First Minister delivers Caledonian Lecture at GCU New York

09 June 2015

L-R: Hazel Brooke, Professor Pamela Gillies, The Rt. Hon. Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Cara Smyth

L-R: Hazel Brooke, Professor Pamela Gillies, The Rt. Hon. Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Cara Smyth

The Rt. Hon. Nicola Sturgeon MSP delivered the 2015 Caledonian Lecture on Monday, June 8 at Glasgow Caledonian University New York (GCU New York).

The First Minister was introduced by GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, who welcomed her to the campus in Manhattan’s SoHo district.

The 2015 Caledonian Lecture and Conversation, moderated by BBC's North American Editor Jon Sopel, focused on business in society.

The First Minister spoke of the role which businesses play as part of our society and cited the work of GCU Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus as an example of working with communities. The First Minister congratulated GCU for being the first Scottish university to arrive in New York and leading by example as an accredited Living Wage employer.

The First Minister said: “I was delighted to speak at the Caledonian Lecture on Business for Society.

"The work of Glasgow Caledonian University - in Glasgow, in New York, in its collaborations around the world - is defined by a strong commitment to wider society, to the common good.

"A strong economy and a fairer society aren't competing aims, they are complementary ones. That's why all of us, Government, businesses, the trade unions, and the third sector, have an interest in creating a wealthier, fairer and stronger society."

Those in attendance included GCU Honorary Graduate and Honorary President of the Magnusson Fellowship Dr Sally Magnusson; Honorary Graduate and Cultural Fellow, and acclaimed Scottish actor, Blythe Duff; GCU New York Vice-President Cara Smyth; Chair of Court Hazel Brooke; and the city's business leaders. 

Professor Gillies added: “It was an honour to welcome Scotland’s First Minister to GCU New York. We share Nicola Sturgeon’s passion for social justice and the promotion of responsible business, and recognise our ability to contribute to help solve global issues. The occasion provided the University with an opportunity to highlight our mission as a University for the Common Good, committed to delivering social benefit through GCU New York, and other campus locations, in London, and at home in Glasgow.”

The First Minister will return to the campus today (Tuesday, June 9) to take part in a panel discussion and networking breakfast for business leaders and potential investors, hosted by Ernst and Young (EY) and Scottish Enterprise’s international arm, Scotland Development International. The event will focus on a recent EY study which found that investment in Scotland from the US is at its highest for 10 years and Scotland's global profile in 2014 has led to an increased interest in US investors.

The First Minister will address business leaders followed by a keynote speech by Dr Lena Wilson, Scottish International Development and Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive.

The visits are part of a programme of engagements the First Minister has in the US to highlight Scotland’s success in attracting US investment and opportunities for continued partnership and investment.