Todd Holden

On June 20th, Todd Holden, Director for Low Carbon at Manchester Growth Company
Spoke about how businesses in Manchester can transition to a low carbon economy through the support of groups such as the Manchester Growth Company. Todd is a key member of the GM’s Low Carbon Hub, which spearheads and promotes low-carbon investment and growth in local businesses. He specialises in channelling low-carbon policy into successful environmental support programmes, with over 20 years’ experience he has helped thousands of companies to convert environmental risks into competitive advantages, and to seize opportunities in the emerging low-carbon economy. As such this should be a great talk for anyone interested in sustianable business, or progress on how Manchester is supporting the low carbon economy.

Corin Bell - DirectorCorin Bell

On March 21st, Coreen Bell spoke on the issue of food and about the Real Junk Food Project.  Corin is the leader behind the Manchester edition of the RJFP – a project that in 2017 smashed a crowdfunding target of £30,000. Corin has worked in sustainability, with a focus on sustainable food and food waste, for a number of years. She started as a Project Manager for Environmental Strategy at Manchester City Council, and moved to freelance work at the start of 2011. She is a campaigner for Manchester Friends of the Earth, a Co-ordinator for the UK Gleaning Network, and a volunteer at FareShare North West. Corin is passionate about changing our broken food system, and social justice. For more information on the Real Junk Food Project can be found here…


Rev. John Hughes

On the 21st February, 2017, our speaker Rev. John Huges spoke about the fantastic work that is taking pace at St. John’s Salford. He spoke the inspiration for starting a community energy project, how it has had a positive effect on the community, what the challenges of the project are and what St John’s Sunshine have in store for the future. “Take one community asset – a south facing church roof, for instance, add a solar panel or two and before you know it you are helping to power a community. But what about the other energy that powers society – the creative energy of the people who live there? That energy, like sunshine or wind energy, is in every neighbourhood, but harnessing it and making it work for the benefit of all is a much greater challenge. In Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, St John’s Sunshine set out to do exactly that”. Find out more at


Phil Korbel

Cooler co-founder. Phil is a long standing social entrepreneur, broadcaster and community activist based in Manchester.  He wants to leave his children ‘a future not an apology’.

Phil has been a long-time activist for sustainable development, moving from local work with Friends of the Earth in the 1980’s to riding a tandem back from Sydney raising awareness of rainforest conservation in 1990.  Having studied law at Manchester Polytechnic, Phil enjoyed a successful career in radio working as a presenter and producer of features and documentaries for BBC Network Radio, and working for programmes as diverse as You and Yours and Mark Radcliffe.  One of his proudest moments remains giving the first-ever radio airplay to The Inspiral Carpets.  Between making programmes Phil delivered media training to a wide range of national and local clients, from the RSPB to Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.

In 1999 he was the moving force behind setting up the leading community media charity Radio Regen ( working in community engagement and creating community solutions from the ground up. This work led to a place on the Board of the Manchester Local Strategic Partnership where he sits as an independent member, ensuring a high profile for sustainable development in the City’s over-arching strategies.  Phil was also a lead lobbyist in the successful campaign establishing legislation for community radio – working with ministers and civil servants to that end. He is still Director of Radio Regen, working part time there as Cooler grows.

In 2007 Phil was one of the founders of the high level climate change advocacy network The 100 Months Club, which in turn led to involvement in the drafting of the city’s climate change action plan: Manchester:A Certain Future,  ( as part of which he led the ‘Buildings’ writing group. He still contributes to the MACF Steering Group and is also a member of the Board of Manchester’s Local Strategic Partnership.