Grand Challenges

Grand Challenges

To ensure that we meet our mission, to respond to urgent social issues and bring about positive change, we have identified a set of Grand Challenges that give extra focus to our work.  The Grand Challenges were launched with our 2020 – 2025 Strategic Plan, and will be reviewed  every two years, looking within and beyond Scotland to decide key priorities. We described our aspirations for these challenges in this Friends of The Scotsman article.

For 2020-2022, our Grand Challenges are:

Scotland’s people can thrive

Scotland is inclusive, welcomes diversity, and provides equality of opportunity.

Ayse Cinar is the current lead on this Grand Challenge



A well-informed society

Promoting a society where collective decisions are made based on evidence and constructive discussion.

This topic cuts across almost all of YAS’s work, and the promotion of informed decision-making – whether this involves understanding the environmental impact of our individual choices, or how these decisions might affect our health and well-being as well as that of of those around us – will be crucial to many of the other Grand Challenges. We plan to run projects in association with other Themes and Grand Challenges to increase societal awareness of specific issues, as well as general projects that will promote better interpretation and discussion of information in all settings.

Kitty Meeks is the current lead on this Grand Challenge.



Increasing Scotland’s positive role in the world

Making an impact in the world, forging and maintaining international links, and sharing and gaining knowledge.

John-Robert Eunson is the current lead on the Grand Challenge.



Ending health inequalities

Improving the health of everyone across the lifespan and ending health inequality based on income, gender, sexuality, race, disability, age, and sex.

Jackie Maybin is the current lead on the Grand Challenge.



Zero carbon by 2045

Scotland achieves its net zero emissions target and leads in the international effort to tackle climate change.

Leslie Mabon is the current lead on this Grand Challenge.