Who are we?

Leadership and advisory board

Founder of Icebreaker One, Gavin Starks has founded, funded and run over a dozen organisations including as CEO of the Open Data Institute, Co-Chair of the Open Banking Standard and CEO of global environmental intelligence company, AMEE.

Baroness Bryony Worthington is a life peer in the House of Lords—a leading expert on climate change and energy policy, and was instrumental to the adoption of the UK Climate Change Act. She was Executive Director for Environmental Defense Fund, Europe and many other initiatives.

Celeste Connors has twenty years’ experience working at the intersection of economic, environment, energy, and international development policy. She previously served as the Director for Environment and Climate Change at the National Security Council and National Economic Council in the White House where she helped shape the Administration’s climate and energy policies.

Irene Graham is the CEO of the ScaleUp Institute. She is a former senior banker at Standard Chartered Bank and was the Managing Director at the BBA responsible for Commercial Banking.

Volker Buscher is Arup’s Data Leader (Chief Data Officer). He is a member of Arup’s Group Board Digital Executive, with responsibility for developing Arup’s creativity with data at scale and digital innovation across our industries.

Scott Williams is a pioneering systems thinker who enjoys ultramarathon running, a very big picture thinker and doer with 20+ years of professional experience managing and leading teams and delivering complex multi-country, multi-year programs.

Julie Calkins was Head of Risk Information for Climate Adaptation at Climate-KIC and actively involved in helping Icebreaker One begin. She holds a PhD in Environmental Science and has worked with the British Antarctic Survey.

Delivery team

Gea Mikic — Co-founder & Programme manager (SERI, Open Energy, Cygnus)

Gea leads projects focused on systems-level interventions that reduce vulnerability to disasters and protect livelihoods from climate change through changing the cultural mechanics of data sharing. She has a background in disasters, urban resilience and languages with a particular interest in how we view and communicate risk.

Miles Cheetham — Data infrastructure lead (Open Energy)

With a passion for innovation and creating solutions that really meet user needs, Miles worked at the cutting edge of technology with some of the world’s largest mobile operators, before turning to the opportunities presented by FinTech. As Head of Propositions at the Open Banking Implementation Entity since its inception, he was responsible for understanding consumer and business needs and ensuring that this exciting technology delivered the competitive, societal and commercial benefits envisaged by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.He now leads on development of shared data propositions for the Icebreaker One team, creating the infrastructure that will hasten the drive to net-zero and unleashing opportunity.

Kathryn Corrick — Development and strategy director

With a keen interest in innovating responsibly and the impact of technology on society, Kathryn brings together experience of data and digital development, communications and change management with a practical understanding of public policy and compliance. She enables organisations to consider business, regulatory and technology requirements and to build cultures for sustainable change. She is founding partner of Corrick, Wales & Partners LLP, co-founded democracy platform Represent.me, was head of learning and content at the Open Data Institute, has run her own consulting business and was online manager for the New Statesman until 2006.

Michelle Prescott — People development

With extensive experience and expertise in building teams and delivering people management and organisation development services that enable organisations to meet their goals, Michelle believes that people and organisations accomplish so much more if workplaces are collaborative, open, ethical, safe, supportive and enjoyable places for everyone.

Laura Townshend – Head of communications

Laura has 12 years of strategic communications experience with a focus on digital. She specialises in translating technical complexity into human language and using technology to scale up the impact of campaigns. As a consultant, she’s worked on a range of climate action projects that aim to engage both business and consumers – including work on a green recovery, a business climate pledge, financing for renewables technology, and the climate consequences of Brexit.

Chris Adams — Developer

Chris Adams is an environmentally focussed tech generalist, spending the last fifteen years working in tech startups, blue-chip companies and government, as a user researcher, product manager, developer, sysadmin and UX-er. He is an organiser of ClimateAction.tech, a community for technology professionals taking climate action, a director of the Green Web Foundation, and works on internal skills discovery systems within the Icebreaker Constellations

Michelle Brook — Constellation Community Manager (SERI)

Having originally trained as a scientist, Michelle has worked on policy, strategy, and community development for the last decade. She brings extensive knowledge of technology, digital, and open data, and is keen to explore how these intersect with the democratic and environmental questions of our time. Passionate about inequality, she is also eager to bring together other stakeholders to explore these questions, also. Michelle has been Vice-President of The Democratic Society and sits on the board of both Open Data Manchester and the UK’s OGP Civil Society network.

