On Monday, June 11th, Fiona Blades, President & Chief Experience Officer, MESH Experience and co-founder of the Research Liberation Front, announced 4 winners of this year’s Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage Awards for Bravery in Market Research at IIeX North America.
Unlike conventional market research awards, which typically celebrate marketing success or the rigour 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. And in the 7 years since its inauguration, nominations have come from around the world from every part of the research industry.
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 research approaches, setting up new ventures, persevering through controversial projects, pioneering new approaches in a client organization, or even facing physical danger in the course of their work.
The 4 award winners for the 2018 Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage Award represent 9 individuals and a research team:
- Anije Lambert, of PDC Research for pioneering research in Guyana
- Kristof Varga of Bakamo Social for switching from politics to research to make a real difference
- Baileigh Allen of Zigzag Research USA for challenging views on autism for the greater good
- Poli Paterson (Limbpower) & Francis Cowen (DSA) for taking a risk to make the voices of disabled people heard
This year’s distinguished panel of judges included Jessica Salmon, (Telefonica, UK), Maria Pocovi (Emotion Research Lab, USA), Tony Costella (Heineken International, Netherlands), Fi Bendall (Bendalls Group, Australia), and Otávio Donnabella (System 1, Brazil).
On the process of selecting the winners, John Griffiths from the Research Liberation Front who founded the awards in 2011 said, “The research industry worldwide continues to embrace the importance of bravery. This year we had nominations from 4 continents. And this year, for the first time, the judges gave an award to research respondents. This was because of the risks that disabled people take with losing part or all of their disability allowance when they participate in research. Every year we are inspired by new kinds of bravery. Ginny Valentine would be very proud to see how she is being remembered. We are grateful for the work of our distinguished panel of judges. Our congratulations to the worthy winners.”
The event took place at The Barrelhouse Bar just down the street from the Insight Innovation Exchange North America 2018 conference in Atlanta run by GreenBook, who have lent their support to this initiative to promote bravery to the research industry in their international IIeX events and in their online publications.