What is the Fire Starter Festival?

Fire Starter Festival (FSF) is an annual festival held in February. The last festival took place 1-5 February, and was held predominately on-line. The festival is co-created with people, communities and public services sharing sparks of creativity, imagination and innovation that have the potential to transform how we live and the services that support us. It transcends traditional boundaries providing a space to explore complex issues affecting society and ‘share pockets of the future in present’: the small fires of change.

We support event organisers to host their own events on questions, topics or themes that matter to them, while also hosting the launch and a few events during the festival. It is a great opportunity to engage with diverse participants locally and globally – ‘meeting people you never know you needed to meet’.

Stay Connected & Informed!

Stay up-to-date with anything new around the Fire Starter Festival by signing up to our newsletter ‘The Spark’, and come along to our weekly campfire sessions.

Sparkfest - the New Festival Mini-Series

Sparkfest is a newly designed mini-festival. It has been designed to provide opportunities to delve more deeply into the experiences, outcomes and workings of the Fire Starter Festival.

The first Sparkfest took place fully online from 6 -7 October 2020. The sessions have been recorded, so make sure you have a look!

Commitment from the First Minister

The First Minister has provided a clear commitment to empowering individuals and communities to become involved in designing public services. You can see a video of The First Minister talking about FSF at our 2018 launch event.

Many people across Scotland are currently lighting their own small fires by exploring genuine, participatory methods of engagement, creating innovative and transformative changes.


Creative Bravery Festival - Born out of #FSF2020

The Creative Bravery Festival started as such a spark out of the last Fire Starter Festival and has now developed into a movement reimagining education.
One of the aims of the festival is to encourage and support sparks that continue the work of inquiry, creativity and innovation. We continue to work closely with the Brave Team of festival organisers, through joint campfires and encouraging those who are taking creatively brave steps to share their experiences at the FSF.

The Fire Starter Team

The Fire Starter Festival is run by the Collective Leadership for Scotland team at The Scottish Government.


Please note that the majority of Fire Starter events are self-hosted. Views expressed at events during Fire Starter Festival are not necessarily endorsed by the Collective Leadership for Scotland team and the Scottish Government.

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