Recently at RSGS, we have unveiled plans to continue our series of popular monthly Q&A sessions with sustainability experts into the coming year.

The Meet the Experts events first launched in June 2021 to provide support to learners and graduates of the Climate Solutions courses, as well as motivated members of the public seeking to develop their knowledge, skills, and confidence to take meaningful action on climate change within their organisations.

At each session, participants explore a new topic under the guidance of leading experts, participate in an open discussion of the key challenges and their solutions and, most importantly, have the chance to ask questions in a safe and informal setting.

Sophie Walker, who coordinates the events as part of the RSGS’s wider climate portfolio, believes that these kinds of conversations are essential if we are to successfully bridge the knowledge gap between experts on the climate emergency and the people and organisations who will be responsible for shaping and implementing the solutions in the months and years ahead.

“We know that this decade is a critical moment for action on the climate emergency, so it’s vital that everyone is able to access the best possible information to help make a difference.

“Whether you’re a senior manager seeking specific knowledge of solutions for your organisation, a recent graduate wondering how to make climate change a focus in your career, or a CEO resolved to understand the problem better for your kids, we want to help you achieve that goal.”

Judi Kilgallon, a regular participant in the sessions who leads on climate change for the Improvement Service, a national organisation supporting local government through transformational change, commented:

“Climate Solutions is so much more than just climate change training. I feel part of a community of participants from across the public and private sector, sharing learning and experiences, and engaging through regular Meet the Experts sessions.

“I have found these fantastic opportunities to connect with a diverse range of experts and use this insight to develop how I approach my role supporting councils across Scotland.”

Lynda Stevenson, also a graduate of the Climate Solutions Professional course, who is currently officer responsible for progressing North Lanarkshire Council’s response to the climate emergency, added: “These events have not only continued to broaden my understanding of climate change, but have helped inform how I approach my daily work and decision-making.

“The speakers and the breadth of subject matter covered, coloured with their respective personal experiences, ensures that the audience finish the session more informed than when they started.”

The experts quizzed at sessions so far have included the well-known BBC science broadcaster, Professor Iain Stewart; lead author of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and creator of the viral warming stripes, Professor Ed Hawkins; and the chief executive of the UKCCC, Chris Stark, amongst others at University of Edinburgh, the Institute of Directors, the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, Scotland’s Climate Assembly, the Just Transition Commission, and the Farming for 1.5C inquiry.

And, according to the team, there is plenty more expertise on the way:

“We were recently really pleased to fulfil a request from our network for Mike Barry to speak at a session in the spring, so that’s particularly exciting for our learners in the private sector.”

Mike Barry is an expert consultant and pioneer of green business, who helped develop, launch, and implement Marks and Spencer’s ground-breaking sustainability programme from 2005 to 2019, delivering £750m of net business benefit over the course of ten years.

The next Meet the Experts event is on Tuesday 15 February on Zoom from 2pm GMT, with former CEO of Scottish and Southern Electric, Ian Marchant: a driving force for change in the utilities industry and a key figure in the campaign to enshrine emissions reductions targets in Scottish law in 2009.

Participants at the session will have the opportunity to draw on Ian’s extensive experience driving transformational change and his wide-ranging expertise in governance, finance, renewables, and climate change mitigation.

If you are resolved to do more on climate in 2022, you can register for the event now at