Heaven and Hell

The 1st exercise aimed to capture a perspective on what possible paths are available to generate a better future for Rural Scotland. The participants formed 4 groups, each completing this exercise independently.

They first expressed their view of the current state of things (Present: Blue sticky notes).

Then they described what a heavenly future would look like (Heaven: Green sticky notes) and what a hellish future would look like (Hell: Orange sticky notes).

Then the participants were asked to select a theme from their Heaven and connect it to the present by going backwards (Pale yellow sticky notes) and they were allowed to place up to two Pink sticky notes to describe good fortune or accidents that needed to or could happen along this path.

At the end, the four groups presented the boards to each other (capturing reactions on the large Yellow sticky note) and they were encouraged to vote (dot voting; by placing coloured dots: green for things they like, red for things they don’t like) if they saw anything they strongly cared for. Each participant had only one green and one red dot to place for all 4 boards. The person from each group that captured the reactions was not allowed to ask questions or make comments (i.e. was a silent observer).


Participants dot voting

Things participants most cared about (green dots)

Community Empowerment (3 votes) 
Public Sector Reform (2 votes) 
More Career & Work Opportunities in Rural Areas (2 votes) 
Vision / Master plan (2 votes) 
Call to Action for Input from Rural Areas (2 votes) 
Capacity-Building within Communities (1 vote) 
Political Support for Rural Development (1 vote) 
Rural-proofing Consistency in Cross-Departmental Policy (1 vote) 
Community Consultation (1 vote)
 Profitable and Diverse Businesses (1 vote)

Things participants are most worried about (red dots)

Scottish Government equates Rural with Agriculture (3 votes)

Things participants felt strongly about, but disagreed on

All relevant stakeholders need to be around the table (one green and one red vote)