Beverley Nielsen has a background spanning academia, politics and business. As associate professor and director of the Institute for Design & Economic Acceleration, IDEA, at Birmingham City University she has written about Brexit, manufacturing, sustainable transport, construction,energy and entrepreneurial ecosystems. She stood as the West Midlands Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate in 2017 and currently serves as a district councillor on Malvern Hills District Council in Worcesetershire. She was a group director of iconic West Midlands’ brand and publicly-quoted business, Aga Rangemaster, and former managing director of Fired Earth. She previously served as director of CBI West Midlands and as a multiple entrepreneur she has helped over 45 businesses through early start-up stages, chairing two of these involved in outdoor learning and ultra light rail.