Scotland is to host a major European conference on how civil society can help to deliver the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
EUConsult’s Autumn Congress in Edinburgh later this month will discuss the role of the European non-profit community in advancing the global targets for peace, prosperity and equality by the year 2030.
Civil society consultants from across Europe will hear presentations from experts including Bruce Tait and Abeer Macintyre, Joint Chief Executives of the Stirling-based charity consultancy and recruitment agency BTA, which played a key role in EUConsult choosing Edinburgh as the venue for the event on September 27-28.
“Scotland is the most socially conscious and generous part of the UK - but we are getting very concerned about the lack of awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals here,” said Tait. “BTA is at the forefront of raising that awareness. This event is for anyone who works across civil society, especially the charity sector - which many people feel is falling behind in its awareness of the important and benefits of the goals."
BTA is the only Scottish member of EUConsult, an Amsterdam-based forum for consultants to the non-profit sector. Founded nearly 30 years ago, it encourages and stimulates ethical and professional behaviour and collaboration, as well as developing the technical and business skills of its members.
The EUConsult event will be held as world leaders are meeting at the UN General Assembly in New York. Civil society played an important role in shaping the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - a 15-year plan agreed by all countries to improve health, welfare, education and the environment. Non-profit organisations continue to work to ensure the SDGs’ targets are being met through advocacy, data collection, monitoring progress and holding governments to account.
Speakers at the Edinburgh congress will include:
- Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, on how organisations can use the SDGs as a business strategy framework to become more sustainable.
- Amanda Heenan, Founder of Arc of Inclusion, on how diversity, access and inclusion play a role in achieving the wider goals.
- Gwilym Gibbons, Chief Executive of The Chrichton Trust, on the urgent need to change and improve individual lives while aligning to global sustainability goals in a meaningful and impactful way.
- Alan Thornburrow, Scotland Director of Business in the Community, on the ways in which businesses are engaging with the SDGs to inspire and motivate others.
A panel discussion will feature Martin Georgi, Chair of the German Fundraising Association, and John Pepin, Director of Aperio Group (Europe).
EUConsult will be held at Teviot Row House, Bristo Square, Edinburgh - the oldest purpose-built student union building in the world (opened in 1889). The full programme is available here.
Attendees will visit the Scottish Parliament - hosted by MSP Angus MacDonald - and have a tour which explains how the Scottish Enlightenment helped to shape philanthropy in Europe and the United States.
"We’re delighted to invite consultants to Scotland’s capital city for the Autumn Congress,” said Tait. “The team has worked hard to put together a fascinating learning event and a great social programme too in wonderful, historic Edinburgh.”