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Annual Conference


Institute of Directors Online Global Conference

Connecting the World: Tackling our global challenges together



IoD Scotland is excited to host the virtual global conference for all IoD members and the wider business community.

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?

A brief conference message from Louise Macdonald, National Director Scotland can be seen here.

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 include:

Our line-up of speakers will bring unique and varied perspectives, including:

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will speak at the Conference’s Friday afternoon session, exploring the themes of leadership, governance and collaboration for innovation.

David Miliband’s role with the IRC resonates at a global level, and his insight will be invaluable in framing how the UK can tackle the enormous humanitarian and economic challenges that we face.

Rachel Sibande's work as a social entrepreneur is inspired by her belief that technology holds the answers to many of the world's challenges, including public health, agriculture and disaster management.

The issue of food waste is truly alarming in western societies and Dr Ifeyinwa Kanu’s address will highlight how society might reduce this burden on the planet’s resources.

Douglas Lamont’s experience at innocent drinks will outline the opportunities and challenges of growing a global, truly sustainable business outside the UK.

Mark Logan's extensive experience in the tech sector, including the phenomenal success of Skyscanner, means he is well placed to discuss how the technology sector can support business and contribute to the country's wellbeing.

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 conference theme is addressed in three dynamic sessions:

•   LEADERSHIP: Being an authentic leader | speaking up and speaking out | positive disruption | candid conversations: what do responsibility and accountability look like?
•   GOOD GOVERNANCE: A greener, fairer society | holding ourselves accountable to the next generation | the Leadership Paradox | can we be trusted - what does trust look like?
•   ACCELERATING TO NET ZERO: The future is now | energy transition | global net zero | think digital | creative solutions | stop talking - start walking

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.

The 2-day conference is £40 + vat for IoD members, £60 + vat non-members. Book your place here

For 10+ tickets please contact for discount rate.

We have partnership opportunities for organisations interested in sponsoring this high-profile global conference. We understand that sponsors are an essential part of any successful event and we work hard to create bespoke partnerships that provide real and tangible benefits. Please contact

Got a question? Contact




The IoD will welcome the 2050 Climate Group, which works to empower Scotland’s young leaders to spearhead action on tackling our climate crisis, to the Conference.  Throughout the event they will offer reflections on what has been shared, and will close the conference, setting out the next steps that they believe must be taken by businesses and leaders to tackle the climate emergency.

Hagan, Richard 2 small

Richard Hagan has been leading his Rochdale-based SME manufacturing company, Crystal Doors on an award-winning journey to environmental sustainability. Recognising that the economic business model was no longer fit for purpose he moved to a circular economy model, undertaking research, partnering with universities and ensuring collaborative stakeholder engagement, at all times being clear about the principles of good governance to guide his actions. Holding a variety of appointed and volunteering positions, Richard is passionate about encouraging others to embark on their journey to Net Zero: having set a clear direction and with careful planning, it can be achieved.                           

Kanu, Ifeyinwa Dr

Dr Ifeyinwa Kanu loves nature and passionate about engineering solutions to address global challenges such as food waste. She holds a PhD in Environmental Engineering with research interest in the use of Artificial Intelligence and Omics analysis to optimise Anaerobic processes.

Dr Kanu is the Founder and CEO of IntelliDigest Limited and is leading the organisation on a mission to empower global food sustainability, eliminate food waste and zero hunger.

Drawing on their innovative research development and consulting capabilities, IntelliDigest is addressing the sustainability challenges faced by food producers, processors, manufacturers, retailers, consumers and governments, globally.

Without any odour challenge, their nature inspired robot-iDigest can conveniently process inedible food waste as it is produced to enable the recovery of sustainable chemicals (nutrients) for producing alternative protein (insect, fish and cellular protein) and growing nutrient dense fruits and vegetables (hydroponics and gardens) locally.

The sustainable chemicals will be made available to the end users on the company's blockchain-driven trading platform-IntelliTrade, providing traceability and accountability on the source of the sustainable chemical to the end user. They are currently exploring further application of the sustainable chemicals for various industries including circular packaging and recyclable solar cells.

To address edible food waste, IntelliDigest has developed IntelliSaver – an automated dispenser that extend the shelf life of AgriFood products as well as IntelliSavers platform which will allow for a more efficient distribution of food so that it is not wasted.

They have recently launched the Global Food industry Sustainability Programme engaging with national and international organisations to deliver capacity building and measurable next steps to achieving global food sustainability.

