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Peter Proud - Edinburgh needs to be prepared for change #Edinburgh2050

23 November 2016

In our latest instalment of blog posts on the #Edinburgh2050 City Vision, Cortex Founder and Managing Director Peter Proud tells us why Edinburgh needs to remain innovative – and encourage young people to embrace change – to ensure it is still a successful city in 2050.

For centuries, Scotland and particularly Edinburgh has been home to some of the most innovative inventions of the modern world. From advances in technology to accounting practices, our Judiciary systems and democratic constitutions, Scotland has had and continues to make ripples around the world as a nation of thought leaders.

I think we should be celebrating the success of breakthrough works by the likes of Peter Higgs to show off the contribution Scotland is still making to the world, and to inspire future generations to follow suit.

My vision for the Edinburgh of 2050 is for every child in the Capital, as part of their education, to realise that although Scotland is a small nation with regards to population and land mass, its contribution to the modern world has been pivotal to how everyone in the western (and increasingly all of) the modern world live their lives.

When it comes to our aspirations for Edinburgh, we should continue to take inspiration from our innovative forefathers, like we do now. Edinburgh is a hot bed for innovation and startups with companies like Rock Star North, SkyScanner, Exception and Dryden Aqua flourishing. Over the last 30 years we have seen a move away from Edinburgh’s only employment opportunities being within large organisations in financial services to a much broader set of firms in industries such as IT and renewable energy.

The only constant in the world is that it will constantly change, and Edinburgh needs to be prepared for further shifts. We need to inspire our following generations to be able adapt to these changes, to be flexible and constantly ahead of the curve with regards to what we can achieve. We should push an aspiration for people in Edinburgh to create opportunities for themselves and the talented people around them.

Education is a privilege we should all embrace, and it goes beyond passing an exam. We should educate children in ‘life’. Be it personal health, how to take responsibility for your own actions, or how to love and support your community and your planet.

As Mike Rose, a retired Army General, used to say to me: leadership ‘is not about making Soldiers do the best they can, but about making them want to do the best they can’.

In my vision for Edinburgh 2050, I also hope every child will have access to a great educational foundation that will help them start their adult lives with the skills and attitudes necessary to live a great life, and to help Edinburgh compete successfully on the global stage.

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