Let's talk: The Scotsman Conferences

The Scotsman hosts lively discussions on the topics that matter in Scotland.

The Scotsman Conferences cover the issues that matter the most. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
The Scotsman Conferences cover the issues that matter the most. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Almost 600 delegates discussed, debated and engaged with the issues that really matter at The Scotsman’s six conferences and seminars held throughout 2016. “How can Scotland be a global leader in life sciences?” was the question tackled by the panel – chaired by chief executive of the Scottish Lifesciences Association Scott Johnstone – at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 1 March.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney was joined by speakers including Andrew Fowlie of the Health Innovation Partnership, Patrick Wiggins of the Irvine Bay enterprise area (the event sponsor) and Caroline Strain, head of life and chemical sciences at Scottish Enterprise for lively discussions on everything from attracting global investment to support the sector in Scotland to building world-class manufacturing facilities.

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At The Scotsman’s breakfast seminar on the impact of the Land Reform Act, sponsored by Turcan Connell, SNP MSP for Argyll & Bute Mike Russell told delegates Scotland needs to be “more radical and determined” about land reform if it is to resolve the long-standing issue of communities not being able to access resources to improve their lives.

Russell also sat on the political panel at Forestry and Timber: Scotland’s hidden success story on 22 March as speakers and attendees looked at how better communication was vital to convey the positives in the sector.

Scotland’s £1 billion forestry and timber industry has been something of a hot topic in recent years and returned as the theme for The Scotsman’s seminar in November.

Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet secretary for rural economy and connectivity, was among the speakers and outlined plans to complete the full devolution of forestry to Scotland with new legislation to replace the Forestry Act 1967.

At Community Pharmacy: Supporting Patients, Delivering for Scotland on 6 September, Professor Rose Marie Parr, chief pharmaceutical officer for Scotland, spoke about the role of pharmacy in a modern NHS.

The message to the 95 delegates in attendance was that community pharmacies are “hiding in plain sight” across Scotland and have significant potential to deliver a far wider range of services to take pressure off GPs and other health professionals.

The days of dry finger sandwiches are long gone and increasingly it’s the food and drink that lingers in the minds of attendees.

Delicious Scottish produce is always a feature of our annual food and drink conference, which generated healthy debate at Food and drink: a skilled innovative future on 20 September.

Sponsored by Bank of Scotland, discussions centred on how to take a successful £14.4 billion sector to the next level by harnessing skills and innovation – and making a positive long-term impact by teaching primary pupils about diet and nutrition.

“Scottish food and drink firms are ambassadors for our country,” says Jane Clark-Hutchison, regional director, mid markets, Central Scotland, at Bank of Scotland.

“The Scotsman’s food and drink conference, which we have sponsored for five successive years, is a fantastic opportunity to come together to share our experiences for the future benefit of the sector as a whole.”

Ahead of the event, Bank of Scotland publishes its annual market survey of the food and drink sector in Scotland, which gives a snapshot of the shape of the industry.

“The Scotsman’s food and drink conference gives us a great platform to share this insight with the industry, providing an indication of the key challenges and opportunities it faces.”

The Scotsman’s conferences offer:

Focused, half-day conferences

Networking and brand building opportunities

High-quality speakers and engaged, influential audiences

Insightful, topical subject matters, generating interesting debate

For details of how to sponsor our policy events, please contact Adam Fenech on 0788 598 2183, [email protected] or Lauren White on 0131 311 7233, [email protected]

21 March, 2017: Inspiring Growth: alternative ways to take your business to the next level

Full 2017 conference programme will be on www.scotsmanconferences.com

This article appears in the WINTER 2016 edition of Vision Scotland. An online version can be read here. Further information about Vision Scotland here.