Held in the Radisson Hotel just next to Central Station, the day was open to tenants from across the city. About 150 showed up.
In the morning Gerry Hassan from Glasgow 2020 gave a presentation about the project so far. In the afternoon we ran 8 facilitated sessions about the future of the city. Each group discussed the future, before being taken through a deliberative exercise which lead them to mapping potential things that could happen onto a matrix.
This matrix was used as a basis for developing stories about the future of the city. Along the horizontal axis are the worlds Undesirable (on the left handside) and Desirable (on the righthandside). On the vertical axis at the top it says likely and at the bottom it says unlikely. So the groups created one
character that lived in a future that was
Desireable but Unlikely
another in a future that was;
Desireable and Likely
and another in a future that was
Undesireable but likely.
(We ignored the undesireable and unlikely future)
The group then used the characters they had developed to create stories.
You can download a whole facilitators guide for this session here.
The chart shows:
1. People in the group found it significantly easier to imagine desirable things than undesirable things – the majority of the things positioned as undesirable had been inserted by the facilitators.
2. The highest concentration of thoughts are positioned in the top right hand quadrant. This group could clearly imagine a better future and expressed a belief that it was achievable. Issues that consistently reoccurred in the desirable and likely bracket included:
- Water Taxis on the Clde
- Café Bars on the
- Total Smoking Ban
- Tolerance of Other Cultures
- Increasing Prosperity
- A clean Silent Subway System
- Comfort with technology3. The pessimism is expressed as a lack of faith in things that people would like to see happen (desirable things that are unlikely), rather than a belief that things that they don’t want to see happening will happen. People don’t find it hard to imagine a better future, but they lack faith in it. They find it much harder to imagine and describe the future as anything other than a deficit model.
4. Despite the overall picture of optimism and a focus on the desirable – there were a few significant indications of pessimism. There was an overall consensus that sectarianism was a bad thing, but would still be part of
5. The matrix also shows a level of collective diffidence on certain issues. For example, “More Café Bars”, “Less Working Class People” and “People will Welcome foreign workers” appeared evenly in all areas of the chart.