profile toby johnson

Toby Johnson started working in the co-operative movement in 1977 at Suma Wholefoods, which has since grown to be the biggest collective workers’ co-operative in Britain. In 1979 he founded Leeds Beer Co-operative which ran a real ale shop and later a microbrewery. Following this grounding he became the secretary of ICOM, the UK work co-ops federation which has now merged with Co-operatives UK. In 1994 he was seconded to the Social Economy Unit of the European Commission for three years, during which he managed two calls for proposals for transnational projects to develop the sector. In 2002 he became the Commission’s social economy expert for the EQUAL programme, where he enjoyed writing analytical case studies, preparing policy recommendations, organising seminars and conferences, and building up Wikipreneurship.eu as an online knowledge base. This transnational role has continued since the end of EQUAL. Toby has been the official ‘monitor’ of two networks of ESF managing authorities: Better Future of the Social Economy (BFSE) and the Community of Practice in Inclusive Entrepreneurship (COPIE). He also works as a journalist, and has edited a number of EU magazines such as Euroabstracts as well as numerous conference reports, project profiles and online news articles.

profile samuel barco

Samuel Barco is a senior researcher and consultant with more than 15 years of experience in political science research, extensive international experience in the field of social entrepreneurship development, where he has successfully completed assignments for the most relevant international actors (World Bank, European Social Fund, OECD, Corporación Andina de Fomento, etc.). He holds the Diploma of Advanced Studies in Political Science from UNED University (Spain) and a Master's Degree in International Relations and Communication at the Computense University (Spain). He has been Senior Consultant and Vice-president of the International Consulting firm “Servicio de Conocimiento Asociado” (SPAIN) (2006-2012). Previously, from 2002 to 2006, Samuel designed and directed the Department of International Relations CEPES-Andalusia, the umbrella organization representing Social Economy in Andalusia. He is member of the board of REVES (European Network of Cities & Regions for the Social Economy), international advisor for several public bodies both local and international ones on social economy, social enterprises and social innovation. He is an international speaker/trainer/facilitator. Working languages: Spanish, English, French and Italian.