4 the common good


Channel 4 has been delivering public-service programming since its launch in 1982, without the considerable help of the TV licence fee enjoyed by that broadcaster with a similar remit over on the other side. Largely commercially self-funded, they were therefore in a great position to instigate an important discussion on the relationship between public value and private finance.

The workshop, entitled “Public Value from Private Enterprise: A growing British movement” showed there were plenty of different types of organisation committed making this delicate equation work, from publicly-funded institutions, social enterprises, through to private enterprises driven by more than profit alone. But with so many interests involved, measures of success are difficult to pin down and the theme of quantifying public value and proving outcomes was one of the day’s key themes.

A stellar line-up of speakers from organsations including the National Trust, the British Library, Channel 4 and Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, were captured beautifully in James’ scribe of the day.