EvoNorth - Speakers

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Henri Murison was appointed last year as the first permanent Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP),  which has been established by business and civic leaders across the North to drive our economy and is chaired by George Osborne. During the last decade, he has held senior public policy roles in both the public and private sectors across the North of England. He served as Cabinet member for Quality of Life at Newcastle City Council, leading on key issues including transport, planning and the environment. He also worked as Research Director at the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire and, most recently, led on Public Affairs at the Yorkshire Building Society, focusing on issues such as devolution in Yorkshire, housing and transport.

Listen to Henri Murison at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Cllr Judith Blake was elected as the first ever female Leader of Leeds City Council in May 2015.  She is also the Council’s Executive Board Member for Economy and Culture and is playing a key role in attracting major national and international inward investment to Leeds.  In July 2016 Cllr Blake was announced as Chair of the Core Cities Group. The Group represents the Councils of England’s eight largest city economies outside London, along with Glasgow and Cardiff. She is also Vice Chair of the LGA’s Environment, Economy, Housing & Transport Board. 

Cllr Blake has been a Labour Councillor since 1996 and represents Middleton & Belle Isle in Leeds.  Her time as a Councillor has seen her have responsibility for a wide range of portfolios including Planning, Education and Leisure.  Cllr Blake currently chairs the Council’s Executive Board and has also served as a board member for NHS Leeds and the West Yorkshire Police Authority. Last year, Cllr Blake was awarded a CBE in recognition of service to local government.

Listen to Cllr Judith Blake at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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 Edna Robinson is a social commentator on issues of connectivity, social mobility and integrated system thinking.  She has been a Chief Executive in several posts in the NHS in the NorthWest and Policy Advisor to Communities and Local Government in the Brown government. She was the founder of NHS Networks used by thousands of people.  Edna is currently the chairman of the Big Life Group, Trafford Housing Trust and most recently The People’s Powerhouse.

Listen to Edna Robinson at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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An experienced public sector manager in Economic Development, Shona has previously managed Local Council’s Education and Skills Services, where she had responsibility for developing and managing the Councils policy responses to addressing Education, Skills and Employment challenges. She previously managed the Tyne and Wear City Region Employment Consortium and has spent time with the Big Lottery Fund. Most recently this has included developing multi-agency responses to national and regional policy in the Employment and Skills Agenda, including the devolution of Skills to Mayoral led Combined Authorities. Originally from the North of Scotland, Shona is married with two grown up children. She studied Economic Geography at the University of Aberdeen, before starting her career in Human Resources within the private sector.  She feels passionately that there is more we can do to create greater access to opportunities for those that find the labour market challenging whilst achieving Economic stability and growth in emerging sectors.

Listen to Shona Duncan at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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I joined NR as a General Management Graduate in 2006 and spent 6 years across various roles in Major Projects, Account Management and Operations. This culminated in 2 years as Local Operations Manager for Liverpool Lime Street area. In 2012 I joined TPE as Head of Resource Planning where I led the train planning, diagramming and rosters teams. As part of the Senior Management team there I spent time seconded to manage the Control team led the response to the Tour de Yorkshire event in the region and was part of the mobilisation team for the new franchise. In 2016 I joined the Firstgroup Rail Division team as Head of Operations Development to work on the West Coast Partnership submission as well as generally leading on our operations strategy for things like control and other operations systems. I’m on the committee of Women in Rail (North West region)-to support the diversity agenda piece. Also perhaps mentioning that I’m a northerner, from the north and living in the north.

My new role at NR involves managing the relationship between NR, TfN and the RNP TOCs (TPE & Northern), championing the transformation agenda for rail in the North and ensuring stakeholders are a part of that journey.

Listen to Anna-Jane Hunter at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Emma Degg is the Chief Executive of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT). The NWBLT brings together leaders of national and international businesses with substantial commitments and interests in the North West of England.  The Team works to exert its collective influence for the long-term good of the region, economically, environmentally, culturally and socially. Ms Degg has spent her career focussed upon bringing together business leaders and policy makers to make a tangible difference, nationally, across the North West and in local government.  She regards the promotion of responsible business leadership as essential to the future of the UK economy, in particular the importance of inspiring and encouraging young people to achieve their full potential.

