Find out more about speakers at the 2017 Climate Challenge Fund Gathering.
We were very pleased to welcome Elizabeth Leighton as Conference Chair for a third year.
We were delighted that Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, provided a keynote address, with the afternoon plenary from Dave Coleman of Cooler Projects.
Elizabeth Leighton, Chair of Climate Challenge Fund Grants Panel
Elizabeth Leighton is an independent consultant, providing research, policy and strategy advice on climate change, community engagement and sustainability issues. She is the chair of the CCF Grant Panel, which reviews project assessments and provides independent recommendations to Ministers.
Previously, she worked for WWF Scotland as Senior Policy Officer where she advocated policies and programmes to make Scotland’s homes low carbon and managed the education team. Prior to joining WWF, Elizabeth served with the US Foreign Service, with postings in Moscow, Sofia, Edinburgh and Alaska.
Elizabeth lives in Highland Perthshire with her husband and two sons where she is an active member of the school parent council, and a member of the newly formed Heartland Community Wind Co-operative.
David Gunn, Climate Challenge Fund Manager, Keep Scotland Beautiful
David completed his Civil and Environmental engineering degree at Edinburgh University in 2001.
He spent seven years working with Scottish community groups and local authorities as kerbside recycling was introduced and developed Waste Aware Scotland communication campaigns to encourage householders to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste.
David has managed the Climate Challenge Fund since 2008 and is constantly impressed by the commitment, innovation and capacity of Scotland's community sector.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP
Ms Cunningham returned to Scotland in 1976 and, within only a few months of her arrival, was working full time at SNP HQ, while also being involved in branch and constituency politics in Edinburgh.
In 1980, she returned to university in Edinburgh and obtained a Law Degree followed by a Diploma in Legal Practice from Aberdeen University. From her graduation in 1983 to 1988, she worked as a solicitor in local government. After a brief period in private practice, she became a member of the Faculty of Advocates.
She was elected to the House of Commons in the Perth and Kinross by-election in 1995, was re-elected in 1997 and subsequently stood successfully for the Scottish Parliament in 1999. She stood down from Westminster in 2001.
Ms Cunningham held a number of local and national offices in the SNP, including Deputy Leader from 2000-2004.
She has remained a member of the Scottish Parliament from 1999 to present and has three times been a Committee Convener - for the Justice Committee, the Health Committee and most recently the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee before becoming Minister for the Environment in 2009.
She was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training in November 2014 and appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform in May 2016.
Afternoon Plenary Speaker
Dave Coleman, Founder of Cooler Projects
Having graduated in biochemistry, Dave began his career with Deloittes, and then spent twelve years working in IT becoming a director of one of the North West’s top IT companies. He then founded a small consultancy and spent ten years working as a management trainer and coach in the commercial sector.
Having spent six years on the boards of Friends of the Earth, he chaired the “Energy” writing group of “Manchester A Certain Future”, and now sits on its steering group, chairing the Low Carbon Culture aim.
Dave is an experienced public speaker and advocate and has appeared widely on BBC TV and Radio, ITV, C4 and Sky and in the regional and national press. Recent work has included management consultancy advising a corporate on product sustainability, developing a feasibility study for a sustainable business network, work creating, developing and leading The Carbon Literacy Project, and general advocacy, advisory and chairing work.