Barry Sheerman, Member of Parliament for Huddersfield
Barry Sheerman has been the Labour and Co-operative MP for Huddersfield since 1979. He is passionate about education, skills, and the next generation, having chaired the House of Commons Select Committee on Education and Skills from 2001-2007, and then the Children, Schools and Families Committee from 2007-2010. He currently chairs the Skills Commission which has recently led a series of major inquiries on the skills needs of the future economy.
Barry has a major interest in manufacturing and UK Business, and is currently Chair of EPSRC’s Centre for Innovative Manufacturing & Industrial Sustainability and sits on the Board of the Institute for Collaborative Working.
Barry is also an active social entrepreneur having initiated over 40 social enterprises in his career, including Policy Connect which runs a number of parliamentary groups and inquiries, the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety (PACTS), and the John Clare Trust.
Ian Bamford, EPSRC Centre for Industrial Sustainability , University of Cambridge
Prior to joining Cambridge, Ian had 35 years of senior director level experience covering operations, marketing and group leadership at multinational companies such as Dell, Philips and Groupe Bull. He is experienced in setting up and running small and mid-sized technology, arts and consulting businesses in the USA and the UK.
He is interested in Innovation and Change and works with Business Modelling and Innovation researchers at the IfM and the Centre helping and advising in the development of new models and tools. This has led to extensive experience in delivering business model, innovation and value analysis workshops to industry and other sectors.
Other responsibilities include the management of marketing, governance and administrative activities, the recruitment and relationship management of Industry and Academic partners and the development of international collaborations. He also has particular interest in the development of guides and tools for industry.
Jesse Marsh, Atelier Studio Associato / City of Prato, TCBL Project Manager
Jesse Marsh obtained his BA in Fine Arts at Williams College (USA) in 1975; with the Hubbard Hutchinson Fellowship he moved to Milan to work in the studio of Marco Zanuso, one of the fathers of the Italian school of industrial design, and later as a free-lance designer. In fifteen years of professional activity, he confronted a range of technologies, processes and product sector, from chairs to artificial lungs, and received numerous patents and awards.
In the late 1980s his interest shifted to ICT, participating since then in the research teams of over 35 collaborative international projects funded by the European Union. In different consultancy roles first in Milan and since 1995 in Palermo, he worked in learning technologies and teleworking to then broaden his scope to include the relation between the information society and sustainable development, cultural diversity, e-commerce and democratic participation. Recently his interest has further broadened to include issues related to cultural heritage, spatial planning and local development, working with local authorities in Sicily and with different Departments of the Regional Government, as well as initiatives in areas such as Smart Cities, IoT, Digital Social Innovation, and Open Data.
Over the last ten years, he has been an active member of the Living Lab movement, proposing a user-driven “co-design” approach to ICT R&D and innovation and regional development policies in general. He is the founder and coordinator of the Territorial Living Lab TLL-Sicily, a member of the ENoLL (European Network of Living Labs) since 2007, and has been Special Advisor to the President of ENoLL since 2009. In that context, he is also an advisor to the City of Palermo for its Open Data and Smart City strategies and to the Sicilian Region (under contract with Formez) for the role of Social Innovation and Open Data in the regional Digital Agenda and Smart Specialisation Strategies 2014-2020.
Lutz Walter, Secretary General, The European Textile Technology Platform
Lutz Walter is Head of the R&D, Innovation and Projects Department of Euratex, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation based in Brussels. He is a university degree holder in business management and political science and has been working in European Affairs since 1998. Since he joined Euratex in 1999, he has been coordinator of various European collaborative research and networking projects.
His further responsibilities at Euratex include the monitoring of EU research policies and programmes, which are of interest for the textile/clothing sector as well as the development of strategies and position papers on the future of textile and clothing research and innovation in Europe.
Since 2004 he has been coordinating the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing, the largest European textile research and innovation experts network. In 2013 the European Technology Platform became an independent legal entity and Lutz Walter was appointed its Secretary General.
Jenny Holloway, Director, Fashion Enter
Jenny Holloway has been working in the fashion industry for over twenty five years mostly in the private sector. Initially she was a buyer for Littlewoods, M&S and Principles for Women before opening her own label Retro. For almost ten years Jenny was Director of her successful business Retro UK Ltd which included retail boutiques, party plan, wholesaling to major retailers such as John Lewis, Principles and independents. Retro UK also had an excellent export business with key accounts in the Middle East and Europe .
In 2000 Jenny commenced a consultancy business and was approached to be an Industry Advisor on Government funded initiatives. In March 06 Jenny incorporated Fashion Enter Ltd.
Jenny comments: "Fashion is a fun and vibrant business, however, that's exactly what it is - a business. Designers, in particular, must ensure that they fully understand all areas of their product and business and working in fashion can be a minefield. It can also be a lonely place too. Designers today have to be the master of all trades and sometimes they need someone experienced to talk to who can offer quality advice. That's exactly why we set up FashionCapital and Fashion Enter Ltd. We also work with a wide cross section of other sectors of the industry too, particularly manufacturing and logistics, therefore we can provide excellent networking opportunities to all levels of businesses throughout Clothing and Textiles."
Rita Britton, Nomad Atelier
Rita Britton’s career in fashion and retail reaches back into the 1960s. Her latest incarnation – Nomad Atelier – sees her providing luxury items (cashmere, leather and silk alongside works of art) from a newly restored location, called The Tobacco Warehouse, in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. From Rita in her own words….
““I suppose I’ve been lucky because I’ve worked in an industry that has allowed me to make a reputation for myself and develop my own style. I think that the biggest mistake that most women make is not developing their own style and being comfortable in their own skin. I remember once going to a formal dinner wearing an silk taffeta, ankle-length skirt and a cashmere sweater; and somebody in a strapless sequinned dress said to me, ‘God, I wish I had the guts to wear that kind of thing’. I felt good that night because I wasn’t competing with everybody else, and I was just me. The problem is that most women, when they have to go to an event that needs them to dress up, forget themselves. Weddings are a good example: how many times have you seen the Mother of the Bride looking an absolute dog because she’s wearing something that she normally wouldn’t wear and is not comfortable in?”
Eric Barchechath, Forum d’Actions Modernité
Initially an economist, Eric developed since early 80’s many researches in the IT field, on the impacts of information technologies on society (education & training) and businesses (innovation, commerce and trade) and on turning societal and social stakes as leverage for innovation, creation and transformation of Society at large.
He spent 17 years as Chief Researcher at the GIE Recherche Haussmann, the R&D unit of LaSer (the service and technology branch of the Galeries Lafayette Group). He presently works as an international consultant and serves also as General Secretary of Forum d’Action Modernités (a foundation under the aegis of Fondation de France), which aims to stimulate Public debate on society transformation.