A FANTASTIC lineup of speakers has been unveiled for the Second Highlands and Islands Rural Economy Conference (SHIRE) to be held virtually on November 18th.
The event will focus on building sustainable businesses and communities as the world moves towards a more sustainable future.
The SHIREs 2021 – whose theme is ‘Our Land, Our Lives, Our Legacy’ – is a focal point for the modern and diverse rural economy across the Highlands, Islands and Moray, and the virtual format will allow attendees more far from participating.
Scottish Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon will deliver the opening speech. She will be joined, virtually, by Mairi Spowage of the Fraser Institute of Allander, who will address the conference on what we are currently seeing in the rural economy, and what needs to happen next.
Other speakers will represent communities, landowners, leading economists, businesses and entrepreneurs, and the next generation of rural Scotland.
Organized by leading law firm Harper Macleod in association with Highland News & Media, it is free for anyone interested in learning more and being a part of the exciting developments unfolding in rural Scotland.
Partner and Head of Highlands, Islands and Moray at Harper Macleod, Chris Kerr, who will chair the conference alongside host Nicky Marr, said: Better event than before. As the head of a team of advisors working with brilliant organizations and businesses across the region, we know the big issues and opportunities they face.
“This year’s theme is linked to the genuine desire to build a greener economy after the pandemic, and with the event taking place less than a week after the close of COP26 in Glasgow, the importance of our natural capital in the fight against climate change will be paramount. “
Sustainability will be a key theme of the event, with Mat Roberts of Kerry Roberts Associates examining why sustainability is a key ingredient in all aspects of rural life. He will be followed by Jamie McGowan of Essence of Harris, who will examine how to develop a world famous brand from the islands while supporting the local community.
A fireside chat with Peter Graham and Sir Alastair Gordon-Cumming and William Gordon-Cumming from Altyre Estate will focus on estate management, regenerative agriculture and diversification.
Delegates will also be able to participate in one of three special small group sessions on: employee share ownership; community ownership; and jobs linked to our natural capital.
The event will end with a panel of young rural entrepreneurs discussing what needs to be done to ensure that rural communities and their businesses can attract young people. The SHIREs conference will take place online from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Participation is free and anyone wishing to attend must register for a place by visiting https://events.harpermacleod.co.uk/
You can also always enter one of the categories of the SHIREs Awards, which take place on the night of the conference. For more information and to participate, visit www.hnmedia.co.uk/the-shires-conference-awards/