Scotland’s Futures Forum launches its ‘Scotland 2030’ programme


Scotland’s Futures Forum - the Scottish Parliament’s in-house think tank - launches its Scotland 2030 programme later this week (Wednesday 29 March).Presiding Officer speaking at a lectern

Billed as an exploration of Scotland’s culture and society, the programme will ask what kind of country do we want Scotland to be in 2030?

The launch event will examine developments in technology as its first theme, and consider what challenges and opportunities it’s likely to present over the next decade and a half.

Helping to launch the programme will be videogames developer and brains behind the rise of Minecraft, Chris van der Kuyl.  He will present his vision of the technological developments that will frame society by 2030, including the use of big data and the expansion of virtual intelligence.

Joining him will be singer, songwriter and essayist Karine Polwart who will reflect on what these changes might mean for Scotland and how we as a nation can react.

Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP said:

“Scotland’s Futures Forum (SFF) exists as the Parliament’s think-tank to create space for MSPs, and others, to look beyond the usual timescales of the electoral cycle and tackle the major, long term challenges facing Scotland.

“The Scotland 2030 programme promises to be an ambitious exploration of Scotland’s culture and society, offering us the chance to talk about our hopes and dreams for the future of this country.

“Chris van der Kuyl and Karine Polwart will kick things off with their take on technology, and the challenges and the opportunities it will bring by 2030.  

“Over the course of this programme we will approach Scotland 2030 from a range of different perspectives and viewpoints as we seek to answer the question: what kind of country do we want Scotland to be in 2030?”

The Presiding Officer will host the launch of Scotland 2030 at 6.00pm on Wednesday 29 March in the Members’ Room at Holyrood.

Media are invited to attend - see below for details.


External guests and attendees at the launch will include SFF’s partners from the David Hume Institute, Goodison Group in Scotland, the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland, and the Scottish Universities Insight Institute.  All MSPs are also invited to attend.

The next SFF event will take place in June on the topic of the environment in 2030 and how that will affect our communities and culture.

Speakers’ Biographies

Chris van der Kuyl is an entrepreneur whose expertise combines the start-up, development and market listed business arena in the technology, media and entertainment sectors. He has a particular interest in education.

Founder, Owner and Chairman of 4J Studios, one of the UK’s most successful videogame developers and responsible for the multi-million selling and multi-award winning Minecraft Console editions. Minecraft is a global phenomenon and is currently on track to become the most successful videogame of all time.

Chris is a visiting professor of digital entertainment at University of Abertay Dundee and sits on the boards of Scottish Institute for Enterprise, Scottish EDGE Advisory, Dundee Science Centre, Dundee Museums Trust and the High School of Dundee. 

Chris is also the founding Chairman of Entrepreneurial Scotland which represents all Scotland’s entrepreneurial talent and exists to inspire, connect and develop entrepreneurial behaviour in all Scotland’s people.

Karine Polwart is a Scottish singer, songwriter, composer and essayist. Her songs combine folk influences and myth, and, in her own words, themes as diverse as “Donald Trump’s corporate megalomania, Charles Darwin’s family life and the complexities of modern parenthood.”  Karine sings traditional songs too and writes to commission for theatre, animation and thematic collaborative projects. She is four times winner at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including twice for Best Original Song. She performed at the opening concert of this year’s Celtic Connections festival.

Media access - media wishing to attend the launch of Scotland 2030 should contact Eric MacLeod no later than close on Tuesday 28 March.

Visit Scotland’s Futures Forum at:

Photography - photographs from the launch will be available from the  Parliament’s in-house photographer on request. Contact [email protected]

Contact information

Further media information

Public information

  • Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
  • [email protected]
  • Text 07786 209 888
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  • We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

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