It is a great privilege to be appointed as Senior Governor by the Court of University of Aberdeen.
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Long before the rise of the mobile smart phone, Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant brains of the 20th century, said: “I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
It all started back in the summer of last year. Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) organised its first Ultimate Business Show - an expo which brought together over 70 of the highest profile and most innovative companies in the region and around 1,000 delegates with the objective of sharing ways of working differently, more smartly and providing solutions to the challenges around more effective and efficient procurement.
I was intrigued and a little surprised recently to be told by a colleague that I was resilient.
The last 30 years have been incredible, a time of innovation and progress not seen since the industrial revolution.
I just returned from China and what an eye opener! China is fantastic, modern, thriving and safe.
As an employer, it is unreasonable for you to expect your employees to be fit and well all of the time.
We are living in uncertain times. The past six months have witnessed the Brexit referendum vote, the election of Donald Trump as US president and the resignation of the prime minister of Italy after losing a constitutional referendum. Whatever opportunities for the discerning investor may arise from these events there’s no doubt their initial impact on markets is destabilising.
Over many years in academia I have pondered how and why particular careers seem overwhelmingly attractive to young people, in particular of course university applicants, while others seem to languish and require constant efforts on the part of well-meaning practitioners to “sell” their appeal.
Bertie Armstrong, Scottish Fisherman's Association chief executive, writes for The P&J.
Tavish Scott gives his views on the Brussels fishing charade.
Fergus Ewing speaks to The P&J about this week's fishing talks.
The economy relies upon the basic physical and organisational structures and facilities essential to the smooth functioning of enterprises.
As the Press and Journal's Keep HIE Local campaign gathers pace, the agency's former chairman and SNP party member, Professor Jim Hunter, today accuses SNP ministers of launching an "assault" on its founding principles.
Scotland's oil and gas industry kept stiff upper lip after UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond's first Autumn Statement failed to deliver further support for the North Sea.
As Europe’s offshore oil and gas capital, our region has a well-earned reputation for enterprise and innovation, but the eventual depletion of North Sea reserves over the next 25 to 35 years gives us a serious long-term economic challenge.
Employers are increasingly aware of the value of modern apprenticeships (MAs). Under the direction of Skills Development Scotland, more than 25,000 people every year start a modern apprenticeship, with over 80 MA frameworks, from financial services to healthcare, from construction to IT. And the feedback is positive – 96% of employers say those who have undertaken modern apprenticeships are better at their job and they praise MAs for improving productivity, staff morale, and service and product quality. Significantly, 92% of MAs stay in work once they’re qualified.
Last month in London a gorilla escaped! Initially I had thought it was Boris covered in BS, but once I saw the hair I knew it couldn’t be him. Well there’s no mistaking the hair on this month’s escapee. FM, who would have thought the head green keeper at Turnberry would be president-elect? Surely he won’t keep his day job? I think whoever said: “if Hillary couldn’t control her man’s urges - then how could she be trusted with control the USA” can take some credit, if that’s the right word, for the amazing result. USA; USA; USA! Trump and Putin! My money’s on a new golf course in the grounds of the Kremlin!
So, after 18-months of bruising campaigning, we’ve been Trumped.
And so again this month many of us woke to an unexpected election outcome: and the deep irony is not that you and I did not expect it but that governments, pollsters and political experts all over the world did not expect it. As with Brexit, we woke to find a world surprised and unprepared for what would come next – but knowing that the world order had changed.
My kids say I’m always 10 years behind the times.
I’ve been reflecting how common sense is, well, sensible.
The term “collaborator” has negative wartime connotations, with perpetrators accused of conspiring with the enemy and subject to court martial.
The presidential race in America is always a fascinating affair – none more so than the current battle which has pitch establishment figure Hillary Clinton against political maverick Donald Trump.
Last Friday, a jar of yeast extract was put on web trading platform eBay with a price tag of £100,000.
We all have networks – they are natural phenomena that we encounter from our earliest days, membership of which begins in early childhood and is nurtured (though also sometimes damaged) through participation in nursery, at dance classes, in Brownies and team sports.
Next month Hillary Clinton may be elected America’s first female President which would be a truly historic event. It is of course encouraging that powerful female role models are already not in short supply. Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May lead the Scottish and UK governments. Further afield Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde and Janet Yellen also occupy senior positions on the global stage.
I am often asked: Is the north-east economy getting back on its feet?
There is general consensus that Aberdeen and the north-east more widely need to diversify and grow our sources of revenue across a range of sectors, one of the prime of which is tourism.
The three bridges which span the Firth of Forth at or near Queensferry – the Forth Bridge, the Forth Road Bridge and the soon to be completed Queensferry Crossing – are potent symbols of how important it is to invest in infrastructure. They are all grand structures but we should not forget that the infrastructure you can’t see is as vital to the success of an economy as that which you can.
Former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is credited with coining the phrase that there are three kinds of lies: “lies, damned lies, and statistics”.
“It has been a long time since business leaders had so many twists and turns to negotiate when making crucial decisions, but despite political upheaval they remain ours to make.”