Living Orkney, a by-blow of our solitary local paper the Orcadian, ran an article this month entitled ‘Millionaire visionary sets his sights on Orkney’ and indeed, it is FASCINATING reading.
Our ‘visionary’ is one Christophe Watkins, CEO of a company called Stronsay Inc, and -apparently- very influential on the international green policy scene.
The article [by John Ross Scott, a freelance journalist & chairman of the Orkney NHS Board no-less] describes Mr Watkins as a millionaire entrepreneur from Georgia, USA, who wants to follow in his family footsteps by living and working in Orkney. Ah, what a lovely story!
He intends to move the European base of his company from London, to Orkney.
Indeed the ‘inspiration’ for the name of his company came from this claimed Orkney connection, Stronsay being settled on because it means ‘a good place to fish’, however I did initially wonder if ‘phish’ was more appropriate, but do read on . . . .
Mr Watkins says: “I hope to buy land this year, but will initially be establishing the company in Kirkwall in a compound….comprising of an office & temporary home” however he plans to buy an estate which “will provide perfect headquarters for a company like mine which deals in green marketing & eco projects.”
Sounds exciting, more info on your business origins please!
Christophe explains: “Stronsay Inc began as an idea about marketing for the green world while I attended high school…..designing posters for farmers markets and local restaurants…then, somehow, Stronsay Inc took off as the business gained attention from Germany to Tokyo. From then on, expansion was massive and rapid.”
“Slowly the reach of Stronsay Inc [hang on, it was rapid a minute ago] expanded until we had bases in Europe, Asia & Australia, in September 2010 the London hub of Stronay Inc was set-up to centralize business in the European market. We also expanded into conference work across Europe and the company became well recognized in the green world.”
According to Mr Scott, it is now a worldwide concern.
Christophe is “proud of the fact we helped write government regulations in the Pacific on shark finning & geothermal potential, and have had involvement in organic growing in Mexico, Italy, Germany and much of south east Asia.”
Wow, this dude is hot stuff!
According to Mr Scott, Christophe is a recluse by nature, rarely photographed, who made his money by ‘wisely investing in the stock-market and by persuading folk to see things in a different way’. He wants to create a “sustainable green community in Orkney, to meet local movers and shakers and listen to their views.”
Apparently he was a keynote speaker at the Solar Skin Conference in Bressanone, Italy, in December 2011. However, I can’t find any reference of him at that conference in ANY capacity whatsoever. Very strange!
Some of his proposed ‘schemes’ are:
1. Electric taxis hire to-and-from the airport, with associated charging stations at hotels, with windturbines on the roofs.
2. An underground aquaponics system that could support the whole of Orkney with fresh fruit and veg, all year round.
All he needs is the land, and a ‘community buy-in’ to make some of these ideas possible.
According to Mr Scott, Christophe Watkins is ‘intent on persuading the people of Orkney to take a giant leap with him into changing the world in the months ahead’ and -as I understand it, he will be arriving in Orkney by the end of March. [update March 21st 08:36: actually looking at his facebook page it appears he has 'put back' his arrival until the 22nd]
Let’s do some digging.
Google finds no company website anywhere, but we do get some footprints:
19 followers? Not much for a global green success story. He is claiming an interview with BBC radio this friday, good luck with that Christophe.
Styled as ‘Green Marketing and Concept Corporation’ with a HQ at Broadgate Tower, EC2. [Oddly, there's no reference of them at the Broadgate website]. Kirkwall office here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stronsay-Orkney-Office/185055944910972?v=info with the email address [firstname.lastname@example.org]…doesn’t look like they have a mail server of their own!
Chrisophe on Google+
A mug shot. “Started Stronsay Inc., designed green buildings” [no supporting data of references. hmm.
https://foursquare.com/stronsayinc Check out that slick corporate logo:
You’ve spent some big bucks Christophe, clearly!
However I did check the ‘TM’ registry and nope, I can’t find that as a registered trademark anywhere. You do know it’s actually illegal to claim that ‘tm’ if you don’t own it, right?
Are Stronsay Inc even incorporated?
I can’t find diddly squat on that point. . . if we assume not, is that not also a federal offense in the U.S, let alone breaking company law in the UK?
It occurs to me that Stronsay Inc is a fabrication, born in the mind of a climate-change cultist in desperate need of medical assistance, I wish him all the best and hope a safe place can be provided for him while he copes with his ailment.
Clearly, climate lunacy can fool even the most sensible looking individuals, chairmen of NHS boards included. As a freelance journalist, you’d think our Mr Scott would have checked a few facts before submitting this article for publication. Perhaps he’ll claim it as an early ‘april fool’ but I don’t think that’s going to wash somehow. I do hope his fact-checking is far better in his professional capacity, that’s for sure!
For a further tickle, our article writer Mr Scott, a freelance journalist, and editor of Living Orkney, will be paid £27,456 for a three-day week commitment as chairman of the Orkney NHS Board.
He said: “I am delighted to be reappointed for a third term of office after going through a further open and fair appointment process.”
Previously, Mr Scott served as Convenor of the Scottish Borders Council, Chairman of the South Of Scotland Transport Partnership, Chairman of the Waverley Rail Partnership, Chairman of Scottish Association of Direct Labour Organisations Highways Committee and was one of two Scottish members on the UK Road Safety Advisory Panel. A former Scottish Liberal Democrat Transport spokesman (1998-99) he also served as Honorary Provost of Hawick (1999-2002). He was a key player in the South of Scotland European Partnership, stood twice as a Liberal Democrat on the South of Scotland list and once as a Westminster Liberal Democrat candidate in Dumfries. A past chief reporter and health correspondent with the award-winning ‘Southern Reporter’, and former Editor of the ‘Hawick News’ he moved to Orkney in 2003 when appointed first editor of the -now defunct- weekly newspaper ‘Orkney Today’. He resigned from this post to take on his NHS Orkney responsibilities.
Mr Scott’s first post on the Stronsay Inc facebook page is from 12th November 2011. In all the elapsed time since then, did he not ONCE think to type just two little words into google & see what was out there? That’s some top journalism for you.