As Scotland seeks to manage the dual impact of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, we will discuss the impact on our public finances, our public services and how do we build back better.

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Economy discussion: Scotland’s housing festival preview session

Ross Martin

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chair of the board, Link Group Ltd

Ross is an Economic Agitator who advises on regional economies, assisting governments at in the design, development and delivery of policy frameworks and practical interventions aimed at transitioning to Inclusive Growth. As the CEO of the Scottish Council for Development & Industry, Ross authored the ‘Blueprint for Scotland’s Economy’, entitled “From Fragile to Agile”, a reference guide to the Scottish Government’s regional economic policy framework. Ross is currently focused on the regional economies of The Borderlands, The Forth Valley and Glasgow’s City Region, working with governments, local authorities and a range of national agencies.

Polly McKenzie

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chief executive, Demos

Polly is the CEO of Demos. She advised Nick Clegg, serving as Director of Policy to the Deputy Prime Minister from 2010-15, and then went on to help establish the Women’s Equality Party, and found the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute.

Callum Chomczuk

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national director, CIH Scotland

Callum is the national director of the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, having taken on the post in September 2018. He initially joined the Institute in March 2018 as deputy director. He previously worked in consultancy as the head of public affairs for Pagoda PR after working in policy roles in the third sector and as a Scottish parliamentary researcher. Callum is the former convenor of the Association of Scottish Public Affairs and is currently sits on its committee.

The pandemic has exposed the fragility of our housing system more than ever, but also highlighted the importance of ‘home’. As the Scottish Government prepares to launch a new twenty-year vision and strategy for the housing sector, come hear from our panel about why the value and importance of home must be central to any new strategic approach.

 Slides        Recording

Keynote: The importance of home

Callum Chomczuk

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national director, CIH Scotland

Callum is the national director of the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, having taken on the post in September 2018. He initially joined the Institute in March 2018 as deputy director. He previously worked in consultancy as the head of public affairs for Pagoda PR after working in policy roles in the third sector and as a Scottish parliamentary researcher. Callum is the former convenor of the Association of Scottish Public Affairs and is currently sits on its committee.

Michelle Meldrum

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chief executive, Berwickshire Housing Association

Michelle joined Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) as their Chief Executive in November 2020 with 24 years’ experience in the social housing sector working in a variety of roles. Most recently, between December 2015 and July 2020, Michelle was the Executive Director (Operations) at Gentoo Group. Michelle is passionate about everyone having the right to a decent home and a good quality of life and believes Housing Associations have a unique opportunity and responsibility to contribute towards achieving both of these outcomes in the communities in which we serve. Michelle is a qualified coach and mentor and actively supports others in relation to this.

Susan Aktemel

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executive director, Homes for good

Susan started her working career as a languages and literacy teacher in Glasgow, and since 1991 has committed to using her skills to help people improve their lives. In 1994 she created Impact Arts, a successful arts and regeneration charity, and went on in 2012 to create Homes for Good, a unique social letting agency and property business within the private rented sector.

John Mills

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co-chair, ALACHO

John Mills is currently Head of Housing Services with Fife Council. He has worked for the Council for the past 37 years. His main responsibilities include the leadership and direction of Scotland’s 2nd largest Local Authority Housing Service. He is Co-Chair of the Association of Local Authority Chief Officers (ALACHO).

Esther Wilson

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chair, CIH Scotland Board

Esther is currently Director of Housing and Support at Viewpoint Housing Association, responsible for the strategic delivery of housing management, housing support and care at home services. She is responsible, as part of the Executive Team, for the overall strategic direction of Viewpoint. Esther has 20 years experience working in the housing sector in a variety of roles in both England and Scotland. She spent the first 19 years of her career in local government working in and leading housing teams responsible for both strategic planning and operational service delivery. Latterly she was also responsible for both strategy and operational delivery of economic development activities. Esther graduated with an MA and holds a Postgraduate Diploma In Housing. She is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and is currently Chair of the Chartered institute of Housing Scotland Board.

The private rented sector makes up around fifteen percent of our housing stock, but it's often an under-utilised resource. We’ll explore how local authorities can work with private landlords to make better use of the private rented sector to meet commitments set out in Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans and what private landlords and letting agents can do to help their tenants feel ‘at home’.

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Panel session: What role should the private rented sector play in a healthy housing system?

