As this site recognises there are many forward thinking groups and individuals. Below we list some of these forward thinking groups who are known to us at this point in time. There will be many more; if you know of others that should be included please do notify Gordon Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org) Inclusion in this list does not imply that they have signed up to the Unreasonable Learners, just that their thinking and efforts are worthy of consideration.
We have only just started populating this page – there are many other forward thinkers still to be included.
The format of this page is to provide a list, with a link to a short introductory description which in turn provides the URL to their particular site.
Local People Leading
The Centre for Confidence and Well Being
Object: The object is to advance the education of the public in the field of cognitive psychology, particularly in relation to cognitive processes and techniques to enhance problem solving and increase confidence, optimism, life-satisfaction and happiness.
Mission:The Centre’s mission is to help bring about a transformation in Scottish culture so that it supports more:
• Optimism (for self, others and Scotland).
• Self-belief (an important ingredient in ‘can-do’ attitudes).
• A ‘growth mindset’ (essential for people to realise their potential).
• Resilience (required in helping people keep going when life is difficult).
• Positive energy (essential for relationships, team working and collaboration).
• Sense of purpose/meaning (important for motivation and well-being).
• Giving (an anti-dote to a ‘me’ centred world and a source of personal energy and inspiration).
• Wisdom (important for good decision-making and leadership and for advancing the confidence agenda).
For Further information visit their web site: http://www.centreforconfidence.co.uk/index.php
Keeping the Door Open
This is an organisation concerned with the abuse of drugs and alcohol in Scotland. It is lead by Mike McCarron – email: email@example.com You can view some of his video discussions by going to Film Exchange on Alcohol and Drugs (FEAD) at www.fead.org.uk In particular The Scotland’s Future’s Form and the Systems Approach (4 minutes) at http://www.fead.org.uk/video121/Mike-McCarron-on-Scotland’s-Futures-Forum-and-the-systems-approach.html
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The Deming Learning Network
Aim: The aim of the DLN is “continual organisational improvement through the application of knowledge”
The thinking of this group, based in Aberdeen, is very much influenced by the work of W Edwards Deming. In particular those thoughts expressed in his books “Out of the Crisis” and “The New Economics.” The aim of his writings were to “start the reader on the road to knowledge, and to create a yearning for more knowledge.” Deming, a statistician,by profession, read extensively and accumulated vast experience, including his contributions in Japan in the early 1950s. He despaired at the progress made by “Western” management and called for a “transformation” to a new style of management based on cooperation. “It would be better if everyone would worked together as a system, with the aim for everybody to win.” He was particularly influenced by Walter Shewhart and his work in understanding variation and C I Lewis with his perception of knowledge.
In the later years of his life, he died in 1993 at the age of 93, he established a framework from which we could develop our knowledge. He called it his “Systems of Profound Knowledge.” It contains four interrelated parts:
- Appreciation of a System
- Knowledge about Variation
- Theory of Knowledge
There are many Deming Associations across the world. The branch in Aberdeen,Scotland, The Deming Learning Network, was formed in 1991. They have met monthly to explore modern management thought since that date. For more information visit their web page www.dln.org.uk
The Deming Forum
The Deming Forum is a not for profit educational organisation which promotes the studying and application of the management philosophy developed by Dr. W.E. Deming. This approach has guided and enabled the transformation of numerous organisations and its principles are fundamental for the successful and sustainable development of all types of organisation – in industry, government and education.
The Deming Forum organises an annual conference, The Transformation Forum at which speakers from all over the world give insights into Dr Deming’s thinking and explain how Deming’s approach has helped them transform their own organisations.
It is a great source for books and recordings of past presentations
It offices are Bedfordshire, England – their web site is www.deming.org.uk
Other Deming Associations
There are Associations that develop W Edwards Deming’s thinking in England and across the world
- NET2 in the North of England – see www.net2.org.uk
- The W Edwards Deming Institute based in the USA see www.deming.org
- The Deming Forum in India – see www.demingindia.org
Local People Leading
Cooperative Development Scotland – web page http://www.cdscotland.co.uk/cds.htm
Co-operative Development Scotland was set up in 2006 to increase the contribution of co-operative enterprise to the Scottish economy. We are a subsidiary of Scottish Enterprise and have a Scotland-wide remit to ‘promote and facilitate the development of co-operative enterprises’.
