National Landscapes Forum
Convention on Platform Values & Principles
Our National Landscapes Forum (the platform) has been developed to enable inclusive collaboration across the network of AONBs. The platform is however only a tool, and what will make it truly inclusive and collaborative will be our behaviours as users.
To make the very best use of the tool, outlined below is a convention of standards for us all to work to. The
convention will also guide any interventions needed should a user’s activities contradict it. It is addressed to both AONB and NAAONB staff equally, as well as external platform members, and the same collaborative behaviours will be encouraged from all of us, and from all future users.
There is every reason for us to be working together around the urgency and necessity of our common task to conserve and enhance natural beauty and to respond to the challenges we face collectively.
free flow of information across the network of AONBs, and across hierarchies:open and transparent space1, enabling the
Respect: constructive debate and challenge are encouraged and essential to our work, but opinions
and disagreements should be expressed in a respectful way; no question is a silly question; no idea
is worthless; no discrimination of any kind will be tolerated;
B. The platform is a safe space for people to share thoughts and ideas with their peers and the wider network, and they should not be intimidated to do so:
Trust: the intention is to create a space where everyone feels confident that their voice will be heard
and listened to; every user can find ways that work best for them to collaborate and engage, and it is
up to us to collectively create such a culture of trust;
C. Given the multi-faceted nature of AONB work and the variety of structures of AONB teams, every person from an AONB should be able to see what goes on across the network, and not be restricted by their job
title from taking interest in a variety of topics:
Transparency: by default, there will be no exclusive forum areas, except for project work, where
an exclusive forum will provide an efficient way for project members to communicate and keep track
of conversations; if a particular matter requires a ‘private’ space, it will be assessed following these
- Is it a 'confidential' matter, not to be released beyond a handful of people (e.g. a government matter requiring confidentiality until an official announcement)?
- Or, it is a sensitive matter, that requires a closed discussion to ensure respect (e.g. perhaps discussion on financial matters, or others)?
If these criteria do not apply, users will be invited to use common forum areas.
D. The platform is there to increase collaboration across the entire network - conversations should be inclusive and take place in the common forum areas:
Inclusion: exclusive forums should only be used for what they were designed for, and general
discussions should happen on the open forums; everyone should be able to have access to
conversations and contribute if they wish to do so;
E. The platform represents a new way of working and will not replicate it’s predecessor ‘Basecamp’. Each of us is responsible for logging in regularly, checking relevant activity, and setting up 'watches' and email digest preferences that will allow us to harness opportunities to collaborate:
Collaborating proactively: we are only truly collaborative when we actively seek opportunities
to create synergies with colleagues across the network – this means we must all be proactive about
our involvement on the platform.
1 'Open and transparent' does not mean public - only registered users can access content, which will be categorised to distinguish between the 'community' (all AONB users) and external people (who will therefore have restricted and temporary access to specific content, depending on the nature of their involvement with AONBs / the NAAONB.