Conference speakers

Jonathan Breckon

Jonathan _breckon

Jonathan Brekcon is Head of the Alliance for Useful Evidence a partnership which seeks to champion the need for useful evidence, providing a focal point for improving and extending the use of social research and evidence in the UK.

Jonathan has 15 years experience in policy, research and public affairs. His expertise lies particularly in brokering relationships between decision-makers and researchers from across disciplines - social sciences, engineering, science and the humanities.

He joined Nesta from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) where he was Director of Policy and Public Affairs. He has also worked at the Royal Geographical Society, the British Academy, Universities UK and as a consultant working on a government-funded project developing quantitative skills in the social sciences.

Dr. Clive Grace OBE


Clive is part of the ESRC Local Government Knowledge Navigator, a two year project steered by Solace, the LGA and the ESRC to bring the research and local government communities closer together.

Clive is a former CEO of Torfaen CBC and Director-General of the Audit Commission.  He is a non-executive Director of Nominet.  He is also Chair of UK Shared Business Services Ltd,  and Chair of the Board of BT Wales, He is an experienced international consultant, specialising in public services, governance and the practice and policy of performance management.  

He is Senior Advisor to the Forum of Federations, and does extensive work on decentralisation, civil service reform and public services benchmarking in Tunisia, Nepal, and elsewhere.  He is an Honorary Research Fellow in international public services at Cardiff Business School. 

Sarah Jennings


Sarah is Director of Digital and Community Engagement at CapacityGrid Knowledge Hub. She’s responsible for the Knowledge Hub, an online collaboration space for cross-sector collaboration focused on sharing good practice, ideas generation and supporting public sector transformation.

Sarah is a founder member of LocalGov Digital, leads the Digital Leaders North West network and is involved in a range of local, national and government-led digital initiatives.

Previously Head of Digital at the LGA, Sarah has worked at various government, education and science institutions in roles spanning digital, communications, information and knowledge management.





Kim Ryley

Kim _ryleyKim Ryley has 35 years experience in local public service,with 14 of these as a Chief Executive in several large City and Unitary Councils. He is a recent Past President of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Solace,UK), is a Solace Board Director, and is currently Chair of the Society's business arm,Solace in Business,as well as the Society's Lead on International Relations.

Kim is also a Trustee of the Leadership Centre for Public Services and a member of the International Committee of the International City Managers Association in the USA. He is a frequent speaker on Local Government transformation and leadership issues at events in the UK and internationally,and is the founder director of the freelance management consultancy,Torque Leadership Associates Ltd.

Lynn Naven

Lynne -navenLynn provides research expertise across the Glasgow Centre for Population Health's work theme of ‘Poverty, Disadvantage and the Economy’ and contributes child poverty input to the Understanding Glasgow health and wellbeing indicators.

She was lead researcher on the evaluation of the Healthier, Wealthier, Children (HWC) project and continues to represent GCPH on a number of partner advisory and working groups related to child poverty.

More recently, Lynn took on the role of Project Manager of the 'Right Here, Right Now' project, aimed at capturing, in real time, people’s lived experiences amidst rapid social and economic change, in order to inform policymaking and enable early action.

Rebecca Riley

Bec -bw3

Rebecca is the Knowledge Exchange Director and has been helping practitioners and policy makers make decisions and develop solutions for nearly 20 years. She has delivered over 200 research, digital and information projects to the public sector and has a particular interest in using evidence for decision-making, making research accessible and ensuring it has impact.

Prior to Idox Rebecca was Head of Research at the North West Development Agency for seven years leading the NWDA's research activity, developing and delivering external and internal research programmes totalling £6m and managing the Economic, Information and Intelligence Teams.

An experienced chair and facilitator she has been a member of national groups such as the Cross Government Skills Committee, National RDA Economic Group as well as locally a member of the New Economy Editorial Board and North West Research Managers Group.

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Tim Allen

41497_1318791180_9024_nTim is owner of two consultancies offering research, consultancy and training services. He combines this with postgraduate teaching, and various roles in government and academia. Previously, Tim was Local Government Association research director and prior to that, a senior civil servant who led policy reviews for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Treasury. 

Tim’s background includes being an executive board member at the Countryside Agency responsible for helping to create a new organization and various roles in private and public sector property management, and knowledge transfer in modernizing UK agriculture and reducing the environmental footprint. He has worked with the EU, OECD, European local government organizations, and been advisor on pre and post EU accession projects in Poland.

Tim is a Chartered Surveyor, visiting fellow at Cranfield University, visiting professor at Birkbeck, member of the Local Public Data Panel, chairs the Centre for Population Change Advisory Group based in Southampton and St Andrews Universities, is a member of Public Policy@Southampton, and works in various capacities with UK research councils. 

Investing in Knowledge Conference

To celebrate 40 years of supporting policymakers and practitioners, the Idox Knowledge Exchange is hosting evidence networking events in Glasgow and London this December.