Unlocking local potential
I am co-founder of both Transition Town Totnes and Transition Network, which supports, networks and trains Transition groups in over 50 countries. I write, blog and speak widely about the Transition movement. I am an Ashoka Fellow, and one of the founders of the award-winning social enterprise New Lion Brewery in Totnes, which in 2019 became 100% community owned thanks to 270 community investors.
I am author of The Power of Just Doing Stuff, The Transition Handbook, and 3 other books. I was awarded a PhD by the University of Plymouth in 2010, and more recently Honorary Doctorates by the University of the West of England and the University of Namur. In 2012 I was voted one of the Independent’s top 100 environmentalists and one of ‘Britain’s 50 New Radicals’. I have appeared on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Four Thought’ and on ‘A Good Read’, in the French film phenomenon ‘Demain’ (‘Tomorrow’), and spoken at TED Global once, and at 3 TEDx events. I am currently touring and speaking about my book ‘From What Is to What If’, on imagination, which was published by Chelsea Green Publishing in 2019.
I am a freelance consultant, working with communities as an adviser for the NEF/Co-ops UK Community Economic Development Programme. Beginning my career in Bradford, as one of three locations in the UK leading the DoE Extended Schools Pilot, my background is in community led development including co-production around health and social care, the establishment of community and social enterprises, relationship building across three tiers of local government, regeneration and asset transfer and management.
I’m married and live in Bridgetown with my wife and two daughters, my son went to KEVICC then on to university and is now working in London. I work for my own company and I offer strategic planning, business planning and organisational development and programme and project management support to a range of organisations and groups. Although I no longer actively play any sport I am still a keen follower of rugby (having played and coached both codes) and am a life-long supporter of Portsmouth FC. I love music, and although my phone is good for calls, and all the other stuff it does, its real function is to carry the music that matches my mood; everything from Led Zeppelin to Alan Jackson and Takeshi Terauchi via Passenger, Bach, and Tom Jones on the way.
My involvement in Atmos goes back to 2007 and the start, and I’m involved because I believe that communities need to own and manage their own assets so as to bring about the radical change many of us want, particularly in terms of planning and land ownership. So, for me its about swinging the pendulum back towards communities and local people and particularly for those of us who live, work and play in Totnes.
I live in Ipplepen with my two (very energetic) young sons and a great husband who works in a local school. I set up my own business nearly eight years ago and find myself working with some of the country’s finest innovators, entrepreneurs and doers.
In a previous life I was Green Lifestyles Officer on the flagship zero carbon development BedZED. I was regularly to be found with my head in some of the UKs first online booking systems for car clubs, fixing community composters and exploring what flooring works best to for optimum thermal exchange. Since then I have run events for the Refugee Council and worked with the team at Schumacher College.
I think that doing things that are complex and game changing is the lifeblood of an evolving society. Totnes Community Development Society presents a significant opportunity for change around how land and assets are acquired, designed, used within communities. When something can be changed for the better, you get involved. I’ve been a Director since 2014.
My blue skies are found whilst running, a habit since the age of 13, and when I play cricket. The greatest sound in the world is genuine laughter – bring it on.