Athelstan Croft

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housing advice team leader, Aberdeen City Council

Kim McKee

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senior Lecturer in social policy & housing, University of Stirling

Dr McKee is Director of the Housing Studies Programme at the University of Stirling and an editor of the journal Housing Studies. She was previously Director of the St Andrew’s Centre for Housing Research (2014-18) and Chair of the UK Housing Studies Association (2014-15). Dr McKee has researched and published widely on the private rented sector, with a particular interest in the experiences of young people and low-income groups.

Esther Wilson

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chair, CIH Scotland Board

Esther is currently Director of Housing and Support at Viewpoint Housing Association, responsible for the strategic delivery of housing management, housing support and care at home services. She is responsible, as part of the Executive Team, for the overall strategic direction of Viewpoint. Esther has 20 years experience working in the housing sector in a variety of roles in both England and Scotland. She spent the first 19 years of her career in local government working in and leading housing teams responsible for both strategic planning and operational service delivery. Latterly she was also responsible for both strategy and operational delivery of economic development activities. Esther graduated with an MA and holds a Postgraduate Diploma In Housing. She is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and is currently Chair of the Chartered institute of Housing Scotland Board.

The value of our professionalism for the communities that we serve has never been more valued or more important to demonstrate. So how do we, as housing professionals, demonstrate and enhance our professionalism every day? How can we learn from others about how to make the case for housing experts?

Recording

Panel session: Proud to be professional

Gavin Smart

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chief executive, Chartered Institute of Housing

Gavin Smart CIHCM is chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Housing Gavin joined CIH in 2012 as director of policy and practice and was made deputy chief executive in 2014 and chief executive in December 2019. Prior to joining CIH, Gavin was assistant director of research and futures at the National Housing Federation from 2004 to 2012. From 1999 to 2004 he held research roles at the then-Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, before which he was a research officer at NHF. Born in Cardiff, Gavin studied public administration at the Polytechnic of Wales. He then gained an MSc in sociology at the University of Bristol, where he worked as a research associate on projects for the Department of the Environment, Housing Corporation, Scottish Office and local authorities. Gavin lives with his family in Northamptonshire and when work allows enjoys running, watching rugby and walking his oversized rescue dogs.

Matthew Busher

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interim director of housing, Kingdom Housing Association

Matthew is Interim Director of Housing at Kingdom Housing Association based in Fife where he has been a senior manager since 2016. He has worked in housing for 17 years in front-line and management roles and is a chartered member of the CIH.

Jess McCabe

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deputy editor (features), Inside housing

Esther Wilson

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chair, CIH Scotland Board

Esther is currently Director of Housing and Support at Viewpoint Housing Association, responsible for the strategic delivery of housing management, housing support and care at home services. She is responsible, as part of the Executive Team, for the overall strategic direction of Viewpoint. Esther has 20 years experience working in the housing sector in a variety of roles in both England and Scotland. She spent the first 19 years of her career in local government working in and leading housing teams responsible for both strategic planning and operational service delivery. Latterly she was also responsible for both strategy and operational delivery of economic development activities. Esther graduated with an MA and holds a Postgraduate Diploma In Housing. She is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and is currently Chair of the Chartered institute of Housing Scotland Board.

  • Fife Council's domestic abuse strategy
  • Living well with dementia 
  • Mental health and wellbeing

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Fife Council - Cllr Judy Hamilton 

Lightning talks

Paul Short

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service manager, Fife Council Housing Service

I have worked with Housing for over 30 years undertaking roles around Housing Management, Housing Support and Housing Advice. I am currently managing a range of services including around domestic abuse.

Callum Chomczuk

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national director, CIH Scotland

Callum is the national director of the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, having taken on the post in September 2018. He initially joined the Institute in March 2018 as deputy director. He previously worked in consultancy as the head of public affairs for Pagoda PR after working in policy roles in the third sector and as a Scottish parliamentary researcher. Callum is the former convenor of the Association of Scottish Public Affairs and is currently sits on its committee.

Marc Buchanan

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Development officer, Scottish dementia working group

Currently work as Development Officer for Scottish Dementia Working Group, the independent voice of people living with Dementia in Scotland.

