The Scottish Parliament's think-tank

Our Future Scotland: Aberdeen and the North East

In partnership with the University of Aberdeen, on 25 May 2018, the Futures Forum held an event on the aspirations for our future in Aberdeen and the North East.

Using the Our Future Scotland video as a prompt, an expert panel provided their perspective on the opportunities for the North East in particular and Scotland in general.

The panel at the Our Future Scotland event at the University of Aberdeen

L-R: Neil McLennan, Edel Harris, Duncan Cockburn and Rob Littlejohn

Edel Harris, chief executive of social care organisation Cornerstone and EY Scotland entrepreneur of the year 2017 was joined by chair of Culture Aberdeen Dr Duncan Cockburn and Neil McLennan, senior lecturer at the University of Aberdeen School of Education for the discussion.

The seminar was chaired by Futures Forum head of business Rob Littlejohn.

The audience at the Our Future Scotland event

After the discussion, participants were given the opportunity to feed in their aspirations for our future. Here is a selection of the comments:

  • Repopulate the Hebrides by supporting buy-outs of islands such as Ulva
  • Support traditional food and drink businesses as start-ups – Grampian companies such as Baxters and Walkers were small once!
  • Stop obsessing about the “digital revolution” – define our own goals and stop following Silicon Valley
  • Change our overreliance of low-paid service jobs
  • Why do we still depend on GP referrals and appointments by post? We need accessible electronic patient records covering all aspects of health
  • We need to take huge opportunities to enhance our lives without losing the vital human touch – if we lose that, we are in deep trouble
  • We need protections for Scotland’s coastlines, rivers, wilderness areas and national parks
  • Better funding for health services and mental health care given a higher priority
  • We should feel freer to break away from the status quo
  • The future must be tackled proactively

Postcards from the audience at the Our Future Scotland event