The Goal of All Development is Freedom
After three years of explaining why Huber Social holds 'Wellbeing' as the measure of success, it was a refreshing experience to be surrounded by hundreds of people that 'speak our language' at the 2017 Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) Conference in Cape Town September this year.
The HDCA was launched in 2004 by its first president, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Amartya Sen and its mission is to promote high quality research and further promote work in areas where the human development and capability approaches can make significant contributions.
Amartya Sen is an economist and philosopher and his Capability Approach to human development is one of the foundation sources for the Huber Social Wellbeing Measurement Framework. In simple terms, Sen sees the goal of all development as freedom. Freedom to create a life of value. In order to enable this, we need to address people's 'un-freedoms'. This is reflected at an individual level through the Huber Social Framework that starts with the 'needs' (or 'un-freedoms') of an individual to determine what matters most to put someone in a position of Wellbeing.
The conference theme for 2017 was Challenging Inequalities: Human Development and Social Change. Huber Social was invited to contribute and discuss how we have practically applied the theory to measure the social value of organisations.
We were joined in unison by the likes of Selim Jahan, Director Poverty Practice UNDP, in calling out "the goal is to create an environment where people can reach their full potential. A life they value. The rest becomes inputs".
As one of the only practitioners in the room, we highly encourage social enterprises to attend the 2018 conference in Buenos Aires (https://hd-ca.org/conference). You will no doubt find your social innovation enriched by the academic thoughtfulness, and simultaneously, the academics, philosophers and social scientists welcome insights experienced in taking theory into practice.