The Flourish programme explores how design can enable a flourishing society and give voice to marginalised and invisible people and communities. Flourish: Personhood and Collective Wellbeing was seed-funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute in 2014, and involved doctors in primary and secondary care, clinicians, chaplains, and social care professionals in a series of participatory design inquiries to frame complex civic challenges. We developed asset-based approaches to identify existing skills, talents and capabilities within communities, and devised creative ways to share these strengths with others.
This initial project informed our partnership with the Scottish Government for the Scottish Leaders Forum (SLF). Our team carried out a programme of creative engagements to encourage dialogue about potential opportunities to improve equality and economy and transform public services in Scotland. Around 160 members attended the event and discussed how to overcome challenges using creative leadership and enable more participation in decision-making.
With a focus on contributing to discussions around Scotland’s National Performance Framework, the findings and insights from the initial phase of Flourish were presented at a conference and exhibition at The Scottish Parliament. The SLF generated actions and pledges for further work, particularly through forming collaborative groups – Creative Collectives. It also created a platform for the development future events, such as the Future Leaders Forum, and embedded creative practice as a new way of thinking in government.