Carers Parliament


This case study relates to work in which CS and Carers Scotland collaborated to undertake a facilitated World Cafe conversation during the afternoon session at the 2015 Carers Parliament event held in Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, with the intention to use the results from the workshop to inform an action plan for Carers Scotland, and perhaps provide input to Scottish Government policy.


At the time this was the fourth Carers Parliament organised by Carers Scotland and the Scottish Government, and they wanted a more participatory session to be undertaken where the attendees might have deeper conversations about what mattered most to them.

Need and Purpose

Carers Scotland needed to have the afternoon session facilitated in a fully participatory manner in order to elicit from attendees who were mainly carers what really mattered to them posing two questions: “As people and carers what really matters for a fairer and healthier Scotland?” and “How might it be possible for us together, as carers, those being cared for, and society, make progress towards fairness and health?”

In two rounds of conversation they were invited to talk about what they would like to see included in an action plan, add material into the ‘Creating a Fairer Scotland Conversation’ report, and could then feed into Scottish Government policy. The intention was for this session in the event to capture the aspirations, desires and needs of carers.


Connecting Scotland practitioners used World Cafe, Harvesting and displaying the key priorities emerging from the conversations under main themes, documenting in a report the detailed notes from each of the tables, and producing a final newsletter containing summaries and photos.

Benefits Delivered

During the World Cafe session and subsequently, the event produced:

  • A series of deep conversations involving everyone present, stimulated by the focus provided by powerful questions.
  • An immediately available and stunningly visual graphic landscape summarising attendees’ contributions from the conversations held.
  • A report harvesting in detail what participants to the conversations had written and drawn on papers during the Cafe conversations which was included in the final full report.
  • A number of documents with Word-Cloud summaries indicating the frequency with which words and phrases were recorded.
  • A newsletter summarising the key results from the event including a selection of photos.

A link to the report from the full parliament event (go to pages 46 to 55 for the detail on the World Cafe session) is here:

What People Said

  • "Evidence from the high noise level during the conversations and the number of people stepping forward to tell everyone what their table had discussed, showed that the participants were very animated and engaged with the process."