Listen to Emma Degg at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Tracy Harrison is Deputy Chief Executive of the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC), a membership organisation for social housing providers. Prior to joining the NHC in 2006, Tracy held a variety of senior marketing and business development posts in blue chip private sector organisations, including Fast Moving Consumer Goods giant, Robert McBride, and Sage Software. With the housing sectors’ ever-increasing focus on driving efficiencies, a key part of Tracy’s role is to support NHC members in offering products and services which will help them to achieve that, and to develop solutions which can help improve the service they offer to tenants.

Listen to Tracy Harrison at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Peter Molyneux has over 35 years’ experience working in local government, seven of which have been at Chief Officer level in a multi-disciplined environment. His roles, which have mainly been in highways and transport, have included Corporate Director at Trafford Council and Head of Highways at Transport for Greater Manchester.

Listen to Peter Molyneux at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Hailing from Stockport, Alex has worked in the public sector for over 15 years across a range of services and roles, including as part of the leadership of the ‘Healthier Together’ programme which achieved one of the largest public consultations responses in the NHS, resulting in 12 clinical commissioning groups’ unanimous decision to change health services in Greater Manchester. Alex brings a wealth of expertise and energy to the TU and its clients, and he is unwavering in his commitment to transforming health and care for the benefit of patients the length and breadth of the UK. I am very confident that under his stewardship, the TU will continue to flourish and support our country’s most valued asset: the NHS.

Listen to Alex Heritage at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Gary Wallis-Clarke is Executive Head Teacher at West Jesmond Primary National Teaching School in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.  Born and educated in Sunderland and following training at Bishop Grosseteste College in Lincoln, his career has encompassed a wide range of educational roles in the North East region. A music and education specialist, Gary is now a National Leader of Education and leads a wide range of educational training and leads support for school improvement in the Ouseburn Learning Trust alongside the Newcastle Promise Board.

Gary's passion for school leadership comes from his personal experiences in the North East growing up as a child with a father made redundant from the Sunderland shipyards in 1982, benefitting from free tuition in music, believing in education as a critical driver for success, aspiration and social mobility and harnessing the potential of the region to lead and innovate - starting with its youngest people.

 Gary has been in his current post since 2011 and has led the school to outstanding success and reputation. He was invited to be part of the Northern Powerhouse Education sub-group from its inception. He is currently completing the NPQEL (National Professional Qualification for Executive Leaders) and in a very busy work schedule still finds time to sing with Sine Nomine international touring choir, support two children through University and indulge a secret-passion for Christmas decorations.

 Listen to Gary Wallis-Clarke at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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James joined Salford Royal in December 2016. He started his career in Primary Care and has held a number of roles in commissioning, provider and regional organisations. He brings years of experience in general operational management, Board Level Executive roles and, for the last two years, was Deputy Chief Executive at a nearby NHS Foundation Trust.  James is the Executive Lead for the clinical divisions and will assume responsibility for the performance of the organisation.

 Listen to James Sumner at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Currently the Major Projects Director at TransPennine Express, Chris has 18 years’ experience in the industry since joining as a Graduate trainee across operations, fleet, projects and commercial including roles in Traincrew management, Service Planning and Performance at Northern, Virgin Trains and TPE. During 2014/15 he led the team developing timetable, infrastructure and fleet plans for First’s winning bid for the TPE franchise. Since 2016 he has led the Major Projects team managing the 50% increase in fleet size with 221 new build ‘Nova’ vehicles (three types) to be introduced in 2018/19. Chris also spearheads the TOCs collaboration with Network Rail and leads its input on network upgrades including the development of the £3bn upgrade to the TransPennine Mainline.

 Listen to Chris Nutton at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Dr Hakim Yadi OBE is CEO of the Northern Health Science Alliance Ltd (NHSA). He led the formation of the NHSA, bringing together 20 NHSA members as a single health partnership across the North of England’s 15m population. He has experience of building a recognised brand & corporate identity across a networked approach of multi-disciplinary science. Over the past four years he has secured over £50m in contracts for NHSA members and has raised the profile of the North’s health research both nationally and internationally establishing research partnerships in the US and across the commonwealth.

