SOSE team up with Volans to create regional agriculture engagement process

SOSE has worked with sustainability and innovation advisory firm Volans to implement a new engagement process with regional agriculture stakeholders. Find out more about how the process worked and the results.

Initial approach

SOSE contacted Volans in early 2023 for help in designing and piloting an engagement process that would bring stakeholders together to co-create a transformation narrative - a story of change for a resilient region working towards Net Zero. The agriculture sector was the first sector tackled in this way. 

The Challenge

How do we engage with the agriculture sector, one often not asked to tell their own story?

In this engagement, how can we recognise and celebrate the pride of the past, identify and demonstrate the current challenges, and paint the picture of a flourishing future?

The Approach

Given the daunting task of transformation, Volans designs creative ways of working in which collaboration and research are partnered to unlock insight and prevent paralysis.

Working with SOSE, an engagement process was designed that would create space for disruptive and imaginative thinking - a workshop environment in which all the participants are empowered to challenge the assumptions of today and freely explore an exciting vision of the future.

The participants, ranging from small-scale and industrial scale farmers to policy makers and members of the creative and design sector, were encouraged to utilise their experience to weave a more holistic story.

With such diversity of thought, a story capable of empowering the region began to emerge.

The Vision

Not only were relationships strengthened and SOSE seen as a trusted ally and pioneer in the Net Zero challenge, but a vision of the future began to be co-designed for the region.

A future that is economically and environmentally sustainable, where agriculture is a resilient, financially secure and viable sector with biodiversity and culture thriving.

In this vision, farmers’ voices are heard in the decision-making process, their knowledge and produce are valued, and they are viewed as critical to our Net Zero future. 

A follow-up workshop is planned to incorporate a different section of the agriculture community in the narrative development process.

Lucy Filby, Head of Land and Forestry Transition, SOSE:

“As one of the biggest industries in the South of Scotland, agriculture produces a significant proportion of our regional emissions.

“It is also one of the first sectors to feel the impacts of climate change.

“However, regional agriculture also holds real opportunities in delivering a just transition to a resilient, Net Zero and nature positive future.” 

Colin Banks, Net Zero Strategy Lead, SOSE: 

“The report is a great summary of the work we have done. It has been great to collaborate with such creative thinkers.”

Louise Kjellerup Roper, CEO, Volans:

“The SOSE team value creativity and quality engagement – we look forward to continuing this partnership in the Scottish Borders.”