John Pearce Memorial Lecture 2017

John Pearce Memorial Lecture 2017
The Wise Group
June 2017


Are social enterprises in Scotland fit and agile enough to face the challenges of the future?
Laurie Russell has spent 40 years working on social and economic regeneration in Western Scotland.  He has worked at a community level, for the former Strathclyde Regional Council, for a Scottish Government/European Commission partnership and for the last ten years he has been chief executive of one of Scotland’s leading social enterprises, the Wise Group.


He has been on both sides of the funding world.  His role with European funds for 17 years was to provide financial support for programmes and projects that could achieve social and economic regeneration. He has spent as many years trying to secure funding for community initiatives in Clydebank and for the operations of the Wise Group.


Laurie will reflect on where he feels we have got it right and where we are still getting it wrong in meeting the needs and aspirations of poor communities and supporting people to transform their lives and be free of poverty.


He will explore the role of social enterprises in being able to deliver better and more responsive public services and what is holding back the pace and depth of public service reform. 


He will offer constructive ideas for improving the role of social enterprise based on his experience of the public sector commissioning and tendering for services in Scotland and England. 


Laurie will challenge some of the assumptions about the role that social enterprise could play in achieving inclusive economic growth in Scotland.  This will include his thoughts on how social enterprises should adapt and prepare for the challenges they will face over the next few years.