ISR Visiting Professors & Fellows

Dr Tom Bryer (University of Central Florida)

Dr Bryer is highly published and conducts extensive research in the areas of public participation and collaboration across segments of society, including government, nonprofit, private, faith-based, and voluntary sectors. He has won multiple awards for his research, teaching, and service. In 2015, he was granted a Fulbright Core Scholar award to conduct research in Lithuania from 2015-2017. He is the author or editor of three books: Higher Education beyond Job Creation: Universities, Citizenship, and Community, National Service and Volunteerism: Achieving Impact in Our Communities, and Social Media for Government: Theory and Practice. Research Interests include: Scholarship of teaching and learning; Ethics; Citizen engagement; Collaborative governance.


Rev. Cllr. John Davis (Together Liverpool – Development Officer) 

John was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1979 and during his time serving in ministry John started several innovative projects and initiated and led the award winning ‘Crossing at St. Paul’s’ development, a £2.5 Million project to convert a large Grade 2 listed Victorian church building to a multi-use social enterprise.

John was a visiting lecturer in Theology and Public Speaking in Walsall College and in a number of Anglican and Catholic Colleges majoring on Urban Mission and Ecumenism.  He chaired the pioneering community-led Walsall SRB Regeneration Partnership Board, the Business in the Community Neighbourhood Partnership Board, School Governors and was a trustee of Walsall Art Gallery Development Trust. The latter involved the development of a new state of the art £25 Million Gallery housing Jacob Epstein’s art collection in the town.  He was later appointed as Regional Development Manager for the Princes Trust in the West Midlands.  He then moved on to be a senior manager in the NHS in Walsall joining the Teaching Primary Care Trust.

John is a Christian social entrepreneur and project instigator and manager, and a local Councillor in West Lancs, with wide experience across many sectors.  In his current role with Together Liverpool, a partnership between the Church Urban Fund and the Diocese of Liverpool, he has organised conferences and set up joint working with local authorities, service professionals and the voluntary, community and faith sectors to discuss the issues facing the region and bring about practical and positive movements and projects to alleviate poverty and enhance the lives of people across 8 local authority areas.


James Derounian (Gloucestershire University)

James Derounian is a National Teaching Fellow & Principal Lecturer in Community Engagement & Local Governance at Gloucestershire University. James’ teaching, action research & consultancy relate to governance, rural social issues, community planning, public engagement & crimes against humanity.  He has undertaken consultancies for international (e.g. Romanian Historic Monuments’ Commission), national (Carnegie UK Trust, National Association of Local Councils) and local (Oxfordshire Rural Community Council) organisations, and he publishes articles regularly for the Guardian newspaper, on higher education and localism.

James is trained to undertake independent examinations of community-generated Neighbourhood Plans NP across England. James completed the 1st off-mainland NP examination (of Bembridge, Isle of Wight). He took a key role in producing a NP for his hometown of Winchcombe, advised Tysoe (Warwickshire) on drafting their NP, and is advising Alderton Parish Council (Tewkesbury) on its NP.  James has 37 years’ experience of working with (rural) communities across England – for ACRE, Countryside Agency, Society of Local Council Clerks; and has worked as a project officer in Devon & Northumberland, on multi-agency regeneration partnerships.


Nick Ewbank (Nick Ewbank Associates)

Nick Ewbank is one of the UK’s leading authorities on creative urban regeneration. He was the founding Director of the culture, education and regeneration charity The Creative Foundation and, with the philanthropist Roger De Haan CBE, steered the ground-breaking project to revitalise Folkestone from its inception in 2001 until 2010. Prior to his work in Folkestone, Ewbank was the Director of Devon’s leading arts centre, Exeter Phoenix Arts and Media Centre, for seven years. From 1988 to 1994, he was Director of the Old Bull Arts Centre in Barnet, North London, establishing its reputation at the time as one of London’s most innovative arts centres.

Nick founded NEA in 2010 and has led on all its projects. He has developed NEA’s distinctive brand of research-led consultancy, which combines a strong theoretical approach, rooted in social capital theory and the social model of health, with pragmatic, locally-based solutions that often make surprising connections and inspire clients and partners to see new opportunities. He lectures for a number of universities and regularly contributes to conferences and symposia in the UK and abroad. Although he is happy enough to work away from the sea, he has particular penchant for UK’s coastal towns and is passionate about the role that culture and creativity can play in their regeneration as great places to live, work and visit.

Liz Harding 

Now a freelance consultant, Liz had spent many years as CEO of Youth Focus NW (formerly the North West Regional Youth Work Unit).  Having worked there since late 2003 she was responsible for the strategic direction and development of the Unit along with the operational management.

Working in a number of youth work organisations over the past 30 years in urban and rural settings and in the statutory and voluntary sectors has given her a broad base of experience.  Retaining a passion for youth work and in particular Youth Voice Liz advocates for it at every opportunity.  As part of her role Liz develops and maintains strong relationships with local providers and regional and national partners.  Liz has worked with a range of cultural and health organisations to both promote good practice of young people’s participation and to develop further the voice and influence of young people on a regional level.  She supports Youthforia, the youth led North West Youth Forum and works with the British Youth Council supporting UKYP and other voice intiatives.  Liz grew up in Dorset, has lived in Manchester for the last 30 years and chairs two community based youth projects in South Manchester.

Professor Jenny Pearce (London School of Economics)

Professor Jenny Pearce researches violence, participation and social change. This interest is rooted in over 40 years of research and action in Latin America, which has focused on struggles for democracy, human rights and social justice. Building on this work, Professor Pearce has come to centre her research on Power, Violence and Participation at the local and global levels. She has been working on issues of violence and security, and pursuing an interest in methodologies for researching violence which work with those who most experience violence and insecurity. She was part of a team with the Observatory of Human Security in Medellin which won an IDRC grant to work on a methodology of ‘Security from Below’ which Jenny developed in collaboration with Alexandra Abello. Jenny’s work on new ways of understanding violence and security in Latin America has led to invitations to address many international conferences, in Latin America and the United States. She was peer reviewer of the UNDP’s 2014 Latin American Regional Report on Citizens Security with a Human Face. The methodology of ‘Security from Below’ has been piloted also in Honduras, and Jenny was the keynote speaker at the final public event in 2014 which communicated the learning from this experiment to a wide audience of decision makers, NGOs, the police and community researchers involved in the project and who presented it. Jenny is a member of the ESRC Peer Review College and is on the editorial board of Conflict, Security and Development. She is currently writing a book on Politics and Violence and is conducting field work on Elites and Violence in Latin America.


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