Vichi Chandra — Researcher (SERI)

Vichi joined Icebreaker One from Dais Partnership LLP where she worked across research, advisory and fundraising for sustainability and renewable energy investments. With a background in boutique financial services firms performing sector and market research to understand investor demand and behaviour, she explores the interaction of market, consumer and regulatory ecosystems at Icebreaker One to determine key stakeholders, data gaps and financial levers for climate-ready innovation and net-zero transition.

Ross Crear – Researcher (SERI)

Ross is an experienced Financial Journalist and Editor, specialising in climate change, renewables and renewables insurance. He has a genuine passion for conveying important messages through his research and writing and is particularly interested in the socio-economic influence of government and policy and the significance of this in creating a net-zero future.

Manu Di Biase — Executive assistant

Manu is an executive and administrative assistant with over 15 years of extensive experience with scheduling and correspondence, with a keen interest in project management and project coordination.

Ed Dowding – UX/web developer (Open Energy)

Ed is a founder and builder of pioneering and socially-impactful services. He has extensive innovation and development experience and specialises in product, business, and market-development. His work has included building risk analysis services for the insurance industry, developing SMS alert systems for the emergency services, mapping the food system to increase B2B trade for SMEs and founding the online democracy platform Represent.me. 

Anne Edimo — Communications team

Anne is a PR and communications expert with experience in media relations, crisis communications, event planning and social media. Her passion for writing in both French and English helps her to tell stories in creative and original ways. Her desire to spark positive social impact has led her to implement successful campaigns across digital and non-digital platforms. Over the past few years, she has coordinated PR programs for local and international non-profit organisations.

Caroline Fraser — Project manager (SERI)

Caroline is an environmental professional with experience in non-profits, government agencies, and the private sector focusing in resilience, environmental policy, and urban planning. She is passionate about finding innovative approaches to socio-environmental challenges and sustainable development, and its possibility to protect and enhance our current and future environmental, social, and economic well being.

Jeremy Hindle — Insurance and financial products lead (SERI)

Retired ex-underwriter & enterprise risk manager. Jeremy spent 35+ years in multiple roles in the reinsurance industry, [London / Swiss Re; Bermuda, Paris and back to London with XL Group]. More recently, his passion for starting something new and allied to disaster risk reduction goals, led him to various independent consulting roles. He works with Oasis Loss Modelling Framework, pushing forward the Open Data standards for Catastrophe Models agenda. He leads the Icebreaker One Insurance & Financial Products initiative.

Tom Hukins – API developer

Tom works as a software developer, integrating existing systems and data stores as well as creating new tools. He prefers to work with Internet standards and open source software, often contributing improvements, and has presented talks at technical conferences about his work. He has worked for a wide range of organisations including start-ups, a university and a bank, and in many industries such as health care, payments, fashion and recruitment.

Emily Judson Research associate (Open Energy)

Emily is a Doctoral Researcher interested in how digital technologies and data can support the net-zero transition. She works part-time on Icebreaker One’s Open Energy project and part-time on her PhD Research with the University of Exeter, where she explores governance challenges emerging from energy system digitalization. Prior to her PhD she worked in international education, research and innovation policy.

Kasia Kulma – Data Scientist (Open Energy)

Kasia is a climate-conscious nerd with a background in evolutionary biology and 7+ years of industry experience as a data scientist. She has experience analysing complex data, developing and deploying machine learning models and data pipelines. In her spare time, she likes contributing to open source, hiking and wild camping. She has joined Icebreaker One for Phase 3 of their Open Energy project where she works as a Data Scientist.

Tom Oinn – Information architect (Open Energy)

Tom is a freelance information architect and generalist cat herder with a background in academic bioinformatics and experience in a range of industries from cognitive testing to custom fashion via banking and information security. He particularly specialises in working at the edges between different disciplines and communities, helping to bridge conceptual gaps.

Jannah Patchay — Policy and regulatory lead

Jannah specialises in financial markets innovation, and in helping firms to define, develop and execute their commercial strategies in a highly regulated environment. Her passion lies in building the capital markets of the future, harnessing emerging technology to create new and innovative financial services and products that can promote wider social benefit and greater access to financial services.
Jannah has worked with a wide cross-section of market participants including exchanges, tier-1 investment banks, brokers, funds and start-up businesses. Jannah is also a Director and Regulatory Advocacy Ambassador for the London Blockchain Foundation.

