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People

Steffie Broer, Bright Green Futures

Dr Steffie Broer

Founder

Steffie has lived in communities in Spain, Chile, Germany, the UK and Sweden and led several eco-construction projects in Germany, Portugal, Spain and the UK. Steffie’s first self-build memories are laying blocks with her newborn baby Isham on her back. Isham’s first memories are watching diggers and smiling at builders from the baby bouncer in the entrance of their temporary trailer home.

Steffie founded Bright Green Futures after 8 years of working as an advisor for Sustainable Energy Solutions at ESD (now Verco) and completing a Masters with Distinction in Applied Energy and Buildings (Cranfield University) and a Doctorate in Engineering at UCL’s Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience, where she studied eco self-build communities around the world to find out what really works, what delivers true benefits to self-builders and what makes a significant contribution towards solving climate change. Steffie takes responsibility for strategy, product development, sustainability, quality control, new customers and new business development.

She won an award for her publication on how to achieve low carbon livelihoods in new build housing communities, and since no one was making them happen, she thought it might as well be her. Steffie loves a challenge. When someone says: “this can’t be done” she loves going for it and creating the world she is passionate about. In recognition of her achievements Steffie won the 2016 South West Energy Efficiency Champion of the Year Award.

For more information about Steffie, please see her personal website: steffiebroer.com.


Caroline Pringle

Managing Director (Bright Green Futures)

Project Manager (Water Lilies)

Caroline is fortunate enough to live in Bristol’s original self-build community, The Yard, a major inspiration for Bright Green Futures. During her 3-year tenure as Chair of AVAG, The Yard developer, she re-secured the stalled European funding and kick-started the development of the community hub, Wild Goose Space, and its adjoining offices and flats. She remains a Director of The Yard’s Estate Management group.

For fifteen years Caroline worked as a Development Consultant for ten public/voluntary sector clients, including Bristol City Council,  The Beckley FoundationThe Kingswood Foundation, and St Pauls Unlimited. Briefs included business planning, fundraising, organisational capacity building, event management, training delivery and partnership development.

Caroline is very proud to have spent five years as Chief Executive Officer of Transform Drug Policy Foundation and, before that, five years as Community Affairs Executive and Director/Producer at HTV (where she gave Sacha Baron Cohen – aka Ali G – his first job in TV!).

She is also proud to be a mum, yoga teacher and founder of Bristol Health and Nutrition.


Laura Bawn

Operations Coordinator (Bright Green Futures)

Project Coordinator (Water Lilies)

Laura looks after customers and operations at Bright Green Futures. She is passionate about supporting BGF’s vision to put people and planet at the core of housing.

Laura has over a decade of experience organising international conferences and fundraising events and, from 2018 to 2020, she was Project and Operations Manager for Dovetail Design & Build Ltd where she honed her eye for detail and sensitivity for what is needed. Living with Steffie in The Yard and The Courtyard gave her first hand experience of the empowerment that comes from community-led housing and sees how vital this is for society at large.


Pablo Newberry

Research, Marketing and Communications

Pablo is sponsored by Bright Green Futures and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to study for a PhD based at University of Bristol. The aim of his PhD is to research and develop strategies that integrate the needs of both people and the environment in sustainable housing, investigating the opportunities to make Bright Green Futures’ eco self-build community approach a mainstream solution for housing in the UK.

Pablo graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a Master’s in City and Regional Planning, specialising in urban design. To enable the publication of outstanding research in urban design at Masters level, Pablo proposed and initiated a dissertation and project research section in the Urban Design Journal. Pablo also has experience assisting the delivery of regeneration projects with Fareham Borough Council and has worked with his hometown community to help develop their neighbourhood plan.

Since moving to Bristol in the summer of 2017 he developed a particular interest in self-build, co-housing and sustainable design, having become disillusioned with traditional housing provision in the UK. Growing up in generation rent, he wants to create sustainable and affordable housing opportunities, and raise living standards and expectations. Pablo believes Bright Green Futures’ eco self-build communities can set a leading example and pave the way for future housing developments to follow in their footsteps.


Johanna Nicholls

Interior Design and Build Coordinator (Water Lilies apartments)

Administration and Finance (Bright Green Futures)

Johanna is a highly experienced project manager, administrative and production manager with a long history of supporting creative start ups and running projects and teams in the creative, cultural and innovation industries.

Johanna lived in Bristol’s award winning Eco self-build community known as ‘The Yard’. She subsequently project managed the last phase of development at The Yard, which entailed delivering a large mixed-use, multi-storey refurbished building, combining custom-build flats, a community hub and work studios. Johanna previously ran an interior design and build company delivering a fully managed residential design and build service for clients throughout the Bristol and Bath region.

Her considerable experience in the creative industry includes project managing, producing and studio managing with significant cultural and creative brands. Much of the last decade, she was London based as Senior Producer and Studio Manager at the Immersive Storytelling Studio at the National Theatre.

Johanna is driven by the power of the creative process and the finding of creative solutions. She is particularly inspired to apply this kind of creative solution finding to the communities and homes that we build as we look towards sustainable, affordable and collective housing opportunities in our future.


Larch Maxey, Bright Green Futures

Dr Larch Maxey

Sustainable Transport and Legals (currently on sabbatical)

Larch has an unrivalled combination of practical and academic experience of building and living in sustainable communities. He has leading edge expertise in sustainable transport, wellbeing, legal structures, food growing and how peaceful community living can really really work for everyone. Since 1988 Larch has co-founded over twenty sustainability social enterprises, including the pioneering Lammas Ecovillage whilst teaching, researching and practicing sustainability and writing over 50 academic and popular publications. His co-edited books include The Sustainable University (Routledge/Earthscan) and Low Impact Development: The Future in Our Hands which sold out within 8 months and is now available as a free download.

Larch has held lectureships and post-doctoral research posts with Swansea University, the Centre for Alternative Technology and Plymouth University. In 2012 he co-founded the Network of Wellbeing and remains its community projects manager. He was a director of the Ecological Land Coop from 2009-2014 and its Chair from 2012-2014. Larch has built and lived in several low impact homes and is delighted to be pursuing his passion for affordable, low impact homes within integrated sustainable communities by working with Bright Green Futures.