Wales Coast Path Challenge – time for the judging to begin

We had some great ideas submitted on the GeoVation Challenge ‘How can we connect communities and visitors along the Wales Coast Path? ’ – so thank you if you submitted an idea or voted or commented on one.  There were 62 ideas posted between 14 March and 2 May and 732 people registered on the GeoVation Community during that time – which is fantastic!

The next stage is for the judges to start reading all of the ideas and select a shortlist of the best of these which will be announced on 29 May. The shortlisted ideas teams will be invited  to a GeoVation Camp in Cardiff  over the weekend of 22-24 June.

You can find out who the judging panel are below:

The Judging Panel Chair is:

Andy Middleton – a social entrepreneur,designer and facilitator who helps leaders and teams in business,  government and community build resilience for sustainability. He uses ecology, psychology and action learning to help people connect what they see, know and feel to ways of doing things that are lighter on, and inspired by nature. He is Founder Director of the TYF Group, a well-established and innovative adventure, education and leadership business based in St Davids, Pembrokeshire. His imagination is caught by working on city and country-scale sustainability projects and by the creative retreat centre he’s building that overlooks islands and ocean on the western edge of Wales.

Andy will be joined by:

Angela Charlton –  Director of Ramblers Cymru and responsible for leading the charity in Wales.  Angela has over 20 years of experience in the voluntary sector, working across Wales, Shropshire and Gloucestershire. She joined Ramblers Cymru in 2008, coming from her previous role as Chief Officer with a Council for Voluntary Services where she secured a large amount of funding to support a very rural social enterprise initiative. Angela has experience in community engagement in both the rural and urban environment context.  Her previous roles cover environmental education, fundraising, project development and management, countryside management and, of course, walk-leading. She is from South Wales and has a real passion to see the people of Wales have every opportunity to flourish in a sustainable way whilst meeting the needs of the people and the environment.

Bill Oates who leads the Geography and Technology team in Welsh Government’s Knowledge and Analytical Services. His team of 20 is responsible for the acquisition, management, exploitation and dissemination of geographic data and some of their recent work includes Wales’ response to INSPIRE and the implementation of Wales’ relationship with Ordnance Survey for map supply.  Bill has  had a 15-year career in geographic information, but before getting his first real job he spent a year trying to get a start-up ‘dot.com’ company off the ground. He is  looking forward to working with GeoVation participants and hopefully making a contribution to their success.

Bryan Forbes – Technology Strategy Board SBRI Account Manager.  As an SBRI Account Manager, Bryan is responsible for promoting the use of the SBRI process to find innovative solutions to significant public sector challenges. This includes developing and managing technology innovation competitions with government departments and other public sector agencies. Bryan joined the Technology Strategy Board in 2009 and has a background in the IT industry where he has had extensive experience in sales, business development and account management.

John Carpenter is Head of Product Management at Ordnance Survey. John’s team is responsible for the life-cycle management of the whole Ordnance Survey product range, working with Product Propositions and Product Development to ensure that the portfolio is evolving to meet the changing market. John joined Ordnance Survey from the financial services industry in 2006, where he managed a number of business-to-business product groups.



Peter Francombe who is currently the Strategy Manager on Visit Wales’, Digital Tourism Business Programme. He is responsible for managing a team to champion within the tourism industry in Wales, enthusiasm for, knowledge of and engagement with ICT business innovations. Prior to this Peter had clocked up over 18 years experience in the Welsh Government’s Technology & Innovation Department. With various roles supporting technology businesses throughout ‘new product development life cycle’ he was most recently responsible for developing an innovative and proactive approach to commercialising their ideas in line with the open innovation model. Slotted between his years in new product development Peter also spent two years as the Ryder Cup IT Project Manager.

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