Global keynote speakers announced for Scotland’s Innovation Summit

Kate Forbes MSP

Sponsored post on behalf of CAN DO

The third annual CAN DO Innovation Summit will be held virtually on February 23 2022, connecting SMEs and start-ups with leading innovators, academics, entrepreneurs and investors from across the globe.

A focal point for business innovation in Scotland, the summit aims to help businesses combine tech innovation with inclusive leadership to boost productivity and drive purposeful change for both people and planet.

The 2022 iteration of the Summit will offer practical insights into how people power combined with the right tech and sustainable and inclusive business practices can accelerate and enable a smoother digital transformation journey for start-ups and SMEs. The event will also provide a timely legacy platform to examine what the outcomes of COP26 will mean for business.

With a focus on community-building and peer-to-peer learning; more than 40 speakers are expected to take part, from energy, advanced manufacturing and the arts to fintech and food and drink.

Keynote speakers confirmed for the event include:

  • Kate Forbes MSP (above) Cabinet Secretary for Finance, and the Economy.
  • Wade Davis (below) Vice President of Inclusion Strategy for Product at Netflix. Davis is a Global Champion for Innovation for UN women, a former national surrogate for President Obama and was the first NFL LGBT inclusion consultant.
  • Gayemarie Brown, CEO of Wintam Place Consulting, listed as one of the top futurists in the world by Forbes with more than 25 years’ experience helping companies of all sizes across the world apply existing and emerging tech to update their business models for the future.
  • Dan May, Art Director and VFX Artist at award-winning design studio Painting Practice, working on titles such as Black Mirror, Gravity and the recent HBO/BBC show, His Dark Materials.

Diverse industry insights will be complemented by contributions from leading academics, investors and a range of innovation ecosystem support agencies advising on matching tech with business needs, funding, growing digital talent, collaboration opportunities and more.

Wade Davis

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy Kate Forbes said: “Innovation will be at the heart of Scotland’s successful and pioneering green economy. The CAN DO Innovation Summit will be a key focal point in supporting a strong, collaborative approach to drive sustainable growth and a culture of innovation in Scottish businesses.”

Dr Susie Mitchell, programme director, Glasgow City of Science and Innovation (lead agency for the CAN DO Innovation Summit) said: “Scotland is already a leader in innovation and we will showcase that at the Summit.

“By designing support, including ‘market square’ and peer learning opportunities like the Summit, that empower Start-up and SMEs to innovate through digital, diversity and a commitment to influence change – we will get one step closer to reaching our ambition of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the best performing countries, while tackling some of the biggest challenges of our time.”

The overarching theme for the Summit this year is Digital Transformation. To be in with the chance of securing a slot on the #SMEstage competition, entrants must submit a 60-90 second film by midnight on December 21, demonstrating how their business is driving innovation through at least one of the following routes:

  • Embracing innovation to emerge stronger after recent economic challenges
  • Adopting digital technology to advance social value as well as business growth
  • Overcoming barriers in their digital transformation journey

A panel of business innovation leaders in Scotland have been selected as competition judges to review applicant videos and select the winning SMEs: Evelyn McDonald – CEO at Scottish Edge, Enoch Adeyemi – CEO at Black Professionals Scotland and Alison Munro – Head of business services and advice at Scottish Enterprise.

Dr Laura Bell of the CAN DO Innovation Summit said:We are really excited to hear from SMEs across all sectors, from healthcare and advanced manufacturing to renewables, finance, construction and the creative sectors and see how they are using innovation and adaptation to unlock opportunities – and to help them survive and thrive in this turbulent time.”

For competition terms and conditions, more information, or to submit a video clip entry, click here

For more information and to register for the event click here