At the heart of the seminar series was the core group whom the investigators personally invited. Members of the core group were asked in writing at the start to commit to all five meetings in order to ensure continuity and the building up of reflexive dialogue. The investigators had good existing contacts with both academics and practitioners across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the core group was selected to represent a good balance of gender, stage of career, academic discipline and sector. Many core group members were from user groups who were in a strong position to take forward ideas and practical initiatives. The majority of the core group attended at least four seminars, so that the 43 member core group was fully representative of the identified target groups.
The core group included 34 educationalists. Amongst these, two were professors, seven were lecturers or senior lecturers, ten were graduate research students, 12 were from the public sectors or from NGOs (including UNESCO Paris, SACRO, Lincolnshire and Lancashire Local Authorities, the Restorative Justice Council (RJC) and the Welsh Assembly) one was a head teacher and four were teachers. There were professors from Social Policy, Criminology, Psychology and Health Sciences from Edinburgh, Portsmouth, Goldsmiths London and Surrey Universities, and another six lecturers and senior lecturers from the fields of Philosophy, Anthropology and Law from the universities of Complutense, Spain, Birmingham, Sheffield, Glasgow, Manchester, Hull, and Newport, Wales. On each occasion, the host investigator invited an additional ten to fifteen participants, and this had the effect of increasing the dissemination and impact of discussion and ideas from the seminars.
Each seminar involved a presentation from at least one international speaker, and at least one research student.