Brexit Briefing

On Wednesday 1 March, SLF members met with the Scottish Government’s Minister for UK negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe – Mike Russell, MSP. The event was well attended and the wide range of interests represented made for a varied and useful discussion.

The key themes arising from the discussion were:

• Scottish values are central to the discussion on Scotland’s Place in Europe – what kind of Scotland do we want to be, and how can we best articulate these values.
• SLF members have access to a diverse range of networks, and a huge amount of soft power, how can this best be harnessed to support positive outcomes for Scotland.
• People are central; how do leaders support staff who are, or have family, from the EU; and how can we support communities to engage with the discussions.


There was also discussion about how we can collect and share data and evidence to support analysis of the implications of Brexit – if you have information you feel would be helpful to share, either data or case studies of impacts, please get in touch via

Following the triggering of Article 50 a further session with Mr Russell has been scheduled for September 2017. Information on this event will be issued to members nearer the time.

Forth Road Bridge

Transforming Leadership in a Digital World

Thank you to those who attended the last event on 5 October. It was a lively and informative session. For those who were unable to make it, the session focused on digital transformation, and explored the potential of digital disruption and the role of leaders in driving forward our digital ambitions. To kick the session off we were joined by Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, who provided an update on activity following the EU referendum result. There were two key messages from this session. One was the importance of working together and supporting each other through this difficult time. The other was to speak up about our hopes and fears, and to share any information with him that could help inform the negotiation process going forward.

[Read more…]

To introduce the main theme of the day, we had an open discussion and then broke into snap chat sessions which explored a number of themes aimed to stimulate our thinking in relation to digital.

Adam Stewart, ‎Regional Manager – UK Public Sector, Google provided a thought provoking presentation around the art of the possible of digital. His presentation can be found at ( ). We then had a discussion with Derek MacKay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution, around the opportunities of digital across Scotland’s public services.

Many of you will have been aware of the debate in parliament on 3 November “Realising Scotland’s full potential in a digital world”. This confirmed Ministers intention to publish a refreshed digital strategy in early 2017 which is anticipated will set out a range of ambitions and actions to ensure that Scotland realises its full potential in a digital world. To assist that process, an interactive discussion has been running via between 3 November and 15 December, on the 6 themes which we think should be included the strategy:

• Connectivity
• Economy
• Skills
• Public services
• Participation
• Cyber security and resilience.

Alongside the interactive dialogue, we have engaged with many of you directly either individually or through the various boards, meetings and events that you are a part of to:

• Ensure that we have identified the right objectives to make the most of the opportunities that digital can offer;
• Identify whether there are other things we should consider in developing the strategy; and
• Take stock with you on what you think the priorities might be.