ESIC - Edinburgh Sustainable Innovation Conference
£9 – £30
ESIC - Edinburgh Sustainable Innovation Conference

ESIC - Edinburgh Sustainable Innovation Conference

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Dynamic Earth

112-116 Holyrood Gait



United Kingdom

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We proudly present: Edinburgh Sustainable Innovation Conference

The Edinburgh Sustainable Innovation conference will be the embodiment of of a change in the Scottish sustainability movement. We are building a platform, with support from the RSA Scotland and the 2050 Youth Climate Group, that will help change the rhetoric surrounding sustainability. By engaging proactive young people in sustainability like never before we will create an environment which stimulates a two way communication between experienced professionals and politicians with the student body.

It is becoming increasingly clear that in order to maintain the health of our world, we must rethink how we interact with our environment – especially through business. We must rebalance our relationship with the natural world to meet the growing demand for solutions to environmental problems.

ESIC presents an opportunity for people in and around Edinburgh to not only discuss innovative methods of sustainability but also become a part of the solution by finding and developing real, tangible solutions. It provides a welcoming environment to engage with a truly diverse and dedicated group of students and professionals who want to make a real difference in the world now, who have taken initiative by seizing a gap in the current work being done.

Its time we change our attitude to sustainability

Stories of climate change, pollution and fierce stances of environmental protection fill our email accounts, newsfeeds and discussions. Yet, at times, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and somewhat powerless in the current political and social climate. We forget how the repetitive reminders of sustainability crop up in our everyday lives; as we pile our plastic into recycling or pull on our cycling shorts instead of seat belts. These actions, amongst everything else, seem stagnant in a time where radical change and dedication towards socially, economically and environmentally responsible practice is a must.

Major themes & plenaries

1. Technological innovation:

We cannot reach a sustainable industrial system without significant technological innovation and implementation thereof. We intend to showcase but a few of the many groups actively pushing forward the boundaries we face to advancement as well as how we can better utilize the existing structures we have.

  • Peter Emery, CEO of Electricity North West and previous Executive Director of Drax Group PLC has a unique viewpoint on the challenges facing the UK electricity industry including a case study reference to the deployment of carbon capture storage technology. Not to be missed!!

  • Neil Kermode, Managing Director of The European Marine Energy Centre, will be sharing the pioneering advancements taking place in marine energy and the potential this new renewable energy resource offers the world.

  • David Pearson, Director at Star Renewable Energy, will be speaking on the role district heating schemes and heat pumps have to combat heating-related carbon emissions including a case study of the successful Drammen district heating scheme in Norway.

2. Social sustainability:

George Buchanan’s, from whom we inherit our name, work and influence in the Scottish Enlightenment embodies the rational self-reflection and capacity for progress we all have. If we truly aim to achieve sustainability in our lives then we first must look inward, to develop more sustainable actions through our thought processes. Following this we look to our neighbours to encourage awareness of our actions and break the image of detachment present today

  • Philip McMaster, Co-director, at the World Sustainability Organization, China and founder of Peace Plus One, is a fascinating man with a unique approach to tackling climate change through behavioural change at a fundamental level will be contributing from Beijing via video call,

3. Sustainable policy:

The primary goal of The Buchanan Institute is to find policy solutions to real-world problems faced today. Our work focues on actively involving students in this process at an early stage. No pragmatic solution to such a great dilema can exist without contribution from policymakers, industry stakeholders and the wider public.

  • Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy at Scottish Renewables, will be joining us to speak on the role renewable energy policy has in bringing about a shift to a more sustainable Scotland.

  • Maurice Golden MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform. Prior to being elected, Maurice led the Circular Economy Programme for Zero Waste Scotland. He has fifteen years’ experience working in the waste and energy sectors previously working for Ofgem and Consumer Focus. He will be looking at the policy background to circular economy.

4. Sustainability in commerce:

There is no hope in achieving sustainability on an international scale without encouraging sustainable practices within industry, business and the economy. We must integrate the sustainability agenda into the pillars of capitalism if we are to have any hope of success. Once again Scotland serves a shining example to the world with projects concerning universal basic income, consumerism and the circular economy.

  • Eilidh Brunton, VegWare, works right here in Edinburgh to encourage sustainable practices throughout a business model 'The challenges & successes of VegWare'.

  • Terry A'Hearn, Chief Executive of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, has years of experience working with businesses and environmental bodies. He will be speaking on how to bridge the gap between business and environment aims as well as a brief tour through SEPAs 'One Planet Prosperity' model.

Workshops (Morning & afternoon)

Consumerism in action:

  • Jim Stout, founder of ScreeTech & BISON; a social enterprise based in Edinburgh providing motivation and radical transparency for citizen power at the checkout, driving corporate change for sustainable and ethical products. They will be presenting their initial project promoting sustainable palm oil and looking for input around their future plans.

  • Eilidh Brunton will be joining us again to go through successful approaches to ecourage sustainable practices in the workplace and as a business.

Community Energy:

  • Scene, a group strengthening communities through locally owned renewable energy projects, will be looking at the practicalities of and challenges faced by community energy projects.

  • Local Energy Scotland will be running a workshop showing how policy can have a role in pioneering and encouraging participation in decentralised energy programmes.

Heating Things Up:

  • David Pearson and David Town will be teaming up to look at feasible approaches to district heating and how to overcome barriers to adaption.

Circular Economy in Scotland:

  • A workshop led by leading experts looking at practical approaches to encourage a true circular economy in Scotland with case studies.

Climate Leadership:

  • The 2050 Climate Group, Scotlands youth climate group, will be showcasing their innovative approach to tackle climate chance by equipping young people with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead in the climate sector.

An Artistic Climate:

  • Creative Carbon Scotland, will be looking at the role of culture in addressing climate change as well as showing some of the fascinating projects they have going on at the moment.

Policy Problems:

  • The Buchanan Institute ourselves will be running a major policy workshop with an open format to introduce people to the complicated world that is the 'policy landscape'. With reference to key policy areas and the help of relevant experts we will open the floor to suggestions to solve a series of policy problems currently tackled today in Scotland.

Summary debate

  • To round the day off we will hold a panel debate summarising the key themes of the day, major areas highlighted by YOU to be important. The floor will be opened to the audience for an in-depth Q & A session. Sitting on the panel we will welcome Jamie Cooke, Head of RSA Scotland, & Jenny Hogan. The panel will be mediated by our very own Research Director, Priyanka Radhakrishnan.

Drinks Reception

The day will be followed by an informal drinks reception giving you the chance to meet some of our speakers. This will be coupled with a short 'pitch & go' session where some of our exhibitors and other great initiatives in Scotland will be doing snap 2 minute pitches for their innovation.

(Tickets sold separately - watch this space!!)

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Dynamic Earth

112-116 Holyrood Gait



United Kingdom

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