A Commitment to a Respectful Dialogue

A Commitment to a Respectful Dialogue
Core Solutions, By John Sturrock
28.02.14

Dear Laurence,

I am writing to you as someone who has expressed interest in how we engage in discussions about Scotland’s future.
 
I am delighted to say that, after two very interesting and well attended “Conversations about a New Scotland” – and various other events – we hope to have over 100 signatories for our proposed Protocol (which we are now calling “A Commitment”) to Respectful Dialogue.
 
Our plan is to have this published as a one page “advertorial” on Sunday 16 March, at least in Scotland on Sunday and the Herald on Sunday, and possibly elsewhere.
 
We hope this will build further momentum for constructive discussions before, and indeed after, the Referendum.
 
The wording appears below. EVEN IF YOU HAVE ALREADY INDICATED SUPPPORT IN THE PAST, PLEASE WOULD YOU CONFIRM (BY RETURN IF POSSIBLE) THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO HAVE YOUR NAME ADDED AS A SUPPORTER (IN A PERSONAL CAPACITY)? We do not intend to include organisation or business, just names in alphabetical order.
 
We aim to have a simple website ready for March 16, where more people can register their support. As part of our Collaborative Scotland initiative, that site will also be a source of materials for learning about and experimenting with respectful dialogue. There are good resources available around the world and we hope to bring many of these to the site.
 
To create the website, take out full-page ads and employ an intern researcher, we will need to raise some funding. We think crowd funding is the best way forward. Already several people have pledged £100 or more to help. If at least 50 of us could do so, we would be able to make a very good start.  If you feel you can donate £100 (or more) to this worthy initiative, could you please send a cheque to “Core Solutions (Conversations)” at the address below? We will operate a separate account for these funds and ensure that they are allocated appropriately.
 
We had been intending to hold an event on the evening of Tuesday 18 March (6 months prior to the referendum) to provide an opportunity for further conversations about the issues. However time, timing and finding a venue mean that we may need to defer this and focus our attention on promoting the Commitment for now.  

This is a wholly non-partisan but nevertheless important initiative. I hope you will join me and many others who are already committed to better dialogue in the months ahead.
 
Many thanks and kind regards
John Sturrock
 
A Commitment to Respectful Dialogue
 
This is an unprecedented time in Scotland’s history. Whatever the outcome, the referendum on independence has profound implications for our futures.
 
We believe that it is a privilege to be able to engage in discussions about our future. How we engage with each other in Scotland, and with those outside Scotland, may be just as important as the outcome.
 
We believe that it is in the interests of a flourishing Scotland that all discussions, before and after the referendum, should continue to be conducted with civility and dignity.
 
Therefore, we, as signatories to this Commitment, undertake to do our best and encourage others, including those involved in campaigning and negotiating, to:
 
• show respect and courtesy towards all those who are engaged in these discussions, whatever views they hold;
• acknowledge that there are many differing, deeply held and valid points of view;
• use language carefully and avoid personal or other remarks which might cause unnecessary offence;
• listen carefully to all points of view and seek fully to understand what concerns and motivates those with differing views from our own;
• ask questions for clarification and when we may not understand what others are saying or proposing;
• express our own views clearly and honestly with transparency about our motives and our interests;
• respond to questions asked of us with clarity and openness and, whenever we can, with credible information.

 
John Sturrock
Chief Executive and Senior Mediator
work: +44 (0)131 226 6564
email: john.sturrock@core-solutions.com
website: www.core-solutions.com
LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/johnsturrock
blog:  www.core-solutions.com/blog
 
Core Solutions Group Limited
Cornerstone House
2 Melville Street
Edinburgh
EH3 7NS