Aileen Evans

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chief executive, Grand Union and Chartered Institute of Housing president

Aileen has had a career spanning over 30 years in housing and her role as group chief executive oversees everything at Grand Union Housing Group. She believes passionately that building properly affordable rented homes is a key part of solving the housing crisis. Aileen was voted president of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and began her 12 months in the role in November 2019. As part of her presidency, she has started a campaign to shine a light on mental health in housing. She writes an occasional column for Inside Housing and other housing publications, is regularly called upon to present at various industry events and her views are often sought in response to Government consultation and policy. Before joining Grand Union, Aileen was housing services director at South Yorkshire Housing Association and before that worked for Leicester Housing Association, North East Derbyshire District Council and Nottingham City Council. She is chair of the governing body of her local school, has a coaching mastery and is a member of the association of coaching, holds an MBA, is a member of CIH, and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts.

Ashley Campbell

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policy and practice manager, CIH Scotland

Ashley is the Policy and Practice Manager at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland covering a broad range of issues across the housing sector and across tenures. She is also a trustee of the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland, a charity which campaigns for improvements to homes to tackle climate change and reduce fuel poverty, and has recently joined the board of Hanover Housing Association.

As the case for radical action on climate change grows ever stronger, what steps do we need to take to transform our housing stock in Scotland and ensure that our sector meets its share of Scotland's ambitious carbon reduction targets?

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Panel session: What is the Green New Deal for Housing?

Sorcha Edwards

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secretary general, Housing Europe

General Secretary of Housing of Europe, the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing. Housing Europe brings together public, cooperative and social housing providers from across Europe. They share a vision of a Europe which provides access to decent and affordable housing for all in communities which are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and where everyone is enabled to reach their full potential. The sector manages 25 million homes and delivers over 200,000 new homes and renovations annually. Housing Europe works at EU level together with its members for better regulation, better knowledge and better finance for housing. Housing Europe is a point of reference for sustainable housing systems in Europe and beyond. - Twitter handle: @sorcha_edwards

Stew Horne

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head of policy, Energy Saving Trust

Stew is Head of Policy at Energy Saving Trust. Stew has worked in energy policy for nearly a decade. He previously led Citizens Advice’s energy infrastructure work, wining Charity Times “Campaigning Team of the Year” in 2018, and earlier delivered consumer policy at the energy regulator Ofgem. Before that he worked in central government across a wide range of consumer policy areas such as digital television switchover and nutritional labeling on food.

Patrick McGrath

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director, Southside Housing Association

Patrick has been the senior officer at Southside since 1998. He has previously worked in a variety of housing and urban regeneration posts with Renfrew District Council and Whiteinch and Scotstoun Housing Association and was previously Senior Housing Consultant with DTZ Pieda.

Gavin Smith

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vice chair, CIH Scotland Board

Gavin is currently a service manager at Fife Council with responsibility for homelessness, housing access and service commissioning arrangements, Gavin has worked in various roles in a number of different housing policy areas for over 25 years. Gavin, who is also Chair of Ore Valley Housing Group, previously served on the CIH Scotland board back in 2010 and rejoined the Scotland board in 2019.

With Scotland undertaking its newest national planning review (NPF4), how can we ensure that our system of placemaking creates liveable communities that we all want to be a part of?

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Keynote: Planning for 2050 - the creation of twenty-minute communities

Daisy Narayanan

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director of urbanism, Sustrans

Daisy's role involves interweaving policy, public realm design and broad integration of key place principles to help create liveable towns and cities. Drawing on her previous experience working as an architect and urban designer in India, Singapore, England and Scotland, Daisy believes passionately in the importance of creating places for people: places that reflect and complement the communities that live in them.

Brent Toderian

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canadian urbanist, TODERIAN UrbanWORKS

Brent Toderian is a nationally and internationally respected practitioner and thought-leader with over 25 years of experience in advanced urbanism, city planning and urban design. In recent years he has advised and collaborated with cities, agencies and best-practice developers around the world.

Gavin Smith

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vice chair, CIH Scotland Board

Gavin is currently a service manager at Fife Council with responsibility for homelessness, housing access and service commissioning arrangements, Gavin has worked in various roles in a number of different housing policy areas for over 25 years. Gavin, who is also Chair of Ore Valley Housing Group, previously served on the CIH Scotland board back in 2010 and rejoined the Scotland board in 2019.

With less than two months before the Scottish Parliamentary elections, representatives from our main political parties will discuss their housing priorities and share what issues they see progress on in the next Parliament.

Recording

Election 2021 hustings: The big questions

Kevin Stewart

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Minister for local government, housing and planning

Kevin Stewart was appointed Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning in June 2016. His specific responsibilities are housing, local government, planning, building standards, homelessness, fuel poverty and energy efficiency. Before his election to the Scottish Parliament, he was previously the Depute Leader of Aberdeen City Council and served as a local councillor for more than eleven years.

