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, and he is currently a Fulbright Specialist, which will include work in Russia. He maintains an affiliation at Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania as Project Chief Researcher, leading research on non-economic factors of emigration.  He is the author or editor of four books:  Higher Education beyond Job Creation: Universities, Citizenship, and Community (2014); National Service and Volunteerism: Achieving Impact in Our Communities (2015); Social Media for Government: Theory and Practice (2016); Poor Participation: Fighting the Wars on Poverty and Impoverished Citizenship (2018).

Rev. John Davis 

On leaving home in St Helens, John started his working career in production management and research at Wedgwood in Stoke later getting ordained as an Anglican priest in 1979.  During his ministry in the West Midlands, John started several innovative projects and led the award winning ‘Crossing at St. Paul’s, Walsall’ development, a multi-million project to transform a large Grade 2 listed Victorian church building to a multi-use social enterprise.

John was a visiting lecturer in Theology at Walsall College and worked in Anglican and Catholic Colleges. He chaired a number of boards including Walsall’s SRB Regeneration Partnership Board, the Business in the Community Neighbourhood Partnership, School Governors and was a trustee of the New Art Gallery Development Trust.  He was later the  Regional Development Manager for the Princes Trust in the West Midlands moving on to become the Hospice Development Manager in Walsall for the NHS.

John is a Christian social entrepreneur, a Home Office consultant, a trustee of the John Moores Foundation and a former local Councillor in West Lancs. Having previously been the lead on the anti-poverty strategies for Liverpool Diocese he is now a Missional priest in Knowsley Deanery working mainly with St. Gabriel’s Church in Huyton.

Dr Sergej Ljubownikow (Sheffield University Management School)

Sergej is a Lecturer in Strategic Management at Sheffield University Management School. He completed his MSc and PhD at Aston Business School where he was awarded lifetime membership of Beta Gamma Sigma. He worked as a lecturer at Nottingham Business School for four years before joining Sheffield University Management School.  His research focuses on the broad areas of business and society and transitioning and emerging economies. In particular he focuses on the activities and strategies of non-profit non-governmental organisations, the activities and strategies of firms’ vis-à-vis societal issues and related practices of strategy including corporate social responsibility.

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.

Dr Katy Goldstraw (Staffordshire University) 

Dr Katy Goldstraw is passionate about creative and participatory approaches to learning. Katy specialises in participatory arts-based research methods to include and empower the voices of previously unheard communities within her research.

Katy is a senior lecturer in Health and Social Care at Staffordshire University and works in an independent capacity with the APLE Collective, an anti-poverty collective led by people with lived experience. Katy has worked with members of the voluntary and community sector to co-produce a Sustainable Livelihoods Resource Book. This resource book is a toolkit that VCS organisations can use to facilitate an assets based organisational evaluation. She has worked in Higher Education and the Voluntary Sector throughout her career. A fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Society of Arts; Katy has published extensively on topics including VCS assets, citizens voice, and anti-poverty participatory approaches.

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.


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