At the first meeting of the Sustainable Growth Commission, one of the first suggestions made was that it was necessary to engage with a wide range of interests to gather views on what was required to improve performance.
It was swiftly agreed that the Commission needed to consult as widely as time and resources would allow, so that the recommendations reflected not just the views of the Commission members, but a wide range of ideas from the sectors that make up the Scottish economy.
Many of the suggestions made during the engagement exercise have been discussed in the Commission’s report and ideas that emerged became the subject of more detailed research.
Of the 23 organisations contacted, only Scottish Financial Enterprise declined a meeting so for this sector direct company engagement was undertaken. Oil & Gas UK, due to other unanticipated commitments on the day of the meeting, provided a written submission. The meetings and dates were as follows:
- Scottish Tourism Alliance (22.11.16)
- Scottish Engineering (23.11.16)
- Scotland-IS (24.11.16)
- Scottish Life Sciences (28.11.16)
- Scottish Renewables (29.11.16)
- Scottish Council for Development & Industry (2.12.16)
- CBI Scotland (5.12.16)
- Universities Scotland (6.12.16)
- Institute of Directors (7.12.16)
- Federation of Small Business (13.12.16)
- Entrepreneurial Scotland (14.12.16)
- Business for Scotland (20.12.16)
- Social Enterprise Scotland (21.2.17)
- Chemical Sciences Scotland (2.3.17)
- Scottish Chamber of Commerce (7.3.17)
- Technology Scotland (9.3.17)
- Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (21.3.17)
- Scottish Food & Drink (17.3.17)
- Scottish Property Federation (21.3.17)
- Law Society of Scotland (11.4.17)
- Royal Society of Edinburgh, Business Innovation Forum (15.1.18)
The meetings were facilitated by at least two Commission members, (or the chair individually), with the numbers of organisation members in attendance ranging from three to twenty. The meetings were conducted under Chatham House rules.
The meetings were welcomed by those who took part, as an opportunity to consider what the future aspirations for the Scottish economy should be, where the opportunities are, what the constraints might be and what needs to change to improve performance.
It is anticipated that the report will provide the basis for further engagement and debate with all of those interested in shaping the best possible policy framework for Scotland, irrespective of their positions on whether or not Scotland should be an independent country. Indeed, we hope that much of the work we have produced could be of value to the debate on governing Scotland in advance of any future independence choice.