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A corporate employment law solicitor by profession, Chuka studied English Law and French Law at the University of Manchester and the University of Burgundy, followed by Nottingham Law School.
He trained and practiced at the international City law firm Herbert Smith where he acted for businesses large and small, from global conglomerates to family run firms working on commercial transactions and high value civil litigation. Later he worked at the central London law firm Rochman Landau, where he continued to act for businesses in addition to employees.
Following his election to Parliament, in June 2010 he was elected by fellow MPs to serve on the Treasury Select Committee and in October 2010 was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party. In May 2011, Chuka became Shadow Minister for Small Business and Enterprise in Labour’s Shadow Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) team, led by the Rt Hon John Denham MP.
In October 2011, Chuka was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, replacing John Denham who announced his resignation from Shadow Cabinet.
Clarke Willis is group chief executive (executive director) of Anglia Farmers Group, the Norfolk based £250m agricultural purchasing co-operative with 3500 members.
Born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, Clarke graduated in agricultural marketing at Harper Adams. His career started at British Sugar as a graduate trainee.He was managing director of Dengie Crops Limited for 10 years, one of the first farmer’s co-operatives to become a PLC.
In 1992 he moved to Dalgety Agriculture where he was national sales manager and then director of Spillers Speciality Feeds. Following the sale of the Dalgety business he was commercial director of a logistics supply chain software company, from where he was persuaded to return to agriculture just over ten years ago to manage the merger of the two original buying groups that formed Anglia Farmers.
In addition to his role at Anglia Farmers Clarke is a director of Farm Conservation Limited and Norfolk Food Festival Limited. He is a member of the Eastern Region Farming and Agriculture Board (FAB) and also sits on the New Anglia LEP Food, Farming and Rural Board.
Dame Pauline Green
Elected the first woman President of the International Co-operative Alliance in November 2009, Pauline has previously been Co-operative Member of the European Parliament (1989–2000) and Chief Executive of Co-operatives UK (2000–2009).
Pauline was elected as President of the ICA on an agenda of change and her tenure has focused globally on three key elements – offering business synergy opportunities for co-operatives; enhancing representation in institutions; and developing a centre of excellence for co-operative knowledge and information.
Pauline's tenure has included the successful delivery of the UN's International Year of Co-operatives and Co-operatives United.
David Button is the current Chair of Co-operatives UK and has represented the Federal Organisations on the Co-operatives UK Board since 2007.
He is a past Chairman of the Plunkett Foundation holding the position for six years and was made a Fellow in 2009; he is a past Director and Financial controller of Food from Britain where he had responsibility for co-operative development within the UK Agricultural and Horticultural sector.
David has had over 35 years practical experience of all forms of cooperative and social enterprise development within the UK and over 10 years as a senior consultant for DFID and through them the World Bank in Central and Eastern Europe.
He is currently Chair of the Co-operatives UK Forum representing The Food & Farming Foundation and works as an Associate Consultant for European Food and Farming Partnerships LLP advising on all areas of agricultural collaborative development.
Derek Walker became Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre in January 2011. The Wales Co-operative Centre is a co-operative development agency. As well as co-operative and social enterprise development the Centre works across Wales to promote social, financial and digital inclusion through a range of projects.
Prior to working at the Centre, Derek Walker was Head of External Affairs at the Big Lottery Fund in Wales with responsibility for communications and public affairs. During that time Derek sponsored the development of BIG’s innovative Community Voice funding programme.
From 2004 to 2009 Derek worked as Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Wales TUC. Before that he worked as policy and public affairs officer at Stonewall Cymru, setting up the organisation’s first office. Derek has also worked as a local government policy officer in Brussels and London.
Ed Mayo is Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, the national trade body that campaigns for co-operation and works to promote, develop and unite co-operative enterprises. He is a long-term co-operator and has a track record of innovation and impact in his work to bring together economic life and social justice.
From 2003 – 2009, he was Chief Executive of the National Consumer Council, merging this with two other bodies to found a new statutory consumer champion, Consumer Focus, in 2008. He was described by the Independent as "the most authoritative voice in the country speaking up for consumers", while the Guardian has nominated him as one of the top 100 most influential figures in British social policy.
Indy Johar is a qualified Architect, co-founder of 00:/ [zero zero], Hub Westminster and Hub Venture Laboratory, and is a Director of the Global Hub Association. He has taught at TU Berlin, University of Bath, Architectural Association, LSE and University College London.
Indy is a commissioner on the NLGN Commission for Local Government and the co-author of a new Book on the Civic Economy launched on May 12, 2011. He has written for many national and international journals on the future of design and social practice. He is also a Demos Associate, Fellow of Republica.
00:/ is a London based strategy & design practice. With a foundation in delivering award-winning architecture and commissioned research into the built environment, we are driven by an aspiration to create genuinely sustainable places founded on evidenced social, economic, and environmental principles.
We are currently working with a broad spectrum of clients and collaborators on a range of innovative projects from new civic institutions, neighbourhood development strategies, and self-led housing masterplans to new service delivery infrastructures for healthcare, learning, and creative enterprise, alongside a number of ultra-low-energy private houses.
John Restakis is Executive Director of the BC Co-operative Association in Vancouver, a position he has held since 1998. His professional background includes community organizing, adult and popular education, and co-op development.
In addition to his duties in building the co-op movement of BC, he does consulting work on international co-op development projects, researches and teaches on co-operative economies and the social economy, and lectures widely on the subject of globalization, regional development and alternative economics. John is a founding member of the Advisory Committee for the MA Program in Community Development at the University of Victoria and was co -founder and Co-ordinator of the Bologna Summer Program for Co-operative Studies at the University of Bologna.
Restakis earned his BA at the University of Toronto with a Major degree in East Asian Studies and specialist studies in Sanskrit and Classical Greek. He holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy of Religion. Currently, Restakis is a Sessional Instructor in the MA Program in Community Development at the University of Victoria.
Books by John Restakis:
Humanizing the Economy: Co-operatives in the Age of Capital, New Society Publishers, 2010
The Co-op Alternative: Civil Society and the Future of Public Services
Storylines: Oral Histories for Literacy
Dr. Margaret Heffernan produced programmes for the BBC for 13 years. She then moved to the US where she spearheaded multimedia productions for Intuit, The Learning Company and Standard&Poors. She was Chief Executive of InfoMation Corporation, ZineZone Corporation and then iCast Corporation, was named one of the “Top 25” by Streaming Media magazine and one of the “Top 100 Media Executives” by The Hollywood Reporter.
Margaret now blogs regularly for CBS Moneywatch, Inc.and the Huffington Post. Her third and most recent book, Willful Blindness : Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril was shortlisted for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Best Business Book Award 2011. She has advised the government of the United Kingdom and of Singapore as well as the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. She teaches at the University of Bath in the UK and is often heard on BBC Radio 4. Her new book, Winning Costs will be published in February 2014.
Pierre Liret works for the Confederation générale des Scop, the worker co-ops french organization. As the training and human resources manager, he leads training & human resources programs for the members of CG Scop and its different publics, mostly managers and their employees, whenever they are members or not of their co-op. He was previously information, public relations and marketing manager from 2002 to 2011. He looked after the launch of a new brand identity for the Worker co-op network on February 2010 and looked after the first advertising and communication campaign of all time on February 2011. Before 2002, he was marketing and development manager of the French economics magazine, Alternatives Economiques.