“It’s about people who use services having a hand in making them better” – Nick Wilding.
“Co-production means moving towards doing things ‘with’ people, rather than ‘to’ or ‘for’ them” – Sarah Currie

Squares and Blobs

In Scotland, we are moving towards a new way of running public services.  Instead of experts acting alone to design and run things, we – as citizens – are getting involved.


‘The Parable of the Blobs and Squares shows that there is more to people than their problems, that the solution to problems lies in the problem itself, not in an imposed solution, and that co-production matters!’

In some places, local people are now equal partners with professionals as they develop services that are more
– responsive to peoples’ needs;
– inclusive and nurturing of community spirit; and
– sustainable – producing better outcomes for the same or less money.

This new, more equal way of working is often called ‘co-production’. And across Scotland, there are hundreds of people with practical experience of what it takes to make the shift. These people are connecting and sharing their stories through networks, such as the Scottish Co-production Network.

The role of Ingage is to enable and support co-production in Scotland and its playing a part in this wider movement towards ‘co-production’ in Scotland. From our base within the Scottish Government, we are working to:

  • strengthen connections (‘join the dots’) between co-production practitioners and policy makers
  • enable Scottish Government and wider colleagues to build co-production into their work;
  • and work with the wider co-production movement, including the Scottish Co-Production Network, to grow the visibility and evidence of benefits of this way of working

Priorities for 2017/18

During 2017/18, Ingage is supporting:

  • the Co-production Network Scotland including National Co-production Week 2017
    Co-Production Round-table (held in November 2016, blog to be written and linked)
  • 100 Stories
  • Scottish Government awareness raising sessions

Scottish Co-production Network

The Scottish Co-production Network, facilitated by the Scottish Community Development Centre, provides a hub for sharing learning and the exchange of co-production practice in Scotland.   We support and work closely with the Scottish Co-production Network in promoting a shared understanding and the benefits of this way of working.

The website includes a helpful resources section including case studies, reports and publications, and practical tools for taking forward co-production.  The network is a helpful resource if you’re seeking examples of co-production by topic or geographical area.  It’s free to join and open to anyone.

100 stories

All across Scotland, people are experimenting with putting trust and shared decision making at the heart of public service. Through the ‘100 stories’, we are learning how sharing power can create better outcomes for people and places. Sometimes, professionals use terms like ‘asset-based approaches’, ‘social innovation’, and ‘co-production’ to describe this shift to working with people, rather than doing stuff to or for us.

This live initiative seeks to:
– Experience stories of putting people at the heart of what we do
– Share strategies of movement building
– Shape the evidence base for co-production
– Widen the ownership of the 100 Stories co-production movement in Scotland

To read more about our events and see examples of co-production in practice, visit our 100 stories website [LINK to be added to SCN once available]

Contact details:

Sarah Currie (National Lead, Coproduction Policy and Practice) –

Nick Wilding (Lead, Transformation and Inquiry) –

Twitter – @scotcopro