Fringe events at SNP Conference 2024

SNP Party Conference 2024 will take place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre from 30 August – 1 September 2024. Holyrood hosted seven fringe events at the SNP Annual National Conference 2023, including our annual Health & Care Hub and Editor’s Club: In Conversation events.

Is Green Finance Scotland’s vehicle for growth?
Sunday 15 October | 16.30-17.30 | Conference Suite 4 


In partnership wth: City UK, City of London 


Chair: Doug Thomson, Former Fund Manager and Company Director 



Scotland is now established as a world-leader in green finance: an industry whose pace and scale of activity will be critical in securing a successful COP28. After a winter of soaring interest rates and geopolitical uncertainty, what are some of the ways finance can generate necessary growth for Scotland and the UK as a whole? Join us as we bring together thought and industry leaders to review the progress made in the green finance sector, as well as the practical steps needed to deliver a sustainable future for people and planet. 

Confirmed speakers: 

  • Shona Robison MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Scottish Government 

  • Chris Hayward, Policy Chair, City of London Corporation 

  • Lee Backhouse, Senior Manager, Responsible Investments, Scottish Widows


Food and refreshments available.


Has Scotland’s Net Zero Strategy left Offshore Energy adrift?

Sunday 15 October | 16.30-17.30 | Meeting Room 5

In Partnership with:

Chair: Professor Paul de Leeuw, Director of the RGU Energy Transition Institute


Description :

A just energy transition is essential to tackle the climate crisis. Findings by OEUK revealed that offshore energy could invest up to £200bn on UK energy production and technology projects in the remainder of this decade to help deliver government energy targets. This session will ask how offshore energy can be mobilised to achieve Net Zero, support the pre-existing workforce and lead the Just Transition movement. Join us as we bring together representatives from government, the offshore energy sector and academia to explore steps needed to prepare the offshore workforce ensuring Scotland remains on track to deliver its climate targets.


Confirmed Speakers :

  • Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy, Scottish Government 

  • Dave Whitehouse, Chief Executive Officer, OEUK

  • Stephen Sheal, Director of Government Affairs and Policy, Net Zero Technology Centre


Food and refreshments available.


Editor’s Club: In Conversation with Neil Gray
15 October | 18:00- 20:00 | Conference Suite 4


In partnership with: Drax
Chair: Mandy Rhodes, Managing Director, Holyrood Communications and Editor of Holyrood Magazine 


Confirmed Speaker: Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy Scottish Government. 


Join Holyrood magazine editor, Mandy Rhodes, for a glass of wine and a convivial ‘in conversation’ with Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy Scottish Government, to find out what makes him tick. 


Food and refreshments (alcohol and soft drinks) available.


Tackling the Divide: Exploring Health Inequalities in Scotland
16 October | 09:15-10:15 | Conference Suite 4 

in partnership with: Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Sight Scotland, Diabetes Scotland 


Chair: Kirsteen Paterson, Journalist, Holyrood Magazine 


Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, health inequalities are on the rise in Scotland, and have been exacerbated by events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. With urgent progress needed, we’ll be considering how socioeconomic factors are influencing health inequalities and what further action is needed to improve health outcomes. Bringing together a range of health organisations, the conversation will focus on ensuring equitable access to diagnosis and treatment, as well as the technological devices that support self-management. 


Confirmed speakers: 

  • Jenni Minto MSPMinister for Public Health and Women's Health 

  • Dr Marion Slater, Consultant Physician and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 

  • Craig Spalding, Chief Executive Officer of Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans 

  • John Kinnear, National Director, Diabetes Scotland 


Food and refreshments available.


How do we make the Deposit Return Scheme a success story for the environment & for Scotland?
Monday 16 October
| 16.30 – 17.30 | Conference Suite 4


In partnership with: Coca Cola Europacific Partners  


Chair: Mandy Rhodes, Managing Director, Holyrood Communications and Editor, Holyrood Magazine. 


Earlier this year, the Scottish Government confirmed that its deposit return scheme (DRS) would be delayed until at least October 2025. This decision followed apprehension from the UK Government about the impact of the scheme on the UK internal market, alongside concerns from industry about both the scheme’s rollout and costs.
It is widely acknowledged that the deposit return schemes will come with environmental benefits for Scotland. As work continues ahead of the scheme’s 2025 introduction, stakeholders must be engaged in the development process. Join us as we consider how Scotland can deliver a successful DRS scheme, addressing previous concerns whilst working alongside equivalent UK schemes.


Confirmed speakers: 


  • Ivan McKee MSP, former Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise  

  • Collette Stevenson MSP, SNP  

  • Jim Fox, Head of Public Affairs GB, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners 

  • Cllr Ruairi Kelly, City Convener for Neighbourhood Services and Assets, Glasgow City Council


Food and refreshments available.


Restoring Consumer Trust in Energy Markets for a Just Transition

Tuesday 17 October | 09.00-10.00 | Conference Suite 4 


In partnership withTrust Alliance Group

Chair: Louise Wilson, Political Editor, Holyrood Magazine 



The combined impact of global inflation and the conflict in Ukraine has led to soaring energy prices and decreased consumer trust across Scotland. Evidence from the Trust Alliance Group shows only 53% of consumers trust their energy supplier to treat them fairly.  With the Climate Change Committee estimating 60% of emissions reductions must come from societal change, how do we restore trust in energy markets to encourage greener consumer energy habits? Join our panel session as we explore the measures that can be taken to help restore public trust in energy markets and deliver a Just Transition in Scotland. 


Confirmed speakers: 

  • Tom Arthur MSPMinister for Community Wealth and Public Finance
    Ed Dodman,
    Business Unit Director & Chief Ombudsman, Energy Ombudsman

  • Dave Doogan MP, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy Security and Net Zero). 


Food and refreshments available.


A Health and Care Workforce Fit for the Future
Tuesday 17 October
| 12.30 – 13.30 | Conference Suite 4 



Chair: Chris Marshall, Deputy Editor, Holyrood Magazine 



Last year, the Scottish Government published its national workforce strategy for health and social care, outlining how it would achieve recovery, growth and transformation. Despite this, over the past year we have seen unions balloting members on strike action, high vacancy rates and a cost-of-living crisis placing an additional financial burden on many.  


With this in mind, our Health Hub will focus on steps that need to be taken to create a workforce fit for the future. Join RCN Scotland, RPS Scotland and CSP Scotland as we explore how we can expand the workforce, support students through training, and best utilise our skills mix. 


Confirmed speakers 

  • Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care  

  • Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, Public Affairs and Policy Manager for Scotland, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy 

  • Eileen Mckenna, Scotland Associate Director, Royal College of Nursing 
  • Laura Wilson, Director for Scotland, Royal Pharmaceutical Society 


Food and refreshments available.


    Event Details