In May, Scene facilitated an entertaining and engaging ‘6 hats workshop’ on the island of Iona.
This is an established format which allows structured round-table discussion, enabling full participation and recording of opinion – even diametrically opposed opinion - in a non-confrontational manner. The discussions were led by the participating individuals, with the role of Scene to answer any technical questions which came up, but not to lead or shape the discussions. The responsibility for keeping the discussions on time and on topic was given to the children who attended, who hugely enjoyed being able to tell the adults what to do.
Following up on the 6 hat workshop, the format for the second community engagement event in October, was in the form of a drop-in, with information boards to set out the findings of the feasibility stage of the project, and round-circle discussions to explain in more detail specific elements of the proposals and allow details and issues to be explored. The intention was for the discussions to last half-an-hour, with different people coming along to the afternoon or evening sessions at times which suited them. In fact, the first attendee was there fifteen minutes before the start, the discussions were so engaged that many people stayed on for a second round of discussion, and both afternoon and evening events over-ran.
The discussions demonstrated a high level of understanding and engagement, and while many of the questions asked were probing, there was no opposition raised to any individual proposal, or to the overall strategy. Indeed, the local knowledge about previous systems helped highlight specific technical issues relating to installation and ongoing operation which would need to be considered as the detail of the proposals was developed.