The Role of The Screen Sector in The Transition to A Net Zero and Circular Economy image
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Thursday 16th June 2022

The Role of The Screen Sector in The Transition to A Net Zero and Circular Economy

11:15am - 12:15pm

Sonny and Cher. Tea and biscuits. Storytelling and sustainability - two words, in the not so distant future, that will be a kindred pairing. The screen sector in Scotland is going from strength to strength, but how can we assure the growth and its impact works with, and not against, Scotland’s green future? Join Mairi Claire Boswer (Screen Sustainability Manager, BECTU), Jenni Steele (Screen & Creative Industries Manager, Visit Scotland), Caris Pittendreigh (ScreenScotland) and chaired by John MacKenzie (We Are Pioneer Group) as they offer real talk about the challenges facing productions and how we make Scotland’s screen economy a green reality.


    John Mackenzie

    Experienced Director and CEO with a demonstrated history of leading in the life sciences industry. Strong business development professional skilled in Biotechnology, Business Planning, Event Management, Asset Management, Start-ups and Scale-ups.

    In March 2022 John was appointed Director, (Scotland), We are Pioneer Group (WAPG) to lead continued WAPG success in Scotland. John is responsible for the recruitment, growth and retention of life science tenant companies at both BioCity Glasgow and Edinburgh Technopole. John drives the overall strategic development of both these Scottish Science Parks, as well as leads on all local community support and leasing activity.

    John previously worked as CEO of the Roslin Innovation Centre (RIC) for 7.5 years at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus, running the Roslin Biocentre, whilst managing the transition of staff and tenants to RIC.

    John started his career as a trainee accountant with Ernst and Young, followed by various accountancy posts in the voluntary, public and private sectors. Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh, John worked for 14 years as the Head of Knowledge Exchange and Company Development Manager at Research and Innovation Services, the technology transfer office at the University of Dundee. Previously, John worked in the Business Gateway in Dundee, where he provided business advice and mentoring to a diverse range of over 200 start-up and established businesses over a 4-year period.

    As a highly experienced technology transfer and business incubator professional, John has provided advice, guidance and support to spinout and start-up ventures emanating from University staff and students. John has also served as observer to the board on several of these spinout companies and he also managed the Dundee University Incubator where fledgling technology businesses located within a community of technology entrepreneurs.

    Throughout his 21+ year university-specific career, John has specialised in, and is passionate about knowledge exchange, in particular around venture creation and scale up. As mentor to many young entrepreneurs, and /or technology start-up companies, John sees their personal and business growth and success, as a measure of his own success.

    By applying all of his expertise and experience, John is now enjoying developing a dynamic place at both BioCity and Edinburgh Technopole, as part of the Pioneer Group portfolio of Life Science Parks.


    Jenni Steele
    Film & Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland

    Jenni Steele is Film & Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland. She has over 20 years’ experience in tourism and public relations, event planning and corporate communications. She has developed screen tourism activity within the organisation over the last 15 years and has led significant campaigns with studios including Sony Pictures International, Lionsgate, Studio Canal and Disney Pixar. Jenni has recently worked with Netflix on The Outlaw King and Universal Pictures on the release of Mary Queen of Scots, as well as ongoing work with Sony Pictures Television on the promotion of the hit TV series Outlander. As well as working directly with film distributors, one of Jenni’s key roles is to ensure screen tourism is promoted positively within Scotland, creating platforms for tourism businesses to reap the benefits of this growing trend.

    Mairi Claire Bowser
    Screen Sustainability Manager BECTU

    Mairi Claire is a Dundee born Set Decorator, with an MSc in Environmental Management. She has worked in the film and tv industries across the UK over the past 10 years, and has been actively engaged with the environmental movements relating to the screen sector during that time. In 2019 / 2020, Mairi Claire lead the industry research of Creative Carbon Scotland’s report “Greening Scotland’s Screen Industry” for Screen Scotland, and in the summer of 2020, helped to start the unionisation of environmental issues in the screen sector through BECTU LPD by setting up a Sustainability Sub Committee within it.

    Mairi Claire is the newly appointed Screen Sustainability Manager for Scotland, looking at the intersections of opportunity that the screen sector holds in reducing its impact in each of production processes, studio infrastructure, and screen content, to help bring about a net zero film & tv industry in Scotland.

    Caris Pittendreigh

    Caris started her film and television journey working behind the desk of the Video Drive Inn as a teenager in Stonehaven. She has since collected a wide variety of roles and experience across productions, genres and departments before settling into the realm of locations 7 years ago.

    She started at Screen Scotland in 2018, joining the Screen Commission team to support projects of all shapes and sizes throughout their development and production, promote Scotland’s industry and locations to the global production industry, and help develop initiatives in sustainability, equality/diversity/inclusion, and education.


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