Graham Simpson MSP

I have represented the Central Scotland region since May 2016 and I have two Conservative colleagues here in Alison Harris and Margaret Mitchell. I was a councillor for East Kilbride West from 2007 until 2017. In the election for my second term I topped the poll, recording one of the biggest vote share increases of any Conservative in Scotland.

Pauline McNeill MSP

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a spokesperson for the Scottish Labour Party

Pauline is a Scottish politician who has been a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Glasgow regional list since 2016. A member of the Scottish Labour Party, she previously represented the Glasgow Kelvin constituency from 1999 to 2011. In the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, she stood but was not elected, however she returned to Parliament at the following election in 2016.

Patrick Harvie MSP

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Co-leader of the Scottish Greens

Patrick Harvie MSP Co-leader of the Scottish Greens Patrick has been an MSP for Glasgow region since 2003. He is the Greens spokesperson for Finance, Economy, Fair Work and Equalities. He serves on the Finance and Constitution Committee, amongst others, and the cross-party Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency committee.

Paul McGarry

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housing spokesperson, Scottish Liberal Democrats

Paul is the Housing Spokesperson for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, he is also the Vice Convenor of the party and leads their Central Scotland list for the Scottish Elections. Paul has been a leading voice within the party on housing policy for nearly a decade, he was one of few politicians with a lived experience of homelessness. Paul has a special interest in homelessness policy and the work of Housing associations

Callum Chomczuk

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national director, CIH Scotland

Callum is the national director of the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, having taken on the post in September 2018. He initially joined the Institute in March 2018 as deputy director. He previously worked in consultancy as the head of public affairs for Pagoda PR after working in policy roles in the third sector and as a Scottish parliamentary researcher. Callum is the former convenor of the Association of Scottish Public Affairs and is currently sits on its committee.

The Scottish Parliament has been at the forefront of some of the most progressive public legislation in the UK, but as we face the challenges of demographic change and economic insecurity, we’ll explore what systems and structures need to be put in place to ensure the wellbeing and prosperity of all our citizens.

Recording

Keynote: Radical Scotland - how do we build the institutions we need for the 21st century?

Kevin Stewart

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Minister for local government, housing and planning

Kevin Stewart was appointed Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning in June 2016. His specific responsibilities are housing, local government, planning, building standards, homelessness, fuel poverty and energy efficiency. Before his election to the Scottish Parliament, he was previously the Depute Leader of Aberdeen City Council and served as a local councillor for more than eleven years.

Kerry Hudson

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british writer

Kerry Hudson was born in Aberdeen. Her first novel, TONY HOGAN BOUGHT ME AN ICE-CREAM FLOAT BEFORE HE STOLE MY MA was the winner of the Scottish First Book Award while also being shortlisted for the Southbank Sky Arts Literature Award, Guardian First Book Award, Green Carnation Prize, Author’s Club First Novel Prize and the Polari First Book Award.

Craig Gurney

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CIH Scotland Board member

Dr Craig Gurney is a housing sociologist with 30 years' experience of teaching and researching in the field of housing studies. His current interests include housing, home and social harm. He recently joined the board of CIH Scotland.

Scotland has rightly been lauded as a leader on tackling knife crime by recognising it as a public health and not a criminal justice issue. But as we seek to learn the lessons from the pandemic where we moved people off the streets and into secure accommodation, can we change our approach to homelessness and finally recognise it as a public health priority for the whole country?

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Panel session: Why can't we take a public health approach to homelessness?

Niven Rennie

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director, VRU

A police officer for 31 years before becoming CEO of a Homeless Charity, Niven has been Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit for almost 3 years. The VRU successfully adopted a public health approach to violence in 2005 and has a world wide reputation for innovation and collaboration.

Cllr Kelly Parry

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community wellbeing spokesperson, COSLA

Councillor Parry was first elected in 2015 in a by-election to Midlothian Council. She was re-elected in 2017. Kelly has a background working in education policy and finance and had a successful stint in student politics as President of Edinburgh College. She is COSLA’s Community Wellbeing Spokesperson, representing the organisation at a national level on a range of issues including migration, social security, justice, community safety and housing.

