Catherine Russell


Catherine has been with People Powered Results from the beginning when, back in 2013, we set out on a journey to explore and experiment with different ways of creating change which put people and place at their heart. This built closely on her work in People Powered Health, exploring how a range of different methods could more effectively put people and communities in the driving seat of their own health and care. 

As a human geographer, taking a place-based approach to change comes very naturally to Catherine. She’s fascinated by the role of place in change, and in particular how local contexts affect how ideas are adopted and spread. 

She’s humbled by the learning and change the team have seen over many partnerships with different places, regions and national organisations across the UK. From co-designing place based strategies with Local Authorities to developing national guidance and policy in a bottom-up way with the NHS. Currently, she is particularly interested in how we continue to adapt our methods, and build people’s ability to thrive in an ever-changing world.

She has a background in social innovation, and worked at the Young Foundation prior to Nesta. Here, her work focussed on building deep understanding of the contexts of people’s lives through ethnography, to drive innovation. This ranged from influencing Local Government policy around the impact of welfare reform on the most vulnerable, to exploring the potential of asset-based approaches for people with complex learning disabilities.

Outside of work Catherine volunteers with a charity supporting people who are homeless. She loves the outdoors and finding adventures, big and small, and can often be found in, on or near water.

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