Toby Johnson is English but has lived in Brussels for 20 years. He has spent most of his working life in co-operatives and the social economy. He helped to found two worker’s co-operatives in Leeds (selling wholefood and real ale respectively) and progressed to being the secretary of the UK worker co-op movement. He was then appointed as an expert in the European Commission’s Social Economy Unit.

After several years working as an editor of EU publications, in 2002 he became the Commission’s social economy expert within the EQUAL programme. He has continued this role to date as the monitoring officer for the Social Entrepreneurship Network (SEN – This involves ESF managing authorities from 9 countries in conducting a programme of peer reviews on the components of a comprehensive support environment for social enterprises.

He has played numerous roles with regard to the sector – worker-manager, advocate, policy-maker, training programme manager, researcher, evaluator, workshop facilitator/moderator, online journalist and policy analyst – and has written extensively on the subject including editing the EQUAL Compendium in this field and for the OECD. He also carries out editorial projects.

Working languages

English – French – German – Dutch (passive)

Phone +32 2 538 26 46