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Sustainable and Ethical Enterprise Group (SEEG)

Resolving the conflict between consumerism and sustainable development

— Sustainable and Ethical Enterprise knowledge cluster

Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
Room 3.11
All Saints Campus
Oxford Road

M15 6BH

Can Tourism, Retail, Aviation, or indeed any sector that has consumers, be truly sustainable? Our debate will consider the questions on who is responsible for sustainable consumption.

You are warmly invited to an event that tackles this key question from the perspectives of top industry speakers and academics. The objective is to get some debate going between academia and industry under the ESRC Festival banner. Refreshments will be provided and the event will be informal and informative. Please do spare the time to come along.

We have two sessions and people are welcome to attend any or all of the day:

  • Session 1: 09:30–12:00 – Challenges to Sustainable Consumption
  • Session 2: 13:00–16:30 – The Future of Sustainable Consumption

Join the Sustainable and Ethical Enterprise Group (SEEG) at MMU to debate this question with stakeholders from aviation, retail and tourism.

Photo of Gundrun-Cartwright

Gudrun Cartwright
Head of Marketplace Sustainability, Business in the Community (BITC)

Gudrun leads BITC’s sustainability work across the West of England and has also developed a national campaign focused on practical projects to improve our ability to build a prosperous future for businesses and communities. These projects are bringing together key stakeholders to develop collaborative initiatives focused initially on life’s essentials, such as water, food, energy and connectivity.

Photo of Mike Ball

Mike Ball
Independent Tourism Consultant

Mike Ball is a freelance consultant specialising in the analysis of sustainable tourism markets and consumer trends. He is the principal provider of market analysis reports concerned with sustainable and responsible tourism markets for the UK based global leader in market intelligence and insight, the Mintel Group Ltd.

Photo of Chris Dessent

Chris Dessent
Managing Director, Creative Concern

A former BBC television researcher and a trained TV director, he has also worked as communications manager for Groundwork Northwest, as marketing manager for a £25 million business environment programme, and as Head of Public Affairs for the Vegetarian Society. Chris has also worked as a press officer and brings a wealth of experience in all forms of communications including video production, media relations, strategic planning, print management and website development. Chris is a co-founder of Creative Concern. The idea for the company was conceived with company CEO Steve Connor during a business trip to the Ukraine.

Photo of Harold Goodwin

Harold Goodwin
Professor of Responsible Tourism, MMU

Harold Goodwin teaches on the MSc in Responsible Tourism Management and undertakes, and supervises Masters and PhD students. He is Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, and Co-Chairs the annual International Responsible Tourism in Destinations conferences. He publishes, teaches and advises on Responsible Tourism, and tourism and local economic development.

Photo of Callum Thomas

Callum Thomas
Professor of Sustainable Aviation, MMU

Callum Thomas, Professor of Sustainable Aviation returned to academia in 1998 after 13 years working in aviation. He is internationally known within the industry and was responsible for establishing and managing Manchester Airport’s Environment Department. His expertise involves the sustainable development of aviation, environmental constraints upon airport growth and the impact of airport operations on local communities.

Photo of Cathy Urquhart

Cathy Urquhart
Professor of Sustainable and Digital Enterprise, MMU & Co-Convenor of the Sustainable and Ethical Enterprise Group (SEEG) at MMU

Before returning to the UK in 2009, Cathy worked at the Universities of Tasmania, Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast in Australia, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. She is co-editor of a special issue of the Social Business journal on ‘New paradigms in business: Engaging for sustainability’.


09.30 – Registration and coffee

  • 10.00 – Welcome to the ESRC Festival of Social Science at MMU Business School
    Professor Carol Atkinson, Associate Dean, MMU Business School
  • 10:10 – Consumers as Consumers, or People with Aspirations?
    Gudrun Cartwright, Head of Marketplace Sustainability and Integrated Campaigning at Business in the Community (BITC).

10:35 – Tea and coffee break

  • 10:40 – Welcome to Our Debate: Taking Responsibility for Sustainability
    Professor Cathy Urquhart, Co-Convenor of SEEG (MMU Business School’s Sustainable and Ethical Enterprise Group)
  • 10:45 – Debate: Taking Responsibility for Making Tourism and Aviation Retail Sustainable

    • Mike Ball and Harold Goodwin – Progress in taking responsibility for making tourism more sustainable.
    • Kevin Smith and Callum Thomas – Aviation Retail.
    Each speaker will field questions from the floor to fuel the debate. Audience members have the option to post their questions anonymously.

12:00 – Lunch

  • 13:00 – Researching The Future: Can We Promote Sustainable Consumption?
    Convened by Cathy Urquhart. Small groups to consider the following questions:

    • Reference: Grow Green, Shrink Brown: Green Initiatives in organisations (Urquhart & Kuznetsova 2014, Robbins & Page 2012).
  • 14:00 – Building the Future: Can Industry Make Consumption Sustainable?
    Moderated by Chris Dessent, Creative Concern.

15:00 – Tea and coffee break

  • 15:15 – Plenary session and wrap up

16:30 – Close


Prof Carol Atkinson welcomes delegates to the debate

Delegates during the event

The panel prepare to take part in the debate

Prof Cathy Urquhart provides a grounding for the day’s discussion

(From left to right:) Mike Ball, Prof Harold Goodwin, Chris Dessent, Prof Cathy Urquhart & Prof Callum Thomas.

A poster advertising the event

Feedback – ‘Ask It Basket’

#esrcfestival #mmususcon

For more information

  • Katherine Roycroft
    Research Project and Development Manager (Mon–Wed)
  • Telephone:
    0161 247 6067
  • Email:

  • Jane Walkington-Ellis
    Research Project and Development Manager (Wed–Fri)
  • Telephone:
    0161 247 3654
  • Email:

  • Gary Lindsay
    Research Administrator
  • Telephone:
    0161 247 2706
  • Email:
  • Knowledge Hub,
    Manchester Metropolitan University
    Business School,
    All Saints Campus,
    Oxford Road,
    Manchester, M15 6BH,
    United Kingdom

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