I’ve just been appointed to the Cultural Intermediation project as a Research Fellow focused on cultural activities in Ordsall, Salford.

Here’s some background info on me

My interests lie in creativity, cultural meaning and urban sustainability.  I joined SURF in May 2014 and contribute as an anthropologist to the AHRC Connected Communities Programme. I am just finishing my PhD at the University of Manchester on idea generation and realisation in the making of a civic parade (due mid-2014).  I have an MA with Distinction from University of Manchester in Social Anthropology (2007) and a BA with First Class honours from University College London in Ancient World (1994)

I am focused on the generation of cultural meaning through creativity as an adaptive process and how organisations act as enablers and barriers.   Key areas of enquiry include:

•           Political influences on city making processes

•           The dynamics of collaborative creativity and co-production

•           The role of artists and other ‘creatives’ in working around organizational barriers

•           Alignment of anthropology and art

•           The potential for anthropology as a storytelling medium to engage in futures thinking

I also have a background in digital media, consultancy and social enterprise.  After graduating in 1994, I became an IT consultant focused on emerging technologies such as internet and interactive TV.  Mobilised by the dot-com crash, I moved into activism and social engagement, becoming Knowledge Manager at the Demos thinktank in London in 2002 and co-founder of the thinkingwomen network. 

In 2005, I founded social incubator, Krata developing a think-and-do-tank in Manchester with projects around environmental issues, community engagement and social enterprise.  Key outcomes included community engagement on the Regional Strategy for NWDA, analysis on barriers to healthy eating for Food Futures and raising funding for two projects: a café and market garden and a social enterprise running cooking workshops, the latter now independently run by the co-founders.  In 2003, I designed a foldaway bag as an alternative to plastic bags working with Oxfam to sell through independent retailers and online.  I am an active member of a female social entrepreneur network seeking to promote and support social enterprise.

I have ongoing enthusiasm for speculative fiction, short-filmmaking and community radio, broadcasting weekly on an ALL FM show with my kids.