Strengthening Communities national conference - September 2017

We are hosting a national Strengthening Communities Conference at Aviemore Highland Resort on 21 and 22 September 2017 (lunchtime to lunchtime event).

About the conference

Although we are still shaping the agenda, we are delighted to have some exciting speakers confirmed so far. Chaired by Alex Thomson, chief correspondent of Channel 4 news, the conference will provide a platform to share learning, encourage collaboration and strengthen networks. We want to explore approaches to community-led development and discuss the lessons we can learn from successful, resilient communities.

Delegates will also hear about how community development is practised across Scotland and from an international perspective, with speakers including Frank Rennie, professor of sustainable rural development at the University of the Highlands and Islands and Cormac Russell, Managing Director of Nurture Development.

We’re also delighted that we will be joined by Angela Constance MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities.  A highlight for after dinner is Josh Littlejohn, the founder of the innovative ‘Social Bite’ concept, who will explain how his work with homeless people through social enterprises is making a lasting social difference and changing lives.

Who is it aimed at?

The conference is aimed at communities, community development organisations and practitioners alongside intermediaries, enablers and policy makers from across Scotland. We want to highlight best practice, innovations, and the current and evolving policy and legislative environment, with a focus on maximising impact from an assets and place based approach.

Reflecting on experience

The conference will highlight HIE’s approach to strengthening communities and how our approach has evolved over the years, and the impact it has had on the region and other parts of Scotland. There will be an opportunity to hear directly from innovative urban and rural community projects during the conference as well as discussing and learning from a range of experts at workshop sessions. We will also hear about the community development approaches in other parts of the world. 

Looking to the future

The format will be a mix of informative presentations covering the policy position, best practice and looking to the future, augmented with ample networking opportunities. In addition there will be a ‘market place’ for exhibiting and inspiring collaboration, innovation and adoption of ideas, all in the pursuit of strengthening communities.

The event will: 

  • Explore the current approach to community led development highlighting through case studies key characteristics of a successful asset based approach.
  • Highlight emerging opportunities for communities from across Scotland through a number of informative workshops. 
  • Bring together community organisations from across Scotland and provide opportunities for discussion and collaboration to drive future success.

Register now!

To secure your place at this exciting conference, click here to register.


Aviemore Highland Resort are offering a discounted rate of £99 B&B for conference delegates. Please visit the MacDonald Aviemore Highland Resort website to make your booking and enter the promo code 'HIE' to take advantage of this special rate.