I am an experienced researcher, strategist and communicator with a specialist interest in systems change, place-driven approaches, cultural heritage and grassroots innovation.
I am founding Director of Citizen-i Ltd, a platform for citizen-led research, innovation and impact. Citizen-i works alongside client partners and communities of place, enquiry and interest to bring grassroots innovation projects and programmes to life.
From April 2021, I will be working with the NP11 group of Northern LEPs as Strategic Lead for Place and Culture in the North of England. The role is a partnership appointment, jointly hosted by NP11, Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England and the Environment Agency.
I hold a PhD in the Built Environment, specialising in spatial and cultural economics. Based with the University of Salford’s MAPS-LED International Research Partnership, my doctoral studies included collaborative work in the US with MIT, the Harvard Ash Centre, Boston North Eastern University and San Diego State University, and in Europe with partners at the University of Basque Country’s Agirre Centre, Mediterranea University Reggio Calabria, Sapienza University, Rome and Aalto University, Finland.
My PhD research explores the role of cultural heritage in embedding and catalysing ‘place driven’ innovation economies and proposes a new organisational paradigm characterised as “A Fourth Way”. My proposal to develop an alternative measure to GDP on this basis was highly commended and published in the 2017 Global Indigo Prize, and is extended as ‘Panonomics’, a vision for new organisational system in a forthcoming book publication with Palgrave Macmillan (Autumn 2021).
In my former role as a Research Fellow and North of England Associate of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), I led its portfolio of research and strategic development projects across the North of England, with a particular focus on heritage, place and citizenship.
My work with the RSA included leading research for its ‘Citizens and Inclusive Growth’ programme, delivered in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). The final report (July, 2017) draws on a range of international case-studies to advocate for hyper-local and human-centred strategy and policy design as the basis for a more sustainable and equitable economic model. It is available to download here: Citizens and Inclusive Growth
From 2013-2016, I led fieldwork for the RSA’s ‘Heritage, Identity & Place’ programme co-sponsored by HLF. Our ‘Networked Heritage’ report (2016), which presents a new model for heritage driven by ‘heritage citizens’ can be found here: Networked Heritage
In October 2017, I was a speaker at TEDxBrum, one of the largest TEDx events in the country with a live audience of over 2000. My first TEDx, exploring my proposal around ‘A Fourth Way’ is available to view here: TEDx
In February 2018, I delivered my second TEDx, this time at TEDxUoChester, themed on ‘The Connected Economy for 4.0’ and exploring connectivity as the basis for economic measurement. The video is available to view here: TEDx2
I have a broad portfolio of professional experience, working with clients from across a range of sectors to deliver business planning and strategic development, research, fundraising, project management, stakeholder engagement and communications services.
Clients include: The Royal Society of Arts (RSA), National Lottery Heritage Fund, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, GM Mayor’s Office/ GMCA, Co-op Digital, GM Culture, New Economy, Manchester City Council, Health Innovation Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), The SHARP Project, Salford City Council, Nottingham City Council, FACT Liverpool, Heart of Glass, CREATE Ireland, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Arts & Regeneration Consortium (LARC), Oldham MBC, The Bluecoat Arts Centre, The University of Liverpool, Bolton at Home, Your Housing Group and Plus Dane Housing Group.
Examples of my work:
‘Networked Heritage’ (2016) – fieldwork research, analysis and copywriting: Networked Heritage
Heart of Glass – ‘A Modest Proposal’ Development Plan and Forward Strategy (2016) – strategy and copywriting – Heart of Glass
‘Citizens & Inclusive Growth’ (2017) – fieldwork research, analysis and copywriting: Citizens & Inclusive Growth
‘A Social Glue – Parallel Narratives’ (2021) – case studies, collation and copywriting: A Social Glue