Driving Social and Economic Change Conference

Join us as we explore taking collaborative action to address the well being of our citizens through coordinated action, that not only supports individuals to fulfil their potential but also meets the needs of our business sector. 

Driving Social and Economic Change Conference


Join us on Thursday 24 January at La Mon Hotel & Country Club, as we explore taking collaborative action to address the well being of our citizens through coordinated action, that not only supports individuals to fulfil their potential but also meets the needs of our business sector.  

Our keynote speakers Professor Sir Harry Burns, Dorte Neilsen and Steve Orr will share their extensive knowledge of development; challenging us to think differently about the link between social & economic well-being and explore good practice.  


Attendance Fee 

£38.57 (includes VAT and booking fee) 

This price includes both morning refreshments and a hot lunch.  


Who should attend? 

Delegates who will have an interest in this event will be people in:

  • Business 
  • Local Government 
  • Education  
  • Health    
  • Community and Voluntary Sectors 
  • Government Departments.  

Keynote Speakers  

Sir Harry Burns  

Sir Harry Burns graduated in medicine from Glasgow University in 1974. He trained in surgery in Glasgow and was appointed as a Consultant Surgeon and in the University Department of Surgery at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow in 1984. Working with patients in the east end of Glasgow gave him an insight into the complex inter-relationships between social and economic status and illness. He completed a Masters Degree in Public Health in 1990 and shortly afterwards was appointed Medical Director of The Royal Infirmary.  

In 1994, he became Director of Public Health for Greater Glasgow Health Board, a position he occupied until 2005. During his time with Greater Glasgow Health Board he continued research into the problems of social determinants of health and in 2005, he became Chief Medical Officer for Scotland. In this role, his responsibilities included aspects of public health policy, health protection and, for a time, sport.  

He was knighted in 2011 and in April 2014, he became Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University where he continues his interest in understanding how societies create wellness. In 2014, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, presented him a lifetime achievement award from the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament for Public Service.   


Dorte Neilsen  

Dorte Nielsen, M.Sc., is the founder of Creative Thinker and the Center for Creative Thinking in Copenhagen. Dorte Nielsen is a creativity expert, author and keynote speaker.  Born in Denmark, she studied at The Graphic Arts Institute of Denmark and later at The School of Communication Arts in London. Dorte Nielsen holds a Master of Science degree in Creativity from the International Center for Studies in Creativity, Buffalo, New York.  

For most of the 90’s Dorte Nielsen worked in advertising in London. Her creative work won her recognition at the Cannes International Advertising Festival, D&AD, the British Television Awards, Epica, London International Advertising Awards, Campaign Poster Awards among others.

Since moving back to Denmark, Dorte Nielsen has been teaching and researching creative thinking at the Danish School of Media and Journalism, where she founded the Creative Communication education, a bachelor degree programme for art directors and conceptual thinkers. Under her leadership Creative Communication became one of the most award-winning advertising bachelor programmes in the world.

After her success training creativity at university level, Dorte Nielsen took her uniquely effective creativity curriculum to primary schools. Dorte Nielsen is the author of nine books (including The secret of the highly creative thinker) and numerous articles on creativity and creative thinking.

Dorte Nielsen is the founder of FourSight Denmark and hold the position of Chairman of Creative Circle, the Danish society for the creative industries, which holds the biggest creative award show in Scandinavia, celebrating creative excellence.


Steve Orr 

Steve Orr is Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst Inc and serves on the Board of Directors. Before being named CEO in November 2018, Steve was Director and Co-founder of Connect, Catalyst Inc’s not-for-profit network of experienced entrepreneurs, business professionals and top research talent dedicated to the creation and scaling of innovation companies in Northern Ireland.   

Connect helps over 800 local entrepreneurs to aim higher and succeed faster each year.

Prior to Connect, Steve co-founded Kineticom, Inc a San Diego, California based technical talent firm in 2000. In 2006 Kineticom was ranked #33 on the Inc 500, the list of the fastest growing privately held companies in the US. Previous to Kineticom, Steve worked in Buckinghamshire, UK and San Diego and San Francisco, California for S.Com Ltd and S.Com Inc. Steve earned a BSc in Business Information Technology from University of Northumbria. 


Conference Workshops  

At the conference you will have the chance to take part in one of our following workshops:

1. Unlocking talent, fulfilling potential: Does education create aspiration and hope?  

2. Social Inclusion: Working in partnership to improve social mobility. 

3. Business Growth: Invest in your people, Invest in your business: Delivering competitive advantage through investing in people.   


Click here to register for the conference. 


Join the movement; from here it’s possible...


For any other enquiries, please contact Rebekah Cunningham at rcunningham@serc.ac.uk.