Oct. 20, 2021

World Values 🌎 Day | Charles Fowler

World Values 🌎 Day | Charles Fowler

World Values Day, an annual campaign to increase the awareness and practice of values around the world.
πŸ¦‹ 2021 theme is Reconnecting.
How do YOU connect to your values, reconnect in your life and 🧠 leadership?
❀️ Honesty, Integrity, Gratitude & Humility
🌎 Legacy, Impact & Transformation

Values reconnect!

Share your values with gratitude with others around you. Choose a value and have a conversation this month and especially on World Values Day.

What Intrigued Me?

What Inspired Me?

  • ValuesJam on Clubhouse 🏠 Join me and engage, @michellestjane.

About the Guest

Charles Fowler is the founder of World Values Day.

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Intro: You're listening to Life and Leadership: A Conscious Journey. The podcast that shares wisdom and strength. Join your host, Dr. Michelle St Jane's conversation on how to have a positive impact for people, planet, and the wider world. If you want to live a life of intention, to be proactive with your time and bring your vision for the future to life one today at a time, you’re in the right place at the right time. Let's get started. 

Michelle St Jane: Have you explored your values where it is? 

You may gain some useful insights. World Values Day is coordinated by volunteers passionate about putting values at the heart of society. The theme for this year's World Values Day on the 21st of October is all about reconnecting with our values. Let's plug the values gap.   

[00:01:00] World Values Day founder is Charles Fowler. Charles is a values activists and collaborator. World Values Day is challenging us to connect with our values and the people around us through this year’s focus on reconnecting. 

βœ… What's important? 

βœ… What are you grateful for? 

βœ… How do you put those values into action by reconnecting with what's important?

Michelle St Jane: [00:01:21] It helps us to put our values into action each day, helping us to change ourselves, our organizations, the communities we belong to and the whole world for the better. Charles Fowler is the coordinator of World Values Day and the campaign. The event involves people and organizations around the world.

[00:01:41] The aim: to raise awareness of the vital importance and values for individuals, organizations, and communities. Be encouraged to live your values more consistently and effectively. The UK Values Alliance is a collaborative organization that promotes awareness and the use of values in society. And it's the driving force behind World Values Day and other initiatives. It's all about seeking to promote a better understanding and practice of values.

[00:02:06] Welcome Charles Fowler. It's the fifth anniversary of World Values Day. What's surprised you since you started in 2016? 

Charles Fowler: What surprised me was how fast it's grown? We had absolutely no expectations when we started. We thought, well, is this really a good idea to be doing. You know, what might look like just another awareness day.

In fact, we think it's much deeper than that. The fact is there are so many wellness days. We looked at the calendar and there are literally hundreds, around the world.

Hopefully we're just at the beginning. In the five years it rose from after the first thing was good. We thought, well, 20 million people around the world, isn't that 

[00:02:33] Last year we reached seventy-five million around the world, which was tremendous, it's been a huge surprise.

That'scertainly made us feel we made the right decision. But it's not just about reaching the maximum number of people because that reach what we call a potential reach. Really. It's just people that have an awareness of what we're trying to say to them.

[00:03:22] What we're really trying to do is just pull people in every year, hopefully with more engagement into something that will make a difference to their lives. To all our lives. To get people more aware. People who are already aware of the importance of values and get them to do more. To spread the word and to put the values into action everywhere around the world, 

Michelle St Jane: Beautifully put. You have a theme. What is your process for choosing the theme for the year?  

Charles Fowler: [00:03:51] We started off with values for organizations. Then we wanted a theme, something with a different twist each year. The theme is important, it just adds a different flavor each year. Right. We did values and well-being. We've done values in the community.

[00:04:35] The way we choose it, first pick some ideas to float, test them out in the world, in values planning sessions, where all the activists are. The activist activists make it to our sessions throughout the year, pretty much every month.

Yesterday we start planning for the next one. Actually, at that stage, we're just asking them what they felt about the last campaign. What do they feel about the next campaign? Just in very general terms, everyone was saying variations on a reconnect.

They were saying it needs to be more about belonging. The divisions are so huge around the world, in our society, everything is quite difficult. People are talking, there are all sorts of threats and dangers. and we've got the Coronavirus. We’re all being in some ways brought together by this wonderful technology. Like zoom. But in other ways, obviously, we're being separated, being isolated, by being quarantined.

Charles Fowler:   Bringing people back together, and then we hit upon the word reconnecting, which just seemed to encapsulate what we wanted to do. Actually, it's an evergreen word really, because that would apply it to any, a campaign that we wanted to launch for values at any time, really? This year it seems particularly relevant. 

Michelle St Jane:   Absolutely. I just love the way it's being used for reconnecting with nature out in New Zealand, with Paul Ryken. [00:05:59] All these wonderful, wonderful ways that people are taking the word ‘reconnection’ that theme to plug the values gap as well.

Charles Fowler: [00:06:17] What we're saying is really reconnecting with ourselves first. If you don't connect with yourself, you don't practice values with yourself yourself, then how can you do it effectively with others?

