Alison McRae is a network and partnerships entrepreneur with over 20 years of economic
development, communications and innovation experience. As Senior Director at Glasgow Chamber
of Commerce she is responsible for a strategic partnerships portfolio -working across a range of organisations -which seek to innovate and anticipate new opportunities for Glasgow and its business
Most recently, she led the Chamber’s COP26 programme including an event with HRH the Prince of
Wales and his Sustainable Markets Initiative; a Climate Chamber Signature Series with Global CEOs,
the United Nations and thought leaders; a Climate Chamber Mission focusing on international trade
aswell as the development of a COP26 educational legacy, My Climate Path. She has for 6 years now
been facilitating a movement for change around circular economy principles in the urban economy
and has overall responsibility for Developing Young Workforce Glasgow. She leads an award-winning
team whose work has been recognised by World Chambers of Commerce, World Economic Forum
and the Herald's Digital business awards.
Prior to her time at Glasgow Chamber, Alison has worked in economic development through Argyll &
the Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Government and Liverpool City Council as
Director for Destination Liverpool. She also ran her own project management consultancy Blue
Toucan for several years in the early noughties and was a broadcaster for BBC Radio Scotland doing
a feature programme series Wealth Creators and co hosting the Macaulay & Co show.
Alison is a Board member of the Scottish Tourism Alliance; Glasgow City of Science & Innovation and
is Co-Chair of Glasgow Employment and Skills Board. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts
and writes a monthly opinion column for the Herald.
She was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge University and the first woman to read Architecture
at the College – and Dunoon Grammar School. Alison has a beautiful daughter who is 12 and they live
in the West End of Glasgow with their springer spaniel Harper. Spare time is rare these days but
aside from long walks, Alison enjoys indulging in music and theatre as well as yoga, sailing and has
travelled extensively both on land and under water!
Talk key points
COP26 and what it meant for Glasgow, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce’s role and why
we have focused on circular economy
The various Glasgow Pacts which were made as a result of COP26
How we are continuing to reinforce the leadership role of business from COP26 to
COP27 and beyond
Some of the changes we are likely to see as we see more businesses embracing the move
to a circular economy – some emerging trends.