Client: Valuing Nature Network

VNN BRIDGE linking environmental values and decision-making

The Valuing Nature Network (VNN) BRIDGE project linked environmental values to decision-making by policy-makers, businesses and the third sector. BRIDGE investigated the relationship between the ‘supply of’ and ‘demand for’ evidence on the value of nature. Placewise was commissioned by the Valuing Nature Network to design and run a series of four facilitated workshops that brought together academics, government representatives and industry practitioners.

The four workshops consisted of:

  • A scoping workshop with 40 participants
  • A ‘Values’ workshop with 20 participants
  • A ‘Decisions’ workshop with 20 participants
  • A synthesis workshop with 40 participants

Each workshop aimed to develop a transdisciplinary hub of researchers and decision-makers. The workshops focused on addressing specific environmental challenges identified in UK government policy.

Best-practice participatory techniques were used to:

  1. maximise interaction and learning between the different disciplinary perspectives and between academics and decision-makers
  2. establish a common language and theoretical approach across different disciplines
  3. develop a sense of ownership of the processes and outputs
  4. provide outputs that were immediately useful for publication in academic and practitioner journals.

Placewise facilitated the workshops around a series of bespoke activities. These activies included mapping social networks before and after the workshops, ‘speed updating’ and short presentations on relevant topics.

From the workshops 5 key themes were identified. These themes focused on issues that limit the uptake of value evidence by decision-makers. The themes also provided a guide for areas to focus on in future research. The five themes were:

  1. Broadening values beyond economic criteria
  2. Adapting valuation so that includes all stakeholders
  3. Understanding values and beliefs and how they link to risk
  4. Making evidence accessible
  5. Institutional obstacles and how to make decision-making more transparent


Valuing Nature Network

Workshop summary: Bridging the gap between values and decision-making