We develop exciting projects to inspire public audiences, influence policy-makers, and solve complex problems. These are a few examples.

Climate Solutions

We are working with the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh and the Institute of Directors to develop a new qualification in climate understanding and solutions, endorsed by the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and part-funded by the Scottish Government. The qualification is aimed at managers in the public, private, academic and voluntary sectors - those who are in a position now to make a positive difference. By carefully selecting key information from vast amounts of available literature, we can offer an easy, time-efficient route to understanding climate change and identifying practical solutions.

The course will lead to a personal accreditation, a business accreditation, and the creation of a network of qualified individuals across sectors. A pilot project will be launched in October 2019 with a view to rolling out the full course in 2020.

Get in touch if you would like to know more. 

Download project summary


In 2014-16 we developed a project to assess ways in which Scotland could make the biggest difference to reducing global climate emissions, through expertise, innovation or example, and building on the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. The project was called ‘Bitesize’, since an enormous task is easier when broken down into bitesize pieces!

A good deal of preparation and consultation led to a full-day conference in September 2016, run in association with the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI). It involved all sectors of Scottish industry and society, and identified the key areas on which future progress should particularly focus. These included the circular economy and low-carbon resources (such as low-carbon cement), transport (especially active travel, mobility as a service, electric vehicles and rail infrastructure), renewable energy and heat, housing standards, carbon capture and storage, city design and planning, agricultural emissions (especially nitrogen), and food waste. It was further identified that these key activities needed to be underpinned by suitable 'carbon financing' and, importantly, a greater understanding amongst middle and senior managers of climate solutions and the relevance to their businesses.

Laurent Fabius, former Prime Minister of France and Chair of the Paris Climate COP, gave a keynote address to the conference before being presented with the RSGS Shackleton Medal at a special event at Edinburgh Castle.

The immediate outcomes of the project were an edition of The Geographer on a theme of climate solutions, and a well-informed contribution to the Scottish Government's consultation process on the Climate Change Delivery Plan. Since late 2016, work has continued in several of the key policy areas identified.

The Great Horizon

Our heritage collections contain a mass of information and material relating to many extraordinary men and women who have travelled and explored the world over the past 150 years. To inspire more people to take an interest in geography and in the work of the RSGS, we decided to publish a book of 50 amazing tales of adventure and exploration drawn from our past and recent history.

We commissioned our wonderful volunteer Writer-in-Residence, Jo Woolf, to research and write a range of stories of adventures undertaken by well-known and lesser-known explorers. At the same time, we crowd-sourced from our membership and other supporters the funding needed to get the book professionally published and distributed.

The result, The Great Horizon, is a beautifully-crafted, thoughtful and exciting read! It features those who set out to conquer new territories and claim world records, alongside those who contributed to our understanding of the world all but accidentally, and it includes unique images and insights from the RSGS archives.

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Young Geographer

We supported a group of young people in a project to produce a 'Young Geographer' magazine, based on our own quarterly magazine and on a theme of their choosing. The young editorial team chose climate change, and they were responsible for commissioning, editing and design.

We helped them to present the printed magazine to the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change, and to three key architects of the Paris Climate Agreement (including the then head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), placing the young people’s work on a national and international stage.

The success of this first Young Geographer project led to a call for further editions. We are currently working with another Young Geographer team to produce a second edition, and making plans for a third.

The Fair City

We commissioned artist Rob Hain to create a new painting of Perth in his trademark colourful style. From this we produced limited edition prints and unlimited greetings cards, which are available for sale in our shop.