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15 December 2023 |

Prosper’s 2023 Wrapped

Thank you for working with us to seize the opportunities and overcome the barriers to a ‘fair, green and growing’ economy for all of Scotland.

Our trading name and look are new but SCDI’s purpose and governance remain the same. We welcomed such strong endorsement from founding members, the FM and the Secretary of State.

Shape the next stage of our journey as part of our Board or Policy Committee.

We look forward to doing more with you in 2024…

INSPIRE, INFORM & INFLUENCE

Over 2000 of you engaged with leaders from the world of business, academia and government at more than 40 member-only events across Scotland.

IN CONVERSATION WITH...

RBS’s Senior Economist & Climate Lead, Katerina Lisenkova kicked off the year with her insights into the economic prospects for 2023. Orsted’s VP Offshore Benj Sykes, Shell’s European lead for CCUS, Al Tucker, SNIB’s Chair, Willie Watt and CEO Al Denholm, Prospect Trade Union Scotland Secretary, Richard Hardy, Resolution Foundation’s Chief Executive Torsten Bell and University of Glasgow Principal, Economist Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli joined Influencers Dinners.

Global Energy Group’s founder, Roy MacGregor shared his life lessons with Highland members and we partnered with Inverness and Cromarty Green Freeport to showcase the size of the prize for Scotland if we get the offshore floating wind opportunity right.

We explored growth with Fraser of Allander Institute’s Professor Mairi Spowage, BBC Business and Economy Editor, Douglas Fraser and the Chancellor’s Productivity Advisor Dr Anna Valero (London School of Economics) in our Journey to Prosperity series.

Dr Anna Valero Speaking at Prosper's Journey to Prosperity Event

MEET THE POLITICIAN...

We held exclusive member roundtables with…

Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative Economy, Business, Finance & Local Government spokespeople, MSPs Willie Rennie Daniel Johnson and Liz Smith.

SNP Westminster, Leader Stephen Flynn MP.

Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Just Transition, Sarah Boyack MSP.

Not one but two Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State, Andrew Bowie MP for Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and the Scotland Office’s John Lamont MP.…and finally Conservative Leader, Douglas Ross MSP spoke to members about education reform.

FLAGSHIP EVENTS

  • A 400-strong audience was inspired by Wood CEO, Ken Gilmartin’s address at our Aberdeen Lecture.
  • Scotland’s 53rd National Economic Forum boasted an inspiring line-up including Bennett Institute of Public Policy Economist, Dr Matthew Agarwala, Chief Business Advisor to the Scottish Government Ellis Watson, Ayesha Hazaraka MBE and Innovate UK’s CEO Indro Mukerjee as well as the First Minister, Cabinet Secretary for the Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy, Neil Gray and Jonathan Reynolds the Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy.
  • Businesses across the Highlands & Islands were recognised for their contribution to a prosperous Scotland at our Highlands & Islands Business Excellence Awards in Inverness.
  • Members raised nearly £10,000 for charity at our three flagship events.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

We built on the Business Purpose Commission roadmap by securing a commitment in the Scottish Government’s New Deal for Business to take forward priority actions. More.

The value of maintaining strong relationships with European institutions and member states now Scotland is a third country hit home for the 20-strong delegation who joined our cross-sector mission to Brussels.

Our Natural Capital report was produced in response to a growing awareness that the current corporate-led model for offsetting carbon emissions by buying carbon credits will not by itself deliver a Just Transition for Scotland’s rural communities. The report makes the case for a SCDI-led investment vehicle to bridge the funding gap for natural capital by attracting higher private investment.

Members of Prosper's International Business Committee and CEO Sara Thiam in Brussels

INFLUENCE

Our Scottish Budget submission called for greater urgency about improving Scotland’s long-term economic performance.

Our Rural Commission update confirmed development, housing and transport as priorities if we are to harness the economic and social potential of rural parts of Scotland. The Update was informed by events in Stornoway, Inverary and Fort William designed to unlock growth in Scotland’s rural communities.

We championed Scotland’s economic priorities and contribution ensuring they are understood in Westminster and boardrooms.

Our response to the Withers Review and a letter to Minister for Higher and Further Education, Graeme Dey MSP, was informed by roundtables with Scottish Labour’s Economy spokesperson, ScotlandIS, BAE’s Sir Simon Lister and Scotland’s top employers. Sara co-chaired the Green Heat Finance Task Force with Zero Carbon Minister, Patrick Harvie MSP.

Our member roundtable with Benny Higgins will inform the UK Labour Party’s business engagement with Scotland.

Our Policy Committee met with:

  • Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance, Tom Arthur MSP
  • New Deal for Business Group co-chair, Dr Poonam Malik and Scottish Enterprise’s International Operations MD Rueben Aitken.
  • Minister for Small Business, Innovation, Tourism and Trade, Richard Lochhead MSP and Department of Business & Trade Minister for Exports, Lord Offord of Garvel (Malcolm Offord) both met with our International Committee.

Humza Yousaf & Lord Stewart of Dirleton KC with SCDI Founders: Rozanne Foyer, Scottish Trade Union Congress; Michael Downey, Committee of Scottish Bankers; Judith Cruickshank, Royal Bank of Scotland; Stephen Leckie, Scottish Chambers of Commerce; & Councillor Shona Morrison, COSLA.

INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION

5,857 school pupils from across Scotland engaged in YESC’s award-winning school outreach programme.

Our team delivered 17 CPD sessions to teachers from the Scottish Borders to Shetland.

The support of our partners at Shell has expanded delivery of our Carbon Capture and Storage project project to over 40 classes at schools in the North East and Fife.

View our impact video.

POWERING UP PRODUCTIVITY

2400 members are learning how to work better and smarter.

Our Productivity Clubs started their journey as Peer Works.

30 free events were delivered with almost 700 attendees.