Ambassador: Tom Henfrey
- Current role:
- Academic (research)
- Durham University
- Natural environment
Following doctoral research on indigenous forest management in Amazonia, I helped found an ecovillage in Spain while working in solar power installation and cross-media production, before returning to academia to teach anthropology at Durham University in 2008. At Durham, I was Theme Leader in Energy and Environment in the North East Beacon for Public Engagement, setting up a Research Programme for Resilient Low Carbon Communities in the Durham Energy Institute, and work closely with the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action.
I currently coordinate an AHRC-funded project on how academic research can support the practical aims of the Transition movement, co-coordinate the Transition Research Network, am a member of the Permaculture Association’s Research Advisory Board (and apprentice in applied permaculture design), an active member of Transition Durham, and sit on the board of two regional social enterprises dedicated to community-owned renewable energies.
Describe the public engagement work you have done
My work focuses on collaborations between university researchers and social and environmental activism. I was theme leader in Energy and Environment in Beacon North East, I initiated a research programme for resilient low carbon communities within the Durham Energy Institute (DEI) and was part of the NCCPE-funded Co-Inquiry Action Research group, to which I submitted a case study on local food research. In 2010 I was awarded a prize for outreach in the community by the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health at Durham University. I and have since become part of the Durham University Community Research Team
I currently coordinate a pilot demonstrator project in the AHRC’s Connected Communities programme, a collaboration between academics at four universities and staff at the Transition Network, and initiated the Transition Research Network, a natonal collaborative inquiry network on Transition. I am also active in Transition locally, including coordinating a research working group for Transition Durham, and a member of the Permaculture Association’s Research Advisory Board.
I am director in two companies dedicated to community renewable energy – Northern Community Power CIC and County Durham Community Energy CIC – and seek to make their work an outlet for relevant research within DEI.
Name: Tom Henfrey