SCOTLAND’S first Festival of Economics begins today in Dundee.

Over the next three days, it will bring together leading global economists, lecturers, politicians, authors, commentators and activists to share art, comedy, music, with economics.

The festival organisers and podcast presenters of Scotonomics, Kairin van Sweeden and William Thomson, were inspired by Irish economist David McWilliams, who runs the world’s first economics and comedy festival Kilkenomics.

Both van Sweeden and Thomson are University of Dundee graduates and hope to bring it around the country in future years.

They have organised the three-day event with the aim to dissect and simplify the potential of Scotland’s economy in a relaxed way.

The pair believe if economics is mystified by complex information, that is shielding the public from information which is vital for them in a democratic system.

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Today, online and in-person audiences will receive an introduction to economics and politics with thoughts from Irish comedian Tadhg Hickey and music from Eric Gudmunsen.

The rest of today’s agenda includes speakers such as economics professor Stephen Kinsella from University of Limerick, adjunct lecturer Dirk Ehnts and Professor of Economics Steven Hail from Torrens University, as well as Ailsa MacKenzie from the Poverty Alliance.

They will be looking at economic models, what innovation means in a modern economy, the current UK economy, economy in the confines of the ecosystem and as an unpredictable dynamic natural system, and neoclassical economics.

Tonight will close at 9:30pm with an hour-long conversation with former first minister Alex Salmond.

The conversation is said to focus exclusively on Salmond’s “economic journey” including key economic moments as the first minister including the Financial Crash in 2008 and the economic argument that underpinned the 2014 referendum.

Tomorrow is forecast to be the event’s busiest day with 15 sessions across two venues. The second day will focus on devolved economic powers, current and future constitutional arrangements as well as challenges of devolution and independence, Tomorrow’s speakers include Gary Gillespie, the Scottish Government’s chief economist, Dr Tim Rideout, from the Scottish Currency Group, constitutional lawyer Shireen Morris, Amanda Burgauer from Common Weal and Stewart Hosie MP, the SNP’s economy spokesperson.

Numerous panels will consider a Scottish National Energy Company and look to Wales for inspiration, cover the fragility of the UK state, and Scotland’s Just Transition and natural capital. There will also be a myth-busting session and Gallery Tour of the Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre to consider the source of Scotland’s wealth as part of the British Empire.

Sunday starts with a free-to-attend session which anyone can watch on the Scotonomics YouTube channel. This will include a discussion on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) – a heterodox School of Economics, key policy linked to MMT and a Job Guarantee Scheme.

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The rest of Sunday will focus on climate with a discussion on the difference between growth, no growth and degrowth with Timothee Parrique, a session with a pre-recorded interview with Australian economist Steve Keen on the climate crisis chaired by Rachel Donald from Planet: Critical, and an in-depth look at the economy of Iceland with Jon Helgi Egilsson, the former chairman of the supervisory board of the Icelandic Central Bank.

The events shortest day of the festival will end at 5pm with a session looking ahead to a different type of economy, focusing on “A Scotland of Ideas” and a live podcast recording session. The podcast will, as always, be free on the Scotonomics YouTube channel.

The podcast – which has focused on everything economic, from community wealth building to the impact of water speculation – hopes the festival will be an extension of the team’s efforts to dispel the fear people have when it comes to discussing economics.