Douglas Lamont, innocent CEO3

Douglas Lamont is the CEO of innocent drinks and the co-chair of The Better Business Act. He is a passionate advocate for business as a force for good and building businesses that balance people, profit and planet.

Douglas has been CEO since 2013, having joined the company in 2006. As CEO, he has overseen rapid expansion of the business into new markets in Europe and Asia and new product ranges, more than doubling the size of the company to €500m of turnover. In parallel, innocent’s commitment to people and planet has been strengthened under his leadership; becoming a B Corp in 2018; committing to Net Zero by 2030 at the latest; and through its 10% of profits to charity pledge, enabling the innocent Foundation to do ground-breaking work in the fight against Severe Acute Malnutrition.

Douglas was appointed Co-Chair of the Better Business Act (BBA) coalition of more than 500 UK businesses in December 2020, campaigning for changes to company law that would see directors having clearer legal responsibility to balance their commitment to people and planet as well as to shareholders.

Douglas brings 25 years of business experience to his role at innocent. He began his career in Corporate Finance at KPMG and spent seven years at Freeserve (merged with Orange in 2007) as Director of Corporate Development – leading the company from a start-up to become one of the UK’s leading internet service providers. Prior to becoming CEO at innocent, he had a number of leadership roles, including Managing Director of This Water, and Marketing & Innovation Director.

Douglas has a Master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh and also studied at Harvard Business School.

Mark Logan med

Mark Logan has over 25 years of senior leadership experience in the internet technology sector. He was instrumental in the success of multiple start-ups, including as COO of Skyscanner, one of Europe's most successful technology companies, where he was responsible for the general management of the business. In 2014, the Institute of Directors named him Director of the Year and in 2016 he won the UK Digital Masters Award for Excellence in General Management. In 2019, he was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Glasgow.
Since leaving Skyscanner, Mark’s focus has been as a start-up/scale-up advisor, investor and non-executive director in start-ups across the sector in Scotland and internationally. He is also a Professor at the University of Glasgow’s School of Computing Science, a Senior Fellow at Strathclyde University’s Technology Innovation Centre and an advisor to the Scottish Government on technology policy. He is currently leading the government’s implementation of the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review recommendations, a report he authored in 2020. He was appointed Women’s Enterprise Scotland’s first male ambassador in 2017.

Jojo Mehta

Jojo Mehta co-founded Stop Ecocide in 2017, alongside legal pioneer the late Polly Higgins, to support making severe harm to nature an international crime.  Now Chair of the charitable Stop Ecocide Foundation and key spokesperson for the movement, Jojo has overseen the remarkable growth of global support while coordinating legal developments, diplomatic traction and public narrative.  


David Miliband is the President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. He oversees the agency’s relief and development operations in over 30 countries, its refugee resettlement and assistance programs throughout the United States and the IRC’s advocacy efforts in Washington and other capitals on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable people.

David has had a distinguished political career in the United Kingdom. From 2007 to 2010, he served as the youngest Foreign Secretary in three decades, driving advancements in human rights and representing the United Kingdom throughout the world. His accomplishments have earned him a reputation, in former President Bill Clinton's words, as "one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time.” In 2016 David was named one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine and in 2018 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

David is also the author of the book, Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of Our Time. As the son of refugees, David brings a personal commitment to the IRC's work and to the premise of the book: that we can rescue the dignity and hopes of refugees and displaced people. And if we help them, in the process we will rescue our own values.

Nakate, Vanessa 2

Vanessa Nakate, 24, is a climate activist from Uganda and founder of the Africa-based Rise Up Movement. She began striking for the climate in her home town of Kampala in January 2019, after witnessing droughts and flooding devastating communities in Uganda. She now campaigns internationally to highlight the impacts of climate change already playing out in Africa, as well as promoting key climate solutions such as educating girls. In 2020, Vanessa was named a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as being listed one of the BBC's 100 Women of the year and the 100 most influential young Africans.




Sibande, Rachel MedDr Rachel Sibande is a Digital Development specialist. She serves as Senior Director Country Outreach at the Digital Impact Alliance. She has led projects across diverse digital development sectors at the intersection of digital, big data, machine learning and agriculture, nutrition, public health, SME development, gender, disaster management and elections monitoring. Rachel established Malawi's first technology and Innovation hub, mHub in 2014, which provides digital skills training and investment readiness support for emerging entrepreneurs. She is a Google Scholar, being a recipient of Google's Anita Borg Award for outstanding computer science students from around the world. She has been listed twice by Forbes as one of Africa's 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in 2016 and as a new wealth creator in 2019. Rachel holds a PhD in computer Science from Rhodes University in South Africa.