It's reconnecting with ourselves, through values, reconnecting with others and reconnecting with the world. Reconnecting with nature too. So, reconnecting with our environment, the world around us, using values all the time. It's using values as a tool to recreate.

Michelle St Jane: Well said, Charles very well said. I confess I've been working on my values most of the last decade, determinately and deliberately. When World Values Day across my path, thank you for reaching out on LinkedIn, I was just so excited to look at ways I could support that. 

[00:06:56] For me in October the podcast is supported with four episodes, one a week, focused on values.

We're going to talk about your superhero with, Steve Payne and Alan Williams co-authors who've both written a book. We're going to talk about giving Voice to Values with Professor Mary Gentile. Of course, this episode with yourself, then we're finishing off with looking at values across the globe and the generations with the G8V20.

The V20 values committee gives a powerful voice from many different avenues to look at values. 

[00:07:36] On World Values Day, I'm going to be on Clubhouse, ♣️🏠: @michellestjane, involved in the values jam using a card deck that's aimed at having value-based conversations.

There are lots of events going on. I mean, would you like to speak to your favorites or the new ones?

Charles Fowler: So many events going on World Values Day. We've got the Valuesthon, which is something we started last year.

We really grouped together all the public events that are being run around the world, as opposed to private events that are being run by lots of organizations. In terms, but these are the public events, happening, starting with New Zealand in the morning, right through to, California, Vancouver, the west coast of America in the evening.

[00:08:19] This is a 36-to-40-hour series of events that are all about values, looking at values, all sorts of different ways. Run by all sorts of different organizers looking at values and the point of view of, children, of education, from the point of view of organizations of business, of poetry as well.

[00:08:43] Last year we had cookery, this year, we're going to have a follow up to that, which is do with values in terms of nutrition. How this really permeates every aspect of our lives. The value is on this series of rolling of values events reflecting that diversity really. But how do values apply everywhere in our lives, around the world? That's going to be fantastic. I think we're going to have more events than last year. We've got about 30 lined up.

[00:09:09] I think it's a multi-year project really trying to stimulate more and more volunteers to take part? To stimulate the volunteering activities generally in the US and around the world, that's run by an organization called Altruize, [00:09:23] who have technology which helps to recall the impact of the volunteering. Which is also obviously very good. 

[00:09:45] We've got, gratitude and kindness encounter happening. We've got an educational campaign, that's with Unilever. They are launching in the UK trying to encourage children and young people to change their behavior towards the environment.

They've commissioned research. Very interesting research that shows values have to be in the changes of behavior generally, including towards environment, have to be [00:10:09] embedded in values for them to stick. For that change of behavior, not to be just a short-term thing, which fades away in a very short time, but it has to be attached to the values of those people who are doing those values.

[00:10:29] We’ve got an initiative reconnecting with nature, which were so there's loads of them, the values. There's so many.

Michelle St Jane: [00:10:50] So why is this important? 

Well, there are graduate studies actually support that when you look after values and wellbeing and your people, not only do they perform better in your organizations, but they have a higher level of engagement satisfaction. What I find fascinating though, Charles is we are. Both barristers.

[00:11:15] We've both worked in the capital markets and investments, around the world. I see since 2002, you've been involved with the human values foundation and onwards, this such a strong list. This is a journey that you've been on until you got to World Values Day in 2016. I would love to hear, was there a pivotal moment? Was it by chance or choice that this really came to the forefront? 

Charles Fowler: [00:11:37] There were a series of moments, but there was a period of time and that was really to do getting involved with the human values foundation, which is the organization. You mentioned, who was on a mission is to use values in the educational context.

[00:12:03] They develop educational programs. For young and older children using values as tools to help them understand themselves better and to develop the interpersonal skills to better their social and community awareness too. All these personal development ready children can be such a powerful tool.

In my career, until then, I'd been a lawyer. I'd also been in financial services for many years and. In many ways, people unjustly tarnished those professionals as being lacking in values at times. I can totally understand why. There's been so many scandals around, finance, around business, even around the legal profession.

[00:12:26] I led a career which was essentially competitive. The value is, as I know I've seen them now, I wasn't really aware of them then. I wasn't thinking about them and looking back. I'm sure I made loads of mistakes and probably wrong turns doing things which, were not compatible with values I now hold.

[00:13:12] When I was invited to get involved with this charity, I just saw the impact of values on these children. But it didn't occur to me at that time, I'm obviously a slow learner. It took me a long time to learn, how not to be a lawyer, how not to be a financial services professional. It took me a long time to translate that perception, that values are really powerful and really helped children to develop themselves in all sorts of wonderful ways.

[00:13:32] It took me a long time to realize that it worked with grownups to. Obviously, grown-ups are a much, much tougher proposition. They don't take to the values, instinctively the way that children do. 

