Welcoming Rowan to the SFCIC team

As Shared Future grows and takes on new projects and challenges we have been recruiting two new staff members.

Rowan has replaced Maria as our project officer. We have also recruited Samuel to focus on our comms and outreach, particularly growing our participatory budgeting work, as well as supporting some of our deliberative democracy work.

As a way of introduction we asked Rowan some questions about why he wanted to work for us, and his hopes and aspirations.

What have you done previously that really inspires you?

Although early in my career, I have explored climate and ecological issues from a range of perspectives: as an archaeologist and historian, a graduate in security studies, a communications assistant in an intergovernmental organisation, an energy transitions analyst, and most recently, through deliberative democracy. I’ve learnt a lot, but I’d still struggle to call myself an ‘expert’. 

I’ve had my fair share of “imposter syndrome” when moving between disciplines and roles. Working for Shared Future has really allowed me to appreciate the value of diverse perspectives – our jury members are a testament to that! It’s precisely this kind of joined-up thinking which will allow us to tackle the climate crisis and get everybody on the same page.

How’s it felt working at Shared Future so far?

I really enjoy working with Pete, Jez, Jayne, and Samuel, and I can honestly say I’ve learnt a lot already over the past 2 months. I’m glad to be back in a small, tight-knit team – I really feel like I can help shape the future of the organisation! 

It’s also great to see Shared Future’s sessions leave a lasting impression on the jury members, many of whom are already asking “what next?”. Doubtless, we are planting the seeds of change.

If you could dream, what could we do together that could make a real difference?

Where do I begin? I think there are so many interesting questions to be explored through deliberative processes. 

Wearing my archaeologist hat, I’d love to explore the stories we tell about our colonial past. Should we dismantle slave trader statues? Should we repurpose or rehome them? Can they tell a different story? As a former archaeologist, I have my own ideas – but these may not align with what the public thinks! 

Naturally, I’m optimistic about the role of deliberative processes in addressing climate change. But there have now been many climate juries and assemblies across the UK, with mixed results. We need new ideas about how to keep our processes fresh, ask different questions, and ensure the accountability of representatives. Our work in Bude and Blackburn with Darwen is just the start!