Whatever the political hue of a country’s leader, the weight of responsibility is significant. Decisions taken on how a country takes radical action to tackle climate change will affect current and future generations, with resources stewarded for future generations. The stakes are high in the move to sustainable solutions.  In Conference’s Friday afternoon Weekend Reading session, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, will explore the themes of leadership, governance and collaboration for innovation.

Samantha Suppiah Profile Pic 4

Samantha Suppiah is a design strategist for sustainability and regeneration, with particular expertise in engineering, architecture and urbanism. She has a broad global perspective with a bold, radical approach to co-creative, iterative design strategy, focusing on long-term nature-based climate resilience and integrative network design. Having trained and worked in British and Swedish building and urban design firms, Samantha is currently based in Southeast Asia, exploring emergent initiatives rising to meet the vast challenges facing Southeast Asian cities and their hinterlands. |        

Tony Wines established Turnkey as a leading Operational Sustainability & Supply Chain Risk SaaS Platform with a global network of users and sites. Tony has over 25 years’ experience in managing large regional and global networks, having held senior management roles within logistics, supply chain and cloud based network solutions.


Overarching Purpose of Conference: The path to Net Zero and beyond is being built. What role must leaders play to make it happen faster and fairer?

Delegates will hear from leading speakers and debate key topics as well as receive actionable insights for meeting our collective climate crisis goals

Thursday 2 September 1400−1700: Leadership − Collaborative Action for Change: Being an Authentic Leader

1400 Welcome: Jon Geldart, Director General, Institute of Directors
1410 Conference Opener: Positive Disruption
1425 Response from 2050 Climate Group
1440 Spotlight Interview, Speaking Up and Speaking Out: David Miliband, International Rescue Committee
1510 Coffee Break/ Online Networking
1520 Panel Refelections, In seeking green solutions, what do leadership, responsibility & accountability look like? Richard Hagan, Crystal Doors;  Dr Ifeyinwa Kanu, IntelliDigest; Catherine Topley, Scottish Canals
1600 Coffee Break/ Online Networking
1610 Keynote Speech
1650 Summary & Actionable Insights

Daily Offering: Resource Point | Networking | Communications & Social Notes

Overarching Purpose of Conference: The path to Net Zero and beyond is being built. What role must leaders play to make it happen faster and fairer?

Delegates will hear from leading speakers and debate key topics as well as receive actionable insights for meeting our collective climate crisis goals

Friday 3 September 1000−1230: Good Governance – the Leadership Paradox and Net Zero

1000 Welcome: Patrick Macdonald, Chair, Institute of Directors
1010 The Road to COP26
1020 Spotlight Interview, Accepting Climate Responsibility, Doing Business Better: Douglas Lamont, innocent drinks
1050 Response from 2050 Climate Group
1100 Coffee Break/ Online Networking
1115 Panel Reflections, What more do we need to do to hold ourselves accountable to the next generation? Jojo Mehta, Stop Ecocide International; Tony Wines, Turnkey Technology
1155 Challenge: Think Global, Engineering Solutions for a Net Zero Future
1220 Summary & Actionable Insights

Daily Offering: Resource Point | Networking | Communications & Social Notes

Overarching Purpose of Conference: The path to Net Zero and beyond is being built. What role must leaders play to make it happen faster and fairer?

Delegates will hear from leading speakers and debate key topics as well as receive actionable insights for meeting our collective climate crisis goals

Friday 3 September 1400−1630: Accelerating to Net Zero – Creative approaches and new thinking

1400 Welcome: Aidan O’Carroll, Chair, IoD Scotland
1410 Spotlight Interview, People and Planet Above Profit: Vanessa Nakate, UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals
1430 Panel Reflections, When considering collaborative action for change, how do we get creative and move from talking the talk to walking the walk? Mark Logan, Scottish Government Lead on Tech Led Recovery; Dr Rachel Sibande, Digital Impact Alliance; Samantha Suppiah, Sustainability Strategist
1520 Coffee Break/ Online Networking
1530 In Conversation: Weekend Reading: First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, explores leadership, governance and collaboration for innovation
1610 Summary & Actionable Insights: Louise Macdonald, National Director, IoD Scotland
1625 The Last Word! 2050 Climate Group

Daily Offering: Resource Point | Networking | Communications & Social Notes

For more information, please contact

0131 557 5488


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