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Kate Cooper GEI12

Kate Cooper

Birmingham Food Council.

Kate is the Executive Director of the Birmingham Food Council.

Formerly a management consultant advising blue-chip companies on communication (or, more accurately, lack of it), she founded The New Optimists in 2009 as a way of putting regional scientists on the map. She asked over 80 of them the simple question What are you optimistic about? and then published their responses in a hardcopy book The New Optimists: Scientists View Tomorrow’s World & What It Means To Us (now out of print) launched by the BBC’s Science Editor, David Shukman, on the first day of the 2010 British Science Festival. This was followed by a Kindle Challenging Cancer.

Wondering what to do with the brainpower she’d unleashed, she set up The New Optimists Forum and set about working with them — and other scientists, social scientists and socio-political decision-makers in the West Midlands — to carry out the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project (2011-14) to explore possible food futures for Birmingham in 2050.

This had several spin-offs: Growing Birmingham, the Elliott Review Birmingham, a series of  Narrativium Projects  (the most recent being The Hand That Feeds: A musical about food crime).

Birmingham Public Health asking her in the summer of 2013 to set up the Birmingham Food Council. She served as Chair of the Board 2014-2018, stepping down at the December Board Meeting.