This report explores if, and how, social purpose organisations in the United Kingdom value lived expertise in social change work. It also looks at what meaningful opportunities, if any, there are for experts by experience to drive and lead social impact work in modern society.
The overarching conclusion is that lived experience continues to have little traction as a core concept in social change work and leadership, despite its proven impact in human history.
There is a glaring shortage of meaningful and equitable opportunities for experts by experience to be involved in the work of the social sector, and there is a pressing need for leadership and organisational development across the wider sector to ensure that social purpose work benefits from all forms of human wisdom, knowledge and expertise. Only then can we begin to remove the pervasive imbalance that currently exists in our social change equilibrium.