By way of introduction, I’m a Glasgow-born Scot now living in Connecticut and I am the Patron of a Scottish charity called the Institute of Contemporary Scotland (ICS). One of our signature activities is that we run the annual Young Scotland Program which is aimed at stimulating debate and broadening the mind of young professionals (18-32) in Scotland. We have been successfully running it for 10 years within Scotland (and latterly Ireland), but to celebrate the 10th anniversary we want to try and run an international program next June that taps into the Scottish diaspora a little and brings a group of young professionals with international connections to Scotland for 4 days of debate and personal development. The intent is to have 20 international delegates with Scottish connections hosted by 10 participants from Scotland, the majority of whom will have participated in the program before.
Our hope is that Scottish heritage organizations around the world like St. Andrew’s and Caledonian Societies will act as nominating bodies. The proposition is that ICS will foot the bill for running the program (including food and board) and we would ask the Scottish societies around the world to both identify candidates and also cover travel expenses to Scotland. The St. Andrews Society in New York has already committed to sending 1or 2 delegates and we are starting the broader outreach effort with the intent of having the program’s 20 places filled by early next year.
I have attached the marketing brochure that we have put together. This is also a link to the Young Scotland Program website. www.youngprogramme.org. The financial cost to the Society of sending a delegate would be a return flight to Edinburgh for each participant you sponsor (possibly funded by your members donating frequent flyer miles). More important to me is the participation of leading Scottish cultural organizations to help nominate suitable participants. I hope this is something that your organization is willing to consider. With the upcoming referendum in 2014 on Scottish independence, I think this is a great opportunity to strengthen Scottish-Canadian links in the next generation and expose them to the breadth of debate happening within Scotland at the moment.
Please let me know if you would like a phone call to discuss the program. I hope you will consider participating and nominating a delegate for what I am sure will be an exceptional experience.
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