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What is Societal?

SOCIETAL is a community interest company, created to contribute education and research to logistics, social value, transportation and mobility challenges.

We expand the work of the University of Northampton’s ‘Institute of Logistics, Infrastructure, Supply and Transport’ (LIST). SOCIETAL aims to further the University’s social impact; targeting the social benefits within its work, delivering empowerment through mobility, well-being from clean air/reduced congestion/healthy transport options, and improved access-generating employment opportunities in key local areas.

We have formed at a critical period for logistics and transport systems. Traditional transport modes such as private/public, personal/shared, car, bus, rail, cycle, and walking are under increasing scrutiny. So too is the integrity and sustainability of these operation models. We understand that both financial and environmental accountability must inform SOCIETAL’s research, leading to methodologies that can have local and global impact.

The field of transformational transport systems research and deployment is developing fast. Strategic directions such as MaaS (Mobility as a Service) and a focus on IoT (Internet of Things) can be clearly seen. In addition to incorporating these themes, SOCIETAL introduces Mobility as a Societal Solution (MaSS) and Social Value Economics (SVE) to create a practical impact on people’s social and travel options.

SOCIETAL Director Liam Fassam said, “We will work with stakeholders to identify and develop innovative all-inclusive collaborative ways to deliver socially engineered services that are aligned to carbon, cost and customer focus; aligned to the communities and businesses both local and global.”

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Where we came from

As part of a two-year project (Mar. 2015- Mar. 2017) funded via the UK Government Department for Transport Total Transport fund, detailed research and analysis was undertaken by the LIST institute at UON to understand the current and future transport pressures within Northamptonshire and adjoining counties.

The project offers a unique methodology for developing a business plan proposing the creation of a social enterprise company whose objective is:
” …carry on activities which benefit the community and in particular (without limitation) to improve access to education, skills development, health and well-being services, leisure pursuits and employment through commissioning and management of travel, transportation and allied services.”

Both the County Council and University of Northampton agreed to support the proposal and this was launched in May 2017 as SOCIETAL Travel CIC.