Dundee Wave of Change core group 4

The 4th (and final) Dundee Wave of Change core group event took place on Thursday 21st October at DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts). Many thanks to DCA for kindly hosting this event.

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Group exercise – YOUR LIFE IN 2020

Participants were asked to imagine that they were a member of the Courier editorial team for the edition on 21st October 2020, i.e. ten years in the future. What are the headlines and stories that reflect the changes that you would like to see in Dundee over the next ten years? In order to ensure a balanced newspaper, participants were asked to create stories across a range of categories.


Towards the end of the exercise each participant was asked to vote for the five headlines/stories that best illustrated their own aspirations for the city. Details of all the headlines/stories are provided below.

Most popular 2020 news headlines (as voted by participants)

  • “Dundee’s Young People Top UK Confidence League”
  • “Work you love, opportunities galore”
  • “Education access for all”
  • “Nobel prize winning scientist joins colleagues at Dundee”
  • “V&A Celebrates Ten Years in Dundee”
  • “Dundee – Cultural City of Scotland”
  • “Dundee City Festival Attracts Half a Million Visitors – Fringe Relocates to Dundee”
  • “Dundee Conference Centre Hosts G8”
  • “Confident entrepreneurial spirit”
  • “Bike lanes & walkers everywhere”
  • “Tesco Sales Overtaken by Small Traders for First Time”
  • “Dundee Leads Social Housing Boom – End of Fuel Poverty”
  • “Dundee First City To Receive Nobel Prize For Science”

For information, the full list of 2020 headlines proposed by participants is set out below:



  • “Dundee’s young people top UK confidence league”
  • “Education access for all”
  • “Dundee head teacher wins UK leadership award”
  • “Dundee ‘Top of the Class’ – both universities in world top 20”


  • “Dundee conference centre hosts G8”
  • “Tesco sales overtaken by small traders for first time”
  • “Dundee tops employment league”
  • “Dundee becomes UK centre of entrepreneurship”


  • “Dundee leads social housing boom – end of fuel poverty”
  • “Dundee info hub wins UK award” * [this refers to a radical new way of communicating with Dundee’s citizens about all the things going on in their city, thus improving their sense of belonging, community spirit, etc.]
  • “All woman council announces programme of change”
  • “Dundee new year party involves all”
  • “Third (community) university opens in Dundee”
  • “No crime stories in local paper”
  • “Lowest teenage pregnancy rate – young baby-less boom!”
  • “Hilltown moves closer to city centre”
  • “Funicular route to Hilltown opens”


  • “Dundee first City to receive Nobel Prize for Science”
  • “Nobel prize winning scientist joins colleagues at Dundee”
  • “5 years of science & tourism career ladders at DSC”
  • “Free admission to Science Centres for all”


  • “Dundee high speed rail link opens – London now only three-and-a-half hours away”
  • “Electric train link to London complete”
  • “London – York – Edinburgh – Dundee tourist route attracts lots”
  • “Airport flights increased to City route”
  • “First one-hour train to Edinburgh”
  • “City centre officially car-free zone”

Health & Well-being

  • “Confident entrepreneurial spirit”
  • “Life expectancy in Dundee reaches Scottish average”
  • “Fit & fulfilled (health), Feedback”
  • “Tobacco sales reach all-time low”
  • “Cancer cure a virtual reality – cure developed using online gaming technology”
  • “Cutting carbon cures cancer”
  • “Dundee car ownership lowest in Europe”


  • “Bike lanes & walkers everywhere”
  • “Dundee: the Jolly Green Giant – city so prosperous due to green energy that everyone retires at 30”
  • “Dundee now self-sufficient energy city”
  • “Free energy for the elderly”


  • “Dundee’s new buildings win ‘Best Architecture’ awards”
  • “Campaign to rebuild Tayside House gathers pace”


  • “Red Star Dundee wins European Champions’ League”



In order to understand how the process of realising the above aspirations might start, participants were asked to identify the drivers of change for selected projects.

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Group 1

Culture change

  • How do we ensure that the new V&A museum becomes part of Dundee’s culture? – the V&A needs to learn as much about Dundee as Dundee needs to learn about the V&A
  • We need to better inform Dundee citizens about all the great things that are happening their city, e.g. taxi drivers as ambassadors for the city
  • Culture has to belong to everyone in the city, not become an elite activity


  • An improved cultural mix in Dundee will encourage a greater diversity of demand and this will help small retailers to compete against the ‘giants’ like Tesco
  • We need to find ways to stimulate local demand, e.g. mobile grocery vans selling vegetables, meat, fish, etc. and Farmers’ Markets visiting community areas
  • Need to educate people to consider local produce but must not lecture people

Group 2

The copy whiteboard above capures the enablers from this group. They saw Educational access for all being a key enabler. This was seen as needing attention both on the demand/pull side and the supply/push end. Major work needed to enable people to see the benefits of education and learning – for some this may be economic, for others about well-being. On the supply side seeing Further and Higher Education working much more closely together with secondary education – and secondary schools opened up for lifelong learning.

Bringing more (yes, more!) Nobel Prize winning scientists to the city will be enabled by further development of the scientific community – but also by continuing to develop Dundee as an amazingly attractive location. So, facilities like the DCA, V&A, restaurants, to augment the beautiful natural location.

Another key outcome and enabler was a confident, entrepreneurial spirit. This both creating new jobs, and also seeing a shift in business start-ups, funded by innovative means. Increasingly people starting their own businesses, enabling opportunity for people to create and participate in ‘work you love’ with ‘opportunities galore.’


A Dundee Wave of Change is a component of People Making Waves – A Scottish Wave of Change – and acknowledges the sponsorship of Creative Scotland and the Cultural Olympiad.

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