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23 Jun 2015

Winners of the Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage Awards Have Been Announced!

On Tuesday, June 16th the Research Liberation Front announced 7 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 four 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 7 award winners for the 2015 Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage Award are:

  •  Kristin Hickey, of kubi kalloo, formerly Rubi Cha Cha, for Continually Pushing The Boat Out
  •  Simon Lidington & Matt Lynch, of The Big Sofa for Putting All The Chips On The Table
  •  Dr Munqith Dagher, of IIACSS for Keeping Research Alive In Multiple Conflict Zones
  •  Richard Gilmore of Open Health, Being Radical In A Conservative Sector – for his work in pharmaceutical market research
  •  Darren Hanley, Hope & Anchor (UK), for Ignoring Client Resistance And Rejection
  •  Michelle Juni, MESH for Displaying Courage Under Pressure

This year’s distinguished panel of judges included Ashley Chauvin (Citi), Roberto Cymrot (Coca Cola), Kristin Luck (Sales and Marketing Strategy, Growth Hacking), Vanella Jackson (Global CEO Hall & Partners), Christine Walker (Alliance Strategic Research, Australia)

On the process of selecting the winners, Fiona Blades, MESH Founder and CEO, member of the Research Liberation Front and founder of the awards in 2011, said “Yet again we have been inspired by researchers who have demonstrated whether in developed markets or developing countries that the best research relies on individuals who take risks and keep pushing standards forward whether it is running projects at huge personal risk or refusing to take no for an answer. We are very grateful for the time given by our distinguished panel of judges, three of whom were able to be with us today.”

The event took place on the second afternoon of the Insight Innovation Exchange North America 2015 conference in Atlanta run by Greenbook, who have lent their support of this initiative to promote bravery to the research industry in their international IIeX events and in their online publication. KL Communications supplied the crowd sourcing platform on which nominations were placed.


For further information:

The Research Liberation Front was founded by John Griffiths, Fiona Blades and other research revolutionaries in 2007 with the mission “To set research free.”

The Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage Awards started in 2011 in honor of Virginia Valentine’s bravery and persistence in bringing semiotics to the market research industry.

The Insight Innovation Exchange conferences are run globally by Greenbook.

KL Communications provides the crowd sourcing platform for the awards.