Thinking Globally, drinking locally!

by Julian Westaby.

SCDI - Global Ambitions Conference

SCDI - Global Ambitions Conference

We were one of the partners in Global Ambitions, the major SCDI/Scottish Development International conference on Scotland’s International Future, which took place at Murrayfield Stadium yesterday. We attend and partner up with lots of events but this one was very important for two reasons. Firstly, it was a meeting of the great and good, and was non-sector specific. Basically, everyone with an interest in Scotland’s future attended and it was a bit of a ‘who’s who’ of the corporate and public sectors in Scotland.

Secondly and probably more importantly was the up-beat nature of the event. Far from being rich in a ‘batten-down-the hatches’ rhetoric, it was, dare we say it, rather upbeat. All the presentations will be available on the SCDI website shortly so we won’t labour on the exact content but it’s fair to say, it was very positive. Minimum use of the phrase ‘in this current climate’. Sparse mention of the ‘R’ word. In fact, when ‘recession’ was mentioned, all the speakers seemed to look on it as a positive thing for Scotland, something that could act as a springboard of opportunity for those with Global Ambitions.

For instance, Alan Keir, The Group General Manager Commercial Banking, Europe for HSBC, (one of the banking Groups who emerged from the financial debacle with rather more integrity than most) he was very upbeat. There were a number of pointers in his speech which showed we may emerge from the doom and gloom a lot quicker than people realise. We could add “here’s hoping” but in effect, it’s not about hope, it’s about action. The common concensus was Scotland’s future will be a success story, based on a bit of clever planning but a lot of bloody hard work and perseverance.

Our favourite quote of the day however, that came from Ian Irvine, Co-Founder and Technical Director at Sgurr Energy. Sgurr Energy, is based is Glasgow but has a burgeoning presence, in most corners of the globe. They are setting the heather and (lots of other types of fauna) on fire, maybe not the best phrase to use…as world leaders in the exciting and obviously Globally significant area of renewable energy consultancy.

Ian’s multi-disciplined, multi-talented, multi-lingual, multi-national team is obviously a clever assortment of individuals but his matter-of-factish mantra of “Think Globally-Drink Locally” summed-up the day perfectly for us. It’s a phrase we intend to pinch. And use. A lot.

No matter what you do in business and no matter where you do it, most things are all about communications. Utilising and nurturing great people, as part of a ‘joined-up’ team. Something we’d be prepared to drink to. Slainthe!