Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage Awards

I had the honour to attend this week  the Ginny Valenine Badge of Courage awards organised by Fiona Blades and John Griffiths on behalf of the Research Liberation Front and I wanted to pay tribute to the organisers and to all the winners. What a wonderful moving event this was and long may it live in the future.

Very rarely in a job like market research can I say that I have been emotionally moved by something or really felt such a strong sense of pride as I did at this award ceremony which celebrated some of the less prominent hero's of market research.  It is an award ceremony set up specifically to celebrate those people in market research who had the courage to stick their necks out and do something different, to go against the flow and who battled on through adversity to reach their goals.

The highlights for me were:

Simon Lidington who nominated his own daughter Rosie, for the efforts she put into established the Big Sofa research company. For 4 years she took a sofa around the shopping centres of the country to conduct face to face interviews with the public before pulling in there first major pieces of business.

Betty Adamou's nomination from Ray Poyner for having the courage to put her money where her mouth was and set up her own research gaming company.

And Alison White who was actually brave enough to nominate herself. She explained the battle she had to set up here own field research company, her first attempt was stolen off her, the second her offices were burnt down twice. 

But the most astonishing tale of all though was told by Finn Raben who on behalf of ESOMAR nominated an Afghan company ORCA who had 2 researchers shot dead while collecting data.  Which puts all our own battles into perspective.

There were no black ties, 3 course dinners and celebrity presenters at this event, instead home made sandwiches and pay bar but all the better for it. Ginny Valentines son gave a wonderful eulogy to his mother and it was lovely to see him handing out the awards at the end to the winners.

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