Meet the candidates – elections for a new independent director
7th February 2017
Last month we invited individuals from our member organisations to put themselves forward for the voluntary role of independent director on the Bristol Green Capital Partnership board. This important role will help set the Partnership’s priorities and be a leadership voice for the wider membership. More information about the role can be found here.
Each member organisation has one vote for their preferred candidate among the five nominees. Votes must be placed by 6pm on Friday 17 February. All registered contacts from member organisations have been emailed with information about the elections, and a lead contact from each of these organisations has been sent an online voting link.
If your organisation is a member of Bristol Green Capital Partnership but has not received an email, or if you would like to check who the lead contact at your organisation is, please get in touch with our Partnership Development Manager Claire Jacob on 07497 112349 or email@example.com.
Hear from the 2017 candidates!
Candidates were asked for a 300-word statement to summarise their priorities and demonstrate their ability and willingness to work towards the success of the Partnership. Please find the five statements below:
Abduladir Ahmed Sheikhusein – Bristol Somali Forum (management team / executive board)
My name is A Sheikhusein. People call me Abdul Ahmed and I am the chair of Bristol Somali Forum. I am very interested in this position of BGCP CIC independent Elected Director. I am very passionate about the work and the values that this organisation upholds. I have no previous experience in this field. But l am a quick learner. The last few years I have been working for various community organisations on a voluntary basis. I am also a lobbyist as well as an activist for refugees and human rights. During all these years I have acquired tacit knowledge and transferable skills that would add value to BGCP. In addition, I am a member of the BME community. A group that is very hard to reach out and therefore under-represented. This is good for the inclusiveness and diversity of the staff. The impact of such a person on the wider member organisations will be huge. Further, at the moment I am doing a management and leadership course at City of Bristol College. I believe that an organisation like BGCP should have a strong connection with the current membership. That is one of the ways to promote environmental sustainability. I will try to work on promoting that further. The organisation also has to expand its work by reaching out to other organisations and community interests that are not members yet. It is about caring for people and the planet which are two very precious things. I know it is very challenging work. But I am definitely up for it.
Alison Jennings – Bristol Water (Head of Communications)
I landed the job as the communications lead at Bristol Water just as the spotlight turned on Bristol 2015. This catapulted me in at a strategic level as an ‘Official Supplier’ and I helped deliver Bristol Water’s key commitments – the drinking fountain in Millennium Square, three education programmes and publicity through our annual customer magazine to 530,000 households. I have always been passionate about connecting people with the natural environment and resources (I graduated in Environmental Sciences in 1989 so you can call me an early adopter!). Since joining Bristol Water I have completely reinvented our public and customer engagement to make it current and relevant, spurred on by what I see are the big issues of the day – things that I feel that together we have the power to change. One of the great initiatives of Bristol 2015 was City to Sea’s Refill Bristol campaign and I signed Bristol Water up for an enduring partnership with them. I enhanced this with the creation of the Bristol Water Bar which attracts a captive, thirsty audience ripe for educating around plastic waste and using refillable bottles. A natural extension to this is the new drinking fountain in Queen Square, due to be up and running for Easter 2017 thanks to the support of Eunomia, Bristol City Council and Bristol Waste. I hope this little snapshot of my recent activity demonstrates my passion and ability to make Bristol a greener, healthier and more sustainable city. My strengths are in partnership working and communications, and if I am selected as the member representative on th Green Capital Partnership Board I can really see myself helping the organisation and its members get things done.
Darren Hall – Pale Blue Dot (Director)
Dear colleagues, As the former manager of BGCP, I have a special interest in seeing it go from strength to strength. It is incredibly important to me for the partnership to be seen as a focal point for innovation & change, as well as leading the debate. I would like to work with members to ensure that they are able to collaborate effectively to create a visible, practical impact in Bristol and beyond on issues such as renewable energy, green spaces and sustainable housing & transport. I can offer my experience as a board member of the Bristol Community Land Trust, and previously as a trustee of Sustainability South West in order to help build the long-term financial viability of the Partnership, to the point that it can offer direct support to member’s ideas & projects. Having run Big Green Week for 6 years, I would also like to explore ways of ensuring that the Partnership reaches beyond the green audience to build a more diverse partnership to deliver the legacy of Bristol 2015 across the city. There is no doubt in my mind that Bristol has the opportunity to lead the way for the next generation of sustainable urban living, but only if we demonstrate just how positive that future can be for everyone that lives and works here. Ultimately though, it is not about any one person’s role, but the ability to facilitate & support collective action. I would be delighted to play my part in that process and to add my energy and enthusiasm to the mix so that we can co-create much needed systems change. If you would like to read more about my work and the experience I can bring to the Board as your representative, please go to http://www.thepaleblue.org. Thank you.
Pearl Costello – Costello Consulting (Owner)/Royal Agricultural University (Environmental Officer)
I am a passionate sustainability professional, with a proven track record of delivering significant sustainability improvements through strategy development and culture change. I have transformed the sustainability and social responsibility profile of the Royal Agricultural University and have set up my own consultancy in Bristol. Since working for the RAU, my innovative thinking, long-term vision and communication skills have led to significant carbon, water and energy reductions, a Guardian University Award and ISO14001 certification; as well as raising the university’s national and international reputation in this field. In particular, I have been able to engage and empower the university community and hope to do the same in my city.As a Bristol resident, I have benefitted enormously from the year of European Green Capital and subsequent events through the Bristol Green Capital Partnership and would be delighted to support this over the next two years. The diversity of our Bristol community is particularly important to me and I would like to ensure that Bristol Green Capital activities are accessible to all. I am currently a member of the Redcliff Forum, which is working to create a neighbourhood development plan which delivers the needs for the local community and wider city. I also sit on the Member Advisory Council of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges and convene their South West Regional Group.I believe that Bristol has a fantastic opportunity to continue to be at the forefront of city level sustainability leadership and that my leadership skills, passion and knowledge can help this happen
Philip Stott – YTKO (Project Director)
When I was 10 years old Captain Planet was my hero. A blue cartoon eco-hero with red underpants. The cartoon had exciting fight scenes, a thumping soundtrack and a killer catch phrase… Go Planet! Why do I mention this now? Well the best part of Captain Planet was that it taught children about recycling without them even knowing it. In turn they would bully their parents into sorting the rubbish. It was sustainability by stealth. As an adult I have spent the last 10 years working with Government on a number of sustainability projects to help the UK meet its carbon targets. Most of this work has looked at buildings and how we use them – which equates for 1/2 UK emissions – but I always felt that we were missing the demand, and excitement, for going green. We don’t value sustainability highly enough. We see it as a badge – be it waste, water, energy generation, energy efficiency or resource resilience – it is a chore, a barrier, an obligation. What we need to do is make sustainability a no-brainer. Build a strong enough business case so that people in their work and home life see sustainability as an exciting, cost-efficient, way of securing the future for their children. My credentials for saying this: I have led over £43m of green projects, I won the 2012 Green Build Breakthrough award, I helped to write the Bonfield Review, I saved over 1m tonnes of carbon, I am a member of the Energy Managers Association, I made over 14,000 construction businesses care about energy, I made the biggest waste company in the country aware of energy, I cut energy bills for 1m homes, I sit on the Green Construction Board and, most importantly, I can sing the entire of the Captain Planet theme tune.