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Social Purpose

Multiple 3D artefacts that are computer rendered, 3D printed and photographed, and physically made and scanned, all on a black background.
Multiple 3D artefacts that are computer rendered, 3D printed and photographed, and physically made and scanned, all on a black background.
Artefacts created by current students and graduates, 2022 UAL | Campaign design direction: Brand and Creative Services, UAL

We believe in the value of a creative education to make the world a better place. We're working to embed our social purpose in everything we do and use our position to shape thriving and sustainable creative industries.

From who we are to everything we do

Following university-wide forums to learn about the values and priorities of staff and students, we've defined our purpose with 4 goals:

  • Bring joy, meaning and purpose to our lives.
  • Celebrate differences of all kinds.
  • Regenerate our environment.
  • Build more equitable prosperity.

Social Purpose Implementation Plan

The Social Purpose Implementation Plan (PDF 1.3MB) is our way of taking our social and environmental impact to the next level. It contains our:

  • community’s priorities, like powering creative experiences and building inclusive societies
  • focus areas for the next year, like embedding our social purpose in the appraisal process and reducing the carbon footprint of procurement.

The main difference proposed in the plan is that we go from pioneering, individual initiatives, to our purpose being fully embedded in everything we do. We want our structures and policies to enable staff to have a greater impact through their work.

Social Purpose Lab

Dedicated to supporting and guiding our collective efforts to embed our purpose across the University, the Lab has an:

  • internal transformation function that works with teams to build our purpose into their plans and strategies
  • externally facing policy and advocacy function that aims to influence government and the creative industries for a positive social impact.

The Social Purpose Lab welcomes questions and collaborations with anyone interested in the power of creative education to make the world a better place. Email:


The Social Purpose Advisory Group, chaired by Professor Dilys Williams, was established in September 2023 to advise on the University’s social purpose ambitions. Its members work alongside the Chief Social Purpose Officer, Polly Mackenzie, and the Social Purpose Lab to review, advise on and socialise social purpose activities.

They meet at least once a term, leveraging deep expertise and diverse experiences to further our social purpose goals.

The Group's current members come from a range of functions and positions in the University. They are:

  • David Cross, Reader in Fine Art
  • Patrycja Kaszynska, Senior Research Fellow
  • Oli Furlong, LTS Co-ordinator: Media Events & Learning
  • Louisa Beejay, Personal Assistant to Head of College Office
  • Sophia Nasif, London College of Communication Student Officer- Arts SU
  • Rosemary Cronin, Outreach Practitioner
  • Catherine Arotsky, Associate Director (Sustainable Operations)
  • Alejandro Martinez, Visiting Practitioner



Social purpose in action

  • A purple, swirling 3D-rendered sculpture. Two purple, metallic hands at either side appear to make the object float in space.
    Kate Petersons, 2023 BA Design for Branded Spaces, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Collage of images representing African heritage, culture and celebrities.
    Petra Raissa Nogueira, '[Black is] light', 2021, BA Fashion Design and Development, London College of Fashion,UAL.
  • A person shouts at the camera while wearing a tunic covered in multi-coloured strings and material. They also have a monitor on their head, which is covered in multi-coloured string
    Aramatou Toure, 2022 BA Textile Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL | Photograph: George Eyo