Kirsty Styles

Kirsty has a decade of experience creating projects that help people better understand ideas. Her career highlights include bringing ‘civictech’ stories to millions through business and consumer media, including working as an editor for the New Statesman, creating a flagship public speaker training programme for women in tech in the North, called Northern Voices, and launching a British Podcast Award-winning podcast for the New Economics Foundation think tank.

A little more..? Oh go on then!

For five years, Kirsty worked as a technology journalist in London covering mobile, startups and tech giants. Before many people knew these issues were coming, she focused on ethical questions of technology, such as its economic, environmental and social impact. This included creating a standup comedy show with Science Showoff and writing the final chapter of a book about the 50-year history of Hackney.

In 2015, alongside working as a journalist, Kirsty created a jargon-busting, award-winning podcast for the New Economics Foundation think tank, the Weekly Economics Podcast. Among many other things, it has looked at the joy of tax, how to stop people flying and feminist economics.

They even put this mini-series about neoliberalism on the syllabus at an unnamed London university and the pod was reviewed in the Guardian.

In 2016, on International Women’s Day, she launched a public speaker training and performance programme for women in tech in the North, called Northern Voices, to change the conversation about technology and digital jobs. For this work at government-backed Tech North, she was added to the Northern Power Women Future List.

After this, she worked as the first community organiser in UK journalism, helping the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s award-winning local investigation project Bureau Local open its files to the public.

While working in communications for radical northern reading charity The Reader in 2019, Kirsty led weekly heritage tours of the newly opened Mansion House headquarters, making 5,000 years of local history fun and funny for the public.

She also studied for her Masters during this time, creating a comedy training and performance programme for journalists to help them talk about the public interest, called Standup For Journalism, with the support of Science Showoff Manchester.

Sharing her research results, she spoke at the World News Media Congress in 2019, who thought she was mad, and then she asked, in a fun way, whether comedy could save journalism at a Hacks/Hackers event in London.

In the very same week, Kirsty chaired Talk UX, by Ladies That UX, in Manchester. One of their organisers, Llara Geddes, said:

Kirsty joined us at Talk UX in 2019 as compere. What a great choice she was. Funny, knowledgeable, engaging. She has an easy way and styles (boom, boom) out anything that needs to be covered (tech issues, delays etc.) with aplomb. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.

In October 2019, Kirsty started her PhD, looking at the environmental sustainability of ‘the media’ at the University of Central Lancashire, backed by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

After winning her university’s social science research presentation competition 2020, she took her project to ‘the stage’ during lockdown, as part of a research project with Nottingham Trent University called News on Stage.

The organiser, Catherine Adams, said:

Kirsty is a truly professional performer whose work is full of wit, humour and integrity. I was lucky enough to work with her when she performed for my News on Stage project with her highly original and rigorously researched piece, ‘Ten Minutes to Save the Planet’. She was a joy to work with and her stage presence, even over Zoom, made her piece one of the most popular items on the night, according to our audience surveys. She is pitch-perfect and conveys her message brilliantly, with nuance and passion. And crucially, what she says is important! I can’t endorse Kirsty highly enough. Give this woman a stage!

Because of her varied expertise across media, technology and society, in early 2020, Kirsty acted as a selection advisor for Nesta’s government-backed Future News Fund.

She also edited a book during lockdown, called Tracksuits, Traumas and Class Traitors, by D. Hunter.

And next, she’s taking up a journalism lecturing post at the University of Huddersfield.

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