“Procurement with Purpose” Can Save the World – Pub Debate

(We had the wrong link to register for the Pub Debate (below) - apologies if you tried, please do so again and this time it will work!!)

We are three weeks away now from the next amazing Spend Matters Pub Debate, sponsored by SAP Ariba. The motion to be debated is this:

This House believes that “Procurement with Purpose” can save the world.

It relates to the whole theme of procurement with purpose that SAP Ariba is promoting this year, and we wrote a paper on the topic recently titled “Making a Positive Impact on Organisations, Human Rights and Communities”. It is available to download now, free on registration.  The firm has also even more recently published another paper all about the use of plastics. We haven’t reviewed it yet (we will) but it is well worth reading.

So, encouraging our suppliers and supply chain to behave in a way that addresses major social, economic or environmental problems makes a lot of sense - or does it? Can procurement with purpose actually "save the world" (or at least have a major impact), or are we kidding ourselves that this will do more than provide a nice slogan for the next corporate advertising campaign?  Join us and contribute to that debate on July 4th.

We’ve now finalised the line-up. James Marland of SAP Ariba will chair in his usual inimitable style, being great insight, intelligence and great hats to the evening. Martine Booth and Andy Davies will propose and support the motion. Booth is a senior-level Ariba veteran with experience in a number of areas and industries, while Davies will be well known to many as a true pioneer in terms of how procurement can have a wide impact.

As the Director of London Universities Purchasing Consortium, he supported social value concepts and in particular was one of the driving forces of Electronics Watch, a great initiative which helps “public sector organisations work together to meet their responsibility to protect the labour rights and safety of workers in their electronics supply chains more effectively than any single public buyer could accomplish on its own”.

He has already told me that he is going to “demolish” my arguments – because yes, I’m speaking against the motion. How can you do that, Peter, I hear you say, when you’ve just written a paper all about procurement with purpose? Well, read the motion carefully – that might give you a clue on the line I‘m going to take. I might just surprise you.

Supporting me in opposing the motion is Mark Webb. He is the co-founder and CEO of Future Purchasing, one of the leading specialist procurement consulting firms and is hugely knowledgeable about category management. Mark has worked with hundreds of major firms and if anyone really understands how procurement really works (and doesn’t) in major organisations, it is him.

Each speaker is limited to 8 minutes maximum, then we have questions from the floor and finally a vote on the motion. It will be fun, with drinks and snacks too, but not without some serious debate and some take-aways to think about in your own organisations.

The last debate was “sold out” so book your place now via this link – we have a private room upstairs at the Clarence Pub on Whitehall, London, July 4th, 5.30pm for a 6 – 7pm debate, followed by drinks and networking from 7pm.

We hope to see you there!

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