David Pentland

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volunteer for GHIFT and all in for change, and member of the leadership team for the Glasgow Alliance to end homelessness

Craig Gurney

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CIH Scotland Board member

Dr Craig Gurney is a housing sociologist with 30 years' experience of teaching and researching in the field of housing studies. His current interests include housing, home and social harm. He recently joined the board of CIH Scotland.

COVID-19 has caused lots of uncertainty, which has left many organisational leaders struggling to identify the best way forward. Dave Snowden will discuss how best to make sense of complexity, how to figure out which kind of problem you’re dealing with - simple, complicated, complex or chaotic - and work through a different leadership response for each one.

Recording

Keynote: Coping with complexity

Dave Snowden

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founder, Cognitive Edge

Dave's work is international in nature and covers government and industry looking at complex issues relating to strategy, organisational decision making and decision making. He has pioneered a science-based approach to organizations drawing on anthropology, neuroscience and complex adaptive systems theory.

Craig Gurney

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CIH Scotland Board member

Dr Craig Gurney is a housing sociologist with 30 years' experience of teaching and researching in the field of housing studies. His current interests include housing, home and social harm. He recently joined the board of CIH Scotland.

Lightning talks

Angela Currie

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ceo, Hanover Scotland

Angela has recently taken up the role of Chief Executive with Hanover Scotland - a leading older people's housing association in Scotland. She was previously Director of Operations with award winning Blackwood Homes and Care and led the development of Scotland's Housing Network for many years.

Evie Copland

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CIH Scotland Board member

Tony Boyle

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regional specification manager for Scotland, Aico

Thirteen years ago Tony began his four year apprenticeship to become an electrician. After completing this and gaining extensive experience he was then regraded to approved electrician before completing his HNC in electrical engineering. Tony is also a member of the institute of engineering and technology. In Tony's current role as regional specification manager at Aico he works closely with local authorities, housing associations, consultants and installers on the design and specification of life safety systems in domestic dwellings throughout Scotland . Education is the corner stone of Aico's organisation and they educate businesses on the latest rules and regulations on fire safety. Aico are currently working on a national program which will see the delivery of our training to the next generation of installers. Just as importantly, Aico also work closely educating social landlords from all over Scotland as well as their tenants. Engaging with residents will help to ensure safer communities now and in the future.

View the website

Dirk Huibers

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ceo/ co-founder, Octo

After my masters in Building Science at the TU-Delft I've worked for two years as a consultant where I was trained in software engineering. When starting on my entrepreneurial journey is was fortunate enough to be guided by the Google Launchpad program which helped me gain the essential skills to grow the company.

The future of work is changing. Artificial intelligence, agile working, home working, digitisation, automation, and increasing life expectancy will have an enormous impact on what jobs will be lost, what jobs will be created and how we approach employability. We’ll explore together how the housing sector should respond to this ever changing landscape for the benefit of our customers and communities.

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The Big Debate: What does the future of work look like?

Lorraine Usher

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ceo, Loreburn housing association

Lorraine Usher is CEO at Loreburn. She graduated with a BA in Housing Sustainable Communities in 2004 and has a PGD in Housing Leadership. Since Lorraine joined Loreburn they have been through a significant transformation programme and their next phase of transition, following a three-year strategy and consultation, is a permanent move to agile working with an office closure programme. The organisation is currently consulting and a recommendation will go to Board in January 2021. Loreburns “Be-ing You” approach to employment defines their supportive, trusted and empowered culture which offers colleagues the right tools, freedoms and flexibilities to flourish.

Adam Lang

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head of NESTA in Scotland

Adam leads the work of Nesta in Scotland with a focus on supporting digital, data and technology-driven innovation for social good. Adam is a member of the Scottish Leaders' Forum as well as the Scottish Government’s AI Strategy Steering Group and sits on the Scotland CAN DO Business Innovation Forum. Adam joined Nesta after five years as the Head of Policy and Communications for Shelter Scotland, where he was part of both the charity's UK senior leadership team and Scottish directorate leadership team. Prior to this Adam spent several years working in a range of policy, public affairs and strategic communications roles in Scotland across the public, private and civil society sectors.

Jane Van Zyl

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ceo, Working Families

Jane has 14 years’ experience working in the third sector and has held senior leadership positions at a number of UK charities. She believes in the value of a fulfilling, balanced working life and its transformative power to create social connections, build self-esteem, and impact the wider community. She is a passionate advocate of equal opportunity for all. Jane holds a social science bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Town in Industrial Sociology and Industrial Psychology.

Evie Copland

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CIH Scotland Board member

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