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2014 RSA Student and Early Career Conference Plenary Speakers

Regional Studies Association Early Career Conference 2014 – Sheffield, UK

Plenary Session Speaker

Professor Gillian Bristow, Cardiff University, UK

Gillian is a Professor in Economic Geography with research interests in the areas of regional economic development; regional economic resilience; local and regional competitiveness; devolution finance; regional economic change and restructuring; and the evaluation and analysis of UK and EU public policy in relation to regional and rural development objectives.

She is also Deputy Director of the Centre for Economic Geography, a member of the ESRC’s Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE), managing editor of the Regions and Cities Book Series and one of the editors of Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy.

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Plenary Session Speaker

Professor Martin Jones, University of Sheffield, UK

Professor Martin Jones joined the Department of Geography in September 2013 as Director of the White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre (WRDTC)—an ESRC-funded consortium between the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds and York—and as Professor of Urban and Regional Political Economy.

Martin previously held positions at Aberystwyth University: Chair in Human Geography (from 2004); Pro Vice-Chancellor (from 2009) with portfolio experience in research, enterprise, engagement, and the student experience; and Co-Director of the ESRC-Welsh Government-funded, Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD). Before this, he was a Simon Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, after graduating from Manchester with a BA (1992) and PhD (1997) in Human Geography.

Martin is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and Academician, Academy of the Social Sciences (AcSS) – elected for his contributions to human geography and to policy debates on the economic development sector. He received an Honorary Professorial position (Docentship) in Oulu, Finland, in recognition for research on the ‘geography of regions’ and was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Geography, which is a mark of international scholarship and distinction. Martin is the originator and co-editor of the journal Territory, Politics, Governance, plays an active role in learned societies through the Regional Studies Association, has been a research associate of several policy organizations (CLES, LGIU, Unemployment Unit/CESI), and has given evidence to UK Government Select Committees on skills, business support, and regional development.

Martin is an interdisciplinary researcher, working in the broad area of society and space and specifically on the interface between economic and political geography. He is interested in the geographies of state and government intervention through economic and social policy in cities and regions, and subnational political economies therein.

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Plenary Session Speaker

Paul Hildreth, SURF – University of Salford, UK

Paul Hildreth joined SURF as Visiting Policy Fellow in September 2005. He is contributing to SURF through research, consultancy and dissemination work to understand the boundaries and scope of contemporary urban policy. In this capacity he is drawing on experience from his wider portfolio of consultancy and research.

SURF projects include advice on Newcastle-Gateshead’s economic development company, city-regional governance (for Core Cities), Science Cities and on city-regions in the North West Region. He provided the SURF contribution to ‘city relationships: economic linkages in Northern city regions’, published by the Northern Way in November 2009. Further studies are being undertaken to cover Hull and Humber Ports and three medium-sized cities in Denmark.

Until November 2009, Paul worked with the Department of Communities and Local Government, advising on their cities and regional development panel. He has undertaken research and policy projects for a variety of organisations, including the OECD, UNDP, the Work Foundation, Centre for Cities, The Northern Way, Keele University and East Sussex local authorities. In 2006 Paul was commissioned by the OECD and the Presidency of Galicia in Spain to develop a typology of medium-sized cities. He has developed this research in application to English medium-sized cities. He is currently updating this paper to take into account findings from his more recent research, including from publications on ‘place-shaping’, ‘city-links’ and ‘city relationships’.

Paul is a CABE Enabler. He is also an expert for the Council of Europe in local and regional development, working in Eastern Europe. He has advised on projects in Albania, Georgia, Serbia and Ukraine.

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Plenary Session Speaker

Sally Hardy, Regional Studies Association, UK

Sally Hardy is Chief Executive of the Regional Studies Association, having previously worked as a Higher Scientific Officer for the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council. The Regional Studies Association is an international learned society working on development and policy primarily at the sub-national level. The Association has a global membership and is about to open a Division and associated project office in China working with colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. A similar arrangement is shortly to be launched in the US following a successful pilot project with UCLA, California. Sally manages the Association’s extensive publishing portfolio including three hybrid journals and the recent launch of an innovative gold open access journal – Regional Studies, Regional Science. The Association recently became a research funder launching a scheme for early career researcher grants of £10k, twenty awards have been given to date. It also funds around 20 research networks. RSA hosts a large number of conferences and events each year recently in Brazil, Turkey, US, Finland and shortly to be held in Italy and China. Sally is particularly involved in the Association’s territorial expansion and its engagement with knowledge exchange where she works with colleagues in the European Commission, particularly DG Regio as well as with organisations such as the United Nations (RSA is an NGO), World Bank, OECD and Committee of the Regions. Sally leads on the RSA’s UK policy engagement work, currently working with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills on meetings in relation to their Future of Cities programme. Sally speaks regularly on behalf of the RSA but has become a commentator on open access publishing particularly where this impacts on the learned society sector.

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