Working with values and frames to accelerate positive change

Common Cause SA

Common Cause South Africa is a member of the global Common Cause Foundation network and consists of a growing group of people working to raise awareness about the importance of working with values to address some of the underlying structural causes of our social, ecological and economic injustices. This work draws on extensive collaboration with leading social psychologists from different countries.

Values, which are a driving force behind many of our attitude and behaviours, are expressed in most of what humans say and do. And some advertising, media, entertainment, business and political practices particularly, are often criticised for reinforcing undesirable values.

So-called intrinsic or compassionate values underpin a deeper concern for social and environmental issues, particularly bigger societal, or so-called ‘wicked’ or complex systems problems. Emphasising these values in a variety of ways motivates people and organisations to become more engaged in these big issues of our time.

Compassionate values are inherent in everyone, but we live in a society that often reinforces more selfish or extrinsic values; and this occurs at the expense of individual well-being, societal justice and cohesion, and our environment.

Giving voice to and strengthening compassionate values helps to widen and deepen our responses to a broad range of social and environmental challenges – from climate change to inequality. Indeed, it is difficult to foresee long-lasting and adequate responses to some of today’s most pressing challenges emerging without working to promote such values.

Common Cause provides a non-confrontational and positive framework for exploring values and how they work in society and shape it. Under ‘Resources’ and in the Common Cause Handbook you can read more about the research background and approach.

Read about the people behind Common Cause SA.