Social entrepreneur picks up prestigious honorary degree

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Jonny Kinross receiving his honorary degree from Professor Peter Mathieson, principal of Edinburgh University

Jonny Kinross has dedicated his thirty year career to community development and social enterprise

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11th July 2018 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

One of Scotland’s top social entrepreneurs has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh.

Jonny Kinross, who has been chief executive of the Grassmarket Community Project in the city’s old town since 2015, received his honorary degree at a ceremony in the university’s McEwan Hall on 7 July.

Honorary degrees are generally given in recognition of local leaders' or celebrities' contributions to a specific field or society in general. It is testament to the development of social enterprise that one of the country’s top universities has rewarded Kinross’s successful 30-year career with the honour.

Professor Lesley McAra, assistant principal of community relations at the University of Edinburgh, said: “In committing his adult working life to serving and supporting some of our most vulnerable citizens, Jonny has reminded us of the transformative power of community, and the capacity of social entrepreneurialism to promote individual healing and positive social change.   

“The University is proud to be honouring a man of compassion, a man of vision, and a man of leadership.”

The Grassmarket Community Project won Scottish Social Enterprise of the Year in 2017.

Before that Kinross was director of social enterprise My Adventure (Edinburgh), which is run by Muirhouse Youth Development Group.

He said: “I am truly humbled and grateful to be awarded an honorary doctorate by The University of Edinburgh. It is testimony to the many inspiring people that I have been privileged enough to have met and the communities that I have been involved with over the past thirty years of my career.

“It is even more poignant as both myself and my son have attended this remarkable university as undergraduates."