I want to create change in the voluntary sector by bringing imagination, creativity and fresh ideas to the way that we carry out and disseminate social research. My passion lies in exploring human attitudes, perceptions, feelings and values. These are not easily quantified and lend themselves to a deep inquiry that illustrates the messy complexity of human existence. A creative starting point embraces curiosity, takes us into the realm of metaphor, and provides new avenues for expression while bringing in new and often unheard voices.
As a qualitative researcher working for many years in the voluntary sector I have seen countless lengthy, written reports churned out and widely disseminated, but which often fail to resonate with the public or draw in a wider audience. They may be wholly credible, robust and evidence-based, but without tapping into our emotions and evoking empathy these reports frequently lack the impact they set out to achieve.
There are many ways to bring greater creativity into a more inclusive and participatory research process. I will use this blog to explore and evaluate creative and arts-based research methods and to share innovative ideas. I also want to demonstrate the power of using visual outputs to stir the imagination and the telling of human stories to build empathy.
Creative approaches to research bring authenticity and generate compassion. My aim is to play a role in unlocking greater creativity in social research, which will in turn lead to lasting social change.