The Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI) is an independent and inclusive economic development network which seeks to influence and inspire Government and key stakeholders with our ambitious vision to create sustainable economic growth for Scotland. SCDI's diverse and influential membership forms a gathering of knowledge, experience and talent which provides a dynamic and creative force for change.

Reflective of SCDI's unique membership, Forum brings together senior representatives drawn from the public, private and social economy sectors, providing a platform for dialogue, discussion and debate on the levers required to strengthen and grow Scotland's economy in an emerging environment.

Thursday 17 & Friday 18 March 2016
Venue: Fairmont St.Andrews                                               #scdiforum

As world events continue to drive ever increasing change in the economic system, join us on an interactive journey at the SCDI Forum 2016 to 'The Emerging Economy' - as we explore the developing key characteristics that will shape the ways in which we do business here at home and how we transact trade internationally.


Profound technological, economic and geopolitical disruptions are changing the world around us at an accelerating pace, raising questions for all businesses and for how we do business. An emerging economy, in all its diversity, is approaching into view...

More entrepreneurial and intraprenuerial, economically and socially agile and adaptable by necessity. Highly competitive, but increasingly collaborative, requiring a more active regulatory relationship. Personalised, but more sharing in consumption. Has Scotland got the focus, appetite for risk and ambition to be at the forefront of these economic changes? Do our leaders, managers and workforces have the skills, opportunities and mindset to become early adopters?

We will consider the potential opportunities as we move through developing infrastructure towards a low carbon future and to an increasingly digital economy supporting innovation. The next opportunity to consider the context for our economy and how it interacts internationally will of course be the forthcoming EU Referendum, with the challenges and opportunities which that debate will bring.

We will be taking the findings of our Blueprint research around the three key economic challenges of the need for increased Innovation, Productivity and Internationalisation, underpinned by Infrastructure, into Forum 2016.

Addressing Forum 2016 will be senior politicians from both the Scottish Government and UK Government - with keynote addresses from The Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland and The Rt Hon David Mundell MP, Secretary of State for Scotland.

Creating a Common Economic Platform:
A key feature of our annual Forum is political engagement with government and this year we are delighted to announce - in a first for Scotland - that both the First Minister and The Secretary of State for Scotland will jointly appear on our common economic platform at the Forum Dinner on the evening of Thursday 17 March in St.Andrews. The First Minister and Secretary of State will each address the issues raised by our recently published Blueprint report 'From Fragile To Agile: A Blueprint For Growth & Prosperity', with specific focus on the Productivity Puzzle and how innovation, internationalisation and modern, low carbon infrastructure can support solutions.

With the EU Referendum in mind we are also delighted to announce that delivering the closing Forum keynote address on 18 March will be David McAllister MEP. As a politician representing Germany's CDU Party, Mr McAllister has Scottish heritage, and has recently voiced his desire for the UK to remain within the EU.

With addresses from senior business representatives representing the rich mix and broad balance of the economy - including amonst others:
Jim McColl OBE, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Clyde Blowers Capital; Prof.Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor, University of Strathclyde; Sir John Armitt CBE, Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission & President of the Institution of Civil Engineers; Prof.Winy Maas, Co-Founding Director, MVRDV Architects, The Netherlands; environmental entrepreneur Kresse Wesling MBE, Co-Founder of Elvis & Kresse; Bob Keiller, Chair, Scottish Enterprise; Carl Paraskevas - Senior Financial Economist, Commercial Banking, Lloyds Bank; Ronnie Quinn - General Manager - Scotland Portfolio, The Crown Estate; Chris Toop - General Manager - Energy, Scottish Water; Paul Chong, Director of Watson Group - EMEA, IBM; Prof.François Garçon, Senior Lecturer & Associate Professor, Université Paris-Sorbonne; and Lady Susan Rice CBE, President, SCDI 
- we will emerge from our collective conference discussions, learnings and interactions with a more concise view of Scotland and the wider UK's 'emerging economy' and our future international interactions. 

Join us at the SCDI Forum 2016 as we energise the debate in driving economic growth for Scotland. 

 The Forum programme consists of three main sessions- an Executive Symposium, Forum Dinner & the Forum 2016 conference.

SCDI FORUM 2016 - Friday 18 March (08.00 - 15.00)A full day conference featuring main-stage plenary sessions, interactive experiences, breakout groups and networking opportunities. The Forum is attended by circa 250 delegates.

Executive Symposium - Thursday 17 March (12.00 - 17.00)The Executive Symposium is a pre-conference session aimed at high level debate and discussion on the main themes. It is attended by circa 70 senior stakeholders, partners and economic experts. There are a limited number of places ... (Read more)

Businesses from across the Highlands & Islands region had the opportunity to enter for this year's SCDI H&I Excellence in Award categories as detailed below, and we were delighted to announce the Winners in each category as:

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Benromach Award for Excellence in International Business
Winner: Scottish Sea Farms Ltd
A Highly Commended recognition was also made in this category to Forsyths
... (Read more)