“Inequalities are not all made equal”
“If inequality reduction is a priority, how can we run the economy to achieve that goal?”
“Need to deal with issues relating to structure and power”
“Cultural change is structural change”
“You make the road as you walk”
“The resources are already in the room”
Ewan Aitken was appointed CEO of Cyrenians in May 2014.
A former Convenor of Education and Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, Ewan has 30 years’ experience in the 3rd and Public sectors including 3 years as CoSLA spokesperson on Education. He was a parish minister for 7 years. He has founded several charities and two Credit Unions. He is on the board of the Edinburgh International Science Festival and the Ripple Project and is an advisor to Circle Scotland. He is chair of the National Prison Visitor Centre Steering Group, BBC Children in Need Scotland grants committee and the Scottish Labour Party’s Social Justice Sounding Board. He is a Council member of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and a member of the CoSLA Commission on Strength Local Democracy.
Elinor currently works in DG Communities where she has policy lead for democratic renewal, community planning, community development and empowerment, public services reform and public bodies. She has worked in the civil service for most of her career, working in Government Departments in Whitehall, but mainly in the Scottish Government. Most recently she was on secondment to the Scottish Ambulance Service as Director of HR and Organisational Development and prior to that, she was Head of HR in the Scottish Government. Over the course of her career she has worked in a range of policy areas including health, environment, fisheries and social justice. As well as being a chartered fellow of CIPD, Elinor is also a qualified accountant (CIMA) and a qualified nurse.
Rachel joined SSE in 2007 and has responsibility for its sustainability strategy, corporate responsibility programmes and corporate heritage. She is the Chair of the Business Leadership Group of the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative. Formerly Rachel was the Senior Special Adviser and speechwriter to Scotland's First Minister between 2001 and 2007. She graduated in 2009 from St Andrews University with a Master of Literature in International Political Thought, with a first degree in 1993 in Applied Economics from the University of Abertay, Dundee.
Jamie Livingstone has been Head of Oxfam Scotland since November 2013. He leads a team covering media relations, public campaigning, policy generation, political advocacy, education, and programmatic projects within Scotland. He represents Oxfam’s domestic and international work including the priority campaign focus on tackling extreme economic inequality in order to reduce poverty. This output is embedded within Oxfam’s UK and international operations. Jamie joined Oxfam in 2011 as Campaigns and Communications Manager – overseeing campaigns, media output and supporter communications in Scotland. In his current role, he is also the Convenor of the Disasters Emergency Committee in Scotland and a board member of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland. He is a former print and broadcast journalist. This includes a five year period with STV News – including as Political Correspondent, a role in which he completed interviews with leading Scottish, UK and international politicians. Jamie’s journalistic career began as a Donald Dewar Trainee with the Daily Record and Sunday Mail. He is a graduate of the University of St Andrews and completed a Bobby Jones Jr Memorial Scholarship to Emory University in Atlanta. Jamie lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two young children.
Kat Smith PhD is a Reader at the Global Public Health Unit in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on analysing policies affecting public health (especially health inequalities) and better understanding the relationships between public health research, policy, advocacy, and lobbying. In 2013, she brought some of this work together in a book entitled 'Beyond Evidence-based Policy in Public Health: The Interplay of Ideas', which is part of a new book series, Palgrave Studies in Science, Knowledge, and Policy that she co-edits with Professor Richard Freeman. More recently (in 2015), she co-edited (with Clare Bambra and Sarah Hill) an Oxford University Press book called ‘Health Inequalities: Critical Perspectives’. Kat is currently undertaking some research employing deliberative democracy techniques, supported by a 2014 Philip Leverhulme Prize award, to explore public perceptions of research-informed proposals for reducing health inequalities.
Akwugo is a Senior Lecturer/Programme Director, MSc Social Justice and Community Action at the University of Edinburgh. Before entering academia, Akwugo worked in a variety of roles related to progressive politics in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Akwugo has experience as a community organiser, a trade union organiser and a participatory action researcher. As a political sociologist, Akwugo has research interests in two areas: investigating racial and gender social and economic inequalities in a comparative perspective and exploring the grassroots organising of marginalised groups for social welfare and social citizenship. Akwugo is co-director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland, the co-director for Teaching and Learning for the Global Justice Academy, an editorial board member of Scottish Affairs and a board member of the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration.
Richard Freeman is Professor of Social Science and Public Policy and Co-Director of the Academy of Government at the University of Edinburgh. He teaches knowledge and practice on the Academy's Master's programme in Public Policy, as well as theory and method in the Graduate School of Social and Political Science. He is a former Fulbright Scholar and Jean Monnet Fellow, and has held visiting positions at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, Bremen, the Institut d'Études Politiques ('Sciences Po'), Paris and Yale University, New Haven.
Celine took up post as Chief Executive at The Yard in 2009. The Yard supports around 2000 disabled children and young people in the East of Scotland with a large centre in Edinburgh and operations starting this year in Dundee and Fife.
Celine represents the voluntary sector on a number of Edinburgh based committees and is a Board member for Share Scotland, a Glasgow based charity supporting disabled adults. Celine started her career in the BBC World Service and has spent time working in communications in both the statutory and voluntary sector.
Caroline Gibb, Equality and Rights Network
Caroline is the Development Worker for the Equality and Rights Network (EaRN). EaRN is a new member-led network, funded by the City of Edinburgh Council and based within Volunteer Edinburgh, that aims to work with public sector partners to advance equality, promote rights and tackle inequality and poverty in Edinburgh and surrounding areas. She has worked in the voluntary sector for over 15 years, mainly in Community Development roles around food poverty and health inequalities, getting to know some of the more marginalised communities of Edinburgh. She still works as a sessional Community Food Worker delivering food and cookery sessions to community groups and schools, and is half way through a part-time M.Litt in Gender Studies.
