My Life My Say, the award-winning, political engagement charity, has launched a Social Inclusion Unit (SIU) to advise government, business and the third sector on delivering socially inclusive products and services.
The SIU is supported by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Commenting on the launch the Mayor said:
“What’s clear after the divisiveness caused by Brexit is the need for a greater focus on inclusion, whether this in London or in towns and cities across the UK. The Unit’s work will help businesses and policy makers alike to put young people at the heart of their work, ensuring that we have a fairer society for all.”
Plexal, the innovation hub home of technology and innovation based at Here East on the site of London’s the former 2012 Olympic Park and home to hundreds of scaleups, academics and corporates, is partnering the SIU with on its launch project; a study into how businesses in the technology sector can deliver greater social inclusion through their phases of growth and product creation.
Andrew Roughan, Managing Director of Plexal, said: “The simple fact is the tech sector is lacking diversity, which is a problem we need to work together to tackle, not least because numerous studies show that more diverse teams increase productivity and profit. Importantly, if tech companies can draw on a deeper pool of experience, the revolutionary ideas and products that come out of them will be better, and also help foster further inclusion.
“Partnering with the SIU is a natural next step following Plexiglass, our accelerator programme championing women-led startups. At Plexal we are committed to cultivating a more diverse tech industry from the ground up as we support startups and scaleups, so that social inclusion, mobility and diversity become an integral part of who they are and what they do.”
A nationwide survey to mark the SIU’s launch, has found that a third of the UK think Brexit won’t deliver a fairer and more equal society, and that public, private and not-for-profit organisations are expected to help tackle social exclusion.
The research highlights that businesses were thought to have the same level of responsibility as charities and NGOs to help prevent social exclusion. A fifth of the UK feel that these organisations have responsibility for helping those excluded from society to re-integrate, with 38% saying they think businesses are doing too little on this front. The government is deemed most responsible, with 52% claiming so, and 4-in-10 believing they are not currently doing enough to aid social inclusion.
The SIU welcomes partnership and mandates from organisations that share its commitment to social inclusion, integration and collaboration. The SIU’s income will be invested in My Life My Say to further its commitment to deliver greater democratic participation in the UK.