Stephen Hilton is a passionate champion for regenerative economies, socially driven innovation, and equitable urban development. His multifaceted academic and professional background has uniquely equipped him to navigate complex societal challenges with creative solutions.

After completing a degree in Fine Art at Leeds Metropolitan University, Stephen delved into social research, graduating with distinction from the University of Surrey with a Master's degree in Social Research Methods in 1998. His academic journey ignited his passion for addressing systemic issues, leading him to various roles in public and voluntary sector settings, where he worked with marginalised communities and individuals experiencing homelessness to develop and improve strategies and services.

In 1999, Stephen relocated to Bristol, where his pioneering work in technology and democracy earned him recognition as Local Government Innovator of the Year. Rising through the ranks, Stephen eventually became Director of the Bristol Futures Department, where he spearheaded innovative approaches to smart, sustainable, and inclusive urban development. Stephen's achievements at Bristol City Council include, managing the Bristol (Rockefeller) Resilient Cities programme and being part of the team that secured the prestigious title of Bristol European Green Capital 2015.

His dedication to fostering sustainable urban futures led him to found City Global Futures in 2016, a consultancy aimed at cultivating smart, equitable and resilient places. In recognition of his contributions to academia and society, Stephen was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the University of Bristol, first at the Cabot Institute and subsequently at the Bristol Digital Futures Institute.

Driven by a commitment to lifelong learning, Stephen embarked on a transformative journey at Dartington’s Schumacher College, where he immersed himself in the study of regenerative economics. Set to graduate this year with a Master's degree in Regenerative Economics, awarded with distinction, Stephen is poised to continue his mission of reshaping entrenched systems. Currently, Stephen is collaborating with fellow Schumacher graduate, James Martin, to launch Slowmentum, an enterprise dedicated to translating regenerative principles into actionable initiatives.

Stephen's journey is not just one of professional accomplishment but also personal resilience, shaped by his lifelong journey with severe sight impairment, which has instilled in him a profound appreciation for accessibility and inclusion in all aspects of economic, cultural and social life.