Doing Politics Differently
The Report of the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland

Annex Seven: Summary table of Assembly sessions

Weekend 1

26-27 October 2019


1. Welcome Assembly members and get to know each other

2. Develop members understanding of how the process will work and the kind of issues that the Assembly will explore

3. Establish a foundational understanding of the constitutional position in Scotland

4. Begin to explore Assembly members perceptions and understanding of Scotland and the challenges and opportunities for the country


How did we get here? Powers of the Scottish Parliament Professor Nicola McEwen, Professor of Politics, Edinburgh University

The Scotland we know, the Scotland we don’t know The Assembly conveners

Interim output:

Word cloud

Weekend 2

29 November – 1 December


1. To deepen earlier work on how to engage with evidence, by exploring the different kinds of evidence available and how to think critically about these sources.

2. To build on themes arising from Weekend 1 (such as the content of the word clouds on ‘the country we want to build’).

3. To open up thinking around the country we want to build by considering a range of evidence on Scotland and other international approaches.

4. To learn and deliberate on what makes people happy, what leads to a good life and a good society, and how the values we hold affect what kind of nation we want to become.

5. To begin to construct a vision for the kind of country we are seeking to build, by finding common ground on those areas on which the Assembly wishes to undertake deeper exploration.


Trusted sources: A brief guide to the press & modern media Phil Allan, 3x1:

Evidence: How do we ensure we have informed conversations? Kaela Scott, Involve

What makes a good life? George Bangham, Resolution Foundation

Values – What makes a good country? Dr Elke Heins, University of Edinburgh

Interim outputs:

67 statements representing the breadth and diversity of Assembly’s ideas around a vision for Scotland

22 statements representing the common ground of the Assembly

22 statements ranked in order of priority

Weekend 3

17 January – 19 January 2020


1. To take stock of constitutional developments following the December 2019 UK General Election, including a discussion with a panel of politicians.

2. To begin tackling the further questions in the Assembly remit about how we can best overcome challenges through considering a priority statement prepared by the Assembly: the Scotland we are seeking to build will be a sustainable country balancing environmental, economic and social impacts for the good of the country and its citizens. 


Constitutional issues Update on the constitutional options and position of the parties following the UK General Election.

Dr Chris McCorkingdale, University of Strathclyde

Political panel: How do we move forward despite our constitutional differences?

Jamie Halcro Johnston (Conservative), Lorna Slater (Green), Angela Constance (SNP) and Richard Leonard (Labour) Sustainability

Sustainability Overview Kate Wimpress, Convener (slides)

Employment/Employability is the core of what drives a true inclusive economy Sandy Begbie CBE, Tesco Bank

Building a Wellbeing Economy that Serves social and environmental goals Dr Katherine Trebeck Wellbeing Economy Alliance

Delivering Scotland’s climate change targets Dr Andy Kerr, EIT Climate-KIC

Interim outputs:

14 priority areas of action canvases

Weekend 4

21 February – 23 February


1. Build on members’ discussions to date and consider in more detail Scotland’s finances and choices about tax in relation to the priority statement discussed in weekend 2:

“the Scotland we are seeking to build will be a sustainable country balancing environmental, economic and social impacts for the good of the country and its citizens.”


Overview of Scotland’s Finances: Scotland’s Finances – where the money comes from, & where it goes Fraser McKinlay, Audit Scotland

Taxation and Government spending in Scotland Professor David Bell CBE, University of Stirling)

Overview on Taxation: Tax : a primer David Phillips, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Scotland’s Tax System Charlotte Barbour, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

Tax Choices: Delivering environmental, economic and social impacts through tax? Russell Gunson, Institute of Public Policy Research Scotland

Taxes to change behaviour and support public policy objectives Laurie MacFarlane, Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College of London)

The Goldilocks Principle: A principled approach to tax by business Ewan MacDonald-Russell, Scottish Retail Consortium) 

Interim output:

14 findings on tax and finances

Weekend 5

5 September 2020


1. For members to reconnect with each other

2. Reflect on the impact of COVID and how it affects the work of the Assembly

3. Begin work on a final Assembly vision on the kind of country we are seeking to build.


Journey so far video by members

Reflections on the impact of Covid-19 (by members and experts who had previously given evidence)

Responding to COVID-19: ideas about the future (by experts who had previously given evidence and a range of new experts)

Interim outputs:

Issues to recall on COVID (see Annex 1 of Weekend 5 report)

Areas of Consensus on the Assembly’s vision (see Annex 2 of Weekend 5 report)

Weekend 6

3 – 4 October 2020


1. Drawing upon cumulative learning, to draft, vote upon and agree an inspiring collective vision for the kind of country we are seeking to build.

No presentations:

Members provided with summary materials on evidence and discussions from earlier weekends (add link)

Final output:

The Assembly’s Vision (see chapter in main report or Assembly vision chapter of weekend 6 report)

Weekend 7

31 October – 1 November 2020


1. Drawing upon cumulative learning, to draft recommendations of the Assembly

No presentations:

Provided with summary materials on evidence and discussions from earlier weekends (Explanatory notes

Interim output:

60 draft recommendations (See Annex 12 or this report or in the Annex to weekend 7 report

Weekend 8

5 December 2020


1. Vote and agree final Assembly recommendations

No presentations:

Provided with Weekend 8 supporting materials (see Annex 12)

Final output: Recommendations of the Assembly (See Annex 14)