The most advanced initiative is one to explore Regional Policy Collaboration; involving stakeholders with an interest in futures analysis to support policy development form the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Critically, this initiative will utilise Fujitsu’s innovative FutureScape package to help the stakeholders visualise the future for the chosen issue. The issue – or in this case question we have chosen to answer through a collaborative futures process is:
What are the social and economic opportunities presented by an aging population in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales?
One of interesting debates we have had as a project team is to consider what boundaries we should set, as the system around the aging issue is large and complex.
The success and momentum built up around this project has been dependent upon:
- Paying attention to initial connecting between the stakeholders
- Placing the Belfast FAN Club meeting at the heart of the first deliverable – an overview of futures work relating to demographics in each of the three devolved administrations
- Holding regular telephone conference calls to jointly discuss current issues and agree next steps
- A supportive sponsor – in this case, the Horizon Scanning Centre
- A focus on an issue of shared importance - in this case aging
- A desire to promote the effectiveness of collaboration and futures work within the stakeholders’ own organisations
Our overall project plan includes provision for a number of workshops (the first scheduled for 4th February, 2010), ongoing collaboration between workshops and a presentation of the initiative to a full FAN Club meeting in May 2010.
The workshop we are currently planning for in February will look like this:
- Introduction – Setting the context for the day.
- Connecting – Personal introductions, sharing our expectations and assumptions about the day and the overall project.
- Contracting – Formally scoping the work, agreeing roles, responsibilities, making commitments, identifying risks and opportunities, setting joint objectives and identifying success factors.
- Collaborating – Creating an initial FutureScape model.
- Closing – Review and actions.
One of the challenges that we have addressed is how to share information. Initially, we used Huddle to share information about the project but with the support of the National School of Government we are developing a community space on the Strategy Exchange that will be used to share project management information and content. The Strategy Exchange will also be one of the channels we use to share the progress of the Collaboration Programme.
Next time, I’ll talk about one of the other work-streams.
PS Please contact me with any questions or comments about this work or about collaborative working generally.