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ODI Leeds

Who we are

ODI Leeds team photo
The ODI Leeds team

Paul Connell

Founder of ODI Leeds

Paul founded ODI Leeds in 2013 with the mission to create a place and community to unleash the power of open data and deliver innovation across the region.

Resulting in his current portfolio of work across:

  • smart cities
  • open data
  • digital urban futures & technology at neighbourhood scale
  • sustainable cities and distributed energy

He has a unique set of skills, encompassing Open Innovation & Open Data, Energy & Environment, Commercial, Technical, Business Strategy & Development.

Paul lives in Leeds; and runs his own consultancy business Halcyon Innovation, which works mainly in the UK, with businesses to create the conditions for innovation and build sustainable outcomes, he is an accredited Cognitive Edge practitioner which means he is trained in their workshop and research techniques.

Paul is also a founder of SmartKlub he has helped shape this start-up business - funded initially by E.ON and Siemens. "We make city energy projects happen." SmartKlub connects cities and suppliers in a way that creates innovative energy projects.

Kathryn Connell

ODI Leeds

Kathryn's background is in media, marketing and communications. She started out many years ago as a media strategist at Omnicom in London. When it was time to move back North for a better lifestyle her next project was to help to set up a digital media agency in Leeds, Fusion Unlimited.

When Paul asked for some help to find a home for ODILeeds, as soon as Kathryn found the beautiful library desks going begging at Birmingham Library she knew they had found a new home at Munro House.

Thomas Forth

ODI Leeds Head of Data

Tom has a PhD in computational biology and now runs software and data consultancy imactivate. He is an associate at ODILeeds where he'll be happy to help you solve problems you have using data. He's particularly interested in data on housing, transport, and income inequality both within Leeds and across the UK and Europe. He blogs at tomforth.co.uk and keeps a more polished internet presence at imactivate.com.

Amy Evans

ODI Leeds Comms & Design

Amy has a background in the creative arts, specialising in digital illustration and animation. Projects have ranged from icon design and basic UI prototypes to illustrated maps and comics. Her interest in the world of data is based around telling stories with data and creating info-graphics. She is passionate about environmental and animal welfare issues, and thinks using data stories is the ideal way to reach audiences and change attitudes. At ODI Leeds, she leads the charge in social media and comms, as well as being on hand for any visual work that might be needed.

Stuart Lowe

ODI Leeds Data Projects

Stuart has PhD in radio astronomy. Previously he has studied distant galaxies from Jodrell Bank and Poland, helped construct the European Space Agency's Planck spacecraft, has built web-interfaces to the data archives of a global network of optical telescopes, and has published a book of astronomical infographics created from open data sets. For fun and adventure he has pedalled solo across the US and Europe - most recently from the top to bottom of Europe along the Atlantic coast.

At ODI Leeds, Stuart works on a range of projects using open data from visualising the IoT sector to mapping every road named "Garth" in the UK. He also built and maintains the website.

Nick Efford

University of Leeds / ODI Trainer

Nick started out as a physicist before PhD research analysing images from NASA's Viking & Voyager spacecraft drew him inexorably into the world of computing. He is now an academic in the School of Computing at the University of Leeds, with broad-ranging interests that currently encompass computer science education, software engineering, mobile technologies, computer security and, of course, open data. He is able to draw upon this extensive teaching experience in his role as an ODI trainer. Nick blogs occasionally at http://blog.efford.org, mainly about technical things. When he isn't hunched over a keyboard he'll more than likely be indulging his passion for music and tweeting via @python33r about a new CD or his latest gig.

Neil McClure

Head of Transport Innovation

Neil's role at the ODI is Projects and Accounts Associate and he will be supporting to deliver some of our large projects as well as working closely with our new and existing founding sponsors.

Neil runs an innovation consultancy called Digitally Consulting, which helps clients to engage with customers and use digital technologies in better ways.

Neil likes Uber, films with a twist-ending and dark chocolate covered rice cakes and he dislikes paper train tickets and the fact that Apple removed the headphone jack.

Molly Ridley

ODI Leeds Events and Community Coordinator

Molly’s background is in organising events, she studied Events Management at Leeds Metropolitan University. She has previous experience in planning and delivering a range of different types of events. Her role at ODI Leeds will be to keep the events running smoothly and to look after our co-workers. Contact Molly if you wish to discuss an event or if you would like to hire a coworking desk.

Giles Dring

ODI Leeds Consulting Associate

Giles is an independent IT Consultant based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. He used to work for a large international corporation, and has a wealth of experience in designing and supporting large IT systems, particularly in the public sector.

He has been an ODI Leeds associate since 2015, when he helped one of the ODI Leeds partners work out how best to go about publishing Open Data. You’ll also meet him on the hack days and events.

He has a passion for local community, and in response to a couple of devastating flooding events in his town, he developed the Hebden Rising website which aimed to support the business community during recovery.

Daniel Billingsley

imactivate projects