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Postcards from Scotland

VS: Inverness 19 September 2006

This one-day event, sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, was held on 19th September, 2006 in the spectacular Drumossie Hotel, Inverness. Participants were drawn from across the public and private sectors.

Professor Jim Hunter, a historian and former Chair of Highlands and Island Enterprise chaired the event and gave an introductory talk. The theme of his address was how the highlands has been transformed from a decaying backwater to a dynamic area which is now being held up as model of cultural and economic development.

Dr Carol Craig then introduced newcomers to the basic ideas behind Positive Psychology. Professor Phil Hanlon facilitated a big discussion on themes related to health and well-being and how we might overcome some of Scotland’s mounting health challenges. Alf Young of The Herald talked about the role of the press in Scottish negativity and how this might be overcome. In a second session Carol Craig also talked about how these ideas can be applied to improving organisations. Table discussions then ensued on how the various tools, tips and techniques supplied could be used in organisations.

A very engaging, final speech was given by Freda Rapson, a highly successful highland businesswoman. She spelled out her recipe for creating a positive climate for business success.

One of the main differences between the Glasgow and Inverness event is that at the latter event the Centre showed a new film it had acquired called Celebrate What’s Right with The World by the National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones. As far as we know this was the film’s Scottish premiere. The film went down extremely well. Click here for a preview of the film.


  • The lovely room the event was held in which had huge windows letting in lots of sun and views of the beautiful gardens.
  • Professor Jim Hunter’s learned and far-reaching introduction which included poetry from the Shetland Isles and aspects of highland history.
  • Positive Psychology. Most participants didn’t know much about the theory and evidence behind it and were so taken by the ideas presented by Carol Craig in her two sessions.
  • Professor Phil Hanlon’s facilitated session. He got people up and interacting with one another, took some interesting feedback and then built on this to get people into some of the big issues round Scottish health and well-being.
  • Alf Young’s critique of the Scottish media and whether the pains of economic restructuring had contributed to a pessimistic, but out of place commentary on the Scottish economy.
  • Freda Rapson’s interesting talk about her business, Jacobean Cruises.
  • The film. Celebrate What’s Right in the World was judged to be hugely inspiring. Given the content matter, people liked the fact that its Scottish premier was in the highlands.


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