After Eight

By Kenneth Fowler

After the eighth and final open session in Aberdeen this past Monday, I thought I’d write a short message to say a sincere thank you to everyone who came along to any of the sessions and who contributed to the debate. I’d also like to thank the 24 invited speakers who took the time to prepare for, and speak at the sessions so eloquently and provocatively.

I’d like to offer particular thanks to Pat Kane who hosted all of the sessions and has been/will be blogging his thoughts on them all, on this site.

Over the course of the sessions in Dundee, Edinburgh, Greenock, Inverness, Skye, Dumfries, Glasgow and Aberdeen, we have heard directly from more than 600 people working in the arts, screen and creative industries. A huge amount of thinking and ideas delivered with honesty and energy.

I found the sessions to be challenging and critical but also constructive and hugely positive. A great example of why open debate is so important in public life.

As Johnny Gailey, the artist who spoke at the session in Skye said on Twitter:

“Essentially, what is happening here is the opportunity to crowd source cultural policy.”

So, what happens next?

Over the coming week, we will be uploading all the content from the final three sessions, alongside Pat’s thoughts and interpretations. We aim to publish a summary report in early June highlighting all the key points raised at the sessions and the actions we propose to take as a result.

We will also be discussing the output from these sessions with our staff and with colleagues in Government, particularly in terms of the implications for the programme of change that is underway.

Finally, we will be hosting more of these sessions, perhaps in other parts of the country, later this year as well as looking at other ways of keeping the dialogue alive.

Please keep commenting on this site and using the #csopen hash tag as things evolve. All thoughts are valuable.

Best wishes,


"truth springs from arguments amongst friends" - David Hume

“truth springs from arguments amongst friends” – David Hume