Robin Murray is an industrial economist. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and at the London School of Economics. He joined the London Business School, where he lectured in Economics, and then moved to the Institute of Development Studies, the national centre for the study and teaching of development at the University of Sussex, where he was a Fellow for 20 years.
During this time he acted as a consultant on industrial and development issues to a wide range of governments, and served as Director of Industry in the Greater London Council in the 1980s and as a Director of Development in the Government of Ontario in the 1990s.
This work led him to the conclusion that there was a major role that could be played in achieving social goals by mission driven third sector companies. In the field of development he co-founded Twin and Twin Trading in 1985, and has been closely involved in their work and that of their associated companies over the past 25 years. Twin works with existing farmers co-operatives, and helps establishes new ones, while Twin Trading imports and sells their products in the UK. Twin Trading has in turn established producer co-owned branding companies, in coffee, chocolate, fresh fruit and nuts. This group of companies now acts as a trading and marketing arm for some 350,000 small farmers.
In parallel he has also developed a range of new ventures in the environmental field. His interest here is in the economy of distributed systems, and their potential for environmental and social sustainability. He co-founded the environmental partnership Ecologika, whose members work in the fields of waste, energy, transport, food and health. As a group they played a major role in the re-direction of UK waste policy, including new venture formation, and later worked as advisers to the Deputy Mayor of London in establishing first the London Climate Change Agency, and then a London-wide Green Homes concierge service.
More recently his focus has been on wider aspects of social innovation. At the UK’s Design Council, as Director of RED, its innovation unit, he led the team working on new forms of health care, particularly in the areas of chronic disease management and public health. Later, as a Fellow of the Young Foundation, he worked on methods of social and environmental innovation, and as an Associate of Co-operatives UK, the umbrella body for 5,000 British co-operatives, he prepared a strategy for the expansion of co-operatives over the coming decade. He currently also holds the post of Senior Visiting Fellow at the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit, London School of Economics.
London Business School, Lecturer in Economics, Institute of Development Studies, Fellow in Economics, Greater London Council, Director of Industry and Chief Economic Adviser Government of Ontario, Special Adviser to Minister of Trade and Industry Design Council, Director of RED Innovation Unit Young Foundation, Fellow Co-operatives UK Fellow Twin Trading, Chair Agrofair UK, Chair Liberation Foods, Chair
Balliol College, Oxford BA in History College of Europe, Diploma in European Studies London School of Economics, MSC in Economics