Demystifying Shared and Social Values

This brief review introduces key concepts and approaches surrounding shared and social values for, of and about the natural environment. The review was authored by Jasper Kenter (University of York).

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Topics Covered:

  • What are shared and social values?
  • Why and when do they matter?
  • How to assess shared and social values
  • How to navigate the plurality of values
  • The Life Framework of Values
  • Case examples
  • Key implications for decision makers


Shared and social values have been recognised as an important value stream within the Valuing Nature Network since its inception. Through the Valuing Nature Network and Valuing Nature Programme, the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) and its follow-on, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and other UK and international initiatives, recent years have seen substantial development of shared and social value concepts and methods reflected in this new paper in the ‘Demystifying’ series. The paper in particular acknowledges the 45 collaborators who contributed to the UK NEA follow-on shared values guide for decision-makers and a recent social values synthesis publication in Sustainability Science funded by the Valuing Nature Programme.

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