Our team

Beth Leslie

Beth Leslie

Head of Media

Beth is a writer who became interested in economics when she realised it was a great way to both better understand the world around her and to win more pub quizzes. She is the author of What is the Economy?, a fun(ish) guide to economics for people who don’t like economics. She divides her time between being Economy’s Editor, hunting out the world’s most scenic hikes, and spearheading her one-woman mission to discover the best pubs in London.

Clare Birkett

Clare Birkett

Associate Director – Training

Clare believes that creating community is key to empowering people to create the societal change they want to see. Her job is to lead on Economy’s workshops and courses for adults that support people, especially those furthest from power, to shape the economic decisions that affect them. Clare brings to the role over a decade of experience working across the new economy, international development and environment sectors, in a range of communications and operations roles. Clare is a keen netballer, and also dabbles in some singing, cycling and sewing.

Fatima Iftikhar

Fatima Iftikhar

Programme Director

Working across policy, higher education, campaigning and community building, Fatima’s interest in economics grew as she grappled to understand how we change systems that are deepening inequality. Leading Economy’s Voice, Conversation and Decision Making work, she believes the answers lie in the knowledge and expertise of marginalised communities that are currently structurally excluded from economic decision making. Alongside work Fatima is an Aziz Foundation Scholar, studying a Masters in Social Policy and Social Research. In her spare time you can find her cooking, crocheting and planning travels across the world.

Jonah Earle

Jonah Earle

Executive Director | @Jonah_Earle

Jonah worked for the Big Issue after leaving school and then went to university just before the fees went up. There he felt that the economics he was taught wasn’t helping him understand the world and he helped set up the Rethinking Economics student movement. He’s a co-author of a book called The Econocracy: on the perils of leaving economics to the experts and does research on how to build better local economies. He also loves playing football and is a lapsed part-time poet always hoping to make a comeback.

Trustees

Anjali Raman-Middleton

Anjali Raman-Middleton is the 18-year-old co-founder of Choked Up, a campaign started by black and brown high schoolers in London to strengthen clean air legislation and ensure that everyone has the right to breathe clean air. In March 2021, she campaigned for a #Mayor4CleanAir and put up hacked road signs around London to raise awareness of air pollution and its disproportionate impacts on marginalized communities. Anjali believes that climate and racial justice is impossible without changing the economic system that supports unjust structures. Through her work, she aims to empower communities most affected by economic injustice and reimagine existing power structures.

 

Ben Hughes

Ben Hughes

Ben is Chair of Trustees at Economy. He lives in Hackney and has worked in community development for many years. Ben is involved in projects that aim to develop Dalston’s local economy and has a keen interest in making the economy more relevant, effective and interesting. This is what drew Ben to being a trustee at Economy, as a way of connecting with all the ideas and people that make Economy great!

Oh, and he’s a keen cyclist, frequently found trying to persuade others to join him on 2 wheel adventures…

Caroline Appleton

Caroline is a data and impact analyst at a healthcare charity. She is passionate about equality and power sharing with underrepresented communities, particularly with women and disabled people. Outside of work she enjoys reading, vegan baking and spending time outdoors.

 

Gwen Thirsk

Gwen’s been working in the field of youth and community development for the last 20 years.  For the last 7 years she has been working on an asset based community development  programme (Invest Local) supporting 3 communities in North Wales.  She is passionate about social justice and creating a change to the structures that create injustice – the economy being a very big one!

Outside of work Gwen loves the beach, spending time with family and friends (on the beach as much as possible), a bit of running, yoga, hockey, and any opportunity to dance!  Gwen is also a first language Welsh speaker, and a slightly rusty Spanish and French speaker :o)

 

Jonathon Prasad

Jonathon is a Research Associate at the Global Race Centre for Equality – University of Central Lancashire.  His research explores the everyday lived experience of poverty by minoritized ethnic groups and how they can better engage with the economy through models of participatory research and co-production.

A keen walker and pâtissier, Jonathon is often found exploring less-trodden routes across the North of England or trying to produce the perfect croissant!

Ken Hayes

Ken Hayes

Ken is a beekeeper and gardener who works at a community charity where he supports people to learn new skills, meet others and get a break from any challenges they might be facing. Economics wasn’t an option at school so it was only later on that Ken developed an interest in how the economy works. Ken says that “being a Trustee at Economy is great for my professional development and an opportunity to learn from the team and the other Trustees”. Beyond work, Ken loves the outdoors and always has a DIY project on the go.

Lydia Mbogoro

Lydia works across policy and advocacy in the International Development sector and is currently the Humanitarian Hunger Policy and Advocacy Advisor at Christian Aid on secondment from her role leading their parliamentary and political engagement. She currently works to advance Christian Aid’s analysis and response to growing food insecurity in the Global South.  

A passionate advocate she also is a trade union representative and a coordinator for an internal network for minoritised staff. Lydia holds an MSc in Development studies.

Matt

Matt Giugni

Matt is a qualified accountant with over 8 years’ experience in providing financial services in both practice and industry settings. After 8 years at PwC Australia, Matt is now the Financial Director at digital growth agency Found. Matt became interested in economics in high school and went on to earn a double degree in Economics and Commerce from the Australian National University. When he’s not playing rugby he enjoys exploring London and travelling Europe… pre-COVID

Meena

Meena Bharadwa

Meena has a background in community development and social justice and has been working alongside communities for the last twenty years. She currently based in the West Midlands working for a national charity that supports communities to create a fairer society. Meena is really keen to shift power towards communities and especially those who are facing economic deprivation and those who are furthest away from decision making. Meena has always been interested in economics but in a way that relates to everyday people in their everyday lives.

Mehroosh

Dr Mehroosh Tak

Mehroosh is an applied economist researching on how to make global food systems sustainable and nutritious. She is passionate about making economics language accessible to the public and diversifying the discipline.

Rachel Rickard Straus

Rachel is a journalist who likes to get people thinking and talking about how the economy affects their lives. She is a Londoner, keen swimmer and likes every type of dumpling.

Rebecca Baron

Rebecca is an activist, with more than 15 years’ experience campaigning across issues including climate justice, refugee rights, global poverty and LGBTQ+ rights. She’s passionate about participation, inclusion and finding new ways to dismantle systems of oppression. You can often find her running (slowly) through green spaces of North London or in the pub arguing about politics.