A big thank you to everyone who signed up and attended the first two Insight60 sessions. I think it is fair to say it turned out to be 'not the usual' webinar experience.
Our first guest was Mike Berners-Lee. Yes, brother of Tim. I can just imagine the Sunday dinner chat in the Berners-Lee household - a few notches above the average I bet. Mike is a world-renowned climate researcher, an expert on carbon footprints and social commentator. His most recent book, 'There is No Planet B', is a clarion call for systemic social change to try and reverse the effects of climate change.
We wanted to kick off our series on energy transition by examining the 'why?'. In doing so, we wanted a point of view that would challenge us to examine our thinking critically. Mike certainly did challenge our thinking but it was an insightful, skilful and open debate about the best way to decarbonise our society. It made a change from shouting across ideological divides… we actually had a constructive conversation! It was reported in the press as a clash of ideas and I suppose it was, but you can hear for yourself and make your own mind up by watching the webinar or read the Energy Voice article.
Next up, we had a look at one of the most ambitious industrial cluster decarbonisation schemes on the planet, the Port of Rotterdam. A port? How could that be relevant to the energy transition? Oh, but it is and the scale and stats around the scheme blew us all away. What really impressed me was the level of strategic thinking that industry leaders from different sectors, the Dutch Government, and the local community all displayed.
Amazingly, they all worked together to align and get the project funded and started with little in the way of stalling or roadblocking. I reckon it is a real model of best practice for us to learn from, and just to harp on a bit about the importance of leadership in all of this, we ran a wee poll to test the audience's thoughts:
In Scotland, do we have the vision and leadership to push through our own industry decarbonisation projects? Fifty-five percent thought we do. Again, it’s worth looking at the webinar if you want to be inspired.
So, a great start to the series, which will run throughout the summer. It is a chance to hear from the decision makers and directly question their plans for energy transition. I hope you will join us and take part in the discussion.
Next up we have our very own TechX Accelerator guru, David Millar, who is about to launch the programme’s third cohort of companies - a cohort dominated by energy transition and clean tech start-ups. Can Aberdeen become the clean tech capital of Europe?
Worth signing up to find out? I think so: https://www.theogtc.com/events/insight60/