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An Enterprising Nation?
Scottish Business and the Challenge of Change

Date: 21 April 2000
Our ref: 601

Sir Ian Wood, Chairman of Scottish Enterprise, will look at how Scotland is meeting the challenge of new industries, new skills and completely new ways of doing business next week (Tuesday, April 25th).

His lecture is the fifth in a major series, Talking Scots, organised by the University of Aberdeen to mark the new Millennium.

Sir Ian will look at how Scottish business is responding to a period of major change in global industry where running fast is just about an option, and will investigate what the emergence of a knowledge economy means for our universities and their relationship with Scottish and international industry.

Sir Ian said, “The failure to be competitive and participate in the fast-changing international world will lead to a dashing of aspirations and hopes of the devolved Scotland and second-class prosperity and quality of life for our citizens.”

The six-part series of Talking Scots includes lectures by some of Scotland’s most distinguished thinkers, who will share their views on Scotland’s future. The last lecture in the series will be by Scottish Arts Council Chairman Magnus Linklater.

The leading Scottish historian Professor Tom Devine, followed by Professor Sir Stewart Sutherland, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, the Very Rev Gilleasbuig Macmillan, the Minister of St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, and the Rt. Hon. Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General of Scotland delivered the first four lectures in the series to capacity audiences of more than 240 people.

The lecture will take place on Tuesday, April 25th, at 7:00 pm in King’s College Conference Centre. It will be followed by a wine reception.

Admission is free, but tickets must be obtained from the Public Relations Office on (01224) 272014, or by e-mail on

A special website carries full details of the series on

Biographical Note:

Born and educated in Aberdeen, Ian Wood graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 1964 with a First Class Honours Degree in Psychology.  He joined the family business, John Wood & Son and became Managing Director in 1967.  The Company has since evolved into two independent Scottish business groups.

John Wood Group PLC is the UK’s largest energy service company, employing in excess of 5,500 personnel world-wide with a £589 million turnover in 1998.

JW Holdings, the largest fishing company in Scotland, employs over 500 people with a 1997 turnover of £40 million.

As well as his commitment to the Group, Sir Ian holds many appointments within the UK including Chairman of Scottish Enterprise, a Member of the Scottish Business Forum, Chairman of the Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals Supplies Office (OSO) and a member of the new Government Oil and Gas Industry Task Force.

He received the award for Young Scottish Businessman of the Year in 1979, was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1982 in the New Year’s Honours List, awarded an Honorary Degree of LL.D from the University of Aberdeen in 1984 and was awarded an Knighthood in the 1994 New Year’s Honours List.

He was a joint winner of Scottish Business Achievement Award Trust in 1992; winner of the Service category award in the 1992 Corporate Elite Leadership Awards; received a Scotvec Fellowship Award in 1994 and Scottish Qualifications Authority Fellowship in 1997, and was awarded the Alick Buchanan-Smith Memorial Award for Personal Achievement in 1995.  Sir Ian also received the Scottish Business Insider Corporate Elite “World Player” award in 1996.

In 1998 he was made a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and received an Honorary Degree of DBA from Robert Gordon University.

Further information

Tina Kenworthy, University Press Officer, Tel:  01224 273778
University Press Office on telephone +44 (0)1224-273778 or email