Scottish conference on social finance creating a fairer society

Transforming how money is used for social good – and to create a fairer society across Scotland – will be in the spotlight in Edinburgh next month, at the country’s first conference focused on social finance.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of the Scottish Government, will open the event at Edinburgh’s Roxburghe Hotel on Thursday 19 November, and a range of international experts will be speaking on social finance, investment and banking. Delegates will hear how social finance can achieve major benefits for society, the environment and people’s wellbeing.

The conference – ‘Social Finance: Social Investment: Social Banking – What makes them Social?’ – is being hosted by Scottish Community Re: Investment Trust, an independent charity working to influence, inform and assist the Scottish third sector to align its financial resources and planning with its aspirations for a more social and environmentally just Scotland.

Deirdre Forsyth, Chair of Scottish Community Re: Investment Trust, said: “This pioneering conference will explore how Scotland’s third sector – which makes such a vital, positive difference to Scottish society – can enhance its social impact through more sustainable, collaborative and socially responsible use of its money.”

Workshops and discussions will include crowdfunding campaigns, community shares, social banks and more.

Speakers include Eric Holterhues, Head of SRI Funds at Triodos Investment Management BV in The Netherlands; Rod Ashley, Chief Executive at Scotland’s Airdrie Savings Bank; Adrian Saches, Client Executive at GLS Social Bank in Germany; Dan Gregory, Blogger at Common Capital; and Peter Quarmby, Founding Director of Community Sector Banking in Australia.

The event is part of Scottish Community Re: Investment Trust’s ambition to transform Scotland’s third sector finances. The trust says that the sector lacks a financial framework suited to its values and ways of working – with challenges including scattered resources, unsuitable financial products, and a lack of Scottish-focused banks offering a transparent way to invest ethically.

For details of ticket prices and to book in advance, please see www.scrt.scot *

Principle sponsor of the conference is Airdrie Savings Bank (https://airdriesavingsbank.com). Other sponsors include Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Zero Waste Scotland.

Rod Ashley said: “Airdrie Savings Bank is delighted to sponsor this conference. We are a not for profit community bank with no shareholders, governed by a Board made up, principally, of unremunerated Trustees.  All returns are for the communities and customers we serve. The bank is committed to social justice within a sustainable economy and is pioneering Scotland’s engagement in banking which considers its environmental, cultural and social impact.

* Or visit conference website Editor’s note – sadly the programme is only available as an image – text would be good for accessibility! Entry cost varies from £39 to £139.

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