The IPBES Global Assessment found that transformative change towards sustainability is likely to occur when initiatives tap into people’s existing values, providing new avenues for their expression in action, resulting in norm change. #UnleashValues picks up where the Assessment left off, working to empower people to voice their pro-sustainability visions and values, as well as their ideas for system change through a series of workshops. 

#UnleashValues is based on the following beliefs:

The presence of apparently dominant values may cause people who hold divergent perspectives to be quiet about their values, resulting in a “silent majority.”

Youth have powerful voices for change and are especially vulnerable to this silencing effect. With support, they can be vocal about pro-sustainability values.

Sustainability can be more compelling when it stems from an individual’s own visions for the future.

The power of values is best harnessed if it feeds into strategic action, i.e., changing the rules and infrastructure that govern behaviours. 

 What constitutes strategic action can only be identified through engagement with a broad base of knowledge from multiple viewpoints.

Image by Denys Nevozhai

#UnleashValues workshops include interactive activities that encourage participants to reflect on and share their values and visions for the future, as well as build their understanding of the institutional, social, and “system-level” changes that would allow these values to be acted upon. 

How can you #UnleashValues?

Image by Firmbee.com

Participants are supported to design personal projects that express their values and visions (e.g., visual media, letters to government representatives, ‘hard conversations’, storytelling, or other formats) which can be shared across social media using #UnleashValues.