We are proud to have Distinguished Fellows associated with The Schumacher Institute.
Alan is an innovator, writer and facilitator with a passion for enabling individuals and groups to grow their resilience, especially through parallels with Nature and organic cultivation. 2His current work has two main threads: one is Seeding our Future, a non-profit project that has funded and run a range of resilience initiatives, including Future Conversations for community groups, Woodland Resilience Immersions for NHS doctors, and currently projects for local food security.
The other thread grows from Alan’s experience of starting a 130-acre organic farm and educational charity from scratch in 1990. His Natural Happiness model uses parallels from organic cultivation to help people and organisations to grow their own well-being. Two of his four published books apply this model: Natural Happiness: use organic gardening skills to cultivate yourself, focuses on individuals and community groups – publication date March 2024, The Natural Advantage focuses on managers, coaches and work organisations – out of print but easily available secondhand.
After a Harvard MBA and a successful early career in building materials, Alan has founded and led four pioneering land-based projects: Magdalen Farm, Hazel Hill Wood, a 70-acre conservation woodland and education centre, and two cohousing neighbourhoods. Alan and his wife Linda live in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, where he is involved in several local community projects, as well as growing vegetables.
Prof Dr Dr Barbara Adam, FAcSS, FLSW is Emerita Professor at Cardiff University, Wales, UK. Social time has been the intellectual project throughout her academic career, which facilitated a unique perspective and produced path-breaking publications on the subject, resulting in five research monographs, five edited books and a large number of articles in which she sought to bring time to the centre of social and socio-environmental analysis. Two of her books have been awarded book prizes and she successfully competed for numerous social theory-based research grants. She held Fellowships in Italy, Germany and UK, the Max Weber Professorship at Munich University and the prestigious ESRC Professorial Fellowship (2003-2007), which enabled her to explicitly focus on the social relations of the future. In 1992 she founded the journal Time & Society, which she edited for ten years and has been supporting ever since as Consulting Editor. Her publications show how the relationship to time in its multiple facets impacts on societies’, institutions’ and individuals’ approaches to the environment. Her work is read and taught across the disciplines from the Arts and Humanities to the Social and Environmental Sciences. She is a Distinguished Fellow at the Schumacher Institute, Bristol.
Chris Sunderland is an environmental entrepreneur, who has been involved in a range of environmental, community and food-related projects in Bristol, UK, but is probably best known for his work in launching the Bristol Pound.
His most recent book Imagination is the key – to unlock the environmental crisis lays the foundation for a new movement, to be launched in partnership with the Schumacher Institute, called Neighbourhoods for the Earth. Further articles on the themes and practices commended by the book can be found at:
This initiative arises from an unusually varied career combining academic investigation with practical experience in fields of science, religion and the environment.
The author believes, along with so many others, that we are at a crucial point in world history and are in desperate need of a new way forward.
Imagination is the Key:https://imaginationisthekey.website
Daniel is co-founder of Transition Engineering. A chartered engineer and chartered environmentalist, he has spent the last 25 years creating a better way to address wicked problems of unsustainable engineered systems and to transition away from business-as-usual towards a sustainable future.
For 13 years he was an automotive engineer at IAD, Ford and then Visteon; in 1996 he established the first (unsanctioned) Ford Global Sustainability Forum. In 2001 he set up Splendid Engineering to apply engineering learning to help clients to adapt to a changing future. In 2003 he built the Splendid Eco-Car – demonstrating what a future vehicle might look like if designed around sustainability (about 20 years too soon, but nonetheless appearing at The Science Museum).
In 2009 he coined the term “Transition Engineering” to describe a new way of adapting systems to ensure they do what we need them to do in a changing future. In 2013 co-founded GATE, the Global Association for Transition Engineering, of which he is Chair of Trustees, to help professionals become agents of change.
He is fascinated by collaboration between professionals in engineering, natural and social science, economics, history, and the creative sector, and by working towards “more good” instead of “less bad”.
Donnie Maclurcan is the executive director of the Post Growth Institute, an international organization exploring how we interdependently thrive within ecological limits.
As a social entrepreneur, his initiatives include the Offers and Needs Market, Free Money Day, the Post Growth Fellowship, and the Post Growth Alliance. As a consultant, he has worked with more than 500 projects, across 36 countries, with considerable time-based in Egypt, the U.S., Australia (where he was born) and Argentina (where he lives).
