Why Scotland

COP26 and the Journey to Change Podcast

Welcome to COP26 and the Journey to Change, a podcast brought to you by VisitScotland's Business Events team. As COP26 took place in Glasgow in November 2021, we created a podcast series to discuss how the issues of change and sustainability affect the business events sector and how business events can help bring about the change that we need. 

*4 bonus episodes were available prior COP26. 12 episodes were released daily during COP26 which took place 31st October – 12th November 2021 at the SEC in Glasgow.*

Plug in your headphones and listen to the episodes here or SoundCloud now!


Welcome to our podcast!

Ep 1: Scotland on the global stage - what COP26 means for Scotland beyond the event

In the first episode of our new podcast series, Neil and Rory from the VisitScotland Business Events team discuss the Journey to Change campaign, its alignment to COP26's presidency schedule and how business events can be a driver for change.

Ep 2: Business events for change - an international associations perspective

Our international association partners sit down with Rory Archibald to discuss how associations can pave the way for change. We explore their organisation's core values, how associations organise events to ensure they are 'sustainable' and what the global industry can do to support further change.

Ep 3: Business events for change - a corporate and incentive perspective

Neil Brownlee meets with Ben Goedegebuure from Maritz Global Events to discuss the values of the organisation and explore how the corporate and incentive sector can become more sustainable and what the market can do to change policies.

Ep 4: Ambassadors for change - engaging business events ambassadors in a Post pandemic world

Amanda Ferguson of Edinburgh First at the University of Edinburgh, and Gordon Hodge from the University of Strathclyde discuss how the universities engage with business events ambassadors, the role of educational institutes in a post-pandemic world and the renewed appreciation of knowledge sharing and upskilling.

EP 5: Opening of Negotiations

Meetings and events are back! Gillian Doherty MBE, CEO of the DataLab Scotland and Patrick Lamont from VisitScotland Business Events discuss the importance of events and the increased demand for face-to-face meetings after a year of trying to do it digitally.

Ep 6: World Leaders Summit - the convention bureau perspective

Rory Archibald sits down with representatives from Glasgow Convention Bureau, Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau and Aberdeen Convention & Events Bureau to reflect on the past 18 months and the plans they devised to rebuild confidence with event organisers.

EP 7: World Leaders Summit - the venue perspective

In this episode Rory Archibald sits down with representatives from three of Scotland's largest venues to reflect on the past 18 months and to discuss recovery and the future of events.

EP 8: Finance

Venues and organisations have invested heavily into sustainable practices but what is the true cost? Rory Archibald sits down with Sven Bossu, CEO of International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), to discuss implementing sustainable practices for a better future for our industry.

EP 9: Energy

Fiona MacKinnon is joined by Jonathan Heastie, Exhibition Director at RX Global to discuss the role of business events in transforming to a renewable energy society and the benefits for organisers of hosting environmental events in Scotland.

EP 10: Youth and Public Empowerment

Patrick Lamont meets Campbell Arnott, International Business Development Manager at Glasgow Convention Bureau and Jessica McClure, CPD Operations Officer, Law Society of Scotland to discuss how business events can bring change and empowerment to people and groups that aren't typically involved in the sector, and to explore the perspective of youth through the experience of young people entering the Business Events industry.

Ep 11: Nature

What can organisers and event planners do to make their events and incentives greener and support the local community? Fiona MacKinnon meets with Dear Green Coffee and Revive to discuss how incentives can be an opportunity to give back to the environment.

Ep 12: Adaption, Loss and Damage

Fiona MacKinnon sits down with Andrea Nicholas, CEO of Green Tourism to discuss where Scotland is innovating across the scope of sustainability and delivering the practical solutions needed to adapt to climate impacts and address loss and damage.

Ep 13: Gender

Whilst we have made some fantastic advancements in gender equality, diversity and inclusion, the industry needs to do more. Rory Archibald sits down with Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council, Meredith Rollins, Chief Community Officer of PCMA and Derrick Johnson, Chief Diversity Officer & Director of Event Strategy, Talley Management Group, to discuss what their respective associations are doing to achieve gender equality and inclusion and what they think the events sector needs to do to become more inclusive.

Ep 14: Science and Innovation

Patrick Lamont speaks with John MacKenzie from the Roslin Innovation Centre and Professor George Crooks OBE to discuss how events instigate and promote innovation, and to learn how two of Scotland's leading Innovation Centres are approaching COP26 and the areas in which they will look to change and adapt.

Ep 15: Transport

Neil Brownlee sits down with CEO of VisitScotland, Malcolm Roughead OBE and CEO of PCMA, Sherrif Karamat to discuss the future of travel for the events industry and its compatibility with the changes needed to reduce carbon emissions.

Ep 16: Cities, Regions & Built Environment

Making our business more sustainable shouldn't be a huge challenge. Patrick Lamont meets Richard Bellingham, Director at the Institute for Future Cities at the University of Strathclyde to discuss what changes organisations and venues across the business events sector can make to start their sustainability journey.

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