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Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson is Director of Advocacy and Corporate Affairs at the Association of British Insurers (ABI). The ABI is the voice of the UK’s world-leading insurance and pensions industry – a sector employing 300,000 people and managing investments of £1.8 trillion. Ben is also the Executive Sponsor at the ABI for work on Climate Change and is part of the member committee of ClimateWise - run by Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership - a global climate research initiative supporting the insurance industry to better communicate, disclose and respond to climate risks.


Ben started his career as a regional newspaper journalist for Southern Newspapers, he has delivered high profile and award winning marketing and stakeholder campaigns on a range of social issues with more than 20 years of strategic communications experience, having held senior communication roles including at the BBC and No10 Downing Street. He undertook a 4 month posting with the United Nations as Chief Spokesperson and Head of Media Relations and Stakeholder Outreach, for the United Nations’ international peacekeeping mission in East Timor (UNMIT). Ben remains a member of the UN roster accredited to serve in peacekeeping missions.


Although this will be Ben’s first charity trustee role, he brings extensive Board level experience. At ABI he sits on the Board that includes CEOs from the UK’s biggest insurers and pension providers listed in the FTSE 250. As the Executive Director for Corporate Services at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), he sat on the Board and was Executive lead for the Audit Risk and Assurance Committee.


In terms of charity experience, he was one of two Directors who have helped set up the Covid-19 Support Fund in 2020. This has raised more than £100 million across the long-term savings and insurance industry to support a range of charity partners respond to the challenges and hardship caused by Covid-19 in local communities.

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Cristian Parrino

Cristian Parrino

Cristian Parrino is a social entrepreneur with a commercial and innovation background, rooted in the technology and sustainable development sectors. He is an advisor and mentor to organisations enabling an inclusive and regenerative economy on idea incubation and acceleration, program development, systems change design, partnerships and coalitions, fundraising and scale strategy. Cristian is multilingual (English, Italian, Spanish) and has extensive business and cultural experience across the United States, Europe, Latin America and China. He is currently CEO and Co-Founder of Greengame, an award-winning tech for good startup that works with cities, universities and businesses to incentivise sustainable behaviour by combining automated activity detection, gamification and behavioural economics. Greengame is the creator of the Sustainable Cities Tournament launching in 2021. Cristian is also a Trustee for InterClimate Network, which engages young people with the challenges of climate change and inspires them to take action in their own future.


Prior to Greengame, Cristian was Interim Director – Innovation and Reach at Keep Britain Tidy where he led an award winning behavioural research and innovation program, focussed on co-developing solutions to waste and litter with Local Authorities and corporates in the UK. Cristian has extensive experience acting as Entrepreneur in Residence, most recently for the United Nations Global Compact’s Youth SDG Innovation Programme and previously at StateZero Labs, Blockchain for Social Impact Accelerator, the Collective Accelerator and the Thought for Food Challenge.


Cristian started his career with Iridium, a US-based global satellite telephony network created by Motorola in partnership with several telecommunications carriers around the world. After initially supporting the board with marketing and investor relations, he moved to South America to run market development and mobile operator partnerships in Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile. He returned to the US to lead marketing and partnerships for wireless tech startup Spike Broadband Systems, developing connectivity solutions for people in remote areas or financially excluded. He then moved to the UK in 2003 to help British Telecom build its Innovation Hub and the first tech startup accelerator in the country, after which he went on to build Chef2video, a tech startup which focussed on getting people to socialise around making healthy food at home, using streaming video and community support. Cristian then joined Canonical to lead the mobile program for Ubuntu, the Linux Operating System, where he broke crowdfunding records worldwide with the Ubuntu Phone in an attempt to take on the dominating power of Google and Apple.


Cristian has an MBA from the University of Surrey and a BA in International Affairs from the George Washington University. He has two sons with whom he lives in Suffolk, enjoys cooking healthy food, walks along the coast and is trying to learn Mandarin in his spare time.

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Jos Huijbregts

Jos Huijbregts


Jos Huijbregts is CFO at the Ocean Cleanup, a registered charity with a team of over 90 engineers, researchers, scientists and computational modellers working to develop advance technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.  Ocean Cleanup partners with a broad spectrum of organisations including corporate, academic and the government of the Netherlands.


Jos brings over 25 years of corporate finance and international business management experience from companies such as Royal DSM, Randstad and Christies. Prior to his current role Jos was CFO for Kema N.V. where he was an Executive Board member with responsibility for US operations and headquarters, prepared the company for auction sale and negotiated a €200 million transaction          with DNV. He has degrees in Econometrics, Education and Financial Management.