An affiliate professor of economics at Southern Oregon University, and Adjunct Professor with the Sydney-based Institute for Sustainable Futures, he initially trained as an exercise physiologist, before completing a PhD assessing nanotechnology’s implications for global inequality (through an ‘appropriate tech’ lens).
Donnie also holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest journey on foot across Australia, with his 2002 solo run of 4,000 kilometres taking 67 days.
Emilie Parry is founder of Rootbridge Ecosystems, and co-collaborator / researcher across emergent and convergent networks of local, endogenous and Indigenous Peoples engaged around the climate crisis and ecological regeneration. She has bridged praxis, policy and research in the fields of New and Transitioning Markets, ‘Post-Growth’ Economies, social change movements, peace/conflict transformation and transitioning societies, humanitarian and complex emergencies, civilian/child protection, deep ecology, and disaster risk management–in Asia, the Americas, Africa, the UK and Eastern Europe. Emilie recently completed a doctoral-level research degree at the University of Oxford Centre for the Environment, School of Geography & the Environment, seated within the Environmental Change Institute. Her Masters (MA) degree from Brandeis University’s Heller School of Social Policy & Management emphasized sustainable development and conflict transformation, conducted jointly with Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School (international rights law, dispute negotiation); Bachelor’s degree (BA) is a double major from the University of California at Berkeley in International Development Studies and English, with one year of study in the United Nations University’s Masters program at University of Ghana Legon, in African Development Economics.
Emilie has worked as a research fellow for Stockholm Environment Institute in the Climate Change Disasters & Humanitarian research cluster, as an Associate Fellow for Oxford Climate Policy, and as part of the Land & Conservation Management group in the Environmental Change Institute based at Oxford University’s Centre for the Environment.
Particular research interests include diverse biocultures / ecocultures, and how they may perceive and engage with major local and global stressors of the Anthropocene. This interest is driven, in part, in the seeking out of inspiration and lessons for what can be appropriate, effective, holistic and sustainable towards an ‘Ecocenic epoch,’ particularly for most vulnerable groups and species. In 2018 and 2019, Emilie was a Spiritual Ecology Fellow for St. Ethelburga’s Centre for Peace & Reconciliation in London and is a member of the regeneration strategies platform Re/Alliance.
Frank Stowell: Formerly Campus Director of the De Montfort University campus at Milton Keynes and now Emeritus Professor of Systems and Information Systems at the University of Portsmouth. He has a PhD in Organisational Change and his research centers around methods of inquiry and participative design. He is past President of the UK Academy of Information Systems and the UK Systems Society, chair of the Council of Information Systems Professors and is a member of the executive board of the World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics. Prior to his academic career he was employed within central government ministry as a consultant within a Management Systems Development Group.
Gerald Midgley is Professor of Systems Thinking in the Centre for Systems Studies, Business School, University of Hull, UK. He also holds Adjunct Professorships at the University of Queensland, Australia; the University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Mälardalen University, Sweden; and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He was Director of the Centre for Systems Studies at Hull from 1997 to 2003 and from 2010 to 2014. From 2003 to 2010, he was a Senior Science Leader in the Social Systems Group at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), New Zealand. Gerald has had over 300 papers on systems thinking, operational research and stakeholder engagement published in international journals, edited books and practitioner magazines, and has been involved in a wide variety of public sector, community development, third sector, evaluation, technology foresight and resource management projects. He was the 2013/14 President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, and has written or edited 11 books including, Systemic Intervention: Philosophy, Methodology, and Practice (Kluwer, 2000); Operational Research and Environmental Management: A New Agenda (Operational Research Society, 2001); Systems Thinking, Volumes I-IV (Sage, 2003); Community Operational Research: OR and Systems Thinking for Community Development (Kluwer, 2004); and Forensic DNA Evidence on Trial: Science and Uncertainty in the Courtroom (Emergent, 2011).
Hugh is a Director of the Institute and a Distinguished Fellow. He is academic background in political science. He has written, edited and contributed to a number of books on local democracy, sustainability, the politics of climate change and new economics. His current area of interest is new economics and football. He is a supporter of Crystal Palace FC.
Hugh used to work in local government and was for 4 years an elected local councillor in the London Borough of Croydon.
