Nothing about us, without us- lived experience insight & social investment

Nothing about us without us: the lived experience of the people whose lives we seek to improve is core to the integrity of social impact investing. Without knowing what people want, our efforts to achieve positive social impact may miss the mark or even harm.


Written by

Helen Goulden & Sarah Faber, Young Foundation

Nothing About Us, Without Us from the Young Foundation sets out how, and to what extent, bringing more diverse voices into different parts of the social investment process has the power and potential to positively impact stated social investment outcomes – and the lives of the people those funds are intending to serve.

Through a series of interviews with people from the social investment sector, social ventures and lived experience experts, this report sets out what we mean by lived experience, the broad case for why it is important and the methods, processes and case studies for its use in the social investment sector. It makes some recommendations for further adoption through experimentation, in a way in which might involve a broad base of organisations interested in learning through doing.

This report was funded and supported by Big Society Capital and Barrow Cadbury Foundation.

Download the report

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