Matthew Thomson

Matthew Thomson
Fifteen Cornwall

Chief Executive of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall since 2012, and responsible for its parent charity Cornwall Food Foundation, Matthew is a ‘serial specialist’ with 30 years experience in commercial, social enterprise, charity, and environmental sectors including London Community Resource Network, School for Social Entrepreneurs, TimeBank, National Lottery Charities Board and Citibank as well as several restaurants. In 2014, Fifteen Cornwall won the Regio Stars Inclusive Growth award having put €30m in the local economy through its supply chain, 75 full-time jobs and training 112 disadvantaged young people as professional chefs. While showcasing regional food excellence, Fifteen Cornwall trains disadvantaged young people who are not in employment, education or training and who face challenges such as criminality, substance misuse, mental illness, or disability, in the Least Developed Region in England.

Action on a more circular economy starts with design: the design of products, the design of business models, the design of services, and the design of processes. We have to learn to think about lifecycles, and designers have a key role to play. Better design is one of the key aspects articulated in the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, as it can make products more durable or easier to repair, upgrade or remanufacture. The plan proposes a number of incentives to design products that can be more easily recycled or reused.