Previously he was at PA Consulting Group where on secondment to UK Government he was Chief Operations Officer and founding member of the Department Of International Trade Life Sciences Organisation.

Hakim holds a PhD in the Immunology of Pregnancy from the University of Cambridge and has published peer reviewed papers on his academic research. Hakim currently serves as a NED for the UK AMR Centre

Dr Yadi was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to Healthcare Technology and the Economy in the 2017 New Years Honours List.

 Listen to Dr Hakin Yadi OBE at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Craig Ivison is the Head of Skills and Employment at Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).Craig has worked in a number of senior roles across the education and skills sector in Cumbria.  He was a Partnership Manager for West Cumbria at the Learning and Skills Council before taking a role as National Policy Manager for Apprenticeships. Prior to joining Cumbria LEP Craig was Education Advisor for a multi-academy Trust and Vice Principal at an Academy. In his current role Craig works with partners to deliver the LEP Skills Investment Plan, which sets out a number of challenging objectives to ensure that employers have access to the skilled workforce they need to grow their business. These objectives focus on four key themes:

  • The skills and support needed to ensure young people have access to the wide range of opportunities across Cumbria’s diverse economy
  • The skills and support required by the current workforce to facilitate progression and economic growth
  • The skills required by unemployed and under-employed residents to enter the labour market
  • The development of the higher level skills offer across the county

Listen to Craig Invison at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Colin is Business Growth Director at the North East LEP and holds an MSc in Small Business Development from Teesside University. Following an MBO in 2009 Colin was a director and owner of business growth and business improvement software business Winning Moves Ltd where he was instrumental in scaling the business from a turnover of £400k to £2.7 million. This included the development and delivery of business growth programmes such as Growth Accelerator, Great200Leaders, the Masters level and accredited Winning Leaders Academy and Optimising Business Technology. In addition Colin designed and delivered several sector development tools which have been used under license in more than 20 countries.  Following a period of fast growth in 2013 Winning Moves was sold and Colin spent two years as part of the acquirer’s senior management team to support the integration of the businesses. 

Listen to Colin Bell at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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  Andrew became Chief Executive of the Centre in April 2017.
Before that he was the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy and Research with overall responsibility for the Centre’s research and policy programme.
Andrew has over 20 years of experience working on urban economic policy issues for public and private development agencies, consultants and research institutes. He has also spent time in the US as part of the Churchill Foundation’s Fellowship Programme reviewing urban economic development policy and practice in American cities including New York, Washington DC, Boston and Chicago.
He is a regular media contributor and chairs and speaks at conferences across the UK and Europe on a wide range of urban and economic issues.

Listen to Andrew Carter at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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Susan Clews was  announced as the new Chief Executive for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) on 14 November 2018.Susan joined Acas in 1993 as a Senior Adviser and Conciliator in Yorkshire and Humber (where she still lives). She undertook a variety of roles until becoming Regional Director for the North West in 2003. Between 2009 and 2015 Susan was Acas Director of Strategy. Susan has been Acas Chief Operations Officer since August 2015. Susan is also Acas' Diversity and Inclusion Champion.

Listen to Sarah Clews  at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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Sue Barnard is the Senior Manager for the UK Network team at the British Business Bank and her role is to obtain a greater understanding of  the North West of England and gather  detailed insights in to the North West’s  characteristics, strengths, issues and strategic priorities, along with intel on the features, players, strengths and weaknesses of the SME access to finance eco-system in your region.Sue also develops working-level relationships and partnerships with key organisations involved in helping SMEs grow (across the private, public and SME member organisation sectors) within your region and at the same time raising awareness of BBB and its services amongst these regional organisations.One of Sue’s passions is to champion the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund which she has been involved in since the launch back in 2017 and continues to support the NW Fund Managers.Sue has held similar positions for over 10 years with the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub and the North West Development Agency promoting a range of programmes from the North West Fund, The Manufacturing Advisory Service and through to North West Business Angels and the Start Up Loans Programme. Specialties: Building & Maintaining Key Strategic Relationships, Key Account Management, Contract Management, Foreign direct investment, Inward Investment, Investor Development, Public and Private Sector Finance, Proposition Development, Research & Development & Process Management.

