The Silent Launch – First Speaker Announced!

The first of our series of speakers at The Silent Launch has been revealed! We are proud to announce that we will be joined by Jo Horton, Program Manager at Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program & Director of Go Jo.

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Currently the Program Manager of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at The University of Edinburgh, she is also the Director of Go Jo and Cofounder of Penny in Yo’ Pants, CycleHack, TEDxPortobello, TEDxUniversityofEdinburgh, and Tbilisi’s first ever Race for the Cure. She is also on the board of Tribe Porty and Edinburgh Tool Library.

Johanna has spent over 15 years creating cultures, programmes, and experiences that are rooted in values.  She has worked all over the world and across numerous sectors including higher education, international development, active transport, sports & culture, and design.

If you would like to hear Jo, and our brilliant line up of speakers, join us for The Silent Launch on 29 January 2018 by registering now.

Breakfast Club – Don’t you forget about us!

The breakfast club had been meeting for about six months now and we thought it might be timely to remind you when we meet and what we meet for!

coffeeThe breakfast club is open to anyone who sees them self as a mischief maker. Do you like to try new things at work? Do you like to question process to make improvements? Do you try and bring more fun and creativity into what you do? Or do you just want to meet people who are doing this and more at work?

Then the breakfast club is for you!

A festival of fire and ice

As winter arrives, many of us are drawn to the magic of making fires. Personally I love this time of year. There is something about the stark beauty of the landscape, stripped back and illuminated by winter sun, with breath taking glistening frost. It feels elemental in the way that fire, light and dark play with our senses, providing an opportunity to take stock, reflect, let go and prepare for what emerges in the new year.

The upcoming Fire Starter Festival  provides an opportunity for us to share what we personally and collectively what we want to leave behind, and share some of the small fires of change we have ignited. And given that we are holding it in the last week in January (23rd – 30th) there is a strong chance of snow and ice as well as all of our fires! fire-snow

Already we have fourteen events open for registration, with the same number almost ready to be ignited. It’s wonderful to see the energy and enthusiasm of so many colleagues across public services, evidencing a paradigm shift in how we collectively share ideas, resources, and reimagine the future of public services in Scotland.

Here’s a small sample of what’s on offer but please do check out the Eventbrite Page and watch as the small fires of change emerge over the next few weeks.

How do you light your fire?

This is a question that seemed to dominate my holiday with my new (to me) camper van as my partner and I weaved our way through the Highlands.

Lighting fires isn’t just a lovely addition to a camping holiday, it’s a necessity to ward of the millions of midges intent of eating campers alive. However it is my favourite pastime, and one that I have been giving a lot of thought to both in terms of the practical skills needed to light fires but also metaphorically in relation to public service transformation and leadership and what it takes to create and sustain change: the underpinning aim of the Fire Starter Festival.

There were several things that occurred to me when walking around camping sites and beaches about fire starting. Everyone has their own techniques in terms of preparation – the styles of laying the foundations for fires are diverse and somewhat related to future purposes. Is it a fire that lots of people will be sitting around, or one for cooking, hence the use of flat stones or one where the stones will be used later on for warming up the inside of a tent (my own personal tip for wild camping)?  There was also a much admired technique of building a wall of slightly damp wood around the fire that both acted as a shelter and a means of drying out the wood. Neat. So, having a sense of what purposes your fire may serve is essential but also recognising that these can change over the course of an evening – keep it going to ward of midges.

Play: a serious role in organisational transformation?

The role of creativity has long been established as pivotal to individual, organisational and business development. Scotland’s national learning creativity plan highlights that creativity is needed to see things differently, find new approaches to the challenges we all face, and understand how it can shape our future.

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What about the role of play? Is it the same as creativity? Does it have a role in organisational change? I’ve been pondering this for some time, particularly in relation to the challenge of how we move from what is already known (and which we know doesn’t work) to finding new solutions. We recognise that we need to change, but how do we leave the old ways behind and explore the borderlands to something new: the unknown? We need to be more creative – but how?