The inaugural Future Leaders Event (FLE) happened in May 2015 bringing together 90 young leaders from across Scotland’s Public Sector, Third Sector and Civil Service. The two day conference featured a series of inspirational lightning talks, and short films before breaking out into workshops to explore the theme of creative leadership through reflecting on individual experience and sharing collective knowledge. The aim of the event was to generate actions the future leaders could take forward to grow desirable leadership qualities within their workforce.

For this project we worked collaboratively with researchers at the Institute of Design Innovation to design research tools for the workshops, and devise a facilitator narrative and briefing. During the event we took on the role of Roving Facilitators which involved dipping in and out of six different workshop sessions to gather data as it emerged, and make observations on the facilitation process in order to evaluate the success of the approach we designed.

Following this event we analysed the data captured, and identified the key themes before producing a follow up report for the Scottish Government.

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The Future Leaders Event (FLE) branding was centred around a 'tri-circle' diagram that was developed for the sister event the Scottish Leaders Forum. We created a playful variation of the logo, and co-designed a research method and tool around the shape of the logo, utilising the three circles to represent the Reflective, Collective and Active workshop challenges. We put together a delegate pack containing all the necessary tools delegates would require for the two day event.

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The FLE conference featured three breakout workshop sessions. The central feature of each of these workshop was a data capture tool we designed called the Petal. This was a large sheet of paper with three circular sections designated to the three stages of the workshops where delegates would explore the Collective challenges of leadership, the Reflective qualities of leadership, and Active steps they could take forward from the event. From the outset the contents of the Petal were hidden by removable circular panels designed to fold out sequentially over the course of the day. Delegates were asked to record three key insights from each session onto the Petals. An additional Pair Discussion Card tool was used to help capture individual thoughts during the first two sessions.

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The aim of the event was for future public sector leaders to come together and collaboratively generate actions to take forward and develop stronger leadership skills within their workforce. One of the most discussed topics over the two day event was indeed creative collaboration. The foundations for many new initiatives, and working partnerships were put in place, and delegates left feeling renewed and inspired. 

The tools, and facilitation process worked as we expected, allowing us to gather insights from each session quickly and succinctly allowing the the theming and analysis process to be undertaken rapidly on site, and delivered back to delegates before the close of the event. 

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