Listen to Sue Barnard at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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Sarah leads IPPR North, the leading think-tank for the north of England.  She is an expert in regional and local economic development, place resilience and land use planning.  She has written reports for IPPR North on small and medium sized cities and towns, the Great North Plan, the state of the North’s economy, natural assets and civil society.  Prior to joining IPPR 2016, Sarah worked as a Director of Policy at the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), based in Manchester, overseeing their work on place resilience, welfare reform and international research on future cities. She has also worked for local government in the North East, delivering economic development and regeneration projects.Sarah holds a PhD in Urban Studies from the University of Glasgow where she examined the influence of the economic growth imperative on the work of planning authorities in the UK and how it alters attitudes to people and place.  

Listen to Sarah Longlands at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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Mark undertook his doctorate in 3D boundary layer laminar-turbulent transition prediction techniques for supersonic transport swept wings in Cambridge and then joined Rolls-Royce Aerospace (RR) to design jet engine compressors. He went onto join the RR Aerothermal Methods team, developing and applying aerodynamics and structural design techniques in all areas of jet engine technology. Since then, he has worked on turbo-chargers, combustion, oil tankers, HVAC and acoustics and spent 12 years at Formula 1, racing cars at McLaren Racing followed by a brief stint as Chief CAE Engineer at Gordon Murray Design. Mark currently works as a Deputy Director at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) responsible for Programme Delivery of Science and Innovation for Climate and Energy.

Listen to Mark Taylor at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >> 

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Dr Vell has worked in general practice for 24 years. She joined the LMC 25 years ago as a GP Registrar representative.In 1997 she set up a limited company to do out of hours work called Mandoc to enable the GP contract to be split.At the LMC she became chair for 4 years.In 2014 Dr Vell became Chief Executive of Manchester LMC and took the Chair of the Association of Greater Manchester LMCs. She persevered to bring primary care to the GMH&SC Devolution programme and now works as associate lead for primary and community care for the GMHSCP.She has recently also taken on the role of medical director for Health Innovation Manchester to spread innovation across health and care settings.She supports, advises and works amongst grass-root GPs.She was awarded an MBE in the New Years honours in 2018 for her work.

Listen to Dr Tracy Vell, MBE, at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Neil is CEO of CLES www.cles.org.uk – UK’s leading independent think and do tank, realising progressive economics for people and place. CLES’s aim is to achieve social justice, good local economies and effective public services for everyone, everywhere.At present he is focused on applying a progressive economic model for places which includes ideas around local wealth building.  Local wealth building is a new people-centred approach to local economic development. It is a range of practical actions that reorganises local economies so that wealth is retained and flows into our towns, cities and communities, rather than flowing out. Neil has been commissioned and collaborated, with a broad range of local, regional and national governments and agencies across UK and in Europe, Asia, US and Australasia.  He is an Honorary Fellow at the Manchester Urban Institute, University of Manchester, and a Visiting Fellow at Edge Hill University.

Listen to Neil McInroy, at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Tracy is one of the founders of the People's Powerhouse movement and sits on its steering group. After a 20 year local government career, Tracy founded Liverpool-based social enterprise Transform Lives Company in 2013 with a mission to connect people to prosperity. A Fellow of the Institute of Employability Professionals, Tracy chairs a Groundwork Trust (Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside) and Talent Match Liverpool City Region. Tracy was awarded the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 and in 2018 received WISE100 (Women in Social Enterprise 100) recognition as an inspiring and influential woman in social enterprise, impact investment and social innovation. 

