Sharing Our Strengths, Streching Our Vision: 3rd National Co-production Conference

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On April 23rd 2014 the Joint Improvement Team, the Scottish Co-production Network, the ALLIANCE, Skilled Workers, Skilled Citizens invited over 200 guests to to the 3rd National Co-production Conference in Scotland.

The event, held in Pollock Halls in Edinburgh, aimed to build upon the progress that co-production has made in the last year, as well as take the next steps in placing co-production at the forefront of how we work. We hope you were able to attend - but don't worry if not, we'll be updating this page with all of the images, information and tweets from the day!

Welcome and opening remarksWorkshops and open space discussion - 
Bringing it all together - Videos from the daySocial Reporting 

Welcome and opening remarks

fiona.jpgTo kick off the day our chair Fiona Garven, Director of the Scottish Community Development Centre and Co-Chair of SCN, shared with delegates the process of designing the event which had received a fantastic response from network members and helped shape a rich programme of workshops, exhibits, study visits and open space. Fiona asked three questions for delegates to reflect on throughout the day:

• Do we share a common understanding of co-production, what is needed to make it work?
• Has co-production changed the way we do things in Scotland? 
• How are we sharing our strengths and stretching our vision beyond involvement?

These questions reflect the changing nature of co-production in Scotland and the significant progress that has been made so far in taking co-production forward.

Fiona introduced the speakers for the day, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Alex Neil MSP and Professor Jim McGoldrick, Chair of the Joint Improvement Team partnership board.

Mr Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing

Untitled.pngAlex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, began the day by stating that co-production and community capacity building are central elements to Scottish Government policy, which recognises the need to invest in changing the way services are planned and delivered towards those based on partnership between service sectors, users, carers and providers. He spoke about the progress made in the Reshaping Care for Older People Change Fund and its work in promoting preventative care and the importance of the third sector's involvement.

He also launched Scotland's Active and Health Ageing Action Plan: 'Somewhere to go and something to do', which is part of the European Innovation Partnership - its aim of improving the health and wellbeing of all older people in Scotland.

Finally, he touched on the implications for co-production as part of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act and its work around integration, involving people and communities in planning and decision making process and how this legislation will work together with the cultural changes in the way public services are delivered. 

Professor Jim McGoldrick, Chair of the Joint Improvement Team partnership board 

dfdf.jpgMr Neil MSP was followed by Professor Jim McGoldrick, Chair of the Joint Improvement Team partnership board where he reflected on what has been achieved so far, looking at how the work being carried out is moving us towards the tipping point where the principles of co-production are accepted simply as the way things are done.

He provided examples from the Change Fund, the support that JIT has provided in developing local initiatives and the growth the Scottish Co-production Network which now has more than 540 members. He also highlighted the work of The ALLIANCE and the People Powered Health and Wellbeing Programme, the Skilled Workers, Skilled Citizens programme and its asset based approach to workforce development.

Finally, he highlighted the wealth of work that was being carried out by delegates in the room and looked forward to hearing more about it.

One more thing!


To get people in the mood for sharing ideas and asking questions, Skilled Workers, Skilled Citizen’s Nick Wilding asked delegates to take a moment for some reflection. With each person given a handy label, he asked them to write down one thing they had to contribute to the day and one thing question they wanted to ask other delegates.

These labels were then collected and displayed (pictured), giving a brilliant insight into the different perspectives and expectations for the day. The Scottish Co-production Network's Co-ordinator Olivia Hanley explains their use:

Workshops and open space discussion

small1.jpgAs part of the conference we asked colleagues, partners and members of the co-production network to join is planning the activities of the day. After lots of fantastic responses we had with a series of workshops, open spaces and exhibits that covered a wide range of topics and, more importantly, brought together the expanse of expertise, experience and best practice related to co-production in Scotland.

Delegates were asked to select a themed workshop or join a free form open space discussion.

Workshop sessions

The workshops were very well recieved, a testement to the experience and skills that each facilitator brought with them. They were wide-ranging in theme, from all across the country as well as interactive - giving a chance for participants bring their experiences, contribute and ask questions. 

Links underlined have the relevant presentaiton available to download.

Morning sessions:

Afternoon sessions:


Open space discussions

These sessions were featured a selection of discussions which were led by delegates. People involved were free to lead, listen to and participate - with some fantastic results. There was great discussion and exploration in these sessions.

Bringing it all together

230414Alliance119.jpgOnce workshops were complete, delegates gathered to reflect on the day, and heard contributions form the graphic faciltiators and social reporter, which you can read below.

Delegates shared a number of comments, around the role of co-production in society in relation to the role of the sate and the changing political landscape; the need to stretch co-production beyond the delivery of public services, and into the wider economic system; around how we take our leaninng a step further where co-production is core to how we get things done; and about the importance of relationships and the need to think at both a personal level, and across boundaries in our roles.

Graphic facilitation


One way to reflect was by the use of graphic facilitators. Listening along throughout the day, they brought together the ideas and themes of the opening speeches, the workshops discussions and the open space conversations.

Being in lots of places at once is a tough job! But they managed to produce a really striking and useful display which gives a excellent overview of the day and the discussion. 

Graphic facilitation was provided by Clare Mills with support from Ellis. She reflected on the themes that had emerged throughout the day of involving people, the 'gifts' that people bring to a process, the samples of good practice, the need to focus on 'soft outcomes' not 'hard targets' and also how personal stories help illustrate differernt ways of sharing power.

Clare speaks a little about the work of a graphic facilitator in the video below.

 And here's one of the two graphics fully complete!


You can view large versions of the first graphic here and the second one here.

Videos from the day

As part of the social reporting, short video interviews were collected from organisers and delegates - providing some brilliant insight into what people were bringing to the day. View them below!


Social Reporting

Below you can see all of tweets, videos and photos from day! Taken by our on hand social media reporter Rosie Hope McIntosh.