Patrick Harvie MSP, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights

Patrick Harvie spent his childhood in Dumbarton, and attended Dumbarton Academy followed by Manchester Metropolitain University.

Before becoming an MSP he worked for a sexual health charity as an LGBT youth worker in Glasgow, and was involved in the campaign to repeal Section 28 during the Scottish Parliament’s first session.

Patrick was elected as an MSP for the Glasgow region in 2003, has served as Covenor of the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee during session 3, and as Co-leader or Co-Covenor of the Scottish Green Party since 2008. He was appointed Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights in August 2021.


Andrew Thin, Scottish Canals Chair


Andrew is Chair of Scottish Canals and Chair of the Scottish Land Commission. He has almost thirty years of experience in leadership roles in the public, private and third sectors, and has a particular interest in strategic and cultural leadership.

He is also Chair of the Folio Trust, a small charitable foundation, and an Independent Prison Monitor within HMIPS. His previous public sector board roles have included Crofters Commissioner, Children’s Hearings Scotland, Chair of the Cairngorms National Park Authority and Chair of Scottish Natural Heritage.

Ross Martin, Facilitator


Ross is an Adviser to the Scottish Government on Regional Economies, working across Scotland and beyond to design, develop and deliver attainable propositions for regional economic and environmental sustainability.

Ross has a recognised track record of collaborative leadership driving significant change programmes, e.g. in education and policing, and most recently in housing as the Chair of the Link Group, delivering Scotland‘s largest build programme of affordable new homes.

As Chair of Forth Valley College, Ross is assisting colleagues across the country to help develop the skills required to drive the green economy, whilst also working with national agencies and local anchor institutions, such as those in and around Scotland’s petrochemical complex at Grangemouth, on our shared journey to Net Zero.

Catherine Topley, CEO of Scottish Canals


Catherine joined Scottish Canals as CEO in June 2018. She has worked in a variety of sectors, from financial services and manufacturing to retail and is a respected and competent leader with a wide range of relevant commercial and public sector experience.

Catherine joined us at an important time in Scottish Canals’ journey as we have become one of the nation’s leading tourism and regeneration organisations, delivering diverse public value to the people of Scotland.

Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council

Susan Aitken has been Leader of Glasgow City Council since May 2017 and is the first SNP Leader of the Council. For her work to deliver equal pay justice for thousands of women in the city, she was awarded Scottish Local Government Politician of the Year.

Under her leadership Glasgow has been named the host of COP26, a Global Green City, and the European Capital of Sport for 2023. She is currently co-chair of UK100, a network of local leaders committed to delivering Net Zero, and an advisory board member of the Cities Climate Investment Commission, which is addressing the challenge of financing Net Zero transition in major cities across the UK.

Karen Dee, Wastewater Service Strategy General Manager at Scottish Water

Karen joined Scottish Water in 2015. She has previous UK water industry experience. Karen leads the Wastewater Service Strategy team who develop, plan and implement the strategies to design and deliver a wastewater service that adapts to meet the future challenges. Her responsibilities include Regulation, Strategy, Flooding, System Planning, hydraulic modelling, standardisation and engineering.

Sebastien Chastin, Professor of Health Behaviour Dynamics at Glasgow Caledonian University


Sebastien is a polymath scientist who researches the influence of people, places and systems behaviour on human and planetary health. He holds professorial chairs at Glasgow Caledonian University, Ghent University in Belgium and Finland’s Jyvaskyla University. In 2020 he was recognised for being the world’s top 1% most cited researcher in the field of health and social sciences.

He has served as expert on numerous global policy publications, including the 2020 WHO Global Physical Activity Guidelines.

Vanessa Gilpin, Founder of Gathering Ground

Vanessa is the founder of Gathering Ground, a non-profit community food space where locals and others can meet, share food, learn & create great connections.

Their aim is to create gathering spaces that use food as a platform to impact the community, build connections and encourage creative learning. Gathering Ground believe that genuine social bonds between people are what create meaningful communities. Gathering Ground is a space that nurtures & strengthens those bonds through good food.