Listen to Tracy Fishwick, at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Cllr Mordey was appointed as Deputy Leader in March 2018. Born and bred in Sunderland, he was first elected to the council in 2008 aged 22He is Vice Chair of the Key Cities group which Sunderland co-founded, and holds the portfolio for Brexit on behalf of the group, in recognition of Sunderland’s place as the top UK exporting city and the home to more than 87 foreign-owned companies.Cllr Mordey is also a member of the Local Government Association’s Environment, Economy, Housing and Transport Board.Before becoming Deputy Leader, Cllr Mordey was the Council’s portfolio holder for City Services for four years and is passionate about high quality and responsive environmental services and strategic transport maters; helping to ensure Sunderland is a welcoming, attractive and connected city for residents, businesses and visitors.Cllr Mordey represents the council and city on a number of bodies and organisations including the Sunderland BID Board, the Northumbria Police and Crime Panel, NECA Transport North East Committee.He is proud to support a range of community groups and organisations throughout the ward including Back on the Map and is Vice Chair of Governors at Hudson Road Primary School.

Listen to Cllr Michael Mordey at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Sam joined University of Salford as Dean of Students in May 2014 and then moved into the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience in September 2016. Sam's role at Salford combines executive responsibility for assurance of the quality and standards of the institutional academic portfolio and the philosophy of learning underpinning the student journey, alongside leadership and enhancement of the wider student experience towards a holistic sustainable student experience, which prepares students for life. Sam is also engaged in and leading cross-institutional strategic priorities, including redevelopment of Salford’s academic career framework, PDR process and culture, and systems of reward and recognition. This collaborative leadership role sees him work with students and colleagues across the University and its partners to strategically enhance pedagogical practices, supporting structures, processes and systems aligned to a positive student experience and wider success.

Listen to Dr Sam Grogan at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Chris Taylor is Associate Vice President for Digital Futures at the University of Manchester, and leads the pan-University Digital Futures programme.Chris has worked in computer vision research for most of his career, founding one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research centres in computer vision and medical image analysis and publishing some of the most highly cited publications in the field. His contributions to computer vision and medical image analysis have been recognised by election as Distinguished Fellow of the British Machine Vision Association, Fellow of the International Association for Pattern Recognition, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the (International) Medical Image Computing and Computer Aided Intervention Society and recipient of its 3rd Enduring Impact Award. He also has a broader, longstanding interest in health informatics, leading a series of national and local initiatives from the mid-90s onwards, for which he was awarded an OBE in 2000.Chris also has a strong record in technology transfer, establishing a number of long-term partnerships with industry, and spinning out five new companies from his research.

Listen to Professor Chris Taylor OBE, FREng at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>

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Dr Nicola Headlam is new to the civil service but an old hand at economic development and regeneration. She has worked on area-based neighbourhood renewal and social inclusion since the last millennium, initially from within local government where she ran social inclusion and neighbourhood renewal programmes. Later she worked in think tanks and consultancies, always focussed on local growth and since 2006 as an academic researcher.
Her expertise is in comparative city governance, economic development, regeneration and urban policy and the networks that enable human flourishing. Her core research interests include: the role of public agencies in making place, specifically sub-national spatial and urban policy, and the role of leadership and partnerships. She is particularly interested in the ways that places develop both their human capital and built form and in the relationships between a sense of place and its governing networks. She has published widely on the interfaces between formal and informal governance roles, and conducted comparative work on European cities and those further afield. Her main interest, however has been the governing trajectories of the ‘core cities’ of Manchester and Liverpool and in the subnational strategies that lead to divergence across the UK. She is an advocate for ‘multi-helix’ working where innovations sit at the intersections between research, industry, policy and community action.
Her current role is as Head of the Northern Powerhouse within the Cities and Local Growth Unit for HM Government. Nicola is leading strategy development for the Northern Powerhouse and seeking to put into practice an evidence-based policy for the north building on research interests in knowledge mobilisation for urban transformation. Prior to this she has worked on issues relating to the translation of research into policy and is an adaptable urbanist, media commentator and author. She is a founding member of the Urbanista UK network for women involved in positive urban change, and the co-organiser of Academic Archers. 

Listen to Dr Nicola Headlam at EvoNorth, Click here for more information >>





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