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The first World Values Day last year was all about our own personal values. About finding them, understanding them better, and practising them.

This year the focus is on how we come to grips with the values we experience in the world around us – the values of the groups, organisations and communities we belong to. How do our values fit in with those collective values?  What is our individual responsibility for upholding those values?  How do we address the gap between our aspirations and our practice of values? How do we react when we don’t share those collective values, or maybe share some but not all of them?

All kinds of ways to explore these important questions will be available on and before World Values Day on 19th October. Here are just a few of the interesting events and activities which are open to all (though you may need to book quickly):

  • On 3rd October in the serene surroundings of the Global Retreat centre at Nuneham Courtenay near Oxford there will be an all-day reflection on empowering our values to help us change the world.
  • On 10th October there will be a virtual Knowledge Café on the problems most of us have experienced at some time in relating our individual values to our collective values.
  • On the evening of 19th October (World Values Day) the UK Values Alliance’s London Conference will take what should be an illuminating look at the successful strategies that different organisations have used to close their own values gaps.
  • Earlier on 19th October at the Education for the Soul Conference, the educational values speaker Neil Hawkes and other keynote speakers will look at how school leaders can bring humanity back into the classroom using values and other essential ingredients.

Outside the UK there are conferences, workshops and other activities being held in a number of locations around the world – in India, Sweden, Italy and elsewhere. The Human Values Foundation’s Stories on Values Competition will give children another opportunity to write a story about their favourite values.; last year there were so many imaginative and beautifully written entries from Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East that the judges really struggled to pick the winner (they finally chose The Garden of Hope from Janna, a pupil at a school for Palestinian refugees in the Lebanon).

Do keep an eye on the World Values Day website for regular updates on all of these and everything else that is being planned, including the Values Challengea project put together by the RSA, the UK Values Alliance, the Forward Institute and PwC which addresses the gap between our aspirations and the way we actually practise values in our workplaces and social spaces.  The early signs are that on or around World Values Day on 19th October, hundreds of groups and organisations of every kind will be taking part in this focused and energetic one-hour session.

As well as events and activities there are lots of useful tools and resources available on the website for those who want to find out more about their own values or to investigate different ways of working with values in groups and organisations, and further resources will be steadily added over the coming weeks.

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