Same Skies Think Tank logo

The Regional Democracy Think Tank for West Yorkshire

Who We Are

Same Skies started as a network of citizens in 2015, and our organisational structure is still that as much as anything else.

If you'd like to get involved, either in our think tank activities, or the network, you will be very welcome. Please do drop us a line.

Ed Carlisle

Ed Carlisle lives in south Leeds with his wife Tania, and 2 small kids. He's originally from Sheffield, grew up in different corners of the UK, but came back to Yorkshire (Leeds) to study in the 90s, fell in love with the city, and is still very much here. He co-runs Leeds-wide charity Together for Peace; he also co-leads a bunch of community projects, including: South Leeds Life newspaper, Beeston Festival, Leeds Repair Cafe, and Holbeck Viaduct; and he's a local campaigner, and lead candidate with the Green Party in south/central Leeds. He likes cycling, coffee, film, cats, hiking, and Marmite, and is somewhat vegetarian.

Dr. Tiffany R. Holloman

Tiffany is a professor, author, and activist who has a strong dedication in working for the community. She has been a guest speaker at numerous events and conferences internationally but can also be found attending open mic nights around Leeds. Her research includes gender and power; regional politics; and decolonisation. She is a member of the National History Honour Society and the Centre for Race and Ethnicities Studies at the University of Leeds.

Ian Martin

Ian Martin lives in East Leeds with his family. He moved to Leeds for work over 20 years ago and previously lived in Derbyshire, Reading and Trier. In the early 2000s, Ian spent a year in Latin America, including visits to various democracy initiatives. In more recent times, he was a founder member of Yorkshire St Pauli and a presenter on East Leeds FM. He is a primary school teacher, junior rugby league coach and campaigner for human rights. Prior to becoming a teacher, he worked with local communities across Yorkshire to develop advice and other services for refugees. As well as Qualified Teacher Status, he has a BA in European Studies from Reading University and an MA in Education from Huddersfield University.

Jack Simpson

Jack is currently studying for a PhD at the University of Leeds School of Politics and International Studies, researching the role of cities in expanding and preserving space for political autonomy. Alongside this, Jack has worked on a wide range of projects in culture, co founding arts space Hyde Park Book Club, music studio Eiger, culture site The State of The Arts. Jack is Officer at Large for the Human Development and Capability Association, was a steering group member for Leeds 2023 bid, and co founder of Leeds Lit Fest. Jack is an Ambassador at Leeds University Business School.

Ryan Swift

Ryan is a PhD researcher at the University of Leeds. His current research looks at the politics of the North of England, exploring the ways in which the North is discussed in political debate. He holds an MA in Social Science Research Methods from the University of Leeds, and an MRes in Politics, and BA in Politics and Contemporary History from the University of Huddersfield.

He is keen to engage non-academic audiences in his research and has written articles for a variety of publications and contributed to discussions on local radio and TV. He has become increasingly involved with Same Skies, attracted by its aim of engaging local citizens as well as policymakers in discussions about politics and society in West Yorkshire.

Ryan lives in Halifax and is a keen advocate for the town and its long-struggling football team.

Andrew Wilson

Andrew lives in Huddersfield and works in the crossover between making in the arts and making new technology. He also organises Hannah Directory, the yearly print publication celebrating the great stuff that people are doing in places in England’s north, and asking how even more of it can happen. Andrew is director of Same Skies for the think tank launch year and initiatives focused on the West Yorkshire mayoral election in May 2021.

Original Network Members

The members of the original Same Skies network who organised the What Kind of Region... open space conference in Manningham, Bradford in 2015 were Yoshiko Stokoe, Leila Taleb, Ed Carlisle, Ian Martin, Alex Schafran and Andrew Wilson.

You can read more about how we got started in Our Story.

Appreciated Contributions

If West Yorkshire artist Amy Hirst hadn't come along to a meeting, the markets project would never have happened.

Peg Alexander gave her time to co-host and facilite our first event in Manningham, Bradford in 2015.

Same Skies Think Tank
c/o The Making Space
The Media Centre,
Northumberland Street,
West Yorkshire,