Julian Tait

Chief executive officer

Julian is a passionate advocate for technologies that build stronger communities, encourage new forms of economic activity and give people a stake in decision-making.

He’s spent more than a decade creating projects that prove the benefits of open and accessible data.

While working at FutureEverything, Julian co-developed Manchester’s Open Data Cities programme, and he’s been involved with many local, national and international initiatives. He is a co-author of the Open Data Handbook, The Open Book and other papers. He is also on the board of directors.


Sam Milsom

Programme development manager

Sam designs and delivers ODM’s programme including training, workshops and projects such as Data for Communities and the lottery funded Our Streets Chorlton.

He is a skilled workshop facilitator with experience of making data accessible to ‘non-data people’ and building strong community and stakeholder engagement.

Previously Sam has worked for Code Club and ReadingWise. In 2011, he co-founded Time/Image Online, responsible for the digitisation and cataloguing of the British Council’s film archive. He can sometimes be heard co-hosting the Tech For Good Live podcast.



Sophie Walker

Project manager

Sophie is the COO and co-founder of Dsposal a clean-tech company, which along with its sister social enterprise Your Dsposal, is on a mission is to empower people to make better decisions with their resources and waste by increasing transparency and accountability to make a positive impact on our environment.

Prior to founding Dsposal, Sophie gained a degree in Conflict Resolution, cycled 8,700 miles around North America and enjoyed a winding career encompassing supply chain, the food industry and sustainability.

She is shortlisted for the NPW Outstanding Entrepreneur award 2020, was voted joint 5th in the 2019 Resource Hot 100, is group coordinator of the Waste Compliance Taskforce and an alumna of the CSC Leaders Programme.


Matt Pullen

User researcher

Matt is a User Researcher for Open Data Manchester and Co-Founder of Curo Carers.He has worked on projects across the sectors of health & social care, sustainability and education. Helping reimagine community care with the NHS, create mentoring schemes for disadvantaged students and build Venture Capital invested startups.He has completed a number of entrepreneurial development programmes including Year Here and New Entrepreneurs Foundation, which have developed his user-centred design skills and business acumen.Work aside, he enjoys Tony’s Chocoloney and Fantasy Premier League.


Maura Hunt

Data Architect

Maura is a PhD candidate in the Decision and Cognitive Science Research Centre at the University of Manchester. She is writing her thesis on cognitive shortcuts used in decision support systems.

Before her doctoral studies, Maura received her MSc in Business Analytics – Operational Research and Risk Analysis at the University of Manchester. She also completed aBSc in Psychological Sciences at Kent State University in the USA.

Maura’s research interests include multi-criteria optimisation, rationality, cognitive and resource constraints, human-computer interaction, open-source software (mainly in R programming language) and open-science practices.

Personally, she likes to watch Netflix, explore cute coffee shops, go hiking and travel.


Shanice Blair

Office manager

Clara is a ‘tech for good’ user researcher based in Manchester. She has worked with clients in a variety of spaces, such as education, social care and homelessness.

She currently works with Diverse and Equal researching issues around ethnic diversity in tech, as well as upskilling people in Agile, User-centred Design and Research.

In her past life, Clara got a Master’s degree in Digital Media Management at Hyper Island, as well as a PGCE in Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University.

In her spare time, Clara likes to crochet, eat chips and go hiking!


Doctor Phoenix Andrews

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Data – Research Lead

Coming soon

Board of directors


Michelle Brook


Until January 2020, Michelle was Vice-President and UK Managing Director of The Democratic Society, before leaving to work as a consultant supporting NGOs and charities to work better with communities and citizens.

She is currently developing and implementing the community strategy for the ground-breaking Icebreaker One project, bringing together financial institutions, academics, and NGOs to explore how open and shared data can deliver innovative financing for a carbon-zero future.

With prior roles at Cambridge University and Open Knowledge Foundation, Michelle is passionate about increasing access to knowledge and social justice, and empowering individuals and communities to have their voices heard.


Nathan Day

As a co-founder of data startup Rockshore Ltd in 2004, Nathan was heavily involved in the early open data movement in Manchester, where he worked with national government and the transport sector to liberate real-time information.

Nathan is a member of the Manchester Tech Trust and is active in a number of mentoring programmes, nurturing local talent and developing local businesses.


Linda Humphries

Linda is founder and chief executive of Paper Frogs Ltd, which provides digital and open-standards advisory services.

She was head of The Federation digital and social innovation hub in Manchester and continues to work on delivering the Federation Programme along with other partners.

She was previously a senior technology adviser at the Government Digital Service, where she devised the UK government’s Open Standards principles and worked to ensure interoperability across Europe. She now co-chairs the UK Government’s Open Standards Board.

Linda is also chair of 360Giving’s stewardship committee, which maintains an open-data standard for charities’ decision-making.


Doctor Caroline Jay

Caroline Jay is a reader in computer science at the University of Manchester. She is both a qualified psychologist (BA, CPsychol) and a computer scientist (MSc, PhD), and undertakes research crossing these domains. Caroline is the research director of the UKRI Software Sustainability Institute, and is an advocate for open and reproducible research.

She is also a fellow of the city’s Alan Turing Institute, and leads her university’s arm of the BBC Data Science Research Partnership.


Alison MacKenzie-Folan

Alison is Wigan Council’s chief executive. She is passionate about public services and is determined to make a difference for her residents. That’s why she’s committed to collaboration, innovation and technology, and inspiring new female leaders.

Alison is a board member of Unify Credit Union and a digital spokesperson for local government network SOLACE. She was named in Northern Power Women’s 2017 Power List and, in 2019, Wigan Council won the Large Organisation award for its diversity work, as well as being named Local Government Chronical’s Council of the Year.


Professor Farida Vis

Director of the Visual Social Media Lab, where she leads interdisciplinary research on social media images at the intersection of academia and industry. She has researched social media since 2005.

She is Professor of Digital Media at the Manchester School of Art. Prior to this she was a Faculty Research Fellow for five years in the Information School at the University of Sheffield.

She has a PhD in Media and Communication from the Manchester School of Art and is a regular public speaker. She grows her own food and for the last ten years has on and off been training to become a horse whisperer.


Jamie Whyte

Jamie has been a director since Open Data Manchester became a community interest company. Before this, he helped run the community’s activities.

Jamie has worked with open data for eight years, first in local authorities, now through Propolis, his own company. He has advised on and delivered projects with government, charities and companies.

As a civic technologist, Jamie is passionate about making sure people understand that data is used to make decisions about them – but they can use it to support their own goals.

Jamie has three children, cooks and walks, and is a trustee of a local multi-academy trust.

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