Hopkins Van Mil: Creating Connections Ltd (HVM) is about engagement to gain insight. The team creates safe, impartial and productive spaces in which to explore and gain an understanding of people’s views on the content which matters to them, to stakeholders, and to society. We work flexibly to build trust.  HVM has extensive experience in preparing for, designing and facilitating effective deliberative processes. We hold a lens up to issues which are contentious, emotionally engaging and on which there are a broad range of viewpoints that need to be taken in to account.

The HVM team is continually inspired by methodologies which:

  • Enable rich and meaningful engagement on the issues for which society has as yet no clear answers

  • Test public attitudes, hopes, fears and challenges on themes as diverse as genetic technologies, nuclear energy, health, food and the environment

  • Facilitate a dynamic exchange between those who bring their lived experience and those who work in the policy arena.

Our strongly empathetic team create an ideal space for uncovering views, wherever events are held and whatever the participants bring to the session. A recent independent evaluation of the public dialogue on genetic technologies commissioned by the Royal Society highlighted the value in our small light of foot team which continuously strives to use elements such as event photography, filming/ editing of vox pops, and creative design techniques to increase the impact the findings have. 

One of the strengths of the programme was the delivery by a small versatile senior team...The experienced and warm facilitation style, and team continuity across events resulted in very positive group dynamics. Sensitive handling of individuals with special needs or who might have dominated meant that participants all felt they had found their voice and been heard.
— Anna MacGillivray, Ursus Consulting