Scottish International Week is fast approaching, and it’s sure to be a forum full of fantastic insight. The event will debate and discuss trends, opportunities and challenges in Scotland’s business sector, including leadership, areas for growth, and the nation’s place among international competition.
The event has been organised jointly by the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Scottish Business Network (SBN). The summit will be held throughout next week, from Monday 9th to Friday 13th October at the new IoD headquarters in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh.
Russell Dalgleish, Co-Founder of the SBN told DIGIT: “One of the targets of the Scottish Government is to raise the aspiration for exports for Scottish companies. The concept for International Week came from David Watt (Head of the IoD), and I after assessing the landscape of internationalisation for Scottish Industry”
“David and I have managed to pull together some of the leading experts in international trade and crucially, these aren’t advisors – they are practitioners. For example, we have representatives from the American and Irish Consulates talking about the support that they can provide to companies.”
Keynote speakers at the event include Susan Wilson, Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate General in Edinburgh, responsible for all American Citizen Services in Scotland and strengthening the U.S.-Scottish relations.
“Rosemary McLennan is really interesting,” says Dalgleish. “Rosemary runs the Personal Assistant Network Scotland. If you think about it, she has built a network of all of the people who sit at the right-hand of chief-execs, so she has got an amazing insight into business from that perspective. Craig Mathieson – ‘Scotland’s Explorer’ – is also pretty incredible. He has built a charity finding international opportunities for kids.
“This is what it’s all about – stretching our ambition as a country.”
“It’s quite daunting to think about trading outside of Scotland, whether it’s London, France or Asia. How do you start?” asks Dalgleish. “The speakers will give you that idea of how you go about it – for instance Bob Keiller will speak on assessing which markets to enter and the thinking process you should go through. I’m also making available the entire global Scottish Business Network – all of our members, associates and friends around the world who have identified the fact that they are willing to provide pro-bono support to Scottish companies.”
Alongside those already mentioned, also taking part in the summit are:
- U.S. entrepreneur – R. Michael Anderson
- Language Coach – Rachel Paling M.D.
- Consul General of Ireland in Scotland – Mark Hanniffy
- CEO, RockDoctor, Author & Mentor – Dr. Astri Kvassnes
- CEO at Spiritus Partners – Susan Ramonat
- Co-Founder Happy Message, Executive Coach and Communication & Marketing Specialist – Johan Oden
- Founder of Financial Network Limited – Suhail Ahmad
Dalgleish concludes: “The Scottish Business Network has created a global community of Scots. And this global community is looking to work with Scottish companies. I hope that we will inspire some of these Scottish companies to contact those that we’ve got on our network. We’re a not-for-profit organisation, for example if you were to phone me up and say, ‘I’m moving to Bulgaria, I’m looking for some business contacts’, I could get you some contacts in Sofia to talk to.
“I’m really excited to be working with the Institute of Directors to be delivering such a stellar line of speakers. If I was taking my business international, these are the speakers I would like to meet.”
DIGIT will be covering the event in-person next week. You can register for the summit, for free, here.