Advisory Council

MadLab’s Board is supported by our Advisory Council, who work with the Directors to set key strategic direction, approve policies and programmes, and monitor risks. They meet regularly with the board to help evaluate MadLab’s activities and track financial performance. The Advisory Council allows us to leverage support across different sectors and it continually develops as MadLab grows to ensure we have the expertise in place to realise our ambitions.

Janet Emsley 

Janet is Labour Councillor for Rochdale Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Community & Culture.

Sarah Hughes

Since completing a degree in Management Sciences at UMIST, Sarah has provided financial and management support to a number of small organisations, mostly co-operatives. These have included Build for Change (a small scale steel fabrication company), Confederation of Co-operative Housing, ICOF (Industrial & Common Ownership Finance) Ltd, Work for Change (co-operatively managed workspace), Carbon Co-op, URBED (urban design and sustainability), MadLab and Red Co-operative.

Mike Little

Mike is the co-founder of WordPress. He’s also the founder and CEO of WordPress consultancy with a diverse portfolio including several prominent government sites. He is a published author, technical editor and member of the Usability Professionals Association. He runs the WordPress courses at MadLab, along with the monthly WordPress User Group meetup.

Aaron Nielsen

Aaron is an ardent maker, the main man behind the UK’s foremost open source hardware purveyor Oomlout and an unrepentant industrial robotics addict. We first came across Aaron at MadLab’s first robot hack day where he constructed the world’s first (and still best) robot built solely from CD drives.

Ra Page

Ra is the founder and Editorial Manager of Comma Press. He’s the editor of numerous anthologies, including The City Life Book of Manchester Short Stories (Penguin, 1999), co-editor of The New Uncanny (winner of the Shirley Jackson Award, 2008) and Litmus, voted one of 2011’s books of the year by The Observer. Between 2004 and 2013 he was also the coordinator of Literature Northwest, a support agency for independent publishers in the region (until it formally merged with Comma). He also coordinates Comma Film, an on-going film adaptation project which regularly commissions filmmakers and animators to adapt short literary texts (poems and short stories). He is a former journalist, having been Deputy Editor for City Life magazine, and a former Director of Manchester Poetry Festival. His critical work has been published in The Journal of the Short Story in English, and he’s been a producer, co-writer and co-director on a number of short film projects. He read Physics and Philosophy at Balliol College, Oxford and has an MA in English from The University of Manchester.

Gareth Davies

After a successful career in technology, Gareth decided that he wanted to gain better understanding of its legal frameworks in order to leverage future business opportunities.

He took a sabbatical, read law, and was called to the Bar in 2006. Gareth currently provides consultancy services to large financial organisations, advising them on corporate strategy, technical capability, and information compliance.