ACROSS two venues in Dundee, Scotonomics provided attendees with fifteen sessions on day two.

Outside one of the venues, climate activists from Extinction Rebellion and #StopRosebank handed out leaflets to conference attendees, whilst asking them to consider the environment whilst discussing economics. The appearance was welcomed by attendees and organisers ahead of today’s discussion on the climate crisis.

Saturday was the events busiest day and focused on the creation of a central bank for Scotland, Quantitative Easing theory, a community-led economy, the lack of a Scottish National Energy Company and Scotland’s Just Transition.

Dr Tim Rideout, from the Scottish Currency Group, and Stuart MacKintosh from Group of Thirty began the second day by considering what role a central bank could have in Scotland.

The two disagreed on the timeline of implementation but both appreciated that the conversation on having a central bank had moved on from the 2014 debate on whether Scotland would have a bank to the when.

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Economist Richard Murphy and Dr Craig Dalzell from Commonweal provided an easy guide to Quantitative Easing and what role that will play in an independent Scotland.

The afternoon was then split between The Little Theatre and the Dundee Contemporary Arts centre.

Shona Robison MSP spoke at The Little Theatre and defended the Government’s policy of selling off swathes of the Scottish seabed at what critics said was a discount rate.

The minister said it was the “the best we could within the levers that we have”. 

Stewart Hosie MSP, SNP Economy spokesperson discussed the UK economy and financial markets with the Scotonomics co-hosts, Kairin van Sweden and William Thomson.

The panel discussion on a Scottish economy focused on communities attracted PhD students from the University of Glasgow who described the festival as giving hope in a time of “economic turmoil”.

The panel pointed out the steps that must be taken to get community around the table where decisions are made and how those structures could look in an independent Scotland. Local government reform was extensively debated with consensus from all on the urgent need for it, even within devolved powers.

Commonweal executive director, Amanda Burgauer was joined by Tegid Roberts, the author of the YnniCymru Report for a Welsh state-owned renewable energy company to discuss what happened to Scotland’s National Energy Company and what Scotland can learn from Wales.

The day finished with 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.

Day three will start 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.

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 Scotnomics 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.