Media release: The Times Scotland launches ‘Future of Scotland’ series

News Scotland

SCOTLAND’S biggest city must adjust to and adopt technological innovation in order to thrive, leading figures from the worlds of business, finance and academia have said at the first Future of Scotland event held by The Times Scotland today.

Kenny Farquharson, senior writer and columnist for The Times Scotland, chaired a panel discussing the prospects for Glasgow, which consisted of Debbie Crosbie, the group chief operating officer at Clydesdale Bank; Professor Sir Jim McDonald, the principal at the University of Strathclyde; and Silka Patel, the marketing manager of digital transformation in UK and Ireland at Cisco.

An audience of 80 guests gathered at News Scotland headquarters in Glasgow to hear Crosbie say that the city can have a “really bright future” if its citizens, employers and public bodies work together more closely in order to address its social and economic problems and close the gap between highly-skilled residents and those with little-to-no skills.

Professor McDonald followed by saying that the city had not celebrated its previous successes enough, and spoke of what he called a ‘triple helix’ of better engagement between public, private and academic sectors to help boost the prospects for everyone in the city.

McDonald also said its academic and industrial strength meant Glasgow could be “bold enough to aspire to be an innovation hub not just for the UK but for Europe”.

Finally, Silka Patel rejected the idea that the current ‘digital poverty gap’ will widen as a result of further technological advances, instead arguing that making cities smarter through better public wi-fi provision and improved public transport connectivity will bring cities and other communities across Scotland closer together.

Sponsored by global law firm, Addleshaw Goddard, the breakfast event was the first of what will be a series of four forums: The Future of Scotland: Cities Facing Forward. It will be followed in the weeks to come by similar events in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Magnus Llewellin, editor of The Times Scotland, said: “This project underlines the determination of The Times Scotland to be at the heart of the national conversation.

“We are creating a crucible for imaginative new thinking, and I am delighted that leaders in business, culture, academia and civic life have agreed to share their thoughts and experiences with us.”

Richard Bogie, general manager of News Scotland, said: “We are delighted to launch our Future of Scotland series as part of News Scotland’s overall ambition to be a leading events business across all of our market leading brands.

“The Times, The Sunday Times and The Scottish Sun have great brand strength, credibility and audience reach across a growing range of platforms. Our burgeoning events capability is becoming increasingly attractive to wide consumer and business audiences, and is attracting significant sponsor and partnership interest.”

The Times Scotland has previously partnered with Savills, Brodies and Aberdein Considine.

Notes to editors:

Other events held by News Scotland this year:

02/02/2017: Savills/The Times Scotland property research launch

05/05/2017: The Sunday Times Scotland/Brodies series of four Brexit breakfasts

01/06/2017: Times+/Red Box Matt Chorley General Election event

15/06/2017: Aberdein Considine property monitor/The Times Scotland event

05/10/2017: Future of Scotland launch event in Glasgow

25/10/2017: Future of Scotland event in Edinburgh

09/11/2017: Future of Scotland event in Dundee

07/12/2017: Future of Scotland event in Aberdeen

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