Why do we do the things we do? What motivates the actions we take? How do we form the opinions we hold?

Across countries and cultures, research has established that a common set of values drive human thought and action, underpinning everything we do and shaping the world we live in.

They are embedded in how we – as individuals and organisations – interact with each other and the wider world and they have implications on how we organise ourselves for creative practice, who we chose to engage with and how, and what we call for.

We all have a sense of what our values are, but consciously taking the time to define what really drives us takes it to another level. In this section, we’ve put together a series of links to some material that we think will help you:

  • clarify the values you prioritise in your own life
  • reflect how your personal values presence themselves in the goals you have for your work
  • consider how your personal and professional practice might strengthen the values that will help create a more liveable world

First of all, we suggest that you look at the work of Common Cause, which has been very influential in drawing fresh attention to the role of values in our contemporary lives and how a deeper understanding of how they work can help us find solutions to the big challenges we face.

Once you’ve read and digested their explanation, use their values map, below, take a pack of ‘stickies’ and start to identify and prioritise your values on the worksheet we’ve created.


When you’ve completed that, use this guided Journaling Tool to reflect on what emerged for you from that process.

Journaling is a great way to connect to a deeper sense of self-knowing and to begin acting from that place. It can help you heighten your sense of self-knowing, enable a shift in the state of your attention to a deeper level and create new awareness and new questions about ‘who you are’ and ‘what you want to do with the rest of your life’. You’ll find opportunities to do journaling exercises throughout this web platform.