The Scottish Parliament's think-tank

EVENT POSTPONED: Our Future Scotland – South-West Scotland

Image by Alison Smith from Pixabay

We hope to run this event in 2020.

What hopes and aspirations do we have for the future?

In conjunction with the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Futures Forum is hosting a debate in Dumfries to encourage people to look to the future of Scotland in 2030 and beyond.

Chaired by Dame Barbara Kelly, this panel-led debate will explore the futures we can foresee for Scotland and how they might impact on south-west Scotland in particular.

Using the Our Future Scotland film to start the debate, and with an expert panel featuring the poet Tom Pow and environmental scientist Dr Natalie Welden, this event will enable participants to look positively to our shared future.


Dame Barbara Kelly

A partner in a farming enterprise in Galloway for over 50 years, most of Dame Barbara Kelly’s work has been in the public and third sector. Her main interests lie in consumer affairs, equality issues, education, rural and environmental matters.

Appointments have included chairing the Robertson Trust, Scottish Consumer Council, the UK Architects Registration Board and the Crichton Foundation. She also sat on the Boards of Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Enterprise and was Equal Opportunities Commissioner for Scotland.

Barbara’s business appointments have included Non-Executive Director, Clydesdale Bank plc; the Scottish Advisory Board, BP plc; Board Member, BT Scotland; and Board Member Post Office Scotland.

Tom Pow

Tom Pow was born in Edinburgh in 1950 and has lived for many years in south-west Scotland.

Primarily a poet, several of his collections have won awards and three of his poetry collections have been short-listed for Scottish Book of the Year. Most recently, Dear Alice – Narratives of Madness (Salt Publishing) won the poetry category in the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust’s Scottish Book Awards in 2009. He has also written young adult novels, picture books, radio plays and a travel book about Peru.

He has held various writing posts, including that of Scottish/Canadian Writing Fellow, based at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and Virtual Writer in Residence (Scotland’s first) for the Scottish Library Association’s Scottish Writers Project. He was the first ever Writer in Residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival from 2001 to 2003.

From 2000 to 2009, he worked for the University of Glasgow in Dumfries, latterly as Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Storytelling. Tom is currently Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University Dumfries.

Dr Natalie Welden

Natalie is a lecturer in Environmental Science and Sustainability at the Dumfries Campus of the University of Glasgow.

Natalie studied ecology and marine management before undertaking a PhD with the University of Glasgow at the University Marine Biological Station Millport, in which she analysed the impacts of microplastic in the Clyde Sea Area. 

After finishing her PhD, Natalie worked at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, the Open University in Milton Keynes and the University of Portsmouth

Natalie returned to the University of Glasgow in August 2018, joining the School of Interdisciplinary Studies as a lecturer on the BSc in Environmental Science and Sustainability degree.