We are thrilled to welcome Lisa Groves to the CTP team as Head of Research, Data and Insight. As she steps into her new role, Lisa shares her reflections on the value of place-based insight and building connections.
I’ve been lucky to live, work and travel across many different parts of the UK – experiencing a wonderful diversity of natural environments, communities and cultures. I grew up in Sheffield and now live just outside Edinburgh, having also lived in Manchester, Leamington Spa and London. These places have played a huge role in shaping who I am, my life experiences and opportunities, and what is important to me.
Professionally, over my two decades in research, I’ve explored what matters to people across many parts of Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England – from talking to communities in the Outer Hebrides about the importance of the Gaelic language and culture, to hearing from residents of Hackney about the challenges they face in living healthy lives. This work has been fascinating, inspiring and very rewarding.
My previous roles include leading research for the BBC’s Nations and Regions on local representation, identity and community. I also worked as an independent consultant and for influential impact consultancies, working with a range of public, private and third sector organisations such as the Department of Health, Scottish Government, Green Finance Institute, Fairtrade, IKEA and VISA.
All of these roles have shown me how every place is unique, and that uniqueness matters – to people themselves and to understanding what will make a difference for them.
I’ve also seen and heard from communities on the increasing challenges they are facing, whether it’s the cost of living, poor housing, lack of green spaces, health inequalities, or declining local businesses and services. And their frustration with an economic decision-making system that feels completely disconnected from their realities and needs.
‘The need and appetite for strong local evidence has never been greater’
As the accumulation of challenges – within communities, nationally and globally – becomes harder to ignore, more people are waking up to the need to tackle wellbeing in a more holistic way. The importance of thinking and acting at a local systems level is thankfully also coming to the fore. The need and appetite for strong local evidence has never been greater. So I’m delighted to join the team at CTP – a leader in place-based insight and building practical tools and guidance to provide a compass for local decision makers, as well as communities and other place-based actors to think and act holistically.
I also value the importance CTP places on increasing connections, knowledge flows and collaborating at interconnected levels – from supporting regional networks to share learnings through to working in UK-wide partnerships to influence thinking on key policy areas. We cannot solve these complex, interconnected problems in siloes of disciplines and sectors. I’m delighted to be working for an organisation that truly has this open, networked mindset.
I am looking forward to getting to know many of CTP’s partners, allies and associates over the coming months and finding new ways to strengthen our connections. Please do get in touch at email@example.com or connect with me here.
If you’d like to find out more about how the CTP can support your place to move to a wellbeing economy please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for our newsletter. If you are interested in becoming one of our CTP associates you can find more information here.