Keynote and Panel Speakers
Professor of Regional Development Studies (Emeritus), Newcastle University
John founded and led the University’s Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) from 1977 to 1998. He was subsequently appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor until his retirement in 2008. In that role he had special responsibility for the University’s city and regional engagement and chaired the group of six English Science Cities. John has led reviews of regional engagement by individual Finnish universities for the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council and acted as academic leader of the OECD Institutional Management in Higher Education programme (IMHE) on universities and city and regional development. John is a member of the Mirror Group advising the Commission’s Smart Specialisation Platform and has been a member of the Steering Committee for the European Universities Association (EUA) programme on collaborative research and the academic leader of an EU Lifelong Learning Programme on building regional partnerships between universities, business and public authorities. He has facilitated a partnership between the EUA and the Smart Specialisation Platform at the EU Joint Research Centre JRC/ITPS, has been chair of the Advisory Group on Widening Participation in Horizon 2020, a member of the Advisory Group on Science With and For Society and has advised the Economic and Social Committee on ‘Universities for Europe’. He has been a member of an EU Research Programme consortium investigating Smart Specialisation led by Professor Kevin Morgan at Cardiff University and has completed a study also with Cardiff University and Imperial College for DG Education and Culture on university collaboration with business through education. He has worked with this DG and the JRC to establish a new programme of work on Higher Education and Smart Specialisation (HESS) and has joined the Advisory Board for this initiative. In 2015 he joined the UNESCO sponsored Global Network for Universities and Innovation as co-editor of their next publication Towards Socially Responsible Higher Education: Globally and Locally Engaged. In 2017 he was appointed by the European Insititute of Technology(EIT) as an evaluator of ‘knowledge triangle integration’ within the first round of Knowledge and Innovation. Within Newcastle John has been chairman of the Executive Committee of Universities for the North East and has advised the North East England Local Economic Partnership on its smart specialisation strategy. He has coordinated with Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones a national network of universities that were part of the Foresight Future of Cities programme under the Office of the Chief Scientist and co-directed with Mark a Newcastle City Futures programme.