Back to Learning Hub

Talking Heads: Leaders Driving Social Change

As talk begins of restrictions being gradually lifted for society, we’re thinking about how we, as a sector, can transform our society and economy to be stronger, equitable and impactful to create social change. 

Our ‘Talking Heads: Leading Driving Social Change’ Webinar Series saw eight socially-driven women join us to discuss their thoughts on how the third, social enterprise and mission-driven sectors have responded to the COVID-19 crisis, as well as how socially-focused and impactful approaches can be used to stimulate inclusive growth and address structural inequality.

Learn more about our guest speakers and watch their sessions below.

Webinar Recordings

Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities & Local Government,
Scottish Government | 26th May

Aileen Campbell was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government in June 2018. Aileen grew up on her parents’ tenant farm and attended Collace primary school and Perth Academy before graduating with an MA joint honours degree in Politics with Economic and Social History at the University of Glasgow.

She started a career in publishing by working as an editor for Keystone, a construction magazine, in 2003 and was an editorial assistant on the pro-independence newspaper, the Scottish Standard. Before her election to parliament, Aileen also worked for Nicola Sturgeon in 2005 and Shona Robison in 2006 as a Parliamentary Assistant.

She was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in May 2007 as a list member for the South of Scotland. She was re-elected as the MSP for Clydesdale in May 2011 and appointed as Minister for Children and Young People. Aileen Campbell was appointed Minister for Public Health and Sport in May 2016.

Watch the webinar here


Jane Bruce, CEO, Social Bite | 27th May

Jane Bruce

Jane uses her skills to support people who’ve had tough times in building happy and healthy lives.  She loves unconventional and informal approaches to both people and organisational development.  Currently, that’s working alongside Social Bite founders, Josh Littlejohn and Alice Thompson, to lead Social Bite in Scotland – focussing on how the organisation can deliver maximum benefit to people affected by homelessness.

Jane was previously Director of Venture Scotland – delivering on running wilderness-based programmes of personal development and volunteering for disadvantaged young people. A Clore Social Fellow, Jane is also a Trustee at The Melting Pot, supporting social innovation.

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, Social Bite has shifted its model to bring more than 6,500 fresh sandwich packs a day to vulnerable people across the country. The organisation has raised over £200,000 in donations from the public to continue to deliver this support until, at least, the end of June.

Watch the webinar here


Ingrid Webb, CEO, Cope & Shetland Soap Company | 28th May

Ingrid Webb

CEO of COPE Ltd, Ingrid has worked for over 30 years in both the UK and Australia to highlight the contribution that people with learning disabilities can make within our society.

Throughout her time at COPE Ltd, an award-winning social enterprise based in the Shetland Islands, Ingrid has been able to promote the inclusion of people with learning disabilities and autism within a commercial business environment.

She has a significant understanding of the challenges faced in operating within an ever-changing retail market and is currently delivering on national and international growth plan for The Shetland Soap Company. Ingrid is a passionate supporter of rural social enterprises and also sits on the Board of Social Enterprise Scotland.

Watch the webinar here

Clara Widdison, Head of Social Inclusion, Mayors Fund for London | 1st June

Clara Widdison 1

Clara Widdison has been at the forefront of developing community food models in the UK for the past five years. She has been part of senior teams who developed the ground-breaking models, Community Shop and Kitchen Social. Clara holds a MSc in Food Policy from City, University of London. She is a 2019/20 Churchill Fellow and was recently listed as a 2020 Changemaker by the Big Issue.

Watch the webinar here.


Pheona Matovu, Founder, Radiant & Brighter | 2nd June, 4pm

Pheona Matovu

Pheona is a social entrepreneur, Women’s Enterprise Scotland ambassador and co-founder of Radiant and Brighter Community Interest Company an award winning social enterprise founded with her husband Micheal Matovu. The organisation is currently leading the way in developing a better understanding for ethnic diversity in Scotland providing Employment, Business Start-up and End to End Workforce Diversification programs.

In November 2016 Radiant and Brighter became part of Social Innovation Partnership with the Scottish Government (Social Justice Directorate) and The Hunter Foundation -a partnership which aims to promote collaboration between social entrepreneurs, statutory agencies and independent funders to challenge and disrupt existing systems in order to tackle poverty and inequalities.

Watch the webinar here.

Wendy Alexander, SIS Patron & Vice-Principal, University of Dundee | 3rd June

Wendy Alexander

Wendy Alexander is Vice Principal, International at the University of Dundee where she leads the University’s international strategy. Wendy previously led global recruitment, programmes and operations at London Business School. She is also a Scottish Government International Trade Envoy with a focus on Higher Education. She is a member of the Investment Advisory Board of Scottish Equity Partners and served on the Scottish Government’s Strategic Board for Enterprise and Skills, tasked with raising national productivity.

Wendy was a member of the Scottish Government’s Strategic Board for Enterprise and Skills, tasked with raising national productivity. As a Member of the Scottish Parliament (1999-2011), she served in the first three Scottish Cabinets, holding the Enterprise and Lifelong Learning and Transport and Communities portfolios. As Enterprise Minister, she oversaw the formation of Scotland Development International, Scotland’s main trade body and the establishment of the worldwide Global Scots network. Prior to politics she worked in international strategy consultancy. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Patron of Social Investment Scotland.

Watch the webinar here.


Dame Susan Rice, SIS Patron & Former Managing Director (Scotland) of Lloyds Banking Group | 4th June

Dame Susan Rice

Instrumental in the founding of Social Investment Scotland and until retirement, Dame Susan was Managing Director (Scotland) of Lloyds Banking Group, one of SIS’s largest investors. Previously Lady Susan Rice CBE, she was awarded a Damehood in the 2018 New Year Honours list for services to Business, the Arts and charity in Scotland. She now serves on a number of boards, including as Chair of Scottish Water.

Dame Susan is on the Board of Scottish Water and also Chair of the Scottish Fiscal Commission, Senior Independent Director of J Sainsbury Plc and Non-Executive Director of C Hoare & Co, the North American Income Trust and Banking Standards Board.

She was a member of the First Minister’s Council of Economic Advisors, Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group Scotland and was previously Chief Executive and then Chair of Lloyds TSB Scotland plc. She is also the Chair of Business Stream and has held a range of other senior Non-Executive appointments, including a 7 year term as a Non-Executive Director of the Bank of England and 11 years as a Non-Executive Director of SSE plc. She is also the President of Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

Watch the webinar here.


Fiona McKenzie, Founder, Centrestage | 5th June

Fiona McKenzie

Fiona started her career as a teacher, spending 16 years as Principal Teacher of Music. In 2006, she left teaching to co-found Centrestage, a pioneering Ayrshire charity, building the original theatre space in Kilmarnock without public or grant funding.

After learning, through delivering music classes in HMP Kilmarnock, of the high numbers of prisoners – many of whom had been her ex-pupils – that had been excluded or part of the care system, the Centrestage vision became “ to create energetic, inclusive communities, with the arts at the heart”, allowing anyone to take part in creative and artistic experiences, enabling people of all backgrounds and ages to feel a sense of belonging and purpose and to aspire beyond their labels.

Fiona won the Association of Scottish Businesswomen award for Outstanding Contribution in 2014 and the ASB Woman of Inspiration Award for 2015. She was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International and is an Entrepreneurial Founder at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Strathclyde Business School. In Dec 2019, Fiona was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from Caledonian University.

Watch the webinar here.