24th Sept 2015: Power, People and Process; How We Make Decisions About What We Want For The City And Its Communities by Ewan Aitken


Come along to The Counting House at 7pm to listen to Ewan, share a crust of bread, and hear his thoughts on power and people…


Title of talk:

Power, people and process – how we make deacons about what we want for the city and its communities

Bullet points of what you would like to talk about:

These days, there is a great deal of talk about collaboration, co production, devolution and communities leading their change; but is these really possible without a kind of revolutionary change in how we see power and accountability, process and transparency. Who gets to decide what, why is them that get to decide, what is it that they are deciding and who did they talk to before they reached their decisions….


A few paragraphs on your subject:

I have been at the heart of power, I have been inside national institution. I have worked in communities who have seen themselves as excluded systemically and deliberately. I want us to really look long and heard about the way we make our decisions, about the difference between influence and running things, consultation and veto, accountability and scrutiny.
I fear for our democracy in that our capacity to engage in decisions is limited by a combination of often more information than we can assimilate in the time we have and a great deal of heavily filtered content portrayed as objective fact that requires some serious critical analysis before it adds anything to our public discourse. At the same time, our conflict ridden culture means that much of what passes for public debate is destroyed by point scoring and a serious inability to disagree with condemnation. I see the third sector as a place of hope and change but it too needs to think about how it models that new way of living and working

A few paragraphs about you:

Ewan Aitken was appointed CEO of Cyrenians in May 2014. A former Convenor of Education and then Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, Ewan has 30 years’ experience in the 3rd and Public sectors. He was a parish minister for 7 years. He has founded several charities and is on the board of the Edinburgh International Science Festival and the Ripple Project and is an advisor to Circle Scotland. He is chair of the National Prison Visitor Centre Steering Group, BBC Children in Need Scotland grants committee and the Scottish Labour Party’s Social Justice Sounding Board. He is a member of the CoSLA Commission on Strength Local Democracy.

What are your weblinks?

Twitter – @ewanaitken

Public Email – [email protected]


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