|Catalina Quiroz-Niño||Natasha Almond||Margaret Meredith|
Catalina Quiroz-Niño, co-founder and co-director of Empower Training & Development social enterprise. She is experienced in designing participatory action learning, research projects and facilitation events together with academics, third sector practitioners and social entrepreneurs. Her work is focused on team trust building, working out multi-stakeholder consensus, conflict resolution, sustainable action plans and facilitative team leadership. Most of her work has been focused on multi-stakeholders´ ecosystems, organizational change, participatory governance within universities, social enterprises and charities within the UK and abroad.
She is an international facilitator applying ToP-ICA (Technology of Participation – Institute of Cultural Affairs). Her work has been carried out in Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Peru, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Currently, she is a visiting fellow at York St John University, UK. Catalina is an author of academic articles in Oxford University Press, Sustainability, Action-Research journals and Revista Cooperativismo y Desarrollo. She is a researcher-designer of projects and of building strategic alliances for Erasmus Mundus. Since 2012 she has secured and managed more than €2.5 million in Erasmus funding benefiting universities, charities, social enterprises.
Natasha Almond is experienced within the social enterprise development and social economy movement, and has a founded a of number of organisations and projects that attempt to address inequality. Natasha, is a freelancer who has contributed to the work of Empower Training and Development including; leading the UK research for the Erasmus Mundus Social and Solidarity Economy in Higher Education Project; facilitated workshops with Refugee Action York to address hate crime; York Timebank consensus strategy facilitation.
Natasha is experienced within Systems Thinking, Deep Democracy, Art of Hosting, and Asset Based Community Development, and has over 20 years of facilitation practice within creating comfortable spaces for diverse voices to come together to develop solutions to challenging issues. From an early foundation of supporting disadvantaged young people to have a voice in projects that challenged policies such as ‘Stop & Search’, Natasha went on to support change management within the youth services; created ‘Think Space’ that brought influencers of innovators together from across the community, voluntary and social enterprise sector in decisions that affect them; complex community problem-solving within North Yorkshire Police; a core facilitator in York’s Multiple Complex Needs Network ‘Cultural Values’ work that created a learning space to better understand the health of the systems and services which respond to those experiencing multiple complex needs; instigating in collaboration with York Design Week to pioneer, ‘ A place for me’ a unique experiment bringing people that have experienced homelessness, together with architects and designers to co-produce a blueprint for a transition accommodation.
Margaret is co-founder and co-director of Empower Training & Development, CIC along with Catalina. She co-designed and co-coordinated the Erasmus Mundus Social and Solidarity Economy in Higher Education Project on behalf of York St John University, UK.
She has worked in higher education for 20 years and is currently a senior lecturer at York St John University. Her PhD work focused on knowledge justice in higher education. She specialises in action research methodology which focuses on personal and practitioner research into our/their professional action towards social transformation. She has published work on social engagement in higher education, and on practical work to promote different forms of knowledge in higher education research.