RUSSELL DALGLEISH says Tartan Day interviews revealed the benefits of working together
A unifying theme of the Tartan Day celebrations appears to be developing, best described as “Tartan Collaboration”, – Scots and Scottish organisations working together to the benefit of the nation. As we embark on the second week, this theme was best represented during an interview with Mark Logan, author of the recent Logan Report.
He laid out a clear plan for the development of a vibrant tech ecosystem in Scotland and discussed the opportunity to learn from best practice across the globe, in particular the need to accept that we must change the way we approach the concept of collaboration.
It was inspiring to hear is thoughts and how he has been asked to oversee a £7 million project to turn Scotland into a world class technology hub.
Improving the way Scotland is marketed internationally was the focus of a session looking at Scottish culture featuring Pauline Hunter, Chief of Clan Hunter, together with Anna McDonald, director of the Association of Exiled Scots, and Scottish artist Gerard Burns.
All agreed that the Scottish brand was a powerful asset to drive trade for Scotland with the world. However, there was a need to invest in taking advantage of key international opportunities such as the Dubai Expo later this year and Tartan Week in New York in 2022. The panel felt that investment by the state in these opportunities would deliver a tremendous ROI for Scotland.
Stephen Ingledew is a man who knows a bit about collaboration having established Fintech Scotland as an excellent example of a thriving international Ecosystem in Scotland. More recently, Stephen has been working with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government looking at the potential future of Scotland. He identified four broad areas where Scotland could take a lead globally
1. Digital & Tech
2. Health Innovation and Life Sciences
3. Innovation to address the challenges of Climate Change
4. Advanced Manufacturing
Stephen summed up perfectly the mindset change that Scots must adopt. “We must focus on looking through the front windscreen and not the rear-view mirror,” he said.
In a live interview from his office in Silicon Valley, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and GlobalScot Eric McAfee shared his thoughts on the advantages possessed by entrepreneurs and investors in Scotland.
From an investment perspective Eric spoke about the advantage the proximity of London is for those seeking investment and the fact that Scottish investors do not face the level of competition found in Silicon Valley when competing to invest in the latest innovation.
He discussed the positivity with which the world perceives the “Scottish accent” in business but also the need for Scottish companies to be more confident when reaching out internationally.
In the interview he shared his own personal experience in building businesses from conception to billion dollar valuations on the US stock market.
For collaboration to deliver it is essential that we have access to individuals who can provide guidance, support, and access to international networks. From these interviews this week it is clear that Scots have access to individuals who clearly possess these characterises and are looking to help.
All these interviews are available at www.tartanday.scot