Catalyst is evolving
Since we started in 2019 we have been incubated by a charitable organisation, CAST. The initial stewards were people who developed and led Catalyst over its first two years and during the height of the pandemic.
In 2022, we recruited a Steering Group to continue to help us steward and govern the next phase of Catalyst, the members of which are included on this page.
We hired two new Producers in December 2021, who are leading our current strategic review in collaboration with the network. Read more about Catalyst's Producers.
We have an extended team of freelancers who support our work.
Ellie is fascinated by technology’s power to transform lives, systems and mentality. She is exploring how we can better navigate social and environmental change with both tech and governance that is more conscious, collaborative and caring.
Ellie has been a member of Catalyst’s incubating organisation, CAST, since 2016. A keen network-builder and connector, she developed and led the Digital Fellowship programme for charity leaders and Design Hops (originally face-to-face training), in partnership with facilitators and infrastructure bodies across the country. During the pandemic she helped map and mobilise Catalyst’s ecosystem into a series of coordinated crisis responses. She led a team providing skills, relational and grant support to 223 grantees and 60+ digital partners.
As Catalyst’s inaugural ‘new team’ member, she worked with Stewards Cat Ainsworth, Dan Sutch, Nick Stanhope and Tessa Cooper to lay the groundwork for its next phase: designing participatory, network-led governance experiments; securing support from its founding funders for the continuation, momentum and transition of Catalyst; and recruiting her ace co-Producers, Jo and Siana.
She co-runs and nurtures peer communities including Tech for Good London, Tech for Good Brighton and Agencies for Good.
Outside of Catalyst, she is a proud Trustee of Quaker Social Action, volunteer with Animal Free Research UK and AnimalAid, and a qualified tower crane operator.
Jo has worked in the tech sector for over a decade within a range of contexts from large corporate organisations to lean startups. She noticed a lack of diversity in the tech sector and felt the impact of this. Directly experiencing the consequences of this inequality led her to Co-Found InnovateHer, a pioneering organisation with a mission to tackle the gender imbalance within the digital and tech sector through educational programmes for girls aged 13-16, and campaigning. After establishing and growing this social enterprise for over 6 years as a Director, Jo joined Catalyst as a Producer in December 2021.
Fascinated by the possibilities and opportunities emerging from the pandemic, Jo followed a calling to get involved in co-creating societal change. Jo believes that everything is interconnected and draws a lot of inspiration from nature and ecosystems. Working at the intersection of technology, systems change and supporting civil society excites Jo. Her contribution as a Producer at Catalyst is centred around developing Strategy and figuring out how we might transition into a new identity, in response to what the sector needs today.
Jo is currently learning British Sign Language (BSL) and is passionate about accessibility and inclusion. She currently leads Catalyst’s inclusion work with support from external partners, and is fascinated by the possibilities which can emerge when we are collectively working in an open-hearted and values-led way.
Megan is passionate about the power of charities and other social sector organisations and how they can collaborate and be supported to lead change.
She worked for 18 years at NCVO, most recently as director of strategy and transformation, where she drove significant change, including a radical and ambitious programme to scale NCVO’s impact through technology and digital approaches without increasing its cost base, and transforming NCVO into a more responsive and member-focused organisation.
Strategy design, development and implementation is the thread that has run through her career, from seven years developing support programmes for charities to help them develop strategies to respond to a changing world, followed by seven years focussing particularly on the impact and potential of digital and technology, and then leading the development of a coherent and compelling new strategy for NCVO.
Megan loves to work with curious, caring, and ambitious people, who value working in the open, sharing and collaborating. Alongside the creativity of setting strategies, just as important to Megan is the hard work of planning how to deliver; how to make the greatest impact with what are always finite resources and changing ways of working in subtle or fundamental ways.
Megan is an East Londoner, amateur musician (mainly choral singing these days) and Mum of two.
Anders currently works as Learning Design Manager at the Scouts. He wasa Scout in Denmark for 20 years – joining at age 6, and went on to become aScout leader for 10-23 year olds, a District Commissioner, as well as holding manyother volunteer roles both with the Scouts and other organisations. Forexample, he spent around a decade working and volunteering for an internationalorganisation with a mission to educate and inspire action for a more just andpeaceful world. He has had a fondness for volunteering since he was a teenagerand has sat on various boards and committees in the intervening years as well -from local, to national right up to international level.
Before his current job, he worked as theinternational head of safety and safeguarding for a global charity, and priorto that, as a researcher and lecturer of Education and Psychology. You can seethe full detail on his LinkedIn profile.
He has been a bit of an IT nerd since he was akid, and has worked and volunteered in the Charity sector since he was a teenager.He has always been passionate about using digital technologies for good. Heeven focused his studies and research on understanding how digital technologiesaffect people in our everyday lives. So considering his passion for digital,his experience in the Charity sector and his love of advisory and governancework, the Steering Group for Catalyst seemed like a perfect opportunity.
Jumoke is a Nigerian-born British woman who wants to travel and eat her way around the world. Having contracted polio at a young age, Jumoke has learned to adapt to her surroundings and make the most out of every opportunity. One half of Triple Cripples (AJ+, iNews), she is fluent in two languages and currently working on her third. A writer & speaker (Guardian, Black Ballad, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge).
