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Giving local groups a clear Voice: Introducing the WeValue inSitu Method

23 November, 2023 @ 15:00 17:00

The Hague Humanity Hub is excited to invite you to an engaging two-fold workshop series with Marie Harder, a distinguished professor at Fudan University in China.  

Marie will guide us through the WeValue InSitu Method, a simple yet effective process that empowers local groups to express their core values in a way that is easy to understand. With this method communities can create a clear portrait of their shared values, which can then be transformed into tools for making decision, evaluating proposals, developing new policies or prioritising development initiatives.  

Who is it for:  

Learning about this method can be useful for anyone interested in amplifying local voices in global decision-making.  

We particularly invite practitioners in humanitarian work, sustainable development, social justice, law and peacebuilding, government representatives, activists and community organisers, researchers and academics to join the workshop. 

Please note that the workshop is by invitation only and has limited capacity. Are you interested to participate? Please send us an email at programming@humanityhub.net 

When: November 23rd 15:00 – 17:00 and November 24th 13:00 – 17:00 (you can attend one or both sessions)  

Where: The Hague Humanity Hub  


Additional information about the method and programme 

Many of the justice, sustainability, and development imbalances in the world come from the lack of a strong and clear voice of what is valued by local groups. But what if informal groups like remote villagers and city neighbourhood volunteers could suddenly produce a framework of statements so clear that they could be used as proto-indicators? How might the world change if local shared values could be stated, authenticated, and communicated to ‘others’, including district planners, investors, lawmakers, environmentalists? 

In this workshop, Marie will introduce the methodology WeValue InSitu. This approach guides local communities through a crystallization process, allowing them to make their lived-values explicit through carefully designed cycles of meaning-making dialogic activities. The outcome is a clear and structured Framework that articulates the shared values most important to their lives, creating a Narrative that can be shared with external stakeholders. These unique, community-specific Frameworks serve as “portraits” of the group and can be synthesized to generate Cultural Shared Values representing meaningful and valuable themes within a locality. These values can then be used as indicators for local decision-making, evaluation tools, and the ranking of development proposals. 

The workshop is organised by The Hague Humanity Hub in partnership with the Office of Global Partnerships of Fudan University and in collaboration with Climate Governance Commission, Integrity Initiatives International and the Global Governance Forum. 


Programme  

  • November 23rd Session 1 from 14:00 until 17:00: Introduction to the WeValue inSitu Method  
  • November 24th Session 2 from 13:00 – 17:00: Sandbox session  (optional)

Please note that the two sessions provided have a different format and objective. The first session is meant to give a general introduction to the method, the second session is meant as a practical workshop which will allow participants to test and discuss the method in small groups.  

It is highly recommended to join the first session prior to joining the second one. However, feel free to bring a colleague to the second one if you believe they will benefit from it.  

Please make sure to register for the sessions separately. Please read additional information about the programme below.  

1st Session on November 23rd between 14:00 and 17:00  

In this presentation we introduce the method named WeValue InSitu, which takes groups of local persons through a crystallization process whereby their lived-values are made more explicit through specially designed cycles of meaning-making dialogic activity. Within 90-150 minutes the group can articulate the shared values of most importance to their lives and to organize them into a Framework, providing a Narrative to be used to introduce it to outsiders. This rich, idiosyncratic data provides a group ‘portrait’, and several together can be synthesised to produce Cultural Shared Values representing themes of what is meaningful, worthwhile and valuable to people in a locality. These can be sufficiently concise to be used as indicators for input into localised decision-making tools; evaluation tools; ranking and rating of proposals for local development or informing more acceptable design for the future. 

This approach works with any communities of practice, drawing out their shared tacit knowledge and transposing it too explicit. It has been demonstrated in 15 countries, in contexts ranging from villages to multinational corporations to slums. Its workshop format is now being formalised into facilitator manuals, and the underpinning theory of how it works is now understood. It is now time to start its roll-out and scaling out, and to let more people understand how it can be implemented and how the power of its results – of Local Voices – can shift the balance in different parts of society: power, finance, aid, meaningful jobs, conservation, environment, child provision, education, enterprise… 

This session will provide an overview of the WeValue InSitu approach, and some taster experiences of part of it, and some examples of what can happen when local people used it to crystallise their in-situ shared values into a ‘voice’. There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and explore related ideas. 

2nd Session: Sandbox session on November 24th between 13:00 and 17:00 (optional)  

  • 13:00 – 13:40 Introduction to the concept and its current uses. Brief Q&A. 
  • 13:50 – 16:00 Workshop formats of the WeValue InSitu approach for participants present. 

Pre-formed groups of 4-10 people are preferred: there is no need for all group members to be present. Those coming without a group of their own can join a ‘EU residents’ group or using some similar umbrella commonality (assisted by the facilitator). (There will be time for quick refreshments during the workshops) 

  • 16:00 – 17:00 Discussion, Q&A. Ideas for moving forwards. Networking to form future collaborations. 

This session will provide an opportunity to experience the WeValue InSitu approach, which crystallizes shared values of small groups of people who have something in common – practices, area of living, work. The first 40 minutes will be an introduction of the approach and of applications already found useful. There will then be 2 hours of experiencing the approach, in groups arranged by the facilitator. The final hour will be for discussions about ways forwards, and for facilitated networking to form future collaborations. 


About the host Marie Harder  

Marie Harder is a Distinguished Professor at Fudan University in China, where she has been based for eleven years, while continuing part-time professorship at the University of Brighton, UK. She has eight active doctorate researchers working on WeValue InSitu shared values research.  

Marie was the lead Coordinator of the EU research project ESDinds which conceived the early WeValue concept, designed to help Civil Societies decide what they wanted to be evaluated on more fairly, through action research. She has written a book, other chapters and over 15 papers on different developments and applications of WeValue, within her 60+ peer-reviewed articles (see Google Scholar).  

She is currently Co-Investigator on the £18 million UKRI Interdisciplinary Hub, “Action Against Stunting”; theme lead in a MOST-China project on urban climate change in China and Vienna; and theme lead on a current UKRI project on Infrastructure investment in UK coastal towns – all of which use local shared values to inform them. Her initial training was in nuclear physics. 

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