Dr Jem Bendell is a Professor of Sustainability Leadership with the University of Cumbria (www.iflas.info) and Founder of the Deep Adaptation Forum (www.deepadaptation.info). He works as a researcher, educator and advisor on social and organisational change, with over 25 years experience in sustainable development initiatives in over 20 countries, with business, voluntary sector and political parties.
With 100+ published texts on the environment and international development, including reports for the United Nations, and involvement in establishing and growing international multi-stakeholder initiatives, he was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum 2012-2017.
He now specialises in leadership, communications, facilitation and currency innovation for Deep Adaptation to climate chaos. In 2018 he authored the viral Deep Adaptation paper, downloaded around a million times.
John is a Distinguished Fellow of the Schumacher Institute and a core member of the think tank Green House having also worked closely with NGOs such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and WWF-International He has extensive experience of adult community, further, and higher education. Among other things, he coordinated the MSc Sustainable Development at the University of Exeter and the MSc Social Responsibility at Aston Business School.
He has written widely on issues relating to work, politics, environmental sustainability and education. He is the author/editor of Community Empowerment and Sustainability (Green Books, 2008), The Post-Growth Project (LLP/Green House, 2014) Understanding Sustainable Development 3rd edition (Routledge, 2017), Sustainable Business 2nd edition (forthcoming Routledge, 2018) and is currently writing Rediscovering William Morris: a libertarian socialism for the 21st century (forthcoming Merlin Press, 2018). John is a member of the William Morris Society.
Jos (1948) is an economist with a long experience in higher education. He served as the Dean of the Limburg Business School (Sittard, the Netherlands) in the 1990s. During this time he was actively involved in an international consortium that helped to establish a business school in the first post-glasnost years in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. For this work, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1999. Jos Hermans was the Head of International Relations at Zuyd University in Maastricht in The Netherlands from 2000 to 2005. In 2005 he started working for United Nations University / International Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability and established an RCE (Regional Centre of Expertise on ESD) in the Euregion Rhine Meuse. From 2010 to 2020 Jos served the UNU as an advisor in their Sustainability Program. At present he is an Honorary Advisor to the Global RCE community (179 member institutes worldwide).
From 2010-2017 Jos also served as an expert for the Netherlands Senior Expert Organisation in the Hague, supported by the Dutch Foreign Office. In this capacity, Jos assisted with building business schools in a number of African countries. This experience taught him that lasting success can only be achieved if local schools are established with the maximum input of the local population. This was the reason why he actively supported the idea of Community Empowerment in international development. With the implementation of the UN SDG campaign in 2015 Jos started the preparations for Fellowship COMMEET. COMMEET became a legal entity in 2017 and has since grown into a global network of Fellows. COMMEET’s vision is to accelerate Sustainable Regional Development through empowering local communities across the world to take the responsibility for their own future into their own hands.
I’m an ecologist and I spent 1975-2000 doing wildlife research and tropical rainforest conservation, mainly in Asia and Africa. I then worked as an environmental consultant on nature- and community-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation. I’ve evaluated many sustainable development and climate aid programmes and projects, most recently the Danish and Swiss global climate aid portfolios. I’ve published books on biodiversity conservation, governance and sustainability, and others that include Aid Performance and Climate Change (2017), Water: Life in Every Drop (2020) and Surviving Climate Chaos (2021). As a Trustee of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, I engage with conservation issues across a nationwide portfolio of nature reserves and ecosystem restoration actions. In the Scottish Nature Finance Pioneers, I try to influence the regulation and safeguarding of carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services investments. And as a Distinguished Fellow of the Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems, I keep in touch with ‘small is beautiful’ thinking. My recent work has focused on tipping points in major Earth systems and their implications for climate change investment, and I’m now working on a book called Restoring Peace with Nature.
Katherine is Advocacy and Influencing Lead for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance and co-founder of WEAll Scotland. She has over eight years’ experience in various roles with Oxfam GB – as a Senior Researcher for the Global Research Team, UK Policy Manager, and Research and Policy Advisor for Oxfam Scotland. Katherine instigated the group of Wellbeing Economy Governments; developed Oxfam’s Humankind Index; and led Oxfam’s work on a ‘human economy’.
She sits on a range of advisory board, including the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity (University of Surrey), the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Renewal Advisory Group and Zero Waste Scotland’s Demystifying Decoupling Advisory Group.
