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Goldman prof 2022 Paul Brannen

Environmentalist and former politician to be new Goldman Professor

Published on: 7 April 2022

Environmentalist and former North East MEP, Paul Brannen has been appointed as this year’s David Goldman Visiting Professor of Innovation and Enterprise at Newcastle University.

Brought up in Tyneside, Paul, pictured, has had a varied career spanning the public, private and voluntary sectors. After graduating from the University of Leeds, he worked for the Anti-Apartheid Movement and later, Christian Aid, where he campaigned on poverty and climate change.

He served for five years as a Councillor for Newcastle City Council, and in 2014 was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the North East, sitting on both the environment and agriculture committees. Paul is currently Director of Public Affairs for the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois) and the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS).

A passionate campaigner and advocate for the environment and biodiversity, Paul played a pivotal role in setting up the North East Climate Change Coalition (NEECCo) which brings together the public, private and voluntary sectors to address the climate crisis, ecological collapse, and ensure a just transition to a green economy with the aim of making the North East the greenest region in England.

Paul will start his tenure as the David Goldman Visiting Professor with the annual David Goldman lecture on Monday 25 April, at the Frederick Douglass Centre, Newcastle Helix. His lecture, ‘Timber! Innovating and growing a sustainable low-carbon economy’ will draw on his experience working on climate change issues for more than 20 years and explore the opportunities that come with decarbonising the built environment.

Paul said: “Having grown up in Newcastle and gone to school here, I am immensely proud to be asked to be this year’s David Goldman Visiting Professor. Looking at the names of those who’ve held this position in the past is both quite humbling and inspiring.

“Climate change is the biggest issue that we face, and there is no single answer to how we address it. And just as there is a multitude of solutions, there are also many opportunities. I am really looking forward to being able to share my knowledge in relation to decarbonising the built environment, both with students and staff not just in the Business School but across the wider university, and help people see the connections between sectors and the opportunities it could open up.”

Paul will take over the role of David Goldman Visiting Professor of Innovation and Enterprise from entrepreneur Sherry Coutu CBE.

The appointment is made on an annual basis to a leading entrepreneur or influential figure who can inspire and motivate future entrepreneurs and business leaders.

The position was established in 2001 to commemorate the life and work of David Goldman, founder and Chief Executive of the North East’s iconic software company, the Sage Group plc. In addition to the Visiting Professorship and annual David Goldman Lecture, the Goldman endowment also funds a Chair of Innovation and Enterprise and five David Goldman Doctoral Studentships.

Professor William Maloney, interim Director of Newcastle University Business School, said: “I am delighted that Paul will be this year’s David Goldman Visiting Professor of Innovation and Enterprise. The insight he will bring as a result of his successful career at a regional, national and international level will support our vision to provide innovative solutions to the challenges facing the world now and in the future. His experience and expertise will also help our students become critical global citizens, and I am looking forward to working with him.”

The annual David Goldman lecture will take place at 5.30pm on Monday 25 April in Lecture Theatre G.56 in the Frederick Douglass Centre, Newcastle Helix. This will be followed by opportunities for networking. The event is free and open to all, but places must be booked in advance. To reserve a place visit:

Paul Brannen Goldman Professor 2022

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