Editor’s Note: The GreenBook team and I were incredibly honored to participate in this wonderful initiative; it was great to help identify colleagues in the global industry that can serve as examples for us all on many fronts. I hope we can grow the Ginny Valentine awards into the future. Also, a big thank you should go to Susan Griffin, Fiona Blades, John Griffiths, Emma Manson, Becky Sandler, Deanna Cullen, Lukas Pospichal, Kevin Lonnie, Sean Holbert, Marisa Currie-Rose, Finn Rabin and of course the Judges & Nominees; without them none of this would have been possible.
On Tuesday, March 19th the GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report (GRIT) 2nd annual party partnered with the Research Liberation Front to host the 2013 Ginny Valentine Awards. Google Consumer Surveys sponsored the annual GRIT Party and Awards ceremony celebrating market research innovation and innovators. Over 200 researchers and industry practitioners gathered to participate in this international event held in New York City.
Unlike conventional market research awards, which typically celebrate marketing success or the rigor of a clever methodology, the Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage is awarded to those who fought long odds and showed exceptional determination to produce great market research. The awards are designed to recognize researchers wherever they work – within client companies or as suppliers.
Ginny Valentine, a UK based semiotician and researcher who died in 2010, had a distinguished career in which she challenged traditional market research and evangelized for the adoption of new thinking to improve the discipline.
Evoking her memory and example, this award recognizes researchers who stand out in an industry not often known for bravery, for their contributions developing new approaches, undertaking cultural research methodologies such as semiotics and ethnography, setting up new ventures, persevering through controversial projects, pioneering new approaches in a client organization, or even facing physical danger.
The 8 award winners for the 2013 Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage Award are:
- Kristin Luck, Decipher, (US) for Fearlessly Advocating Gender Equality
- Stan Sthanunathan, (US) Coca-Cola, for Leading by Principle
- Batool Batalvi, SB&B Marketing Research, (Pakistan and Canada), for Raw Bravery for the Greater Good
- Kyle Nel, Lowe’s Home Improvement, (US) for Taking Action
- John Kearon, Brainjuicer, (UK) for Waking up the Industry
- Manish Makhijani, Unilever, (UK) for Grace under Fire
- Catalina Meija and Yanhaas, (Colombia), for Giving a Voice to the People
- Tom HC Anderson, Anderson Analytics, (US) for Networking and Rabble Rousing
This year’s distinguished panel of judges included Catherine Moffatt (Diageo), Diane Hessan (Communispace), Alec Maki (Bellomy Research), Jon Puleston (GMI) and Angry MR Client (Agent Provocateur on Twitter).
On the process of selecting the winners, Moffatt commented, “It was a privilege to read the stories of people in our industry who have displayed courage in different and inspiring ways. Unlike many awards that recognize business achievement or innovation, these awards highlight brave actions that would otherwise not get noticed or acknowledged. We were looking for examples of persistence, drive, and guts, and we feel these winners exemplify those characteristics.”
Ginny’s son, Phil Alexander, commented, “I am so thrilled that this event has made it into a second year. New York was one of my Mum’s favorite cities. My Mum never minded taking a side or two. In fact, it was one of the things she lived for. And New York is a place where the whole world takes sides – loudly and proudly.”
About the Research Liberation Front
The Research Liberation Front is a dynamic organization of research revolutionaries dedicated to setting research free, pushing boundaries and bringing about change in market research. www.researchliberationfront.com
About Ginny Valentine
Virginia Valentine, founder of Semiotic Solutions, brought semiotics to the research industry.