The Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN) were involved in the most fantastic learning event last week. A sort of ‘How to’ guide to preventing Unintentional Harm and Injury – lots of committed community safety, health and community development professionals talking about how they could meet their shared vision to prevent wholly preventable awful things going wrong in our communities.

The event organisers (including us!) wanted to try different techniques to create and enable authentic conversations. A bit risky, a whole heap of fun and really informative – We used the open space technique and asked participants (with no prior warning) to make a pitch to the audience outlining something that really bugged them and they thought could be changed. Those ‘pitchers’ were then asked to lead discussions on the issues that mattered.

No surprises what those issues included – how to involve the private sector, what’s the role for the third sector, how to measure and evaluate different things were a few. What was surprising was the enthusiasm in the room to try a different thing and to come and pitch to a 120 strong audience, from the heart and off the cuff!

There was so much discussion, it’s not possible to cover it in a short blog – the graphic above might help – but, for me, the overarching take aways included –

  • an overwhelming sense of ‘we can do this’ in the room
  • a commitment to collaborative working and achieving joint outcomes
  • a real desire to take away barriers for front line professionals wanting to do what works
  • a challenge to the ‘authorising and approval’ hierarchy that we sometimes work in
  • a real call for action
  • putting people front and centre.

For SCSN, this is all good news and will undoubtedly inform our action plan and strategy for the next wee while. If you want to contribute to our thinking then you can get involved in our Your Network, Your Views consultation here.

For more about Building Safer Communities click here.