Robin Murray


Robin is an industrial economist. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and at the London School of Economics. He joined the London Business School, where he lectured in Economics, and then moved to the Institute of Development Studies, the national centre for the study and teaching of development at the University of Sussex, where he was a Fellow for 20 years.


During this time he acted as a consultant on industrial and development issues to a wide range of governments, and served as Director of Industry in the Greater London Council in the 1980s and as a Director of Development in the Government of Ontario in the 1990s.


This work led him to the conclusion that there was a major role that could be played in achieving social goals by mission driven third sector companies. In the field of development he co-founded Twin and Twin Trading in 1985. Twin works with existing farmers co-operatives, and helps establishes new ones, while Twin Trading imports and sells their products in the UK. They have in turn established producer co-owned branding companies, in coffee, chocolate, fresh fruit and nuts. Together with their partners, this group of companies (of which he currently chairs two and is a board member of a further three) now has a turnover of £90 million, and acts as a trading and marketing arm for some 300,000 small farmers.


In parallel he has also developed a range of new ventures in the environmental field. His interest here is in the economy of distributed systems, and their potential for environmental and social sustainability. He co-founded the environmental partnership Ecologika, whose members work in the fields of waste, energy, transport, food and health. As a group they played a major role in the re-direction of UK waste policy over the past decade, including new venture formation, and have more recently worked as advisers to the Deputy Mayor of London in establishing first the London Climate Change Agency, and then a London-wide Green Homes concierge service. They are currently working with the Deputy Mayor on a project to develop plug-in hybrid vehicles (which have the potential to transform both the energy and the auto industries).


From 2004-5 he was seconded to the Design Council as Director of RED, its innovation unit, where he led the team working on new forms of health care, particularly in the areas of chronic disease management and public health (Open Health monograph on RED Design Council health website).


Publications written by Robin Murray

Peadar is Professor of International Politics and Public Policy in the Department of Politics and Public Administration and director of the Institute for the Study of Knowledge in Society (ISKS), both at the University of Limerick. He had previously worked at Dublin City University since 1995, firstly in the School of Communications and, on its foundation in 2002, in the School of Law and Government. Before becoming an academic, he worked as a journalist in The Irish Times and, between 1984 and 1986, was associate editor of Noticias Aliadas in Lima, Peru.


Professor Kirby has published widely on Ireland’s model of development, on Latin American politics and political economy, on globalisation, and on vulnerability/resilience. His latest publications are Celtic Tiger in Collapse: Explaining the Weaknesses of the Irish Model (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Transforming Ireland: Challenges, Critiques, Resources, co-edited with Debbie Ging and Michael Cronin (Manchester University Press, 2009), Power, Dissent and Democracy: Civil Society and the State in Ireland, co-edited with Deiric Ó Broin(A&A Farmar, 2009), and Explaining Ireland’s Development: Economic Growth with Weakening Welfare, Social Policy and Development Paper No. 37, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD, 2008). Among his other recent books are the following: Vulnerability and Violence: The Impact of Globalisation (Pluto Press, 2006), Contesting the State: Lessons from the Irish Case (Manchester University Press, 2008), co-edited with Maura Adshead and Michelle Millar, and Taming the Tiger: Social Exclusion in a Globalised Ireland, co-edited with David Jacobson and Deiric Ó Broin (Tasc with New Island Books, 2006).


He has also published The Celtic Tiger in Distress: Growth with Inequality in Ireland (Palgrave, 2002), Introduction to Latin America: Twenty-First Century Challenges (Sage, 2003) andPoverty Amid Plenty: World and Irish Development Reconsidered (Trócaire and Gill & Macmillan, 1997). He has published articles in New Political Economy,Review of International Political Economy, Politics and Society, The European Journal of Development Research, Globalizations, Development Review, Irish Studies in International Affairs, European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, The Irish Review and Administration. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics.






Jonathan Dawson


Jonathan is Head of Economics at Schumacher College, Devon where he teaches the MA in the Economics of Transition. He is a sustainability educator and a socio-economist with wide experience as a researcher, author, consultant and project manager. He was until recently a member of the Findhorn ecovillage community in Scotland and the President of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), the umbrella organisation for sustainable community initiatives worldwide.


Jonathan is the principal author of the Gaia Education sustainable economy curriculum, drawn from best practice within ecovillages worldwide, that has been endorsed by UNITAR and adopted by UNESCO as a valuable contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. He teaches this curriculum at universities, ecovillages and community centres in Brazil, Spain and Scotland. He has also adopted the curriculum to virtual format and teaches it through the Open University of Catalunya in Barcelona.


Jonathan has over twenty years experience as a consultant in community economic development, rural transport and organisational development, with a particular focus on the design and operationalisation of monitoring and evaluation systems. His clients include the World Bank, the International Labour Office, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, Community Energy Scotland, the Cairngorm National Park Authority, the Intermediate Technology Development Group and a number of other NGOs.





John Woods - course organiser


John is an independent advisor on sustainable development. He is currently leading the development of the Northern Ireland Green New Deal Group’s work on tackling the ‘triple crunch’ of recession, climate change and rising fuel prices through a step change in public and private energy investment. He is also a Visiting Research Associate in the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast.


John graduated from Edinburgh University in 1980, returning in 1991 to obtain an MSc in Social & Public Policy. In the course of a varied career he worked in the property business; helped found a youth development NGO in Scotland and an environmental NGO in Nepal; and became Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Senior Campaigner. He returned to his native Northern Ireland in 1994 where he became Director of New Agenda, a network established to co-ordinate civil-society input into the political talks process. From 1999 to 2009 John was Director (Northern Ireland) of Friends of the Earth and from 2004 was a member of the senior management team of Friends of the Earth (England, Wales & Northern Ireland). In 2008 he was named by the Independent on Sunday as one of the UK’s top 100 environmentalists. He is also a Lay Magistrate.