Alison Burns LL.B Dip LP NP FRSA, is an award-winning performer, keynote speaker and expert in business ethics, sustainability and ethical leadership. For over 30 years, she has been a trailblazer in the fields of engineering, entertainment, technology and the law. Today as an Ethical Futurist™ she helps organisations and individuals think and act more ethically through her entertaining and inspiring keynote speeches on sustainability, environment, future trends, diversity, inclusion and the ethical implications of technology.
James Taylor MBA FRSA – who started his career managing high profile rock stars – is now an in-demand keynote speaker and internationally recognized leader in business creativity, innovation and artificial intelligence. For over 20 years, he has been advising CEO’s, entrepreneurs, educators, governments, leaders, writers and rockstars on how to build innovative organizations, unlock creative potential, and increase productivity.
Born in Dundee, an industrial city on the east coast of Scotland, to British and Canadian parents, her dreams were always of being on the stage. Today she has spoken or performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages across the USA, China, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, India, Italy and the UK.
Prior to becoming an in-demand keynote speaker she achieved success as one of the first female mechanical engineers in her native Scotland, as an actor for stage and screen, a BBC TV presenter, and an intellectual property lawyer working with biotechnologists and businesses.
Alison has been featured in countless media outlets through her speaking, acting and singing work and her fans range from tech CEO’s and movie directors, to royalty and billionaires. She recently performed a star-studded concert for Prince William at Windsor Castle in England in advance of HRH announcing his engagement to Kate Middleton.
As a jazz singer she released her debut album ‘Kissing Bug’ in 2007 and it was received with universal acclaim, becoming the first album by a Scottish jazz singer to reach the Jazz Top 10. This album was soon followed by 1:AM, Last Train to Hauteville (where she sang in French), and I’ll Be Home For Christmas. Touring to promote these albums resulted in concerts in Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, Cannes, London, Singapore, Bangkok, Sydney and Shanghai.
Alison has also performed as guest soloist with the BBC Big Band, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Guy Barker Big Band and at legendary concert halls including London’s Royal Albert Hall where she performed alongside Bill Wyman and Ronnie Woods from the Rolling Stones, Mick Hucknall of Simply Red and Mel C of the Spice Girls.
As a campaigner for human rights, non-human rights, diversity and inclusion, Alison is actively involved in supporting organisations including Lion Aid, Animals Asia, Tiger Time, Soi Dogs Foundation (Thailand), All Dogs Matter, Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary (Canada). She has served as a board member, committee member or fundraising committee member of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Trust, Napa Valley Land Trust (USA), Kirkmichael International Guitar Festival and Dundee University Students Association. She is a member of the Scottish committee of the UK Centre for Animal Law (A-Law) which promotes interest in animal law and provides a hub of legal expertise, education and resources to improve the law protecting animal interests. Alison is a patron of Beneath The Wood Animal Sanctuary.
Today Alison is perhaps most well known as an Ethical Futurist™, business ethics expert and keynote speaker on the topics of ethical leadership, future trends, sustainability, diversity and inclusion and the ethical implications of technologies such as AI, robotics, cybersecurity and biotech.
Alison is a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Society of the Arts (F.R.S.A.) whose Fellows have included other trailblazers and innovators including Marie Curie, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, President Benjamin Franklin, Bob Dylan, Adam Smith,Professor Stephen Hawking and Oscar award-winning actor Dame Judi Dench.
When not travelling to speak or perform Alison divides her time between Scotland and Italy.
As the host of multiple global summits he has personally interviewed over 750 of the world’s leading creative minds including Silicon Valley tech CEO’s, New York Times bestselling authors, and artificial intelligence pioneers. Hundreds of thousands of people in over 120 countries have learned about creativity and innovation through his online courses, videos, media interviews and keynote speeches.
His clients have included Fortune Global 500 companies, government policy makers, industry associations, and he was recently the subject of a 30 minute BBC documentary about his life and work. He was awarded the S.D. Southern Prize from Canadian energy services company ATCO, the Award for Excellent from Geneva Group International and named ‘ONTRApreneur of the Year’ from U.S. business and marketing automation leaders ONTRAPORT.
James is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (F.R.S.A.) whose Fellows have included global innovators and leaders including President Benjamin Franklin, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Bob Dylan, Adam Smith, Nelson Mandela and Professor Stephen Hawking.