On May 26th 2017 we had the honour and privilege of hosting President Barack Obama here in Scotland.
To celebrate and mark that occasion we invited pupils in secondary schools across Scotland to submit an essay outlining their priorities if they had the opportunity to rule Scotland.
Over two hundred schools submitted their thoughts – they were humbling, uplifting, challenging and often seriously funny. They made me pause for thought and ask myself - do we really listen to their young voices enough?
The submissions from all over Scotland have some incredibly consistent themes; if you will a community of young Scots unknown to one another yet articulating the same vision; an anonymous, collective voice of hope. Through this e-book http://www.thehunterfoundation.co.uk/if-i-ruled-scotland/ we hope that voice is heard and that all of Scotland listens, particularly our policy makers and politicians.
Their voices tell us they care about our communities, our environment, equality for all, embracing our differences, caring for those who can’t care for themselves, mental health, ambition and reaching for the stars. And having a laugh.
Theirs is a message of hope, that same message President Obama offered us on that incredible night when our winning poet, Mila Stricevic from Hyndland Secondary School stole the show. The standing ovation on the night was hers, but all our entries deserve ovation and our sincere thanks for caring for this great nation we call home.
We are a small nation that can so easily punch above its weight, enabling young voices is one small way in which we will achieve so much more for Scotland.
I truly hope you enjoy this book.
Sir Tom Hunter