Adrian Philpott — Creative lead

Adrian is founder of Philpott Design Ltd, an experiential creative agency that moves people to be more sustainable in their choices. Associates, clients and partners include The Open Data Institute, UK Government Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, Gates Foundation, CABi, and Dgen. With over 25 years experience he has designed Pixie album covers (while working with Vaughan Oliver), and worked on global advertising campaigns for Diesel clothing, and branding for Channel 4. He particularly enjoys cycling up and down very big mountains.

Zoe Philpott — Experience director

Zoe Philpott is an award-winning storyteller and tech entrepreneur. Specialising in making complex ideas accessible and relevant to wider audiences, she creates experiences that move people to change their behaviours. Creating brand experiences with designers and technologists Zoe transforms never-been-done-before ideas into reality. Interactive Christmas trees outside the White House with Google; Churchill’s impact on the Middle East in under five minutes; dancing robots to tell Ford’s eco-tech stories. As the creator of Ada.Ada.Ada she speaks on story, innovation, and gender equality.

Srini Sundaram — Product innovation (co-chair) / Agriculture cluster lead (SERI)

Srini is an Entrepreneur based in London with experience in various sectors such as Financial services, Agriculture, Energy, Automotive, Aviation and Healthcare. He is deeply passionate about natural resources, rural economy and driven by his desire to help communities in need using technology. He is Founder and CEO of Agvesto, a London based agricultural parametric insurance company with presence in the US and India. He has also co-founded Aire, a financial technology startup based in London with a new credit score to help people to qualify for essential financial products.

Zoe Swiderski — Project manager (Open Energy)

With a background in Computer Science, primarily focused on user experience, Zoe has worked in a variety of software development and test roles for small companies, as well as a large financial institution. For the last 12 years, she worked as a project manager on public sector projects and she is particularly interested in leading initiatives that can make a positive influence on everyday life.

Nick Tyrone – Legal and regulatory lead (SERI)

Nick has worked in think tanks for the last decade, notably leading CentreForum as the Executive Director and as the Director General of the Red Tape Initiative, where he worked alongside Sir Oliver Letwin on post-Brexit regulation of nine sectors of the economy. He is also a journalist, writing a regular column for The Spectator.

Frank Wales — Delivery manager (Open Energy)

Frank has over 25 years of software development, management and innovation experience. From his start as a software engineer for mission-critical systems, he has developed products for many organisations including Hewlett-Packard, Oxford University Press, and the BBC. At Net-a-Porter, he built and ran the teams responsible for the customer, order and payment systems behind their world-class e-commerce service, invented their real-time fraud analysis system, and fostered innovation across the business. He co-founded one of the UK’s first Internet companies, Limitless, is a founding partner at data protection consultancy Corrick, Wales & partners, and is Head of Data at The Floor.

Tim Werkhoven – Customer development manager

At Icebreaker One, Tim is the Customer Development Manager; getting organisations excited about its energy data ecosystem and its use cases. Tim is passionate about stakeholder engagement. He has 20 years of public affairs experience in the UK, in the EU, and in China. He currently lends a lot of his expertise to support UK organisations impacted by Brexit. With an academic background in political science and in business, Tim has a deep practical knowledge of political and regulatory impacts on businesses and how to manage them. He speaks six languages.

Lily Zhang — Researcher (SERI)

Lily has over 20 years research experience in environmental modelling & monitoring, and precision agriculture using remote sensing in a number of leading academic research institutions in both China and UK. In recent years she was engaged in a few innovative high tech agricultural projects that bring academia and industry together to address global food security under the changing environment. Her current research in Icebreaker One focusses on understanding the financial sectors approach to climate change and work to facilitate Net-Zero emission targets in the insurance industry.

The Icebreaker One Constellation

Icebreaker One engages a trusted network of domain experts across Climate, Environment, Finance, Infrastructure and Data (aka ‘CEFID‘).

They include dozens of peer-recommended domain experts in disaster risk modelling, insurance, investment, financial instruments, ecosystems, risk analysis, communications, design innovation, urban infrastructure and systems design. If you would like to get involved, please contact us.

Collectively they are the Icebreaker One Constellation.