For some time now, Scotland has been building towards empowered communities with the Scottish approach to public services centred on collaboration with our citizens. We have a person-centred agenda at the heart of all we do through, for example, Self-directed Support and Realistic Medicine, as well as community empowerment. With this powerful agenda, we have much to do to turn learning into actions for sustainable change.

Professor Toby Lowe and his colleagues at Centre for Public Impact (CPI) have brought together a wealth of emergent thinking around change in a complex system. This thinking resonates strongly with the improvement work both of Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and Iriss. This led us to jointly commissioning CPI to develop a guide and set of tools, which provide people across health and social care with practical guidance on implementing change. Based on our learning to date, we are confident that this can truly shape a system that actively learns and adapts with our complex world, and creates the conditions for each of us to be supported to live our best lives.


Prof Toby Lowe talking about the key components of Human Learning System and content from ‘The practical guide for the curious’ (click on link to download)

 “….moving away from the idea that managers job is to control performance to the idea that managers jobs (are) to enable this kind of action learning at every single system scale….”

Simon Lynch, Faciliator, SBC talking about

“ (an HLS approach to a grant programme) fitted to any situation with only limited changes that offers grants and benefits …..people at a service user level delivery scale, program scale, strategic scale”

Please click through for the full details of the Scottish Borders Grant Programme


Mark Smith, Director of Public Reform, Gateshead Council talking about

“my advice to leaders is embark on strong methods of change that change your thinking”

Biddy Kelly, Managing Director of Fresh Start & Lead on NESSie project, Edinburgh, talking about

“we can.. provide the strong compelling intelligence that that will hopefully allow statutory bodies to change the system because the system doesn't work for people- we keep putting them around this revolving door”

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Slides from the event can be downloaded here