Jumoke writes and speaks on her experiences as a Black, Disabled woman. Given the focus of the organisation’s work being the impact of the media on multiply marginalised people, she is currently doing her Masters on these topics. She recently contributed a chapter to 'Homonationalism, Femonationalism and Ablenationalism: Critical Pedagogies Contextualised' on the topic of Ablenationalism. When not busy speaking, writing, and studying, Jumoke spends her time being an absolute force of nature, a professional baby girl, a Yorubaddie, if you will.
Kate is a Communications Specialist & Systems Change Steward, she is currently contributing to the development of ARAEA’s Anti-Racist Art Education Checklists. Her training in Fine Arts has informed her creative approach to strategic communications at national charity, Changing Lives, where she works as a communications and Digital Inclusion specialist. Kate supports radical systems change work that seeks better outcomes for people in need (York MCN Network and Catalyst).
Kate also co-coordinates York Anti-Racist Collective (YARC), a grass roots collective, which focuses on using creative practices to facilitate healing, meanwhile building a community of people from the global majority in the North.
Kate wanted to join the Catalyst steering group as the work Catalyst aims to do perfectly intersect her experience in systems change and Digital Inclusion. Additionally, the organisation’s ethos is one which naturally aligns with hers, and she hopes to be part of what she thinks will be some challenging, strategic decision making and process, that ultimately will enable positive impact for thousands of individuals, charities. She is aware of the vital role this work will play in the systems herself and many others work and operate in.
For the past 10 years Kate has been helping to set up and run Shared Assets CIC, a think and do tank working to create a more just land system through practical projects that reconnect people and land. She has recently stepped back from that role and become freelance. She is helping establish a spin-out from Shared Assets, the Digital Commons Cooperative, as a mapping and data software community tech start up, and it's this work that has sparked her interest in the digital world.
She has enjoyed building her understanding of the tech landscape and particularly the critical tech and civic tech worlds, and had been following Catalyst's work with interest, so she was really excited to see this role come up!Her main area of expertise is around governance - both as an adviser to complex land-based projects on governance models, and also as an experienced trustee and non-exec director.
She is really interested in governance as a potentially transformational force, and is particularly interested in the organisational processes that we use, and how they can move us away from systems of dominance and control. At Shared Assets she and her colleagues spent a lot of time thinking about how they worked and she is so excited to learn from all the work Catalyst has been doing in this area too!
Social entrepreneur Lauren Coulman is the founder of Noisy Cricket, a systems change agency and social innovation hub. Working to co-create solutions to social issues and proliferate reciprocally nurturing systems, Lauren and the team bring together people in communities and organisations across industry and sector to explore new possibilities around homelessness and financial insecurity to responsible tech and progressive grant making.
Whether working with clients or developing ventures in-house, Lauren's work as a strategist and facilitator is focused on pushing boundaries in community engagement, organisational transformation and systems convening.
Meet Linda, a digital specialist and founder of Paper Frogs Ltd, whereshe is a catalyst for unlocking opportunities that encourage innovation whilstbenefiting society.
A former chief of staff in Co-op Group, she washead of The Federation – a co-working space for digital and social innovatorsin Manchester. She worked to connect ideas, people and organisations, fosteringcollaboration that helped social enterprises and charities to meet theirobjectives.
Her passion for openness and collaborativeworking was put to good use during her time as a senior technology adviser tothe UK Government's Chief Technology Officer in the Government Digital Service.She led the development of the Open Standards Principles, first published in2012 to worldwide acclaim, putting users of government services at the heart.She is a board member for Open Data Manchester CIC, working to create afairer world built on responsible and intelligent data use. She co-chairs theUK Government's Open Standards Board and chairs the 360Giving data standardcommittee, supporting effective decision-making in the grant-making sector.
Her professional experience aligns withCatalyst’s work helping UK civil society grow digital skills and approaches.She is excited by their shift towards more equitable leadership and is lookingforward to exploring and growing together.
Pema is a strategic business leader, with over 25 years’ experience helping to build out and scale new businesses, ventures, and teams, and implement new strategies. She has worked in a variety of sectors, as a consultant, and a senior leader driving organisational change and transformation. Most recently she spent 8 years at EY, as the Strategy and Operations Leader, helping to build out the Global Managed Services business, including putting in place the right people, infrastructure, processes, and other organisational capabilities for what is now a business more than $10bn. She led the teams responsible for Brand, Marketing and Communications, Analyst Relations, Finance, Business Operations, and Change Project Management and spent time in India building out the operations there.
Pema is an active volunteer for many organisations she supports in the NFP sector, spanning a variety of issues, including tech, gender equality and LGBTQI. She is currently a trustee of CAST, the tech-for-good organisation, and in her role, she has learnt about Catalyst and its mission. The mission and values of Catalyst and its impressive cadre of diverse female leaders had led to her being keen to play a role in not only helping to guide and steer the evolution of Catalyst, but also acting as a bridge between CAST and Catalyst in its transition.