In this section you’ll find the latest MB Associates news as well as interesting and useful thoughts from our blog.

Why we like SROI

January 15th, 2018

Because we like, promote and use Social Return On Investment analysis a lot, I sometimes think we are perceived as being part of some shady SROI cult, and that we have a mission to convert the world to our cause. But it’s the other way around…

Putting the value in evaluation

October 19th, 2015

Lately I’ve been reading Daniel Fujiwara’s paper about developing SROI (Social Return On Investment) which has set me thinking (really thinking) again about why as management consultants, MB Associates is such a fan of the SROI evaluation approach. And I think it is in many ways because we are management consultants.  Our work is real-life not academic.  We are not researchers, […]


September 9th, 2013

The summer, such as it is in Kendal, usually turns to autumn during Mintfest (sometimes we go straight to winter).   Mintfest is a glorious local treat – a street arts festival of international quality which brings all sorts out on the streets in the sun, rain and howling gales.  It’s run by Lakes Alive and […]

The unique place of culture

July 4th, 2012

I’ve just had a very stimulating awayday with Pippa Jones, one of our principal associates and the Director of Create Gloucestershire.  Most of what we talked about was the research we are developing with John Knell and the RSA on ‘Making Culture Work’ (looking for the first time at the whole system of what makes […]

Transition and a language of change

May 22nd, 2012

Some people, and I’m one of them, are very lucky to find their personal and professional lives merge.  I guess there’s a work-life-balance risk associated, but on the whole give me work that I’d do unpaid any day. Yesterday I was invited to a seminar on researching the Transition movement which was  a mix of […]

SROI – the analysis that dare not speak its name

February 12th, 2012

The last few weeks have seen me at some very interesting sessions with Government departments – both the DCMS on measuring cultural value and the DfE for the evaluation of the Myplace programme. The greatest pleasure was finding out that Treasury has a Green Book Team.  That’s a team I’d like to be in, and […]

A cultural return on investment

January 13th, 2012

Two things prompted me to think about this.  Firstly, two years of working intensively with SROI – and many previous years evaluating cultural projects, has made me fairly certain that creative and cultural projects always offer something over and above what other projects do.  Over and above the different elements of social, economic and environmental […]

Well-being – the most important social return and our challenge for 2012

January 9th, 2012

As a business we have two main areas of work; helping clients to see the wood for the trees – analytical, diagnostic work – and supporting a focus on the positive.   The latter first became a feature for us when we worked with Bernie Brown on young people’s services at Knowsley MBC outside Liverpool.  She […]

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