GLOBAL economists – and a leading comedian – will be heading to Dundee next year to discuss Scotland's place in a globalised economy at the first economic festival to be held in Scotland.

Scotonomics, which explores Scottish politics and economics, has organised the three-day event with the aim to dissect and simplify the potential of Scotland’s economy in a relaxed way.

The event, named Scotonomics Live, will be held on March 24 to 26, 2023, across three venues in Dundee. There are only 100 day tickets for each day, and it will be a hybrid event.

The agenda includes book clubs, comedy performances, economic panels, political discussion, podcast recording and “a whole lot more”.

Day tickets are available for the physical event from £20, and an online event ticket for the full three days is £20.

In its launch email, the group said: “The Scottish economy is diverse and different and deserves more attention. Scotonomics Live will pay the Scottish economy the credit it demands.

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“We have confirmed some amazing sessions and speakers, and we will add some more amazing, thought-provoking sessions as the year progresses.”

Speakers and presenters include political economist Richard Murphy; trade union activist Cat Boyd; Dr Craig Dalzell of Common Weal; Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government Shona Robison MSP; Australian economist Professor Steve Keen; comedian Tadhg Hickey; associate professor of economics at Denison University and president of The Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity Fadhel Kaboub; and economics and policy analyst Cameron Archibald.

Panels range from How to Start a New Central/Reserve Bank and Scottish Climate Change to An introduction to Modern Monetary Theory and The Economics of Land.

Click here to see the programme so far.

The festival organisers and podcast presenters at 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.

“It’s a real mix of people, and we’re trying to dissect the whole thing of the Unionist case that tries to make it out like we’re an economic basket case. We’re really trying to prove that no, we’re just a normal country and we’ll be fine if we’re independent.”

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Van Sweeden believes that if economics is mystified by complex information, that is shielding the public from information which is vital for them in a democratic system.

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.

Van Sweeden added: “I realised a number of years ago that a lot of people are not very confident in it and there is kind of a mask you get with a lot of economists. They tend to over-mathematize what they are discussing.”

%image('16245509', type="article-full", alt="Kairin van Sweeden is the Executive Director of Modern Money Scotland and a SNP councillor in Aberdeen ")

That is a key reason multiple panels are hosted by comedian Tadhg Hickey – to set a welcoming, entertaining and open atmosphere which removes the complexity of key economic issues.

The group wants to reframe Scots minds, away from the Westminster business model rhetoric, and highlight that the wealth of a country is reflected in its real resources –with currency just a tool that moves resources around.

Van Sweeden said: “Westminster often talks about the UK as if it is a business with a profit and loss situation but that is completely wrong in the sense that really, your profit to a great extent is that of your people and if they’re busy doing things like training to be a teacher then you are interacting with the rest of the world in a positive way. That’s really your profit as a country."