Big Disruptive Thinking

Too often when we can’t find solutions to problems it’s because we are looking at it in the same old way.   New solutions often require dramatic shifts of perception.  Breakfast is a good way to start!

ACVO,  under the leadership of our Chief Executive Joyce Duncan,  has catalysed some disruptive thinking in the city.  Facilitating real and lasting change requires leaders and leadership. Which promotes disruptive innovation, pushes boundaries, accepts difference, communicates hairy and audacious goals, is not afraid of failure, change mindsets.

The Big Disruptive Breakfast, on the 22nd September 2015, was a multi sector  event  to enable delegates to experience such disruptive thinking,  make new connections, hear new voices.  Delegates were encouraged to “Bring an Emerging Leader to Breakfast”.

Leadership case studies were heard from: young Streetsport leader Hannah Clews, private sector leader Stephen McKnight of St James Wealth Management, public sector leader Steven Shaw of ACC Environmental Services and third sector leader Vanessa Smith of the GATE (Good at the End) Project.

ACVO created the Breakfast Invite tool to help delegates brainstorm ideas for further Breakfasts ahead and we welcome more ideas.  The programme of “Breakfasts” is now being developed autonomously by participants and with ACVO support and the Breakfast Calendar opened at the ACVO Affiliates Breakfast on 10th November.

This led to a Calendar of Breakfasts ideas some of which are now rolling forward and creating further change.  Action is underway in particular on:

  • Litter and Leadership with Hunter Adams and Exceed
  • Earth Hour with ACC Environmental Services
    • Big Aberdeen Earth Hour breakfast took place on 17th March at Hazlehead.  As a result Aberdeen Climate Action are now new partners with Aberdeen City Council and Hazlehead Primary School.  We will be using their knowledge and experience to help us develop the new education facility at Pets Corner (work due to start summer 2016) which will have a section all about Hazlehead climate Change Park and the impact of climate change locally.  The school will look to develop a stronger relationship with Aberdeen Climate Action and use them to help develop their eco themes in the school.
  • ACVO’s Chief Executive Joyce Duncan is hosting leadership breakfasts on social transport, and social enterprise.
  • If you would like to get involved or create your own breakfast get in touch


The “Litter, Leadership and Bigging Up Aberdeen” Breakfast on 19th November at the Townhouse provided 30 cross-sector delegates with an opportunity to get business leadership input into developing initiatives responsive to the themes which emerged from the Big Disruptive Breakfast.

William Mitchell, Owner 4C Design and TEDX* speaker challenged everyone present to see Litter as Money and to apply that upside down/contrarian thinking to Bigging up Aberdeen.  A Panel of business leaders included William Mitchell, Leigh Stott,  MD of Hunter HR, Robert Cowman of EC-OG, Martin Watt of Exceed and Thor Holt heard initial  ideas emerging from The Big Disruptive Breakfast and gave their feedback.  Outcomes achieved included, more fleshed out proposals, greater connectivity and corporates engaged in future projects.  This led to the Litter and Leadership Project.

ACVO will continue to work in partnership with North East Learning Collaborative (NELC) to develop, deliver and promote a wide range of leadership support in the North East.