In an age where conflict culture and manufactured dissent seems to be actively encouraged in politics, the art of debating, listening and learning from the other side has been overshadowed by rancour and adamant polarisation. So, how do we revive the art of critical thinking, recognise the value of the ‘grey area’, and the goal of both parties making a discovery, rather than being right? Chair Liam McArthur MSP, Deputy Presiding Officer Panellists Peter McColl is a leading writer and thinker. His work focuses on improving public engagement, consultation and participation in policy making. He has particular interests in futures, data, innovation and the environment. He is The Consultation Institute's Senior Associate in Scotland and was previously Rector of the University of Edinburgh. Sheila Webster is the President of the Law Society of Scotland for 2023- 2024. Sheila was previously Vice President and has been a member of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland since 2017 and its Board since 2020. Sheila is a Partner and Head of the Davidson Chalmers Stewart Dispute Resolution team and has been involved in several cases in the House of Lords and the Supreme Court. Claire Hanna MP is an SDLP Member of Parliament for South Belfast and the party’s spokesperson for Europe and International Affairs. In Westminster, Claire serves as a member on the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. Her professional background is in international development, latterly in a policy and education role.
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