The Big Conversation - starting a conversation that matters

Back in October 2015 a group of 30 people with various different connections to Thistle came together for the first time to form the Big Conversation group. We have in common a passion for the work that Thistle does and a commitment to shape the future of the organisation.

The Big Coversation group have met several times since October and have spent time getting to know each other and begin to explore a question that we think is big enough to start a conversation that matters:

How can we work together in a creative and flexible way to support health and wellbeing by focussing on what matters to people and communities?

The Big Conversation was initiated by Mark Hoolahan, Director of Health and Wellbeing.  Mark joined Thistle in 2014 and through meeting people and listening to their stories he was curious about what made Thistle distinctive, what the Thistle Approach was and how this approach could be strengthened across the organisation. 

The Big Conversation uses an approach called Collaborative Inquiry which focuses on a big question that brings people with similar interests and passions together to develop new ideas and knowledge and make improvements to the way we work. Our group meetings are focused on a continual cycle of reflection, discussion and action to make change happen. 

We are a diverse group with a common commitment to person centred practice and a shared hope that our involvement in the Big Conversation will lead to positive change that will inspire others.  As a group we have broad personal and professional perspectives, some of us are supported by Thistle, others are personal assistants, volunteers, family members, managers, service leaders, health and wellbeing practitioners and facilitators; as well as working in IT, HR and fundraising and providing administrative support across the organisation.  We all play a role to support Thistle to achieve its mission.

We believe we have many gifts, assets and strengths that will enable us to realise our best hopes. We expect the Big Conversation process to take at least 18 months in the first instance and are delighted that Thistle’s Directors have signed up to work with us on this. However, we are also committed to reflecting the wider Thistle community and will invite others to be part of the group as required and encourage everyone to get involved in whatever way they can with the work of our Big Conversation.

You can view our best selfie gallery ,which is under construction, where you can learn more about us. 

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Kirsty

Big Conversation Lead
Portrait of Kirsty Dewar

in October 2015 a group of 30 people with various different connections to Thistle came together for the first time to form the Big Conversation group, focusing on the question "how can we work together in a creative and flexible way to support health and wellbeing by focussing on what matters to people and communities?"

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