Katherine has Bachelor Degrees in Economics and in Politics and holds a PhD in Political Science from the Australian National University. She is Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde (based at the Fraser of Allander Institute).
Her most recent book The Economics of Arrival: Ideas for a Grown Up Economy (co-authored with Jeremy Williams and published by Policy Press) was published in January 2019.
Kathryn is an independent advisor and non-executive director building innovative networks of collaboration to deliver sustainability and ensure rigorous evidence-based decision-making behaviours in public and third sectors.
She has 18 years of experience as a senior scientific advisor in UK government agencies and an earlier 18 years in the Middle East, Africa, Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia delivering complex, politically sensitive programmes for CIDA, Commonwealth Secretariat, DfID, EC, World Bank, etc., focusing on sustainable development through evidence-based adaptive management of natural resources.
Kathryn has served as a chair and member of numerous government, academic and charitable boards in the UK and internationally. She is currently the Chair of the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, a member of Swansea University Council and of the Expert Advisory Group for the UK Enhanced Rock Weathering Greenhouse Gas Removal Demonstrator Programme, and on the editorial boards of two scientific journals. She is also an Honorary Professor at Swansea University. She was elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in May 2022.
Lucian Gill worked on coal gasification and hydrocarbon reforming and earned a doctorate studying the reaction kinetics of organic compounds. He applied this to remediation of derelict Town Gasworks sites resulting from the switch to North Sea gas. Extensively involved in polymer development; coordinating the transfer from pilot to the construction of the world’s first continuous polymerisation reactor in Japan. He researched and designed the highly successful first two major UK reed beds for ICI and British Steel. Amongst many other projects from 2000 onwards, Lucian has designed and constructed in Sudan nine of the world’s largest reed bed treatment systems with a total capacity of 500,000 tons per day of wastewater from the oilfields, to zero detectable levels of hydrocarbons. The end project objectives of holistic agriculture, forestry and fisheries as part of a ‘post-oil economy’ still remain and are actively pursued.
Mark Dibben is an Associate Professor of Management at the University of Tasmania, Hobart, and Visiting Professor in Applied Process Thought at the Centre for Process Studies in Claremont, California. Taking his cue from the work of the process philosopher and theologian John B. Cobb Jr, he argues a systems conceptuality that is organic, relational, integrated, nondual and processive offers the best opportunity to overcome challenges faced by humanity at the ending of the modern age. For this to be possible, a radical rethink of management and its purpose in particular is required, so that we turn our attentions away from the economism – the making of money – that has driven modern life, and turn instead toward earthism – the re-creation of the wealth inherent in Natural systems from which our own wellbeing derives. This is about recognising the practical realities of E.F Schumacher’s arguments concerning the need for localism and person-centred economy and community, in the face of the idolatry of giantism. Ultimately, sustainability is not about maintaining the status quo, Mark argues, because the status quo consists of delicate, dependent and perpetually depletive communities. Sustainable systems are resilient, resourceful and recoverably regenerative.
Martin Parker is a Professor in the School of Management, University of Bristol. His research and writing is an attempt to widen the scope of what is usually considered to be part of business and management studies, whether in terms of particular sorts of organisations (the circus, the worker co-op, Apollo space programme etc), or ways of representing organising (in art, cartoons, films etc).
His recent writing has been about ‘alternative’ organisation in two senses. One is work on zero-carbon business, co-operatives, worker self-management, alternative finance and so on. The other is on different ways of thinking about what ‘organisation’ means, so he has written about angels, shipping containers, art galleries, as well as a book on outlaws. His most recent books are ‘Shut Down the Business School’ (Pluto 2018), ‘Anarchism. Organization and Management’ (Routledge 2020) and ‘Life After Covid-19’ (Bristol University Press. He is the lead for the Bristol Inclusive Economy Initiative.
He is also very interested in how academics write, and how they might cultivate new audiences for their ideas, and writes journalism as regularly as he can.
Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is a bestselling author, international security scholar, policy expert, film-maker, and change activist.
investigative journalist | social scientist | change strategist | communications consultant
Founder of INSURGE intelligence (medium.com/insurge-intelligence/), an independent crowdfunded investigative journalism platform for people and planet, which applies complex systems sciences to the investigation of the world’s most pressing global challenges.