With a strong interest in education, Jos developed and taught a course on Applying Mathematical Techniques in Finance for the Utrecht University Graduate School and currently teaches mathematics to students in the Middle Years and Diploma programmes at the International School Hilversum. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Priogen (energy trading) and has previous experience as a trustee for Villa Joep (the fund against neuroblastoma childhood cancer).

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Emily Murrell

Emily Murrell

Emily Murrell works in External and Corporate Relations for the World Bank Group (WBG), based in London. Emily manages relationships with UK stakeholders in the international development space, including the UK Government, Parliament, CSO’s, and academia. Emily is the WBG’s UK lead on climate change, biodiversity, and sustainable finance and, alongside other multilateral development banks, is helping to prepare for the landmark COP26 Summit in 2021.


Before assuming her current role, Emily was Head of Sustainable Finance and Future Cities Policy in the Group Public Affairs function at HSBC’s Global HQ. She spent three years helping the bank to implement the SDG’s and the Paris Agreement, working to decarbonise their large global portfolio. She advised individual clients, for instance in the automotive and energy sectors, on how to accelerate their transition towards the low carbon economy. Emily has also worked with the UK Government and the European Commission to create an enabling regulatory environment for sustainable finance and was appointed Co-Head of the International Chamber of Commerce Sustainable Finance Working Group, representing the banking sector in the world’s largest business organisation.


Emily joined HSBC from the UK Civil Service, where she worked in the Department of Energy and Climate Change and in the Cabinet Office. She was a member of the UK international climate negotiations team for the COP20 Climate Summit in Lima and worked as a Senior Policy Advisor focused on EU and international climate change and energy policy in the Cabinet Office in the run up to COP21 and the UN General Assembly where the SDG’s were agreed.


Emily has a BSc in Social Policy with Government from London School of Economics and an MA in EU International Relations and Diplomacy from the College of Europe in Belgium. Emily is half French, half British, and lives in central London with her husband. A self-confessed ‘climate geek,’ Emily enjoys good food and good coffee, long country walks, and (in the absence of global pandemics) loves exploring the world.

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Virtual Community Science Camp

Participation fee

A fee of £75 is needed at the sign-up stage to confirm your participation in the course. Sign-up details will be available in February. If you are not able to cover the costs through your institution, bursaries are available, please contact Emily on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Kat on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in advance of the application deadline.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

We are committed to creating learning environments that are equitable, inclusive and diverse, and we strive to remove barriers to participation. We actively encourage participants from all backgrounds including faith, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, class and disability to apply. If you require reasonable adjustments to improve access to this course please contact us directly.

Application Process

To be eligible to attend participants will need to demonstrate in their application that they meet the following criteria; 

  • Already engaged or about to engage in Environmental research, for example, you are;
    • interested in doing a PhD in environmental science
    • already doing or finishing a PhD in environmental science
    • post-doctoral research without a tenured contract
  • Current, future or recent recipient of NERC funding 
  • Committed to supporting diverse community participation and involvement in environmental research
  • Committed to sharing knowledge and experience gained from the course with peers, faculty, colleagues and communities 

Non-NERC funded applicants

Diverse perspectives continue to be largely excluded from environmental science, therefore, as part of NERC and the Engaging Environment Programme’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity we will be awarding a small number of places to candidates who fall outside the first two requirements.

We will consider applications from candidates who are not yet NERC funded but who are interested in applying for NERC funded PhDs or post-doctoral positions and consider themselves to be from minoritized and/or marginalised backgrounds.

If you have any questions regarding the eligibility criteria please get in contact with us. Our contact details are available at the bottom of this page.

The application process is now open. Please apply now by following this link. The deadline for applications is 8 March 5pm.



We are committed to delivering accessible learning and have made the following provisions to learning content and access to support all learners.

-          Font size, colours and layout designed where possible to enhance visual accessibility

-          Live captioning and subtitles provided for presentations, video and audio and image captions

-          Learning content made available after sessions with downloadable transcripts

All participants will need access to a computer, good internet connection, a microphone and speakers to participate. If you have any difficulty obtaining these items from your institution or workplace that will prevent you from joining the course, please contact us in advance of the course for assistance.


If you have any questions related to our events and courses, accessibility of the course or eligibility requirements please contact Emily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Katherine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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