Our Approach

Are we a Think Tank? Are we an NGO? Are we a Strategic Advisory Firm? After much thought, we’ve given up trying to find the right box to put ourselves in! We are all of those.

We are a Think Tank because we develop new thinking on innovation, society and responsibility. We are an NGO because we campaign for the things we think are important. We are a Strategic Advisory Firm because when people ask for help with these critical issues, we roll our sleeves up and get stuck in. Our work to date has focused on exploring Responsible Innovation in policy, business and academia.

We are a not-for-profit organisation. We pride ourselves on our independence of thought, ability to look at issues in the round and particularly our skills in bringing together different stakeholders to explore the critical issues around the innovations that are currently transforming our world.
We seek to involve all stakeholders, and also unusually, also work across technology sectors, bringing learning from one to the other - in particular in synthetic biology, gene editing and genetic modification; robotics and artificial intelligence; nanotechnologies and advance materials.

Working with us


Hilary Sutcliffe

Hilary is the Director of SocietyInside. She focuses on multi-stakeholder research and dialogue projects and speaking and blogging about Responsible Innovation

Hilary Sutcliffe

Hilary Sutcliffe is the Director of SocietyInside and TIGTecha CSO, Business, Academic partnership exploring the earning of trust in technology governance.
Hilary is co-chair of the World Economic Forum Global Futures Council on Values, Ethics and Innovation and previously sat on the council on Human Rights, prior to that the Global Agenda Council on Nanotechnologies.  
She the serves on the Governance Sub-Group of the UK Synthetic Biology Leadership Council ; the External Advisory Board of the Institute of Innovation Research, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester and the Advisory Board of SynbioChem, the Centre for Synbio & speciality fine chemicals.
She was previously a Non-Exec Director of EIRIS (the Ethical Investment Research Service),  the External Advisory Board of the University of Michigan Risk Science Centre in the USA; chaired the Advisory Board of ResAgora a research project which explored a Responsible Innovation Framework for Europe;  the advisory board of the Public Dialogue on applications of Nanotechnologies; a member of Amnesty International UK Business Group and was involved in the Royal Society of Arts Inquiry into Tomorrow’s Company.
She has a MSc in Responsibility in Business Practice from the University of Bath and a BA in History of Art from the University of Manchester.
After a life-time of lethargy & zero exercise, much to everyone's surprise she managed to run 3 the mid-life crisis marathons and now plays lots of tennis.
She also loves evening classes - recent ones include Sustainable Stand Up (stand up comedy to make sustainability issues funny!), Improv for Humanity (using Improvisation techniques to engage people in important issues); Mixed Materials Sculpture and she is currently cutting up little bits of glass and melting them in a kiln in the garage for her hobby of Fused Glass.

Daan Schuurbiers

Daan works on the design of new forms of collaboration with academic researchers and their stakeholders to encourage reflection and action on the social and ethical dimensions of innovation.

Daan Schuurbiers

Daan works with researchers and policy makers to include a concern for people and the environment at the earliest stages of innovation.  
Daan has encouraged early reflection on the possible social impacts of emerging technologies throughout his research and current advisory work. He designs training courses for researchers, builds novel interdisciplinary collaborations, advises on research policy and regularly speaks at conferences to raise awareness with researchers of the broader societal dimensions of their work.  
He studied philosophy and chemistry at the University of Amsterdam and holds a PhD from Delft University of Technology in the ethics of technology. In 2010 he founded De Proeffabriek, a Dutch consultancy, to train researchers, advise policy makers and advance public debate on responsible innovation. Daan has been extensively involved in the management, evaluation and design of European research projects and programmes over the last fifteen years. He is currently a member of the Horizon 2020 Advisory Group on Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Biotechnology & Advanced Manufacturing (NMBP), and chairs the External Advisory Board of NUCLEUS, a Horizon 2020 project investigating how to realise Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in universities and research institutions. 

