In this section you'll find information about our most recent work, along with links to our previous projects and seminars. A Guide and Legacy Report for the 2011 – 2016 Parliamentary Session is now available as an Adobe Slate presentation:

Automation in the Scottish Economy

The growing level of automation in Scotland’s economy and the implications for our workforce was the subject of Scotland's Futures Forum's first Futures Breakfast Seminar in 2017.

Hosted by Richard Leonard MSP on behalf of the Parliament's Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee, the seminar heard from Ewan Mearns of Scottish Enterprise’s strategy and sectors team on recent research it has carried out on the developing role of robotics and artificial intelligence in Scotland.

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Digital Democracy

The best in European democratic innovation was presented at a seminar in the Scottish Parliament hosted jointly by Scotland’s Futures Forum and Nesta. Pioneers from across the continent brought their experience of how digital tools can transform local and national democracy and their thoughts on the challenges that lie ahead.

Chaired by Futures Forum director Claudia Beamish MSP and Nesta’s head of policy in Scotland Peter McColl, the event provided an opportunity to discuss some of the opportunities and challenges of digital democracy in Scotland.

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Fostering Cultures of Innovation

In 2016, we supported the Scottish Universities Insight Institute programme on Fostering Cultures of Innovation, with the final workshop held at the Scottish Parliament. At the conference, the five SUII-funded projects presented their research, on the following five topics:

  • Community landownership
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • The circular economy
  • Workplace innovation
  • Health and social care

In this video, SUII Director Charlie Woods talks through the themes emerging from the different projects: inclusion, investment and integration.

Full information can be found on the SUII webpage on Fostering Cultures of Innovation.

Rethinking Wellbeing

Following Scotland’s Futures Forum 2012/13 seminar series on rethinking wellbeing, the Forum teamed up with the Scottish Universities Insight Institute (SUII) to support six project teams to look at different aspects of wellbeing.

Guided by an umbrella strategy group that also included the Scottish Government, Carnegie UK Trust, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Audit Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, SCVO and Oxfam Scotland, the programmes addressed social, environmental and economic wellbeing with the aim of making a contribution to the development of policy and practice in Scotland and elsewhere, including the development of Scotland’s National Performance Framework, ‘Scotland Performs’.

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Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

As top universities from around the world begin to offer these free, online courses with completely open enrolment to tens or even hundreds of thousands of participants, MOOCs are sparking debate about their potential impact on higher education.

During 2016 Scotland’s Futures Forum helped develop a MOOC on the theme of social wellbeing. The free online course, which builds on the Forum’s wellbeing work, aims to create a global community of wellbeing practitioners, who can inspire and learn from each other. 

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Scotland 2025: A World-leading Learning Nation

As part of Scotland’s Futures Forum strategic link with the Goodison Group in Scotland in the area of learning and skills, our organisations undertook a project on Scotland as a world-leading learning nation.

This ambitious project took a futures look at the learning environment in 2025 and beyond. It aimed to help to change attitudes and the ways in which policymakers, educators, employers and all interested parties, as well as learners, think about education and the different forms of learning and skills required for the 21st century.

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Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Research demonstrates how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and family businesses can significantly grow the Scottish economy. It also suggests that governments across Europe need to recognise the importance of providing support for business transfers to help sustain existing businesses.

Over 100 representatives from SMEs and family business, government agencies, education and professional advisers from around Scotland gathered at two landmark conferences held in Edinburgh and Inverness to discuss what the research means for Scotland.

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Previous Projects and Resources

Sustainable communities in 2030, approaches to drug and alcohol, growing older and wiser, and much much more here