EDAS / SLAED Conference 2017

Economic Development in a Time of Radical Uncertainty



EDAS / SLAED Conference 2017

2nd November 2017, Perth Concert Hall

This year’s joint Economic Development Association Scotland (EDAS) and Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group (SLAED) conference brings together professionals from public, private and third sectors to discuss delivering economic development priorities in a time of radical uncertainty. Managing uncertainty - economic, social, technological, political - is emerging as a daunting challenge and the event will provide the economic development community the opportunity to hear from thought leaders and senior practitioners and, in turn, to collectively discuss and identify ways to respond. Mervyn King, the former Governor of the Bank of England, stated in his recent book that "radical uncertainty" in economies and financial markets means that new ways of managing the unknown need to be adopted. The need to manage extreme uncertainty also applies pressingly to our economic development community and the services and projects we deliver.

The format of the one-day conference is innovative and is aimed at identifying ways in which Scotland's economic development community can develop strategies and approaches to deliver on Scotland's ambition of enhancing productivity and inclusive, sustainable growth in our highly uncertain environment. Keynote speakers in the morning and afternoon will set the scene for interactive "Question Time" sessions, prior to round-table facilitated discussions relating to strategic planning, future-proofing and engendering resilience to deliver on our economic development priorities. The morning will consider managing uncertainty in the context of productivity and wealth creation and the afternoon in regard to inclusive and sustainable growth.

The line-up of speakers is being finalised but we anticipate having notable thought leaders and senior practitioners, as in previous years, setting the scene for our discussion, interaction and identification of ideas and potential solutions.

Taking place in the outstanding Perth Concert Hall, this contemporary space offers a modern setting for our discussion, debate, creativity and networking.

A joint dinner takes place on the evening of 2nd November. SLAED local authority members’ business will take place on 3rd November.


EDAS / SLAED Conference 2016 - Storify Report and Presentations Available 

The Storify event report of the EDAS / SLAED Conference 2016 is now available. This includes presentations for download, a flavour of the social media interaction on the day, and the provisional "asks" of Scottish Government and the economic development community which were generated by conference workshops and discussion. The report can be viewed here: https://storify.com/edas_scotland/edas-slaed-conference-2016 

You can also view and download conference presentations below. 


Leading Economic Development Transformation - From National to Local 

On 1st December 2016, EDAS and the Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group (SLAED) hosted their first joint conference for those leading Scotland’s economic development. The conference was held in partnership with Aberdeen City Council. 

Set against a backdrop of economic and political change, the event brought together senior professionals from across sectors to discuss how national strategic aims are delivered locally to maximum impact. 

With change across a range of scales, including Brexit, extra Holyrood powers, the agencies' review, budgetary challenges and City Region Deals, the conference represented a timely and important opportunity for leaders in Scotland's economic development community to come together to collectively consider this changing landscape and shape common action.

With insightful and engaging speakers from within and out with Scotland, attendees discussed, considered and contributed to policy and practice that supports effective local leadership for delivering economic development.

A first in Scotland, the conference drew together 100+ leaders from across public, private, voluntary, political and academic spheres relating to economic development decision making and implementation.

Speakers included: 

Douglas Fraser (Conference Chair), Business and Economic Editor, BBC Scotland 

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Scottish Government

Councillor Jenny Laing, Leader, Aberdeen City Council 

Will Hutton, Principal, Hertford College, University of Oxford 

Jennifer Craw, Chief Executive and Board Director of Opportunity North East, and Chair of Robert Gordon University

View conference programme


Presentations and Documents for Download 

EDAS and SLAED Introduction 

Will Hutton Presentation

Professor Andy Pike Presentation 

People, Place and Business Presentations

Long Term Transformational Change Presentations 

Phil Hall Presentation

Hull City Plan Annual Report