The focus of Nafeez’s work is to catalyse social change in the public interest by harnessing radical, systemic approaches to understanding the interconnections between the world’s biggest problems while developing and highlighting holistic strategies for social transformation. Whether it be foreign policy and terrorism, climate change and energy, or food and the economy, Nafeez uses critical, rigorous and interdisciplinary analysis to join the dots and challenge power, intending to bring forth constructive change.
His work is an excellent way to spark a desperately needed conversation about the interrelated crises facing our planet; a future conversation without which there will be no future left to shape.
Paull’s technical expertise is in Technology, Strategy, Design and Intelligent Buildings. He was the first Chairman of the European Intelligent Building Group, and is a management committee member of the Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers, Intelligent Buildings Group. He is currently a Doctoral Researcher in Housing and Health at University of the West of England, having previously gained an MBA from London Business School is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and a Chartered IT Professional.
Following an early career in IT in the Health Service in Wales, and in London at Kings College Hospital and North West Thames Regional Health Authority, Paull worked in International Financial Markets, Telecommunications and Design and set up a multi-national specialist technology strategy consulting business (Infact) now part of WS Atkins. He returned to the Health Sector as Governor, non Executive Director and IT Projects Director at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.
He was until December 2014 Vice Chairman of Raglan Housing Association and Chairman of Raglan Developments. Paull was also District Councillor between 2003 and 2011. Leader of South Somerset District Council from 2004-2006. Chairman of South Somerset Together, the Local Strategic Partnership 2006-2012.
Rich Pancost is Professor of Biogeochemistry at the University of Bristol and the former Head of the School of Earth Sciences and Director of the Cabot Institute for the Environment. He researches, collaborates and teaches on a range of topics related to how organisms mediate our planet’s chemical environment and how their molecular signatures can be used to reconstruct Earth’s past climate. He uses these findings to constrain uncertainty in the Earth system, exploring the magnitude and pace of past climate disruptions, biotic responses to rapid global warming and the sustainability of ecosystems on which we depend.
As Director of the Cabot Institute, he was mainly focused on co-production approaches to bring a justice-oriented approach to climate action, living with change, and achieving equitable resiliency in an uncertain world. In that role, he coordinated links within the University and with local, national and global partners, contributing to Bristol’s Resilience Strategy and One City Plan and collaborating with Ujima Radio and the Bristol Green Capital Partnership to create the Green and Black Ambassadors. As an organic geochemist, he is also particularly interested in our relationship with fossil fuels and energy, its capture and storage, relationships and dependencies, and the parallels in those in microorganisms, nature, ourselves and society. Drawing on these themes, he is particularly interested in what we can learn from the past about the resiliency of complex systems and how that informs the Just Transition.
Robin Attfield, MA (Oxon), PhD (Wales), DLitt (Cardiff) is a retired Professor of Philosophy at Cardiff University, where he taught philosophy from 1968 until 2012. He has also served as Visiting Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Ife, Nigeria (1972-3), Inter-University Council Visiting Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Nairobi, Kenya (1975), and National Research Council (Republic of South Africa) Visiting Research Fellow (July/August 1999). He has chaired Workshops and Sections on environmental ethics and the ethics of technology at the World Congresses of Philosophy of 1983 (Montreal), 1988 (Brighton) and 1998 (Boston). He has served on the advisory boards of the journals Environmental Ethics, Environmental Values, International Journal of Applied Philosophy and Organisation and Environment, and as External Examiner for postgraduate degrees at the Universities of Durham, Helsinki, Lancaster, Liverpool, Lund, Manchester, Stellenbosch, Tasmania, Melbourne, Pretoria and Oxford.
He has written the following books: God and The Secular: A Philosophical Assessment of Secular Reasoning from Bacon to Kant (1978 and 1993), The Ethics of Environmental Concern (1983 and 1991), A Theory of Value and Obligation (1987), Environmental Philosophy: Principles and Prospects (1994), Value, Obligation and Meta-Ethics (1995 and 2019), The Ethics of the Global Environment (1999 and 2015), Environmental Ethics: An Overview for the Twenty-First Century (2003 and 2014)), Creation, Evolution and Meaning (2006), Ethics: An Overview (2012), Wonder, Value and God (2016), Environmental Ethics: A Very Short Introduction (2018), Environmental Thought: A Short History (2021), and Applied Ethics: An Introduction (2022). His latest book, The Ethics of the Climate Crisis, is due to appear early in 2024. He is the joint editor of Values, Conflict and the Environment (1989 and 1996), of International Justice and the Third World (1992), of Philosophy and the Natural Environment (1994), of Sustainable Alternatives for Poverty Reduction and Eco-Justice (2014) and the editor of The Ethics of the Environment (2008). Translations of books of his have appeared in Arabic, Bahasa (Indonesian), Chinese, Korean, and Spanish, with translations into Italian and Farsee expected shortly.
