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Postcards from Scotland

Suggestions and comments generated at the event

Suggestions and comments generated at the Postcards for Scotland event 28th February 2013

Everyone was asked to form small groups and then come up with ideas for the following question –

Wouldn't it be great if …

We explore what's working – galvanise this energy in urban areas
We had a political system that represents …
You (Postcard from Scotland authors) came to our communities
We got more people to read the books in social enterprises
The books were used by book clubs as a basis for discussion
We gave the books to politicians, local government leaders, unis, schools
People could get training in how to sustain community bodies (something being done by the Iona community)
We had videos of the talks to use in communities
We could get debating clubs using these ideas
We used social media to spread the books' messages, particularly twitter
We encouraged 1,000 conversations in Scotland on these ideas
We involved existing organisations, clubs, churches in conversations and to spread the ideas
People became 'ambassadors' for Postcards from Scotland
We encouraged parents' groups to discuss materialism
People volunteered to help
We had advice from young people
We put clips on Youtube of community projects
We could provide a menu of help for running specific projects (eg how do you save your local church)
We were able to do something similar to the Citizens movement which includes a broad swathe of life
We involved libraries

People were asked individually to put down some ideas/comments on a postcard:

General comments
Twitter will not save the world!!!
Social media sounds exciting!!
Make the books relevant to those who don't want to talk about broad ideas
Would be better if charitable venture
Ideally charitable but not vital
Use a few anarcho-syndicalist methods to grab attention  especially via social media

Strapline (One for the evening was Creating a  momentum for cultural and environmental change)

Strapline needed but shorter
Accessible strapline required
Strapline yes but perhaps several
Strapline proposal – Scotland's movement for well-being (SMFWB)
Strapline proposal – Developing the potential

People to involve/target

Parents councils
Parent groups via nurseries' meet-ups
Netmums – could advertise local conversations
Iona community – has over 12 small local groups in the UK and they would be interested in DVD focussing on these issues
Primary schools – give the children access to resources and activities which they could take home and involve parents/grandparents/neighbours in discussions
High school resource linking to Curriculum for Excellence e.g. responsible citizens through modern studies
CLD partnerships – hundreds of local groups
Link to current courses – e.g. Health issues in the community or new WEA resources ie political democracy

What we need/need to do
A website where resources are available; people can sign up for updates – a resource that we can say -  'check it out'
An info sharing tool such as www.theplacestation.org.uk
Perhaps distil the books, or processes into visual forms for low literacy recipients? Postcards perhaps
Get unis, college departments to undertake a media project which would help us with the website etc.
Attract the interest of a BBC or media film series maker
Undertake lots of publicity
Wean ourselves off grants
Get these ideas on schools' agenda but not examinable
Organise a leaders/ambassadors training day
Make the 1,000 conversations time limited to get a groundswell – eg 'a Scotland for the future' week
Use social media – twitter and facebook
Keep the academic side and interest universities but make it practical

Potential topics for future books

Developing Community – 'an Almanac of different models'
Living simply – simple pleasures, away from consumerism, respect for environment and animal rights, Quakers' testimony
Addictions – the real stories lots of addicts would write
How to sustain educational attainment in areas of social deprivation where it is 'not cool' to be aspirational after a certain age
People with disabilities in Scotland – cf people with communication disabilities
How do we (re)discover authentic neighbourliness as the norm??
Materialism in education (parents, primary school children)
The meaning of life
What would help to reduce violence and aggression in Glasgow
Politics – a new paradigm
Sustainable growth
Sectarianism/multi-cultural violence
So Say Scotland – participative democracy
View from an activist who goes on a journey and the lessons learned
Changing group psychology
Rethinking Scotland – Connecting the dots for a better future
Engaging the disengaged
Social enterprise
The power of hobbies
Fragility and vulnerability are strengths and not just weaknesses

Potential writers

Alastair McIntosh
Ewan Aitken
Professor Steve Reicher

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