In a high profile speech at the Royal Society of Edinburgh tonight (30 Jan) Patrick Harvie, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, will challenge recent claims that today’s “Network Generation” fear that independence would isolate Scotland from the modern age.

The event has been organised by the David Hume Institute in association with the RSE’s Young Academy of Scotland.

Mr Harvie, the Herald’s E-Politician of the Year, will argue that in the 21st century Scotland has a better chance of influencing global trends by voting Yes in the independence referendum, taking responsibility for its own decisions and designing economic, taxation, welfare, foreign and defence policies for today’s needs.

Ahead of tonight's event he said:

"Since the financial crash six years ago, successive Westminster governments and the corporate world have been desperate to get back to business-as-usual, failing to learn any lessons. We still have massive and growing inequality and entrenched deprivation in our towns and cities, despite our huge collective wealth.

“Sadly, in the independence debate we’re seeing Scottish politicians on the No side continuing to perpetuate the myth that bigger is always better: fawning to the City of London; allowing the domination of big business in retail, energy and banking; and the aggressive projection of military power.

“They also falsely claim that by taking control of our own affairs we’d be putting up barriers, when of course in this digital age Scotland could truly make its mark on the world by asserting its own voice. Scotland’s connections to the wider world don’t depend on the Whitehall and Westminster institutions, as today’s absurd debate in the House of Lords is proving.

“If we vote Yes the world’s eyes will be upon us, and we will have a chance to be bold and inspirational.

"With independence we have a chance to pursue a different economic model - one that prioritises equality and sustainability, supports small business and social enterprise, and shows leadership, influencing our friends and neighbours in these islands and beyond. The more that people examine what’s at stake the more they realise what an amazing opportunity we have not just to shift where power lies but to redesign our economy and build a better society.”