I was there, I heard him say it! At the recent Annual CBI Scotland Dinner in Glasgow Alistair Darling told us the the recession was coming to an end, his words;
”Almost exactly a year ago, I said the world was facing the worst economic conditions in 60 years. Today, I can say that as a result of the action taken by governments everywhere, I am confident that we will see a global recovery next year…there are now visible signs that global confidence is returning:
World equity markets have risen for five months in a row
The US housing market is showing some signs of stabilisation
Economies in Asia are again growing steadily
All of this, if sustained, will support global demand over the next few months.
That is why I continue to believe that we will see growth in our economy resume around the turn of the year.”
Do we believe him?
Have we turned the corner?
Or is this rise to be followed by a sharp decline?
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!
Well, Well! That wee bit about The Lighthouse’s demise got many peoples’ knickers in a fanckle. If as many folk had shown interest when it was open it would have not needed to close! However, Glasgow’s own Internet phenomenon/BBC comedian Limmy summed it up on the link we posted when he said he wasn’t sure if you were allowed to go in, or not? That’s also the reaction and the comments I got from a lot of people over the weekend. Just not clear enough what it was.
Anyway, until we hear more on the Lighthouse’s fate (and yes, we’d like to suggest things here!), let’s discuss the newcomer, Trongate 103, in more detail. Good name, interesting space. I cannae see me getting an invite to the opening in mid-September, especially after suggesting it’s fulfilling a role that The Lighthouse could easily have done, so I’ve checked out the website. However, as mentioned in the last blog (which literally hundreds of peeps viewed) it’s here now, so we’ll be supporting it and getting right behind it. In speaking about The Lighthouse, I had a tongue-in-cheek go at the “design arty farties” (they know who they are) but I’d like to see Trongate 103 be a bit more ‘Glasgow’. You shouldnae have to be ‘up yer ain tailpipe’ to ‘get it’. It certainly can’t be a place where everyone’s not really sure whether you are allowed to go in, or not. It needs to be all-involving and…dare I say it a bit more fun? Somewhere you could go for a cool but fun day out.
If any of the Trongate 103 team DO read this, then yeah, we’d love to come along and check out this cool new space, so we can comment properly. D8 are down the stairs from us and the website they designed looks fabulous and reflects what unquestionably is a great space. So, here’s hoping it ignites all the sparks that The Lighthouse failed to.
Oh, all the design/architecture dudes who commented in our blog and suggested that with 25 years in design I just wasn’t clever or sophisticated enough to ‘get’ the Lighthouse, perhaps Trongate 103 should invite them as well, to see if, in their eyes it’s cool or clever enough for the Glasgow public? Unlike us, they’re in a lofty and sophisticated position and clearly ‘get’ most things of a lofty and sophisticated nature, so probably a good idea to get their blessing…
Quite a good bit in The Sunday Times today about the The Lighthouse and that’s what I’m returning to do, read the papers, maybe even have a glass of wine. More, early next week. Wonder who we can annoy next week?