During the year we launched One, an exciting new offering that allows us to harness the creativity of the whole firm and create further value for clients.
Through our purpose-built One ‘crowd sourcing’ platform, we invite a client to challenge the whole firm, to do what we do best – share knowledge and bring fresh insights into business opportunities to deliver exceptional client value. The big difference to what we do on a daily basis is that One offers our clients a team made up of thousands of members.
We work with our client to formulate a question, which is posed to our people on the One platform. Any of our people can put forward ideas that are critiqued and developed by our community. The collaborative approach filters the ideas, making sure the best rise to the top. This process, combined with validation by PwC and client experts, make sure the best ideas are developed.
We completed our first One challenge in April for Vodafone Global Enterprise, the business within Vodafone which manages the communications needs of its largest multinational customers.
Operators such as Vodafone use ‘machine-to-machine’ wireless technologies to enable companies to track the location of assets and control a wide range of devices remotely. The so-called ‘internet of things’ offers endless possibilities for business reinvention. Additionally, wireless location-based services – allowing customers to find goods and services near to them, such as restaurants, garages or ATMs, or to benefit from real-time road traffic information – represent an important new phase of the smartphone revolution. Vodafone asked us to generate some ideas for new products and services that could be designed around this live information.
The Vodafone challenge really captured the imagination of our people with over 10,600 taking part in a six-week campaign which generated over 500 ideas. This was filtered down to 11 ideas that were presented to Vodafone as having great revenue generating potential.
Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone Global Enterprises, commented, “I spend a lot of time working with big multinational companies all around the world and I have to say that this One idea is really unique. I’ve not seen anything else like it and I take my hat off to the individuals who put this together … it’s a very innovative and forward looking initiative.”
Dan Schwarzmann, the partner leading the project, added, “One has generated exceptional engagement with our people – irrespective of grade, specialism or geography. This exceptional engagement has produced excellent results and we look forward to working with many other clients.”
Following the launch of the Fire Station social enterprise hub near our More London office, we've continued to invest in and support social enterprises around the UK. This also provides a number of development opportunities for our people. The Fire Station also houses the Brigade restaurant.
We launched a new partnership with The Old Vic in the spring of 2012 because we believe that support for the arts is about more than mere charity or empty philanthropy.
When Kevin Spacey joined The Old Vic as Artistic Director in 2004 he pledged to extend the access and reach of the theatre’s audiences into the local community and across all demographics. One of the key drivers for the success of this aspiration has been the Under 25s Scheme. This offers 100 tickets for £12 each for the under-25s for every performance at every production at The Old Vic and has been in place since 2004. We’re delighted to be able to contribute as title sponsor to not only make sure this good work continues but take the scheme into a new era.
We’ve supported arts bodies focused on social inclusion for many years, with successful partnerships with Shakespeare’s Globe London, Unicorn Theatre and the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, as well as our annual pantomime production put on by around 200 of our people in a West End theatre and, this year, in Newcastle. Almost 9,000 children were able to watch live at the theatre and via an innovative satellite link to a number of cinemas around the country.
Our support for the arts is driven by the view that it not only enriches the next generation, but importantly, it also enriches the business community.Our first-hand experience is that our people benefit from our association with arts organisations.
Across the globe, over 39 million girls of primary school age have never been to school
Improved girls’ education can have a direct effect upon economic growth, reduce poverty, significantly reduce under five and maternal mortality and have a range of other social and environmental benefits. Girls with an education have improved literacy and numeracy, but they also tend to marry later, earn more money as adults and have healthier families.
Their children are more likely to go to school themselves.
In April 2012, we were appointed as Fund Manager for the Girls’ Education Challenge – one of the UK Government’s most ambitious international development programmes. Over the next four years we will be distributing and monitoring approximately £300 million to projects that will improve the learning of up to one million of the world’s poorest girls.
The programme will fund organisations tackling the barriers facing marginalised girls in 22 countries in Africa and Asia. To receive funding, they have to demonstrate measurable improvements in the quality of education and increased numbers of girls being educated.
As Fund Manager, we will play a pivotal role in identifying potential recipients, developing strategic partnerships and supporting projects on the ground.
To implement this project, David Armstrong, Programme Partner, has brought together a team of 20 people from the UK and the broader PwC network, with experience in fund management, international development, education and gender issues. He said: “This is an exciting project that gives us an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of these girls, their families and their communities.”
This year, a number of our people have been helping graduate designers from the world-renowned Royal College of Art (RCA) to turn their creative ventures into successful businesses, social enterprises and careers. Each of the graduates is getting 18 months of regular one-to-one mentoring as part of the RCA-PwC mentoring programme.
The ventures include fashion and design consultancies; a micro-finance business based in a refugee camp in the Sahara which uses recycled plastic water bottles as a raw material for jewellery; and a highly innovative social enterprise that uses pulp left from the production of orange juice to make a sustainable and durable new material which can be used to replace plastics in a wide variety of products.