Procurement with Purpose – One Week To The Big Debate

There is now only one week to go until our London pub debate titled “This House Believes That Procurement With Purpose Can Save The World”.

“Procurement with purpose” encompasses what we can do as buyers across issues as widely different as carbon reduction, use of plastics, supporting minority-owned businesses or supporting employment of ex-offenders. No-one I suspect will argue that organisations should ignore these agendas (customers care about them, for a start) – but just how big a role could, and should the procurement profession play in this area?

None of us individually has the power of a Sir David Attenborough, whose recent TV show has brought the issue of plastics in the oceans for instance shooting up the priority list for citizens and governments. But looking at the purchasing power exercised by the professional procurement community in total, it is clear that we need a clear view on whether and how that can be used for the wider good. Or … is it up to governments to address these issues and should procurement stick to “doing better deals” for our organisations?

These are going to be big issues for the profession in the next decade, so do join us for a debate next week that will be enjoyable but also thought-provoking and stimulating. Our four speakers, two in favour of the motion and two against, are 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, on Wednesday July 4th, 5.30pm for a 6 – 7pm debate, followed by drinks and networking from 7pm.

See you there!


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First Voice

  1. Dan:

    I’m not going to be there, so I’ll make my points here, for what they’re worth.

    Purpose itself is not enough – in the public sector, we’re already doing this: helping the local economy, helping SMEs, helping local employment, environmental protection, promoting community cohesion and equal opportunities, helping certain sectors such as the steel industry. Oh yes, and making savings to help mitigate austerity measures.

    The problem is one of focus. There are a large number of purposes that we’re supposedly working for, but with no sense of priorities or overall strategy. It feels like we’re at the mercy of whichever cause is the latest flavour of the month

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