The Scottish Parliament's think-tank

EVENT: A Fair and Sustainable Scotland: How fair is fair?

Diagram showing life expectancy rates in Glasgow against a train map"Life expectancy in Glasgow", NHS Health Scotland, December 2021

Tuesday 3 October 2023, 6pm to 7.30pm at the Scottish Parliament

Scotland has clear ambitions: eradicating child poverty, becoming a net zero country, and developing an entrepreneurial and inclusive economy. But our problems remain entrenched. We have deep and increasing inequalities, worsening life expectancy, and public services struggling to meet demand in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In this context, how do we want Scotland to change over the next 20 years? Complete equality of outcome is impossible, so what does success look like? How will we tell when we have a fair country? And what should we be doing now to build it?

Join our expert panel to consider different futures for Scotland:

  1. Professor Graeme Roy, from the University of Glasgow and Scottish Fiscal Commission
  2. Satwat Rehman, chief executive of One Parent Families Scotland
  3. Graeme Armstrong, award-winning author

Chaired by Esther Roberton, a Futures Forum director, this event will contribute to a project on tackling structural inequalities in Scotland.

Speaker Biographies

Graeme Roy

Graeme Roy is Dean of External Engagement in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow and, since 2022, chair of the Scottish Fiscal Commission.

Prior to this, he was Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde and a former Senior Civil Servant in the Scottish Government, where he was Head of the First Minister’s Policy Unit and a Senior Economic Adviser.

He is one of the co-leads on a project – supported by the John Templeton Foundation – to commemorate the tercentenary of Adam Smith.

Satwat Rehman

Satwat Rehman is the Chief Executive of One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS). Satwat has more than 30 years’ experience in the voluntary and public sector in Scotland and England, working in the fields of equalities, education, employability, economic development/regeneration and early years and childcare.

Satwat has been a member of several commissions and advisory groups including the National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, the Just Transition Commission and the Scottish Government’s Social Renewal Advisory Board.

Satwat is also on the boards of Child Poverty Action Group (UK) and Children in Scotland, a trustee of Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland, and chair of  Intercultural Youth Scotland.

Graeme Armstrong

Graeme Armstrong is a Scottish writer from Airdrie. His teenage years were spent within North Lanarkshire’s gang culture. He was inspired to study English Literature following his reading of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting at just sixteen.

Alongside overcoming his own struggles with drug addiction, alcohol abuse and violence, he defied expectation to read English as an undergraduate at the University of Stirling, where, after graduating with honours, he returned to study a Masters’ in Creative Writing.

His debut novel, The Young Team is inspired by his experiences.


University of Glasgow logo

With thanks to the University of Glasgow for supporting this event as part of its work to mark the Adam Smith Tercentenary.

Adam Smith 300 year anniversary logo