Project Team

Professor Mike Wilson is the principal investigator for project ASPECT. He will bring expertise in storytelling and experience in research project management.
Mike is Professor of Drama and Dean of the School of Media and Performance at University College Falmouth and was formerly Head of Research at the Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Glamorgan. Here he was also Co-Director of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling and Head of the Centre for Digital Economy Research. He has been involved in a number of collaborative knowledge transfer projects involving digital storytelling, including with BBC Wales, Glamorgan Cricket Club and the Marylebone Cricket Club.

Mike has published widely on many aspects of storytelling and has presented on Digital Storytelling across the UK and abroad at conferences and seminars, including for the Science Museum (London), the Technology Strategy Board and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). He was also a member of the AHRC/FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) delegation to Sao Paulo, Brazil in December 2007 as part of the UK/Brazil Year of Science and Innovation, and has received a number of awards from the AHRC and the British Academy.

Karen Lewis is co-investigator and will bring particular expertise in the field of digital storytelling.
Karen leads the Storyworks unit the University of Glamorgan - a collaboration between three of the university's research centres: The George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling, The Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care and The Genomics Policy Unit. This partnership seeks to work with the public services to exploit the university’s digital storytelling expertise. To date this initiative has run projects with, amongst others,The Fostering Network, Age Alliance Wales, Velindre Cancer Hospital and Bath and Cardiff Universities. Karen is also Associate Director of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling and leads its team of community outreach digital storytelling facilitators.

Karen was formerly Partnerships Manager at BBC Wales and for many years was the founder and Senior Producer of the BBC Wales Digital Storytelling Unit, working alongside Dr Daniel Meadows of Cardiff University. This unit ran the pioneering ‘Capture Wales’ project, bringing Digital Storytelling to the UK. For this work she was shortlisted for a Royal Television Society award in 2008, and received a BAFTA Cymru (2003), a Welsh Development Agency Innovation award (2003,) and additionally a Technology Wales ‘Women in Technology’ award (2003).

Jim Playfoot will lead the project for White Loop.
Jim is a highly creative and experienced entrepreneur and consultation expert and has spent over twelve years developing ideas and running projects for a range of public and private clients, predominantly in the education sector. These include corporations, government departments, NGOs and the European Commission. As co-founder of White Loop, he runs the company’s creative output as Director of Strategy and Ideas. This role has involved significant interaction with national and international governmental agencies and commercial organisations. Jim has led research and development activities on a number of European Commission-funded initiatives including Project REPLAY and ePAL. He is also lead researcher on the Effective Education for Employment project with Edexcel/Pearson and is co-author of the widely publicized project report.

He is currently involved in a range of research and development projects, many of which use technology to help young people improve literacy, language and communication skills. He is also working on a number of ideas in the area of lifelong learning and has a particular interest in addressing issues around demographic change and aging populations. He recently joined the editorial board of the Business Leadership Review and is also founder and CEO of the Creative Network, a not for profit that develops ideas for positive social change.

Sarah Chapman is one of the Research Assistants on the project and will be working closely with groups within each community.
Previous to ASPECT Sarah lead a project which explored Cornwall's farming heritage through photographs, video interviews and film. Using digital storytelling techniques this project worked closely with the Cornish farming community, presenting the work produced in a touring exhibition and online. Since attaining a BA Honors degree in Photography at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth, she has also exhibited in a variety of exhibitions around the UK and worked with a number of galleries to deliver creative workshops.

Francesca Booker is one of the Research Assistants on the project and will be working closely with groups within each community.
Francesca has joined the team from the Natural Capital Initiative, an independent and inclusive forum for debate, where she worked as a Science Policy Intern. Prior to this she worked in Laos PDR, working with humanitarian aid organisation on local community issues of concern. Francesca has a MSc in Climate Change and International Development.