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Annual Conference

Institute of Directors Online Global Conference

Connecting the World: Tackling our global challenges together


Building on its 2020 success, IoD Scotland is excited to announce that this year it will be hosting an online conference on behalf of the whole of the Institute of Directors. This Global Conference is taking place on 2 & 3 September 2021, ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, and explores how organisations can step up their responsibilities to tackle climate change and build sustainable businesses for a fairer, greener world. Our fragile planet is under threat: how can business be part of the solution?

The conference will offer a platform to world-renowned figures drawn from the spheres of politics, civic action and business, whose thoughts will illuminate our own discussions on the event’s theme. And while our delegates will be drawn from across the business sectors – young entrepreneurs, owners of family businesses, CEOs of charities and NGOs, directors of SMEs and large corporates – what will bind them is a desire to move from rhetoric to collaborative action and to actively engage in the need to find solutions today for our world of tomorrow.

The two days will be an outstanding CPD opportunity in a forum that will stimulate debate, discussion and offer practical policies for the future. The conference is open to IoD members and other business individuals who value being challenged and who value the opportunity to make connections so that new ideas can flourish.

Visit this page for regular updates and look out for more information here, on Twitter twitter @IoD_Scotland or LinkedIn

To register your interest or if you have a question, please email


Highlights from the 2020 Annual Conference

IoD Scotland held its online live Annual Conference on 5 & 6 November 2020, supported by headline sponsor Salesforce. Using new technologies, IoD Scotland’s aim was to deliver a conference that replicated as closely as possible the in-person experience but, being virtual, was accessible to a wider audience.

You can watch recordings of the sessions here:

Thursday Leadership Lecture by Benny Higgins and Keynote from Kate Forbes MSP

Friday Finance & Sports Panel Sessions

Friday Leadership Conversation with Robin Watson CBE, Keynote from Vivek Ganotra & Ignite Sessions from Nicki Sturzaker and Dr Iain MacRitchie

Speakers at Collaborating for Scotland’s Growth focused on the three key areas of building a stronger economy, responding to the pandemic and looking to a greener future:

Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance
Vivek Ganotra, Chief Customer Officer, Salesforce
Benny Higgins, Chair, Scottish Government Advisory Group on Economic Recovery
Robin Watson CBE, Chief Executive, Wood Plc

Key takeaways: the need for an education-led recovery; digital re-skilling; resilience, agility & authenticity

Jonathan Geldart, Director General, Institute of Directors, Dr Roger Barker, Director of Policy and Corporate Governance, Institute of Directors and Dr Gillian Murray, Deputy Principal (Enterprise and Business), Heriot-Watt University took part in a finance panel exploring finance, the economy and Scotland’s future.

A lively and stimulating panel of international athletes, comprising Kieron Achara MBE, Olympian and former GB Basketball and Scotland International, Abbi Aitken-Drummond, Scottish International Cricketer and John Barclay, Former Scotland Rugby International, discussed the culture of teamwork and mental resilience.

Conference also heard about the personal business journeys of Nicki Sturzaker, Founder of Drylaw House and Dr Iain MacRitchie, Founder of MCR Pathways.

Delegates could attend a choice of workshops offering bite-size updates: Pike + Bambridge on electric vehicles; Salesforce on; Scottish Business Resilience Centre on cyber security; and Zero Waste Scotland on net zero. These organisations also featured in the Expo Hall, along with Where Now Consulting  and Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University.

You can watch recordings of the workshops below. If you would like a copy of the slides from any of the four workshops, please email 

Pike + Bambridge Workshop    
Salesforce Workshop 
Scottish Business Resilience Centre Workshop 
Zero Waste Scotland Workshop

Ten percent of delegate fees were donated to IoD Scotland’s Charity of the Year, Epilepsy Scotland.

Recognising that connecting with colleagues is a key part of the conference experience, the Hopin platform offered opportunities to chat, ask questions, comment and even try one-to-one random networking, just like saying hello in the coffee queue. An informal social element was included at the end of Day 1 – a cocktail masterclass run on Zoom by an experienced mixologist. Deliciously relaxing!

Download a pdf of the Conference brochure here

What did our attendees say? Here’s a snapshot: “professionally enlightening” “insightful” “thought-provoking” “worthwhile, enjoyable & engaging”



For more information, please contact

0131 557 5488


Branch and staff contacts can be found on the main Contacts tab