Over the last ten years, Nesta has been working to enhance and reshape public services to give local people greater control over their lives. We believe in ‘people power’: plugging the power of citizens back into our places, institutions, public services and democracies. This means creating new models to shape and deliver public services in partnership with citizens.
Approaches that enable citizens inside, outside and alongside our public services to help one another and shape change are undervalued and under-supported. But whether we call it formal or informal volunteering, giving, social action, mutual aid, or simply people helping people, the power of connecting and helping each other has been a deeply ingrained part of our culture long before the COVID-19 pandemic.
This report makes the case for twelve ways in which the range of value generated by this type of activity can be articulated, mapping and estimating the economic value as well as looking beyond approaches derived from economics to explore different dimensions of benefit and value.