21 Future Industries

Scotland_2063-7354By Mike Small

A few months ago I read a report that New Zealand had only developed it’s vineyards in the 1970s. When people first started the idea everyone thought they were completely crazy. We are so stuck in the box in Scotland – a central part of a dependency culture – that we don’t really commit to innovation.

We think, for example, the only ships we can possibly build are for the MOD. If you begin to think about that, possibly for the very first time, it’s a completely bizarre idea in the world of 2014

A Scottish research team today unveiled 21 future industries that could be built in Scotland if the powers of independence were used to maximise the potential of the country’s human and natural resources. The vision is opened up by Lateral North, an architecture, research and design collective based in Glasgow.

Possible industries include kelp farming, house factories, expansion of childcare, marine farming and a container port in the Orkney’s.

Robin McAlpine of Commonweal said of the new report:

“This is an exciting vision of what’s possible in Scotland if we actually had an industrial strategy and invested in the things that we could be world leaders in. Britain doesn’t do investment – Scotland could. With smart specialisation we could look around the world at what others are doing and work out what we can do best. That’s how most countries work, it’s about time Scotland started doing it. All the potential is there.”

Dreaming is important. Being able to dream is absolutely vital.

Some of the ideas explored by Lateral North will be daft, some will be brilliant. But they open up a world of possibility. Go see their work here.

What stands out again and again between the Yes and No campaign is that one is pointing forward while one looks over its shoulder to past glory.

Channel 4’s Paul Mason has written: “Over the next eight days, once the Westminster leaders have done their turns here, this referendum will go to the wire: Westminster reality, financial market reality versus something else.  If you only believe that “something else” is Alex Salmond and the SNP you will never understand why it’s got so tight, and why so many of the educated young are not just voting yes but spending their waking hours dreaming of underwater high-speed trains to Orkney.”



Categories: Economics

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3 replies

  1. Many of us, Scots, were raised to be afraid of making mistakes. I lived in the USA for 3 years, and Americans were not afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes were welcomed as opportunities to learn. Americans (in general) are CAN DO people. Some of us, Scots, have constantly been told we can’t do, But we have always had CAN DO people, and the CAN DO psychology is spreading and growing. We CAN DO independence. We WILL DO independence!

  2. For a brilliant example of that CAN DO attitude have a look at the Biolite Stove company based in New York (www.biolitestove.com/about/our-story/team/). They’re a successful small design company with a commitment to saving lives in the Third World, where more people die from smoke inhalation from open cooking fires than die from malaria and AIDS combined. Their enthusiasm is infectious. Earlier this year they raised over 1 million dollars in pledges in less than a month using Kickstarter. No bank loans needed.

    There’s absolutely no reason why Scotland cannot produce this kind of innovation.

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