North East Connected

Opencast appoints new head of social impact


Stef Monaco

Independent technology consultancy Opencast has appointed a head of social impact, reaffirming its commitment to being a purpose-driven business.

Stef Monaco’s appointment comes months after the company submitted an application for B Corp status – an accreditation designed to measure a company’s social and environmental impact.

Stef, a native of Buenos Aries in Argentina, joined Opencast as a service design lead in the summer of last year, before taking up the newly-created role last month.

She explains: “I was already working in the social impact space for the company, and was helping create a long-term social impact strategy, so I’m delighted to have taken up my new role and my sole focus will now be on Opencast’s social impact agenda.

“Social impact is about the effect an organisation’s action – or inaction – can have on people and communities. Nowadays, people are expecting far more, morally and ethically, from the businesses they work with.

“My appointment, and our B Corp application, is evidence of what an important priority the area of social impact is for Opencast.”

Once granted, B Corp certification verifies that a business meets high standards of performance, transparency and accountability in areas including employee benefits, charitable giving and supply chain practices.

“There are all sorts of reasons why social impact is important to Opencast,” says Stef. “For instance, it will help us to achieve one of our core values, which is to do the right thing – for our clients, their users, our team and the wider community.

“By having a clear social impact framework and metrics we can showcase its impact to clients – while investing in social impact keeps us ahead of where the market is going, as there’s no doubt the Government is placing more emphasis on this area.

“Lastly, being recognised as a purpose-driven company prioritising social impact gives us a compelling edge in terms of recruiting and retaining staff,” she adds.

Stef has had a varied career since graduating from Pontificia Universidad Católica in Argentina with a degree in international relations.

After jobs teaching English as a second language, Stef moved into marketing, supporting a non-profit organisation in Nicaragua before coming to England in 2012. In the 11 years since arriving, Stef has worked for tech companies, marketing companies and non-profit organisations and charities, including Unicef.

Activism has been a thread throughout her career, and she’s worked as a human rights adviser at the House of Commons and a research and advocacy lead at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. She also completed a master’s degree in human rights at the University of London, while at the same time writing a report for the Columbian legal system around the rights to education for people with disabilities.

Stef joined Opencast from the Ministry of Justice, where she was a senior service designer.

She explains: “My dad was a doctor and my mum a professor and they instilled the philosophy of service to others in me. My dad would take me to his hospital in Buenos Aries and I would see the problems people were facing. Even at a young age I realised good healthcare and education were the solutions – at the age of six I wanted to be UN Secretary General.

“Opencast has the same values as I do, and I’m looking forward to improving our impact as a company in three areas: wellbeing, especially around mental health and loneliness; a fair economy, with priorities around equal pay for all and improving access to entrepreneurship, and a thriving plant, focusing on decarbonisation and net zero, while decoupling financial success from environmental damage.”

Opencast chief executive Tom Lawson welcomed Stef to the company: “We’re delighted to appoint Stef to this important position within the company. We’re an ambitious, growing company but we’re also one that insists on doing the right thing – it’s in our DNA. Our vision is to make a positive impact on society through solutions that are simpler, more sustainable and fairer for all – and Stef’s appointment will help us make this a reality.”

Opencast is an independent and privately owned full-service UK technology consultancy specialising in designing, building and running user-centred digital and technology solutions.

Bringing together expertise in digital human experience, technology optimised operations, innovation and emerging technology and data driven insights Opencast works with UK public sector bodies, healthcare organisations and businesses to develop services that include support for critical national infrastructure and help for millions of citizens.

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