Earlier this year I approached the Committee with a concept that had been whirling round in my brain for a bit. The idea got an enthusiastic welcome, so we set about organising a pilot.
It would be good, I argued, to find out what the rising stars of qualitative research thought about the industry, AQR, career structures, new thinking... After all, isn't that where the future lies? And wouldn't it also be good, I said, to give them some form of recognition and the chance to talk to their peers?
I invited a relatively small number of companies to nominate members of staff who fit our criteria then drew their names out of a hat to ensure fairness. The companies concerned paid a small sum, AQR the rest. We ended up with six researchers, who met at the Zetter Town House (fantastic cocktails!) and then moved on to the Modern Pantry for supper and a moderated discussion. The food was great, the conversation even better.
It's taken a fair amount of work to get this far, and I'd like to thank Vanessa Rogers, Lesley Thompson and Simon Riley for all their hard graft along the way. Where are we going to go with it? Well, that's the next question and will be debated at the first meeting of the new AQR Committee. Those who attended, as you'll see from the video, are enthusiastic and keen for a follow-up.
As pilots go, it's been very encouraging. Watch out for phase two of Young Guns!
This article was first published in InBrief magazine, July 2012
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2012