Adrian Henriques

Adrian specialises in technology governance and accountability, advising organisations and creating new instruments to underpin the trustworthiness of innovation.

Adrian Henriques

Adrian works with us on technology governance issues and helping businesses understand the social, economic and environmental issues associated with their use.
He has been involved in the development of the Responsible Nano Code and the Responsible Nano Forum. He also facilitates meetings and conferences on governance at the European level.
Adrian has extensive experience of accountability and stakeholder issues, working with companies, NGOs and the public sector, including Roche, the Science Museum and Friends of the Earth. He has particular expertise in stakeholder engagement, research, standards and reporting and has worked with the Global Reporting Initiative and the Global Compact.
He is also Chair of the UK Mirror Committee for ISO 26000 and is Visiting Professor of Accountability and CSR at Middlesex University.

Mike facilitates small and large scale public and stakeholder involvement projects using innovative and traditional participative processes 

Mike works with on on public & stakeholder engagement and facilitation.  He is focused on helping organisations develop the right approach to engagement in respect to emerging technologies.
Mike is an Environmental Scientist with considerable experience, both in the UK and internationally, in using public & stakeholder engagement, facilitation and participative process design to help organisations achieve sustainability outcomes.
Previous to this he was Chief Executive of the Environment Council, an NGO that pioneered the use of stakeholder engagement and public participation to help resolve environmental issues. He has also been Chief Executive of the Living Earth Foundation, specialising in community engagement to enhance natural resource management in the developing world and Director of Conservation at BTCV where he was responsible the policy and practice of the UK’s leading conservation volunteering organisation.
Mike is

Our Advisory Board

We are currently convening our new Advisory Board to help us refine our strategic approach and contribute to our thinking.
As with MATTER’s previous wonderful advisors who served us for over ten years, the group will be multi-stakeholder in composition and they will participate as individuals, not officially representing their organisations.
They attended meetings at their own expense and were not paid for their contribution.


As our new group is being convened, we would like to thank our previous members, many of whom have been with us since the beginning.  They contribution has been invaluable.
Thanks to:  Frank Barry, Amicus/Unite (Union);  David Baxter & then Nick Beecroft,  Emerging Risks Manager,  Lloyds of London; Stuart Challenor, Food & Environment Policy, Tesco; Dr David Gee, editor Late Lessons from Early Warnings,  European Environment Agency; Dr David Grimshaw,  Head New Technologies, Practical Action; Prof Richard Jones, FRS, PVC for Research and Innovation, University of Sheffield; Gary Kass, Deputy Chief Scientist, Natural England; Arved Luth, Director, Forumnano; Good Response, Germany; Gene Matthews, solicitor, Leigh Day & Co; Dr David Santillo, Senior Scientist, Greenpeace, Dick Toet, VP External Affairs, Unilever.
Our Trustees were only in place a short time, but we would like to thank Tracey Brown, Director, Sense about Science who was the chair of the Trustees; Graham Broadbelt from Tomorrow's Company; Mark Miller from SGS and Jeremy Webb, editor-at-large New Scientist.


The role of the new advisory board will be developed collaboratively with the group once convened.


SocietyInside is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

In order to preserve our independence & underpin our reputation for impartiality, we are seeking core funding from independent groups.  
In our previous incarnation as MATTER we were grateful to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for providing start-up funding and the funding of our project on Responsible Innovation and Food. Other projects have received funding from various sources, including the UK government’s ScienceWise, (Nano&me), businesses (Building Confidence stakeholder project), H2020 projects (Resagora & Future Foods) and research tenders or partnerships with various groups, including the European Commission, the LifeSciences Knowledge Transfer Network, CEFIC Long Range Research Institute, University of Michigan, University of Sheffield and Forum for the Future.
If you would like to contribute funds to the ongoing development of SocietyInside, please contact Hilary on 07799 625064 or email hilary@societyinside.com