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Sparks Episode 1: Home of Innovation, Scotland

Sparks Podcast | Episode 001 | September 27, 2021

Show Contributors: Dr. Martin Valenti, Dr. Faisal Ghani, Zoe Haseman, Jens Nielsen
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The countdown to COP26 draws closer and this November, all eyes will be watching Scotland. With a long and rich history of discovery and innovation and its collective commitment to net-zero emissions by 2045, the Scots are at the forefront of real action on the climate crisis.  

In this episode, we explore how Scotland is turning cutting-edge ideas into practice to mitigate the impacts of climate change, the role of Scottish research and innovation, and how the country has shown that with the right infrastructure, assets, creativity and determination, a green economy can thrive.

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Episode notes

Dr. Martin Valenti

Dr. Martin Valenti, Director for NetZero at South of Scotland Enterprise

"When world leaders arrive in Scotland will they see a nation on its knees bending to the challenges of climate change or will they see a nation on its toes standing tall aligning around hope and providing climate solutions."

Dr. Martin Valenti an award-winning sustainability practitioner and serial disruptor, with extensive experience of strategic business engagement and innovation has recently undertaken a newly created role to lead the economic and community development agency’s efforts to help the region to transition to a NetZero economy. This includes taking forward the work of the South of Scotland Energy Transition Group’s Powering Change call to action. For over 30 years he has worked in a variety of senior management roles shaping and delivering inclusive growth initiatives and directing major collaborative projects.

Martin worked for SEPA for 17 years where he held a number of senior positions. He played an instrumental role in setting up Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group and co-created the award winning 2050 Young Leaders Climate Group. In 2018 he created the Vacant and Derelict Land taskforce to transform how Scotland deals with its post-industrial legacy to make more use of land for commerce and communities.

His most recent role was a secondment at Scottish Enterprise as Head of Climate Enterprise and strategic lead for COP26.

Dr. Faisal Ghani, CEO, SolarisKit

"To tackle the climate emergency, it’s critical that we develop solutions for the global south. These solutions must be affordable, practical, and be able to stimulate local economic development to gather momentum and make the socio-environmental impact that is urgently needed."

Dr. Faisal Ghani

Dr. Faisal Ghani is Founder and CEO of SolarisKit Ltd, a cleantech company on a mission to provide global access to affordable, carbon free heat. He is the inventor of the world’s first flat-packable, self-assembled solar collector. A device which can turn sunlight into hot water, specifically developed for the global south were access to clean heating remains incredibly low. Faisal developed the solution after he learnt that households in East Africa were spending up to 40% of their income to pay their energy bill, the majority of which went into heating water. As a mechanical engineer with over 15 years of experience working in the solar thermal field, Faisal decided to develop a new solution which addressed barriers preventing the wide-scale adoption of solar thermal solutions.

We hope you enjoyed the podcast. If you have any questions or would like to reach us or our guests, we would love to hear from you. Find out more about COP26 and get in touch with us here.

Join us on our next episode as we head to North America to discuss Green Transportation, sparking real conversations with the intention to Collaborate. Act. Commit. to real change.