If you are:
- looking to start a business;
- interested in transferring ownership of your business to your employees; or
- an established co-owned business,
CDS can offer support.
Co-operative models are relevant to all sectors but have particular growth potential in Scotland’s food and drink, tourism, forestry, renewable energy and creative industries.
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Senscot started in response to Scotland’s many social problems – mainly concentrated in areas of chronic poverty. Our particular role is to recognise the contribution of individual leaders in tackling injustice and to support them and their endeavours.
We call these people social entrepreneurs – individuals who believe passionately in something which will benefit the community – who get their hands dirty doing it and who have the dogged determination to see it through. Senscot was founded by a small group of such people who realised in 1999 that their work would benefit from being connected up with others doing similar things.
Social entrepreneurs are to be found throughout society: in business, in local communities, in government and, in particular, creating social enterprises – businesses which trade to achieve social aims. Senscot believes that social entrepreneurs and their enterprises have the potential to transform society for the better.
Their web page is http://www.senscot.net/index.php They provide a weekly news letter updating us on activity in this area. To be included in the circulation visit http://www.senscot.net/bsubscribe.php
The Civil Society Forum
The Civil Society Forum, HQ in London, provides an open space for leaders to engage on the practical challenges in building civil society.
This new network provides a forum for leaders to think strategically and creatively about the challenges and opportunities facing civil society; learn and network with colleagues; share expertise and experience; encourage and develop innovation.
It is primarily aimed at leaders in organizations seeking to contribute positively to civil society and those with an interest in promoting the effectiveness of organisational, sector and cross-sector working.
The focus is to support individual and joint action to address the following challenges:
•Explore, develop and promote business, management and organizational models and practice
•Achieve resilience and sustainability of services
•Maximise collective impact
•Develop effective collaborative working – within and across organizational boundaries
•Make better use of resources
•Manage redesign of services and organisations
•Overcome the fragmentation of civil society
Their web site is: http://civilsocietyforum.net
This paragraph is not so much pointing to a single group, but to the whole movement of employee ownership. A starting point would be David Erdal’s book “Beyond the Corporation” where his extensive research proves how highly effective employee owned companies are. It becomes apparent that employee owned companies, such as The John Lewis partnership, are significantly more efficient than other forms of organisation such as companies owned by shareholders or public sector organisations overseen by politicians. The primary reason being that by their very nature they are much more effective in utilising the willing commitment of those working within the enterprise (partners)
Examples of employee owned companies include:
- Loch Fyne Osters http://www.lochfyne.com/Home.aspx
- Woollard and Henry Ltd http://www.woollardandhenry.com
- John Lewis Partnership http://www.johnlewis.com/
- and in Spain – Modragon – http://www.mondragon-corporation.com/language/en-US/ENG.aspx
- and many more
The Employee Ownership Association is the voice of co-owned business in the UK – http://www.employeeownership.co.uk/
There is also The Cooperative Development Scotland (see above) – web page http://www.cdscotland.co.uk/cds.htm
The Baxi Partnership Ltd which advices and supports organisations considering moving towards employee ownership see: www.baxipartnership.co.uk
Assist Social Capital
What is Social capital? – It is the relationships and values that connect individuals and groups in society and enable collective action – is vital to the well-being of communities and to ensuring that a broad range of economic and social policies and programmes are as effective as possible. Social capital provides a platform on which to channel people’s participation in economic and social activities.
Our every day lives are facilitated by social interactions, cooperation and trust. Well-developed social networks facilitate the spread of information and resources – these relationships are the basis for reliable political, economic and social collaboration.
Their web page is www.social-capital.net
Assist Social Capital works with individuals and organisations anywhere to develop resilient communities, using ‘social capital’ as a critical resource. Our goals are to:
The Scottish Family Business Association – web page www.sfba.co.uk
The Scottish Family Business Association is the definitive authority on family business issues in Scotland. We are not a quango, consultancy or academic institution but a non-profit solutions-focused organisation created for family business people, by family business people.
The only one of its kind in Scotland.
Family firms account for a staggering 85% of private enterprise in Scotland and produce 45% of the UK’s GDP. Family businesses are therefore an important source of employment and wealth-creation. They are also vital to the survival and well-being of local communities.
Family businesses dominate the Scottish economy yet have no voice. There is no official recognition of this very important sector.
Family businesses are a very different business model with very different issues. The SFBA are working to help family businesses and business families realise their full potential, and thrive from generation to generation.