When I heard about the values assessment, a national values assessment that had been done in the UK, the same assessment has been run in something like 30 other countries including the U.S. Britain, Canada, Australia. I'm not sure about Bermuda. Essentially just about all the countries apart from Bhutan.

It was discovered that people had pretty good individual values. When I mean, what they call in the jargon intrinsic [00:14:14] values, you know, the values of compassion, the values of caring pro-social values.

The values we all know and love, rather than the antisocial that. While people themselves, the majority, have really good personal values. According to the survey, when asked about the values they saw in the society around them, their answers were really pretty grim. They talked about, use words like corruption, bureaucracy, blame, crime violence. wasted materialism, unemployment, conflict, aggression.

[00:14:44] All these words came tumbling out, painting a totally grim picture about the UK society. Which is where I'm based, but the same sort of results came out of surveys from almost all countries with very minor variations.

This was a big call to action. It really shocked me. It shook up everyone else who involved in the survey was run by Barrett Values Centre. It was decided by a lot of people that something had to be done about it. You know, we couldn't just stand by and see, you know, this is hard, it's horrible.

[00:15:15] We formed an organization in the UK called the UK values Alliance. and the objective of that was to raise awareness of the importance of values in all our lives and to encourage people to put them into practice.

Be aware of your own values and put those values into practice. Then after a while we thought, wow, so many people emerged to what already. Very active in this space. Lots of people using values in management, consultancy in life, coaching within big organizations, small organizations, those people, of course in professions like nursing, medical professions, doctors, teachers.

We were amazed really at the risk. which was, and still is very, very strong to that appeal. And we thought, well, you know, we don't want to just limit ourselves to trying to make a difference in the UK. Let's just, join up with all those people. That are already doing wonderful stuff around the world create a sort of showcase creator, movement campaign, something which will bring everyone together, where they could, join their strengths together, join their voices together, create more fuss and stir and noise, but really try and make a difference.

Not just, obviously, on one day a year, but really through the whole year.

Michelle St Jane: 2022, it's going to be your 20th year in and around this values moment, when you'll be able to look back and say, been there, got the sweatshirt, the water bottle. You have about 80 million along for the ride and growing. Well done.

You that's quite the contribution for sure. If you could have things all your way going forward. Let's say for just the next first year, the next one year, not 10, depending on how you think. I think in 20-year cycles. if you could have things all your way, Charles, what would you like to see happen in the next 12 months?

Charles Fowler: I would love to see really the level of enthusiasm and engagement that we get around well values and the run up to well values, day, all the stuff that's happening, with people individually, but also the stuff that's happening at all sorts of organizations around the world. People are joining in from everywhere over a hundred countries around the world, join in.

Actually, more than that, it's just the ones we can count. And all the organizations that join in the big organizations that run things in there, you know, the units around the world and their offices around the world, smaller organization, the corner shops and schools and hospitals.

I'd love to get all that energy and enthusiasm really carrying on through the, of course, people will be thinking about that. The rest of the time. Of course, there's organizations, we'll carry on caring about that as we hope all the rest of the year, but it would be great if we had initiatives and projects and things that were catalyzed by well, that is day that that would carry us through from one world radio station.

Now there were already beginning to. Aim for that. And to achieve that, I think some of the campaigns that we're launching this year, as you know, are going to be running, they're going to be perennial. They're going to be running for several years. So, you already have that in the past, but we won't just mold them and we want it to make a handbag.

We want values to be more become part of the participants, academics, get involved in. The people involved in governance, government, people involved in big organizations to carry on that conversation. 

We want to be friendly. We want to get more media involved too, and do, because we think we're sort of coming up to the time where we can start involving them. [00:18:45] My concern about that is, you know, the media thrives on bad news in a way. I hope my friends in the media will forgive me for saying this, but it does thrive on bad news. 

You know, when I look at news bulletins or read the newspapers, 66% of. Items that are running negative. 

Michelle St Jane: As a socio audio influencer, I like bringing the good news. [00:19:04] I don't mind speaking truth to power, let's give people hope and direction and lead by example and strengthen this area, which you do beautifully.

I want to thank you for contributing to this conversation for my community of global leaders. 

[00:19:19] Any last words as we wrap up. 

Charles Fowler: It's been wonderful talking to you, Michelle. Thank you so much for setting up this talk, it's been a lovely discussion. I'd love to do it again.

[00:19:22] Maybe we can do this, um, next year and thereafter, but we'll find new things to say. There are always new things to say about values. That's the wonderful thing about it.

Outro:  Dr. Michelle St Jane is a conscious steward as meaningful leadership in the world and the wider cosmos. Tune in for real talk around life, leadership, and your conscious journey. Be ready to create and cultivate your dreams and wholehearted desires. Your support is valued. Please follow, subscribe, leave a review and a rating. More importantly, share with your connections. .

Reach out.  I am interested to hear from you. Do you have a topic you'd like to explore? It would be great to have your feedback.

Dr. Michelle St Jane

Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey 

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Charles Fowler

Founder of World Values Day

The founder of World Values Day.