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  • Writer's pictureSandra Velthuis

A New Glossary Of Social Value Terms



Jargon is technical language: words or expressions used within a profession to refer to specific, often complex, concepts. Jargon has a role to play, but there can be a tendency to over-jargonise, with rampant use of acronyms, buzz words and difficult terms where simpler ones would do. This does not matter very much if the group of people using the jargon is insular, but can be very problematic if the intention of the group is to persuade outsiders.

The world of social value is plagued by jargon, which I believe to be rather off-putting to people who are new to this world. As social value practitioners, I think we can and should do more to simplify the language we use.

This does not mean, of course, that there is no room for technical language when dealing with technical concepts. To this end, it is great that Social Value International recently published the second version of its Glossary.


Some aspects of this are especially welcome; such as the definitions of key terms for those starting to engage with the concept, the clearer relationship between social value and ‘wellbeing', the replacement of the word ’stakeholder’ by ‘people affected’ and the emphasis on ‘optimising’ social value.


The full technical glossary contains 89 definitions! Even those of us who have been thinking about social value for years need to constantly refer back to these, so please do not be dismayed by the long list.


Please do let us know if you find the Glossary helpful and we will feed your comments back to Social Value International.

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