The Five Provocations focus on transformation and where radical change can make a difference to peoples' wellbeing.

The Academy’s work is driven by the Five Provocations, and we aim to embody these in our work. These are intended to focus transformation on key areas where radical change can make a difference to the wellbeing of Scottish people. The five provocations are:

  • Courageous leadership – Ambitious, focused and inspiring leadership to transform and develop support and services and create the conditions for everyone to thrive.
  • Nurturing transformation – Transformation requires patience: it takes time to forge relationships, to embed change and to realise long term benefits.
  • Emphasising humanity – We need to emphasise the humanity and human rights of the people accessing and providing support and services, to create relationships that enable people to flourish.
  • Target culture – The meaning of this is two-fold: we need to challenge the target culture in health and social care and we need to foster a cultural shift across society towards more active engagement in health and wellbeing.
  • Ceding power – Statutory bodies need to cede power to the community, individuals and the third sector and embrace cross-sector collaboration.

These provocations will shape the Academy’s future work as we seek to promote them throughout Scotland and spotlight good practice. They are not easy themes to tackle, but we believe that they will inspire not only transformative thinking, but action too.

The Five Provocations can be seen in action on our Working for change page.



Targets are welcome, but they’re not the whole picture

Written by: James Jopling

Member: Samaritans Scotland



Rethinking power and targets

Written by: Callum Smith