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Associate feature: working together towards inclusive growth

Associate feature: working together towards inclusive growth

Scotland Excel Conference 2020 – Inclusive Growth

As the Centre of Procurement Expertise for local government, Scotland Excel holds a conference each year to discuss how procurement can advance key local and national priorities. 

The theme of this year’s conference is inclusive growth with a packed programme arranged to explore how councils and other local organisations can work together to support this important agenda.

The conference will be at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow on 20 and 21 February, co-located with the biennial Scotland Excel Supplier Excellence Awards

Here Julie Welsh, Director of Scotland Excel, shares her ambitions for the conference.

Why have you chosen inclusive growth as the theme of this year’s conference? 

Inclusive growth has been a feature of the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy for the past five years, with international governments agreeing that it can help address the most pressing challenges that society faces.

Modern, public procurement is not just about getting the best price for the public purse. It also has a very definite brief to generate economic, social and environmental wellbeing in local communities and this conference will explore how procurement professionals can work with colleagues, partners and stakeholders to further sustainable, inclusive growth.

We’re taking an inclusive approach ourselves this year, inviting colleagues from across the public sector to join Scotland Excel members and associate members to hear from top speakers including the Scottish Government’s Chief Economic Adviser, Dr Gary Gillespie.

What is the aim of the conference?

We have worked hard to develop a programme that allows delegates to hear from inspirational speakers, learn from best practice and take part in interactive workshops. More than that, however, it’s about the conversations that will happen in the room. We want to foster a better understanding of what procurement has to offer among other public sector colleagues and vice versa, to learn more about the levers they have available to create opportunities for all.

What sort of people would benefit from attending?

We had our first conference in 2009, providing a platform for local authority procurement professionals to come together to learn and share best practice.

In the intervening years, we have developed a network of partners who share common aims. But it can be challenging to get us all together at once!

The 2020 conference is designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of public sector colleagues including local authority procurement and economic development teams, housing associations and, really, anyone who is interested in the latest thinking on public sector inclusive growth priorities.                                                

What can people expect?

The conference website outlines presentations by more than 20 speakers and we’re delighted to have such wonderful contributors. I think we have struck the right balance between unpacking major strategies and plans, providing first-hand accounts of translating policy into practice and practical workshops that will equip delegates to manage business relationships. There’s also plenty of opportunity for networking and comparing notes. We’re really excited about the possibilities.

To find out more about Scotland Excel visit

For more information on the conference, visit our website -

Bookings can be made until Friday, 14 February.   

This piece was sponsored by Scotland Excel    

Read the most recent article written by Julie Welsh - Associate feature: A recovery we can build together

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