Co-creating our values and behaviours

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk has written to all staff ahead of the launch of The Big Leeds Conversation.

The Big Leeds Conversation

Dear Colleagues,

Over the course of the next three months, I will be inviting you to take part in a series of discussions called The Big Leeds Conversation – a place for us to co-create our values and define the behaviours we want everyone to uphold. 

By creating and upholding new shared values together, we can shape our next decade to realise our full potential, and build a positive, fairer future for all in our University and wider world.

Watch this short video to hear why it’s important for us all to take on this challenge together. 


Your part in The Big Leeds Conversation

I am committed to making sure that everyone has a voice in creating our future values and behaviours. That’s why I am inviting all staff, students and postgraduate researchers to take part in The Big Leeds Conversation.

We’re partnering with the independent organisation Clever Together, who will host and facilitate The Big Leeds Conversation to help us co-create our new values through digital crowdsourcing methods. ‚ÄčThe platform is like an online virtual room or discussion forum that you can join from any internet-connected device, at any time to suit you, and have your voice heard.

Staff, students and postgraduate researchers will each have separate, online spaces to collaborate and share ideas.

What happens next

On Monday 12 July, I will write to you again and invite you to join our first Big Leeds Conversation. Shortly after, you’ll receive an email from Clever Together with your login details. 

In this first conversation we’ll discuss:

  • the behaviours we should expect of each other, as well as those we should not tolerate; 
  • what we enjoy about working or studying here at Leeds; and
  • how we can become a values-led University. 

You’ll be able to share your views, make comments and ‘up vote’ and ‘down vote’ ideas from others that you agree or disagree with.

If you are part of the Facilities Directorate and have opted into text message updates, your login details will be sent to you by text from FD UniLeeds. Anonymous, paper-based questionnaires are also being provided for colleagues who do not have access to a University email address or access to the internet.

Our collective views from this first conversation will be used to develop a draft framework of values and behaviours. In the autumn, we’ll launch our second Big Leeds Conversation in which everyone will be invited to check and challenge this draft framework and say what they feel is ‘strong’, ‘wrong’ or ‘missing’.

A safe space to share and challenge ideas

The Big Leeds Conversation is an anonymous online conversation, providing a safe space for you to have your say. This is very important as it gives you the confidence to speak freely.

When you are invited to join the conversation, you will be asked a few short survey questions before you access The Big Leeds Conversation. It is your choice how much personal information you want to share – this information is collected by Clever Together so they can better analyse the views shared in the discussions, and to demonstrate reach and diversity of voice when building our draft values and behaviours framework. It will not be used to identify you or what you share within the conversation.

This exercise – a first of its kind at this scale at Leeds – is an exciting and new way for us to come together as a community, and I am really looking forward to working with you and co-creating our values.

Please watch out for my next email on Monday 12 July when we open our first Big Leeds Conversation!

With best wishes,

Simone Buitendijk

Vice-Chancellor, University of Leeds

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