the domain of social impact by using similar direct measurement techniques. However, experience and opinion around the table indicate that this is an unlikely outcome due to the “slippery” nature of the social impact parameters requiring measurement.
• A successful path forward could involve creatively identifying directly measurable surrogate parameters that represent the social impact parameter of interest.
o E.g., measure community connectedness by taking a survey of how many neighbours community members know.
o E.g., measure employee health and well-being using productivity data, or, better yet, absenteeism, or, better yet, employee retention.
• The goal here is to obtain robust, quantitative measurements.
• Who uses this type of info: owners, investors, managers, auditors.
• Why they use this type of info: evaluate effectiveness and efficiency of social impact initiatives, estimate ROI, communicate outcomes (PR), inform further investment decisions.

2. Influencing business decisions
• Perhaps forcing social impact into monetary terms and deriving a compelling business case is not productive, given the challenges of achieving measurements of the quality described in #1, above.
• Alternatives ways of influencing business decisions:
o Vision and decisiveness from leadership (e.g., board member, senior exec) have been observed to be powerful drivers to action.
o Set clear targets to motivate action (as was done in the environmental sphere).
o Act first, measure later.
o Embrace the vague, non-measureable nature of social impact by using true/factual stories and anecdotes to understand and communicate the value of social impact initiatives (this is the ultimate purpose of measuring social impact anyway). This technique has had some success in certain cultures historically.
• The goal here is to build consensus and drive business decisions using softer, less-quantitative social impact information.

3. Inspiring the intrinsic purpose or mission of a business
• Convention: The fundamental purpose of a for profit business is typically seen as maximizing profits for the owners of the business by means of providing value to customers. With this perspective, the social impacts of the business are typically seen as extrinsic factors (after thoughts), meaning that reducing negative impacts or fostering positive ones is seen as requiring explicit additional effort beyond execution of core business activities. Such efforts may then be seen as costly distractions from the fundamental business purpose. With such a view, decisions to invest in social impact initiatives require rigorous business case analysis based on the quantitative type of social impact measurements discussed in #1, above.
• Flipping convention upside down: In contrast, the fundamental purpose of a business can alternatively be seen as maximizing value to customers with the understanding that doing so sustainably (in the long term) requires profitability. With this perspective, the social impacts of the business become intrinsically linked to the fundamental purpose of the business and social impact initiatives are no longer seen as extraneous costs, but core business activities. On this basis, the need for well-defined, granular, quantitative measurements is much less crucial since it would be understood that the returns of social impact initiatives would captured by overall business performance metrics (e.g., revenue). Therefore, with this mind-set, the ultimate social impact metric could in fact be consumer purchasing decisions.
• The goal here is to re-frame the need for social impact measurement in the first place, potentially eliminating the need for the robust, quantitative measurements described in #1 altogether (or at least reducing the need).

Harnessing the power of local innovation

What innovations in local communities can help transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon world? How can innovative peer-to-peer networks, distributed systems and capacity sharing platforms be leveraged to build deeper interactions between business and community at the local level?

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• Privatisation can take local ownership away from communities
• Consumers natural behaviour requires a global supply chain, for example supermarkets providing ‘out of season’ products all year round
• Commercial targets create localism boundaries
• Problems cannot be solved by tech, individuals come to the forefront of being personable. All the innovation that is needed requires the human approach

• Localised Supply Chains:
o Buying direct from local wholesalers, revenue stay in community, continue to buy at a competitive rate, food will travel 10x less which gives communities greater buying power.
• Banks can assist small businesses on a personable local level, to become global. ‘There’s a Dyson out there in the world and it’s up to banks to not miss an opportunity to give small companies the opportunities to become global’. Harness products of innovation & promote local heroes
• Energy Market:
o De-centralising energy & power. In the future communities will be generating their own power without going to the grid, energy companies will need diversify & change their action plan to accommodate for a more local energy ideology
o Peer-to-peer service platforms offer the potential for a new wave of investment and innovation in community energy solutions – example given is Renault’s Elbnb platform for sharing EV charging points in Sweden
o Tech is going to too quick for the grid to catch up & electricity exporting through the grid is very seasonal. Infrastructure is slow – tech is quick. Need to use energy locally
• New localism – Idea given was if a banking customer had an account with and also had solar panels on their house, rather then that energy going straight into the grid, the bank buys the solar energy off their customer, using their customer base to miss out the 3rd party middle man
• A lot of the time it takes an individual that is passionate about developing relationships as key to creating a local culture, not just a businesses ideology
• The role of new technologies is to find the talent and opportunities within communities and share it

Point Raised - Is having customers physically in stores key for business?
• General consensus was no and that convenience is still the main factor going forward. Amazon Fresh was used as an example. Even if your household runs out of a certain product, there is no need for a local store
• It’s not up to the high street to provide community development plans

Current Solutions in place on the market:
• Food:
o Olio App – Share food that’s going to waste. No revenue model, great opportunity to reduce waste
o Food Banks – using them more efficiently – perishable food doesn’t travel well
o Old shipping containers causes good food growth, part of their eco system, carbon efficient
o Growing underground farms Clapham. LED lighting, micro herbs, use elec when it’s cheaper
• Community Park run on Saturday mornings. Serves a role locally for Health & well-being. Template is now being used worldwide

Just transition

As we move into a low-carbon future, a just transition is needed to ensure that impact on local employment and economies is managed in a way that allows obsolete jobs and sectors to be replaced by equally skilled and well-paid, low-carbon jobs. How can business ensure accelerated transition towards a low-carbon economy and not leave communities whose livelihoods depend on a high-carbon economy behind?

