Social Profit Calculator has economist, Oliver Witty, as a part of its talented team. As well as juggling a Masters degree, and a career, Oliver bangs the drum quite literally for music, tennis and the city of Hull. 

How did you land the job as a social value economist with SPC?

A close friend referred me. At first, I was sceptical about the job as I thought it seemed too good to be true. However, after some research, I realised it was a great opportunity to kickstart my career. 

Your first big job? 

Yes. What makes this role so special is that it heavily focuses on the areas of economics I am passionate about – microeconomics blended with econometrics. These topics form the foundations of social value analysis which is a relatively new concept. I hope the role provides opportunities for me to contribute to the social value world.

Is it difficult to measure social value with many intangibles and variables?

In short, yes. However, at SPC we adopt econometric methods to understand the returns of these intangible assets to the environment, economy, and the local community (this is social value). For example, with the aid of academic research and secondary data provided by the government, we could use instrumental variables (proxies) to capture the social return on investment for intangible assets. 

This takes us nicely on to the Masters degree. How do you find the time to fit it in?

Admittedly, it is quite difficult. Currently, I work part-time at SPC which gives me the breathing space I need to focus on my studies and enjoy the perks of life.

In a sentence, what is your dissertation about?

Constructing an annual investment index for Banksy prints. 

Do you have time to play any sport?

I grew up playing tennis and continue to play in my spare time. I don’t compete as much anymore, but it has always been an effective way of improving my fitness. Additionally, I play football with my close friends, again, just for a bit of fun. I am also learning how to play golf. 

How else do you unwind?

One of my biggest passions is music. I enjoy listening, dancing and playing it. As a drummer, I have been fortunate to perform with many talented musicians and am currently performing with King Orange, a three-piece post-punk band from Hull. 

Where can we catch them in action?

We perform all over the country… For upcoming shows check out our Facebook page.

You can also hear us on streaming platforms (including Spotify) and purchase our music on Bandcamp.

Do you have any regrets?

I wish I had more time to create music independently. I enjoy songwriting with my bandmates, however, limiting the band to a couple of genres at best restricts the creation of the band’s material. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, as some of my ideas have served the band well, I just wish I had more time to create music when I was younger. That, and conquering the world. 

You live and work in Hull. Would you recommend it as a weekend getaway destination?

Certainly! You could start by visiting Hull Marina on the outskirts. Then, gaze out across the River Humber whilst eating lovely tapas and sipping red wine. There are many attractions too such as The Deep and Ferens Art Gallery. During the evening, you could dine down The Avenue with its wide variety of restaurants and bars.

Thanks for your time Oliver, and good luck with the job.

Oliver Witty, Social Value Economist, SPC

SPC adds another member to the team. Manchester-born Will Campbell comes aboard as the System Trainer and loves Hull so much that he doubts he will ever leave except for trips to stunning Skye and to beach-walk his two dogs.

What attracted you to the role of system trainer?

The role gives me the opportunity to use my previous experience and add my stamp to the training we offer here at Social Profit Calculator, hopefully creating an engaging and memorable experience for our prospective and existing clients. Also, working for such a forward-thinking and supportive company is an exciting chapter in my life.

What does the job offer to customers and new clients?

It will have substantial benefits for our customers, whether that’s offering constant training and support throughout the whole lifetime of using our products, or whether that’s in the initial training period. I’m here to help in any way I can. 

What’s your experience of working at SPC so far?

The atmosphere has been so welcoming, and everyone has been so friendly. I’ve only been here a few weeks, and already it’s been so refreshing to meet such down to earth and supportive colleagues.  

Office or homeworking? Which do you prefer?

I like a hybrid blend spending three days in the office and two working from home. The flexible working sets SPC out ahead of other employers and a precedent for other companies to follow. 

You were a student in Hull so you must like the place very much?

Hull has a massive place in my heart, and I moved here from Manchester in 2012 to study at the university and have lived here ever since. Hull is different from other major cities; I’ve felt at home here since day one. I’m currently in the process of buying my first house and don’t have any plans to ever leave. 

You have a former racing greyhound as a pet so who takes who for walks?

She spends about 20 hours a day curled up on the couch like most greyhounds. However, when we take her out, she starts feeling young again and is at the other end of the beach before you can blink an eye. So, I’d definitely say she walks me! 

Where is the best place in the UK to propose marriage to a partner?

I’d recommend the Isle of Skye on the Northwest coast of Scotland. The scenery is some of the most stunning I’ve ever seen in my life. I was lucky enough to visit there last September, and took the opportunity to propose to my partner, and are planning to go back again next year. 

What do you do when you are not at work?

I spend a lot of time finding new places to explore across Yorkshire with our dogs. Another big passion of mine is reading about true crime, and I also like to DJ in my spare time, although I’m more of a bedroom DJ. 

Can you live without Netflix?

I don’t think I could live without my true crime documentaries, however, I could probably make it without Netflix as I try not to spend too much time watching TV. 

Have any of the lockdowns given you any new skills?

During the first lockdown we spent a lot of time in the garden tidying and planting veg for the coming year. I learnt a lot of useful tips from neighbours, family and friends and I can’t wait to plant some more when we get into our new house. 

Good luck in the new job Will and thanks for taking the time to speak to us!

Will Campbell, System Trainer, SPC

Latvian-born Inga Hercberga joins the SPC team as a talented developer and her love of computing goes back to when she was a child. Inga speaks several languages and shares with us the thrill of Harry Potter and the joys of hygge.  

With Latvian roots, how does somebody interested in computers end up working in Hull? 

My motive in moving to Hull in July 2020 was to live together with my partner and I’ve been here ever since. As a developer, I find it easier to find job offers abroad so it makes the moving process much simpler, especially when I can speak the language of the country I move to.

You’re still new to the job but what should we know about Social Profit Calculator?

As a calculator tool, it allows users to measure the social value of their projects, monitor the progress and then see how much was achieved in the end. It gives businesses the competitive edge when bidding for work as well as showing the worth of giving back to the community and helping the environment.

Is the environment something you care about?

I try my best to recycle as much as possible. I donate my old clothes, always choose the buying option that will plant trees and use public transport.

When did you first become interested in computers?

I was eight years old and the first computer I saw was a very old one in my school which had Windows 2000 installed in English. I was shown how to start it, find games and shut it down. Since then, I have been learning something new every day, starting from basic installations and drivers, ending with computer builds.

You bring the concept of hygge into your working life so explain what that is?

Hygge is a Danish word that loosely means to feel at home everywhere, including the workplace. For me, it means that I will try my best if I feel like I am part of the work environment and feel comfortable. 

What do you do when you’re not working? 

In my spare time, I like to read books, play computer games and catch some fresh air while walking my dog. I also like to travel, tinker with DIY stuff and swim.

You loved the Harry Potter books so which one ranks as your favourite?

My favourite is the third book – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. By accident, it was also the first book I read from the Harry Potter series as I did not know there were other books before it.

You speak so many languages…Russian, Danish, German, Latvian, Portuguese and of course English.

English was the easiest for me to pick up, however it is also the language I have been using the most. I still struggle with using the correct prepositions and articles and often tend to pronounce words in quite an amusing way for native speakers.

What could we learn from life in Latvia? 

Over half the land consists of forests, making it a very green country. Since the 1920s, the number of forests has almost doubled due to planting new trees and maintaining the existing ones. To be a greener country is something each country should strive for.

What’s the top of your UK ‘to do’ list?

I would love to visit Scotland, especially Edinburgh. I hope to have a trip there soon.

Good luck in the new job Inga, and thanks for taking the time to speak to us ❤️

Inga Hercberga, Software Developer, SPC