Peter Anderson
Social entrepreneur & founder of VocalEyes & LocalEyes
(Founding Director : Innovation, Sales, Marketing)
http://petera.co.uk/cvhttp://www.shirewebdev.org.ukhttp://www.shireinitiative.org

Peter has worked on a voluntary basis as a “social entrepreneur” for the past eight years. His focus has been mainly on projects that will stimulate community building, empowerment and that are a catalyst for social interaction at local level as the regeneration of our communities lies at the heart of many of the major issues of our time, including peak oil, climate change, social degradation and a failing economy.

To facilitate the development of his work, in 2003 Peter set up “The Shire Initiative” as a social profit company limited by guarantee. The Shire Initiative’s main aim is to facilitate innovative community building projects that are focused primarily at the local level.  More specifically, Peter has been focusing on innovative local social networks and democratic projects. Since then both LocalEyes and VocalEyes have been recognised by no.10 as having “Revolutionary” potential. read more…

Spiro Stathakis

IT Systems Manager at Cardiff University.
(Technical Director)

An IT systems manager for a neuro imaging centre at Cardiff University. I manage an infrastructure consisting of a network of around 50 workstations, 75 high performance clustered compute nodes, a 45 terrabyte storage array and an accompanying backup system.  I adapt Linux to work with the University’s information systems and also develop software to assist neuro scientists with their research. I also design database systems to manage the day to day business of the Department. I am currently embarked on a PhD programme and my research interests concern scaling fault tolerant systems to operate within an exascale computing environment.
My involvement with the LocalEyes project originates from the belief that existing democratic structures and institutions are out of touch with grass roots opinion and to some extent no longer work in the interests of citizens. The ubiquity of networked aware technology can facilitate a communication process to bring people and communities together for a common cause or consenus that can gradually feed back up to policy making levels.

Melvyn Wallis
Community activist, passionate about empowerment & democracy as this is a major part of the solution to some of the big problems we face in society today.
(Director : Corporate Relations)

Melvyn has been a committed grass roots activist since the late 1960’s when he first engaged in the radical youth politics of that era and he is a committed democratic who firmly believes that the Internet and mobile telephony have the potential to radicalise the way individuals will, in the future, engage in decision making and the civic affairs of their local communities.

For many years Melvyn worked with tenants of inner city London council estates to campaign for improved housing conditions and better living standards and he knows all too well why it is necessary to build strong local groups if communities are to thrive, which is the principle reason why he so strongly supports the need for LocalEyes.

Brian Seage OBE, BA (Hons), MInstF
Chartered accountant and experienced charity fund raiser
(Company secretary, fund raiser & accountant)

Former Royal Marines Officer with wide experience of Operations and Logistics. Reskilled in Finance and has worked in Accountancy, Audit, Business Management and most recently as CEO of a specialised charity raising funds for medical research. Currently working as an Independent Consultant in the 3rd Sector.

Advisory Board

Jim Cowan
Specialist in Community Development
(Chair to the Advisory Board)

Dr Cowan has recently retired from 38 years of community development premised on:

Communities and networks of people always have a story going on: it is what defines the experience of being in the community or network. Sometimes, but not always, that story needs to be heard by local services. It is not entirely clear how that can happen. Getting that to happen so local services feel they have to respond has been my 38 years of work

This work has encompassed communities on estates, family support groups, challenging racism in services, learning disabilities, carers, people with neurological conditions, Deaf people, people using traditional home care services, and meaningful involvement of service users.

As well as community development Dr Cowan has a background in equalities, information systems and research. The 38 years has involved experience from within the range of local public services AND comprehensive experience of local voluntary sector arrangements.

As well as `the day job` Dr Cowan has gained 5 degrees: a first degree from Keele University, an MSc from Bath University, as well as a Diploma in Management Studies and an MBA from London South Bank University. Dr Cowan received his Doctorate from London South Bank University in 2005. This was a social constructionist study drawing on the work of John Shotter and Ann Cunliffe. The main reason for doing the PhD was to address the question of why virtually nothing has been written about the worlds of work local public sector practitioners are engaged in.

In retirement Dr Cowan is preparing a blog, podcasts and eventually a publication communicating the very worlds so little has been written about.

Dr Cowan has written two books and a range of academic papers some of which have been published in journals. Dr Cowan is honorary visiting senior research fellow with London South Bank University.

Ben Matis
Lead GUI advisor, developer
webeno – webdesign, webhosting

I’m a self-taught website designer, web app developer trying to help wherever possible. Learning new languages with ease, let it be programming, or in general other logical / technical systems, along with my attention to detail and analytical skills, multi-language interest and expertise, and, nonetheless, my sometimes extreme hunger for solutions got me through a couple of key positions mostly in support organizations of mammoth companies. My motto has always been: nothing is impossible, everything is manageable!