Our Annual General Meeting on Monday 21st March, 2022 was held online. It adopted new Articles of Association and elected a new Board. We’re delighted to have the support of our membership, some of whom have been around since the start in 2013, and also to welcome some new directors.

We want to thank Gehan MacLeod and Stuart Bates who have stepped down this year after giving great service and leadership.

Our new directors are:

Allison Graham

Allison Graham is a community empowerment champion who has been active both locally in her rural community and nationally in co-founding an independence group to encourage more women to engage in shaping a vision for an independent Scotland. The group, Butterflies Rising’ has an ethos of education, information and collegiate support through a ‘wider door and longer table’ approach to engage differing viewpoints in respectful discussion on topics that matter to our society. Their group seeks to build consensus and overcome both bias bubbles and silos as barriers to meaningful progress. Allison has been active in politics to NEC level and has built activist networks across Scotland and beyond, importantly across the political spectrum

Allison is passionate about education and sees it as a lifelong journey and the key to positive change in society. As the granddaughter of a pupil of the great educator John McLean, she was brought up to always question and seek out the source of truth by getting as wide a set of views as possible. Post-graduate study led to a career in IT and Business consultancy from an initial empowering role with the campus culture IT giant Sun Microsystems, leading to both global roles and breaking new ground with initiating industry changing proactive technical services teams. Opportunities to train and practice with Kepner Tregoe through Sun, led to a consultancy career in strategic analytical troubleshooting, facilitation, training and program management. Company Director Consultant for nearly twenty years on varied projects from lead technical analyst to deliver both Sky UK and Ireland’s Broadband launch to writing, training and implementing Major Production Incident and Problem Management Processes. 

Allison has a reputation for delivering successful projects, which though varied in technical complexity, she credits to her strengths of bringing clarity of understanding and engaging communication by facilitating productive, collegiate workshops with the core resource: the people.


Frances Guy is an experienced former diplomat and aid worker who is professionally and personally interested in issues of sustainable global development that promote equity and equality whilst preserving the diversity of planet and nature.  She is interested in helping promote an outward looking, socially responsible Scotland in an interconnected world. 

Currently, Frances is CEO of Scotland’s International Development Alliance, a network of members based in Scotland working on global sustainable development.  Before that, Frances was gender team leader for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) regional office in the Arab states based in Jordan between 2017 – 21 and worked for Christian Aid between 2014 – 2017 as head of their Middle East team based in London.  Prior to that she was representative for UNWomen in Iraq from May 2012 to December 2014, after a long career in the British Diplomatic Service during which she served as British Ambassador to Lebanon (2006 -2011) and to Yemen (2001 -2004).

As well as experience of different solutions in different small nations, Frances has some experience of being a Trustee on different types of charities and is happy to participate in any way that might be useful.


Dr Keith Baker FRSA is a Research Fellow in Fuel Poverty and Energy Policy at the Built Environment Asset Management (BEAM) Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). He is a Co-founder of the Energy Poverty Research initiative (EPRi) – an independent spin out from the BEAM Centre and Convenor of Common Weal’s Energy Working Group, as well as an Officer of the National Coordinating Committee of Scientists for Global Responsibility; and an Associate of 100% Renewable UK. 

Keith joined Common Weal in 2018 and, along with other Common Weal and EPRi members, helped form the Energy Working Group, with EPRi serving as a diplomatic bridge with GCU and enabling the three organisations to collaborate on numerous reports, consultation responses, and other activities. 

Keith’s work on fuel poverty (with Dr Ron Mould, also of EPRi and the Energy Working Group) is internationally recognised and, amongst other things, he has co-edited the books ‘A Critical Review of Scottish Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Policy’ and ‘The Palgrave Handbook of Managing Fossil Fuels and Energy Transitions’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 & 2019), has twice served as a Reviewer for the Working Group III reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and is a regular guest on talkRADIO UK. 

He lives in Inverkeithing with his wife and their two dogs and cat.    

 Ruth Watson

Ruth Watson is a journalist and activist. In the 1980’s she lived at Faslane Peace Camp for two years, spending some time at Greenham Common Peace Camp. She moved to the Northern Isles where she began her career as a journalist, working as a freelance in television, radio, and the broadsheet press. Ruth is a founder member of Orkney Women’s Aid.

Ruth moved to Glasgow to work in the BBC’s News and Current Affairs department. While there, in the 1990s, she won the Commission for Racial Equality’s ‘Race in the Media Award’ for a programme on mixed race adoption. Ruth was active in the National Union of Journalists and was invited to sit on the Black Members’ Council. She also accepted an invitation to join BBC Scotland’s Equalities Committee. She later moved to Dundee where she lectured in Radio Journalism at Dundee College before going to live in Malaysia where she worked for a time as a sub-editor for Empire Media Holdings before relocating to Australia. Ruth is fluent in French and Bahasa Malaysia.

Ruth returned to Scotland in 2015 where she became increasingly involved in Scottish current affairs. In 2018 she started ‘Keep Scotland the Brand’, Scotland’s clear provenance campaign, which she runs on a voluntary basis. Ruth sits on Angus Council’s ‘Adoption and Fostering’ panel as an independent member. She is a founder member of Sustainable Kirriemuir. In 2020, Ruth started a community garden in the town. She is an active part of Yes Kirriemuir and is a representative for Yes Angus on the National Yes Network, providing media support for the network. Ruth has regular columns in ‘Farming Scotland Magazine’ and ‘The National’ newspaper.

And many thanks to those directors staying on the Board:

Iain Black is a Professor of Sustainable Consumption at the University of Stirling Management School. He has authored a number of academic papers and policy proposals focusing on the barriers to living sustainable lifestyles. As an active campaigner for Scottish Independence, he sits on the Executive Committee for the Scottish Independence Convention as well as being on the board of Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Malcolm Fraser is an Edinburgh architect whose work spans from award-winning homes, placemaking and cultural renewal and the care and renewal of historic buildings and towns, to advising Government and advising and empowering communities. He currently sits on Scottish Government Housing Supply and Delivery Groups, assists in new, carbon capturing and healthy building initiatives and contributes to Land and Planning Reform initiatives.

Isobel Lindsay has been a peace activist and campaigner for Scottish independence since the 1960s.  She is a vice-chair of Scottish CND.  She was SNP vice-chair with responsibility for publicity and then policy during the 1970s and 1980s.  She was convener of the cross-party Campaign for a Scottish Parliament and an executive member of the Scottish Constitutional Convention. For nine years she was vice-convener of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.  Professionally Isobel was a university lecturer in sociology.

Catriona MacDonald is an Edinburgh based activist with special interests in the environment and wants to build a future where we look after the well being of our people, where we take urgent action on the climate crisis taking place in the world.

Tommy Sheppard is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Edinburgh East since May 2015. He is a former SNP spokesperson for the Cabinet Office and a former SNP Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. He is also known for founding The Stand Comedy Clubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

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