Our Story

Welcoming Week SessionDialogWVD_Gbg2014Discussion @ Welcoming Week




On the 22nd of September 2012 the first World Values Day was had in Stockholm. It was all about promoting greater authenticity and passion through helping today’s and tomorrow’s leaders  (thats to say all of us) find their core values, their personal passions, and inspiring them to live these in their everyday lives. The pilot was led by two students from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), who took the initiative. Their personal stories had made them tired of the lack of passion and authenticity in the world. However, the story of World Values Initiative begins a lot earlier than that.

A man who had spent his life working in the industry, as both a leader and an entrepreneur, had grown tired of the competition, the short-sightedness and the lack of authenticity in business. Searching the literature out there and searching himself he found that promoting values, what you find important, had been the key to his success as a leader. He made it his personal mission to spread the values-based perspective to the world through his newly developed tool ValuesOnline. At the same time a young consultant and a young psychology-major both made personal journeys that led them to question the way people motivate themselves and others in the work place. The collision of these titans led to the most appreciated course at the executive program of the Stockholm School of Economics and eventually to the birth of another company, SelfLeaders. The titans managed to gather a council of enthusiasts (a.k.a. “The Council of Gandalf”) with the ambition to root this deep into industry and into academia, but were lost as to how to get momentum at the universities.

Serendipity had its way and the two students at KTH happened to sit in a lecture hall when the ex-consultant and co-founder of SelfLeaders walked in the room to talk about how the industry is run by tracking progress through the use of balanced score-cards. Not being able to help himself the consultant spoke about the possibility of a values-based tracking of progress and a something clicked in the two students. A meeting came about and an initial sketch of the first World Values Day (then called “Värderingsdagen”) came about.

A driven engineer at Chalmers, Gothenburg, happened to meet one of the initiators in Boston. With previous experience of ValuesOnline and having experienced the power behind the concept the engineer from Gothenburg was instantly sold on the concept. In 2013, World Values Day had spread to Gothenburg and the two days took place one week apart. The response to the concept was overwhelming and the students behind the growing initiative now quickly found they needed to offer more. World Values Day got in contact with like-minded people organisations such as Raoul Wallenberg’s Academy, Values Academy, the Scouts and Caring Group of Sweden. Backed by these great people the initiative expanded their offerings to hold monthly workshops, full-day events for the welcoming weeks and workshops with student organisations.

Shortly after, a group of students from the Technology Management-masters in Lund got news of the growing initiative from up north. This group of people had grown tired of the prestige and lack of realness at their program and under the name of TM-Impact had wanted to go against the flow. Fusing together with the initiative they spread World Values Day to Lund and held the first ever full-day event for the welcoming weeks, all in the first year. The impact on the new students was incredible: Greater motivation for their studies and greater resistance to peer-pressure.

Our purpose is to create spaces and experiences to empower people to find and live their own true selves, today! Today we span 3 three regions, 6 universities and reach more than 1500 people each year! We want to do ourselves justice and so we launch World Values Initiative as the umbrella to keep it all together!

Our Concept is based on

non-normativity, meaning we do not judge any one’s values because that is what they are driven by.

We work experience-based, meaning less talk, more testing, trying and reflecting

We love story-telling, because stories have unique ways of connecting with us and helps us understand things in their context.


Robert af Jochnick WVD2014 Audience Sharing @ WVD2014