Current post: After my retirement from service as a secondary school headteacher, and a short-term 7 month placement and fascinating experience as a Volunteer Education Adviser to the Ministry of Education of Cambodia (through VSO), I have returned to work part-time in the University sector - research, professional development and policy development in education.
Career highlights: VSO volunteer in the 70s. Started my permanent teaching career working with pupils excluded from Central Region secondary schools in the late70s. Worked as teacher of learning support in mainstream secondary, then Head of Dept then local authority Adviser in Social Subjects. Served successfully as Headteacher of three very different Scottish comprehensive schools over two decades (HT at Crieff HS, McLaren HS and Lornshill Academy). Former President, Scottish Association of History Teachers. Member of National Executive, School Leaders Scotland (formerly Headteachers Association of Scotland). Member of various national curriculum committees (80s and 90s) and national committee on school leadership policy (00s). Contributed to developing practice and theory of school leadership as Founder Director of Centre for Educational Leadership, University of Edinburgh. Extensive track record in leading and facilitating professional development. Regular contributor to educational press.
Recent publications: Professional School Leadership: Dealing with Dilemmas (2nd edition 2013) Dunedin Academic Press; Schooling Scotland (2014) Argyll Press; Everyone’s Future: Lessons from fifty years of Scottish comprehensive schooling (2015) IoE/Trentham.
Helen Chambers, Inspiring Scotland
Helen is a Co-founder of Inspiring Scotland and acknowledged as one of Scotland’s leading social policy thinkers, and she has been the driver behind some of Scotland’s most cutting edge social innovation developments in the past decade. As a Co-founder of Inspiring Scotland, Helen designed Link Up, recognised in the 2014 Scottish Government Ministerial report Equally Well Revisited. Helen has a long track record in social entrepreneurship and prior to her roles in the Civil Service as Head of Child Poverty where she designed the £50m Working for Families Fund highly rated for its impact by Audit Scotland, her achievements include:
Away from work Helen spends as much time as she can with her family, and as an avid wild swimmer and founder of The Wild Ones – Edinburgh open water swimming group - can be found as often as possible in the sea and lochs around Scotland.
Fergus has over ten years' experience campaigning for human rights and equality for young people. An experienced senior manager in the not-for-profit sector, he has enjoyed six years leading organisational change in strategy, finance and human resources. Fergus has a strong commitment to the principles and values of community work with young people. He is co-founder and managing partner of respectme, Scotland's anti-bullying service. As Chief Executive, Fergus is responsible for the day-to-day strategic leadership of the charity and reports directly to the Board of Trustees.
Robert McGregor has worked in the Scottish public sector since 1987, spanning spells in the NHS, three local authorities, the Scottish Executive (as it was) and the Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration. For the last ten years or so, Robert has worked as the Sustainable Communities Manager for Fife Council with policy responsibilities around tackling poverty and inequalities, welfare reform and has been working through 2015 to support the Fairer Fife Commission. It launched its report, ‘Fairness Matters’, this month – http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/fairerfife. Robert previously sat on the Scottish Government‘s Tackling Poverty Board, was a member of the Poverty Alliance’s Stakeholders Forum and has been on successive steering groups for JRF’s Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Scotland.
Derek is Chief Executive of Rural Housing Scotland, a small charity that works to deliver affordable housing opportunities in rural communities, to help rural communities tackle local housing needs and to highlight the extent and nature of rural housing issues. Derek has worked with communities across Scotland to secure affordable housing for local people, facilitating developments in Gigha, Colonsay, Laggan and Whitsome amongst others. Derek is a committee member of the Scottish Land Fund and was previously a member of the Scottish Government’s Rural Development Council.
Gerry McCartney graduated from medicine at the University of Glasgow and did his GP vocational training in Paisley. Whilst working as a junior doctor he completed an honours degree in Economics and Development at the University of London – an interest which survives to this day. On completing is GP training, he then embarked on his Public health training, based initially at NHS Argyll and Clyde and then at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. During his public health training he worked on the 2007 E.coli outbreak in Paisley, performed needs assessments for communities in the east end of Glasgow and then did his MD at the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit on the impacts of the Commonwealth Games. He completed his training at the Glasgow Centre for Population Health where he produced the first synthesis of the causes of the excess mortality in Scotland and Glasgow. Gerry continued to work part-time as a GP in Paisley throughout this training period. In 2010 he took up post as Head of the Public Health Observatory and Consultant in Public Health at NHS Health Scotland. His main interest is in the causes and solutions to the higher mortality and wider health inequalities in Scotland, on which he has published extensively. He also has research interests in the evaluation of public policy interventions and in the public health implication of (un)sustainability. He has recently been honoured with a Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health and an Honorary Professorship at the University of the West of Scotland.
Philip joined the University of Edinburgh in June 2013. Prior to his appointment at Edinburgh, he was a Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester (2009-13), and LSE Fellow in Political Theory (2006-9). Philip is Editor-in-Chief of Res Publica. His research is primarily in contemporary political theory. He is particularly interested in the moral and political status of children; the nature and moral character of family relationships; child-suffrage; and schooling, education and justice.
For information about the reference group please contact:
Professor Richard Freeman
Academy of Government
School of Social and Political Science
University of Edinburgh
21 George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LD
+44 (0)131 650 4680