Advisory Board

An advisory board made up of co-operators, co-operative development professionals and academics oversees the direction and contribution of the Institute to the field of co-operative studies.
Current members include:

Alex Bird

Alex Bird – currently Board Chair. Alex works as a freelance researcher and consultant to various co-operative, credit union and social economy agencies.  He also chairs Co-operatives and Mutuals Wales, works closely with the Wales Co-operative Centre. Alex is a Member of the Institution of Economic Development and an Associate of the Institute of Business Consultants, with over 30 years’ experience of working in and around co-operative enterprise.

Professor Tom Keenoy

Professor Tom Keenoy - Professor Emeritus at Leicester University, School of Management. Tom’s current research interests include: organizational discourse analysis, the changing temper of sensemaking in academic work, the social construction of HRM, time and organisation, and the co-construction of management in co-operative organization.

John Maddocks

John Maddocks – currently the research director for the Centre of Excellence in Accounting and Reporting for Co-operatives (CEARC). He holds a masters degree in management (co-operatives and credit unions) from Saint Mary’s University, Nova Scotia, Canada and his current research projects include development of a non-mandatory international Statement of Recommended Practice (iSORP) for Accounting and Reporting by Co-operatives. John joined CICS in 2009.


Dr. Molly Scott Cato

Molly is a reader in green economics at Cardiff School of Management and an expert in the social economy who specialises in the issues of trade, work, money and cooperatives. She has published widely on themes connected with money, financial matters and the social economy and is active in building bioregional economies. Molly has been director of the Institute since 2007 and her Wales based work has included PhD research into Tower Colliery workers’ co-operative, work on young people working in the cultural industries with Promo Cymru and a scoping report on the potential for the development of Co-operative models for the delivery of public services in Wales.

In her “spare time” Molly is economics speaker for the Green Party and maintains a website and blog space with other independent researcher on green issues. She is director of Stroud Common Wealth, a successful community land and property enterprise and sits on the Executive Committee of the UK Society for Co-operative Studies.


Research Team

The research team includes:

Dr. Len Arthur

Dr. Len Arthur – retired director of CICS who describes himself as “Like George Melly, I’m a socialist and fly fisher”. Len combines a 30 year academic career in management, organisational analysis, sociology and social history, with direct experience of trade union and social movement organising. His research interests include employee and industrial relations, employee ownership and co-operative production of knowledge, goods and services. Len supports CICS in both an advisory capacity as part of the Board and in a research capacity.

Richard Bickle

Richard Bickle  – currently working as an Associate Researcher with WIRC and took a leading role in delivering Cardiff Met's contribution to the Sustainable Construction Knowledge Wales KEF project.   Richard completed his masters (enterprise, environment and place) at Birmingham University in 2006 focusing on the impact of local and central government support to co-operatives, mutuals and credit unions over a thirty year period, 1976-2006. 

Richard has widespread experience of serving as a trustee, director and committee member for various co-operative, social economy and community organisations and charities.  He served as a Director of Co-operatives UK from 2003-2007 and still sits on the Co-operatives UK New Ventures Panel.  In this role and as Secretary of the UK Society for Co-operative Studies, he has an extensive network of contacts across the sector and in academic institutions. Richard’s research and networking interests focus on the development and promotion of co-operatives and co-operators.

Dr. Jan Myers

Dr. Jan Myers, Lecturer at Westminster Business School. Jan joined the research team in 2009 after working as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.  She continues her North American research collaborations across Canada through the Social Economy and Sustainability Network (Atlantic Node) where she has been exploring social and public policies in relation to social economy enterprises and organisations. Prior to moving to Canada, Jan was a senior lecturer – organisational behaviour, and human resource management - at Nottingham Business School.  

Jan’s masters and doctoral research focused on creativity, change, learning and leadership in non-profit organisations, specifically local development agencies and she has a long-time connection with non-profit and member-based organisations. Her research interests include community and social entrepreneurship, sensemaking and co-construction and co-production in social policy and partnerships arena.


Dr. Russell Smith

Dr. Russell Smith - a Senior Lecturer in economics at Cardiff Met, Russell’s research interests include the political economy of the social economy and economic regeneration, particularly the unification of theory and practice across the social science disciplines. He is currently exploring capital anchoring and solidarity funds and their application to the co-operative sector in Wales. With Len Arthur, Russell was a founding member of CICS.