He has contributed to a range of philosophical journals including Analysis, Ethics, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Values, Inquiry, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Journal of the History of Ideas, Journal of the History of Philosophy, Journal of Value Inquiry, Metaphilosophy, Mind, Noûs, Philosophy, The Philosophical Quarterly, Religious Studies. and Sophia. His essays include ‘The God of Religion and the God of Philosophy’ (Religious Studies, 9, 1973, 1-9), ‘On Being Human’ (Inquiry, 17, 1974, 175-192), ‘Supererogation and Double Standards’ (Mind, 88, 1979, 481-499), ‘The Good of Trees’ (Journal of Value Inquiry, 15, 1981, 35-54), ‘Work and the Human Essence’ (Journal of Applied Philosophy, 1, 1984, 141-150), ‘Environmental Ethics and Intergenerational Equity’ (Inquiry, 41, 1998, 207-222), ‘Saving Nature, Feeding People and Ethics’, (Environmental Values, 7, 1998, 291-304), ‘Postmodernism, Value and Objectivity’, (Environmental Values, 10, 2001, 145-162), ‘Mediated Responsibilities, Global Warming and the Scope of Ethics’, (Journal of Social Philosophy, 40, 2009, 225-236), ‘Popper and Xenophanes’, (Philosophy, 89, 2014, 113-133), and ‘Panentheisms, Creation and Evil’, (Open Theology, 5: 2019, 166-171). He has authored articles jointly with Michael Durrant, John Clutterbuck, Rebekah Humphreys, Melissa Beattie and Kate Attfield.
His website is attfieldduttbooks.co.uk.
Susan is the Director of the Mali Elephant Project, having worked on a variety of nature conservation projects across Africa, Asia and Europe, and as a research officer for the UK Government’s independent adviser on sustainable development at the Green College Centre for Environmental Policy & Understanding.
Her chief interest is how we can reconnect with nature, to bring ecological literacy to human decision making so that our actions are guided by a right relationship to the planet and pursue “the creation of a global ecological civilization within the planet’s full house of life” (Crist, 2019).
Her work is a testing ground that involves using systems perspectives and collaborative approaches to understand the human-nature relationship and develop truly sustainable solutions to conservation (and other “wicked”) problems.
She teaches at the University of Oxford where she is a Research Associate of the Department of Zoology, a Trustee of Tusk Trust, a Tusk Conservation Award Judge, a member of the Sahara Conservation Fund’s Science Committee, and a member of the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group. She has co-authored a book on “Conservation” for Cambridge University Press, that takes a global perspective to bring conservation to the heart of sustainability.
Virginia is one of E.F.Schumacher’s four daughters and is proud to follow in her father’s footsteps. She studied for her degree at the University of East Anglia and obtained postgraduate qualifications at Swansea University and the University of the West of England. She spent most of her career in education. Initially trained as a teacher, she took up a position as a Director of the University and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) where she worked for 15 years. After a spell at the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education she moved to assume the role of Chief Executive of The Inspiring Futures Foundation (formerly ISCO) which focussed on helping young people, in the UK and internationally, prepare for life and work in the future. At the same time, she was also elected President of the Career Development Institute (CDI), a professional body with some 4,000 members.
Since retiring Virginia has become far more involved in sustainability and regenerative agriculture. Together with her husband, she farms a 60-acre mixed livestock hill farm on the western edge of the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) as well as being as self-sufficient as possible. As Business Adviser to the ‘One Planet Centre’ – an environmental consultancy, based in Wales, she was instrumental in developing the ‘One Planet Standard.’ This enables companies and organisations to work towards reducing their ecological footprint, combatting climate change and helping to encourage biodiversity. Virginia is also Vice Chair of the Waldorf Learning Foundation (WLF) which works to spread and support good practice in progressive and creative education. A key feature is the new PgDIp at Bath Spa University in ‘Waldorf Education and Creative Pedagogies,’ introduced last year.