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The challenge: Transitioning to a low-carbon economy without huge negative implications for communities and workers. Economic transformations tend to lead to disruptions (e.g., winners and losers of the Industrial Revolution, Trump pulling out of Paris Agreement to protect American workers). How can businesses empower and work with people at the local level?

1. Carbon reduction and local agendas are not always aligned. Businesses face decisions between sustainability and social justice. The local option is not always the lowest carbon answer.
a. Example 1: Hypothetically, roses from Kenya may have a lower carbon footprint than roses from Kent. Working with Kenya may lead to lower carbon set-up. The working conditions of the rose pickers also matter; the market itself does not have enough information, and we must be careful of relying too heavily on markets to determine efficiencies. Sustainability means lower carbon emissions, health and safety, fairness.
b. Example 2: Consider intentions and hard numbers. Fracking has been pitched as a local intervention. Intentions: provide jobs, lower carbon footprint, ensure security of supply. Brutal objectivity in looking at cold hard numbers is necessary.

2. Local vs. international considerations. Define ‘local’? Does social justice mean supporting local communities, or can it mean lifting large numbers of people out of poverty in a developing country? (Justice for whom?)
a. Example 1: A UK company can put money into a local reforestation scheme. This is good for local action and engagement, but it offers no scaled impact relative to forest destruction of the Amazon. Does ‘going local’ pose a challenge to scaled action?
b. Example 2: Implementation of a global carbon budget: who gets to use it?
c. Example 3: Some businesses are only interested in offsetting emissions in the UK but lose interest once they realize the high monetary costs of focusing on the local.

3. Solutions
• Public-private partnerships: engage early with local governments to plan and prepare; dialogue with businesses and local governments (e.g., options for miners in the face of a coal plant closure). Engage partners with an established voice in local communities.
• Question of finance: ideas such as emissions trading schemes (e.g., WWF), or especially carbon pricing (though it may not be possible to attain international agreement on carbon pricing). Get companies to understand they are already paying a price, so they can create efficient solutions and determine how best to spend money to reduce carbon (rather than impose an external tax). (May perhaps be necessary for governments to intervene in certain markets such as energy). Focus on long-term shareholder value.
• Re-skill workers in the face of disruption: cultivate resilient communities and individuals to anticipate disruption. Revitalize neglected heartlands. Consider how the platform economy can help enable low-carbon solutions (e.g., home-based jobs, micro-tasks, sharing economy).

The business role in building sustainable communities

How can companies best work with local communities to drive sustainable social impact?  How can businesses play to their strengths and bring their assets (financial and intellectual) to form mutually beneficial partnerships and maximise their social impact at the local level?  What is the role of philanthropy, social investment and social enterprise in this?

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What do we mean by local?
- Misconceptions over term 'local' - things can feel local but not actually be geographically close e.g. Naming farmer on packaging connects consumer but the farm is likely to be many miles from their home
- Push for localisation in part brought about by fast fashion, age, upbringing and differences in values of a brand - sometimes also an economic factor e.g. Cost of buying artisan coffee over mainstream coffee outlets
- Localisation viewed as an extractive element, giving something back e.g. Supporting outcomes in local community where you work, improve infrastructure and reducing illness 
- General philosophy is that there's a moral imperative to go local - it makes us feel good e.g. Recycling 

- Strengthens consumer loyalty to and trust in brand and business alongside a moral purpose
- A way of levering the business interest while having an impact on people 
- Marketplace is evolving and there's a growing need for business to be local
- Scale VS Local: there are opportunities for collaboration
- Volunteering in local area: people enjoy it and employees feel good - positives on wellbeing, staff retention, building brands, engaging new employees while attracting new staff 
- Localisation can help reinforce consumer engagement in transparency of the business e.g. Horse meat scandal vs labelling of where food is sourced 
- Business can help boost morale of employees via schemes which celebrate their success e.g. Local community champions or pride awards 

Potential steps towards localising:
- Must recognise the skill sets of people and identify what your core skills are at a commercial level
- Need to find the right partners
- Explore potential for sourcing local commodities
- Need to be transparent and manage expectations over what we can and can't do
- Business can show commitment and demonstrate they value the experience of volunteering by dedicating days outside of paid holiday
- Role of education: apprenticeships, project funding, skill development through business training and commercial awareness 
- Need to understand the difference and relationship between consumers viewing your brand as good and your business being inherently good on the inside 
- Find a champion for change to make it happen

- Implementing personalisation and overcoming shifting definitions of local depending on perspectives, ages, cultures 
- Reality of certain industries e.g. Retail and banking - store closures could develop reputational risk 
- Finding balance between being local while focusing on driving impact at scale 
- Global companies face big challenges to be transparent on their supply chain at a local level
- Tension between digital communities and local communities in terms of which can lever the biggest impact 
- Measurement of impact: need to find ways to quantify exactly what happens when we help - studies to assess impact on social economic measures take a lot of time and money 
- Some outcomes you can't measure in one year e.g. Business can have long term vision but can't quantify a local one year project. Real change needs to emerge through a longitudinal approach
- Sheer scale and complexity of implementing local can be daunting without the leadership of key influencers and change makers 
- Must ensure autonomy remains with communities because people don't want someone telling them what to do with the money
- It takes time to get transformational change so need to consider HR implications e.g. Maintain people in role for longer and extend career development opportunities 
- Personalisation doesn't work with challenges that cross big geographical boundaries e.g gift aid personal email but don't see where money is going
Unanswered questions remain: Localisation is seen less about globalisation but is globalisation so bad we have to turn our back on it? What are the potential repercussions to localising part of the big system we are collectively part of? Is it possible to go local without causing damage elsewhere?

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The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales


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