Our aim is to help people in Scotland to conduct respectful and dignified conversations about our future – locally, nationally and internationally.
Collaborative Scotland is a not for profit wholly unaligned joint venture of Core Solutions with partner organisations and others in Scotland who wish to see more effective, thoughtful and constructive consideration of issues which matter to people in Scotland.
Funding and resources for infrastructure is provided by Core and other private donors. Funding and resources for individual projects and initiatives comes from our partners in these. The initiative is led by John Sturrock QC, Senior Mediator and Founder at Core Solutions, along with a group of informal advisers. Our first patron is international mediator and renowned author, our very good friend, Ken Cloke.
Collaborative Scotland was launched in 2013 in the run up to the Scottish independence referendum in 2014. It held a number of events before and after the referendum, with a focus on respectful dialogue and cooperation, while seeking to transcend a binary, adversarial approach to the issues. After a period in abeyance, there have been a number of events in 2017 to encourage open discussion of the implications of Brexit and the prospect of a second independence referendum.
The Commitment to Respectful Dialogue:
Collaborative Scotland has promoted the Commitment to Respectful Dialogue as the primary articulation of what it stands for. This gained support and publicity in 2014 and remains a touchstone for the work going forward. Its current expression is found here.
Our main purpose is to help people to acquire the skills to engage with civility and dignity in discourse about difficult topics on which they hold diverse views. Through acquisition of skills comes competence and thus confidence. Thus, our objective is to encourage better conversations through respectful dialogue in the expectation that out of this will come better solutions to some of the most difficult issues we face nationally and locally, corporately and individually.
Collaborative Scotland is a catalyst for bringing people and groups together. We see our role as that of a facilitator, providing support and our experience as “third siders”, mediators and facilitators, to enable others to take discussions forward and to lead and implement initiatives. Some of this may seem countercultural and counter-intuitive, and that in itself is part of we are about.
As we mention above, the role is a catalytic one. Measuring success includes consideration of the quality and value of participation in the process as much as any policy changes which may emanate. It’s about the journey rather than the outcome.
None of this is designed to stifle expression of differences of view. Indeed, our main purpose is to help people to acquire the skills to engage with civility and dignity in discourse about difficult topics on which they hold diverse views. Through acquisition of skills comes competence and thus confidence. Thus, our objective is to encourage better conversations through respectful dialogue in the expectation that out of this will come better solutions to some of the most difficult problems we face nationally and locally, corporately and individually.
Specifically, we focus on how to build better relationships and more effective communication among people who hold different views and on how to gain much better understanding of underlying issues and multiple perspectives. This should enable participants to seek to identify more common ground and shared interests, enhancing exploration of innovative and constructive options for progress and encouraging clarity about criteria for decision-making and bench marking success.
Empowering others to become more effective handlers of differences, disputes and other problems is a worthy aim in itself. Enabling communities and other groups to work more effectively together as they face challenges is as important as any outcome which may emanate. Wide participation will be encouraged, regardless of regardless of perceived position, status or location.
However, given the inevitable limitations of resources, we must necessarily be selective in what we do.
One focus of activity is seeking to work with those engaged in the political process in Scotland as elected representatives and their support structure. We seek to encourage aspiration and to enhance excellent performance with an emphasis on reflection rather than criticism or holding to account. Another focus will be to work with identifiable local… Continue reading Primary Activities