ONE of the world’s most influential voices on social justice and reform has given his backing to the Christie Report’s recommendations for a radical overhaul of public services in Scotland.
Edgar Cahn, a US civil rights lawyer and founder of the time banking movement, said the Scottish Government-commissioned report was “gutsy” and had the potential to enhance Scottish society but warned that policy makers would face opposition to many of the changes it calls for.
Delivering an address to invited guests at the Stirling headquarters of Volunteer Development Scotland (VDS), Cahn said: “It’s a visionary piece of work. It’s gutsy.
“To produce a report which says, ‘we need real system change’ takes character.
“This report provides a vehicle to deliver that change but it has to be about more than just the written word.
“Real change requires action and there are groups with vested interests who will be resistant to that.”
Cahn, whose visit was organised by VDS, Time Banking UK and Common Purpose, arrived in Scotland on Monday when he addressed Cabinet Secretary Nicola Sturgeon with an audience NHS health board chairs before attending a Time Banking event at the Scottish Parliament and a civic reception in Perth.
His views have been shaped by decades of pioneering work in the United States where he founded Time Banks – a community model that invites people to give their time and skills to others in return for vouchers that can be exchanged for the skills of other members of the group.