We have been interviewing our newly re-structured Modeshift Staff Team to find out more about who they are, their roles and how they are involved in sustainable travel.  Our third interview is with Modeshift’s IT Systems and Training Specialist James Hardie.

How long have you been involved in Sustainable Travel? 

For as long as I can remember. I have always used a bike as a means of transport and tried to encourage other to do the same. I have formally been in the industry for about 17 years, first working for Sustrans, then a short break back to IT (where I’ve spent most of my career) before joining Luton Borough Council as their School Travel Advisor.

I was also a volunteer cycle instructor alongside the day job for many years before Bikeability became the standard & then a Bikeability instructor until I left Luton.

When did you join Modeshift?

I joined Modeshift 6 years ago very shortly after Nick Butler as Modeshift’s second employee. I had been a member and part of what is now called Team Modeshift during my time at Luton too.

What do you like most about being part of Team Modeshift?

Being part of something that is genuinely trying to make a positive difference to people’s lives and the planet’s health. In its broadest sense I see Team Modeshift as running to the many thousands, perhaps millions, of people when you count all the pupils and staff of organisations signed up to Modeshift STARS. That is a lot of potential for positive change.

What are you working on now and what’s coming up?

I have just finished bringing the Modeshift Board and staff emails into a single IT management structure and am working closely with our systems developers to finish the final couple of outstanding elements of the STARS Business rewrite. Next up are some minor tweaks to make STARS accreditation more seamless and some user interface & reporting enhancements. I am also looking forwards to working with the proposed new focus groups to decide the future direction of the schemes. One thing I love about working on Modeshift STARS is that we never stand still.

What’s been your proudest moment at Modeshift?

It is difficult to pick one, and the fact that we’re a very close-knit team makes individual pride a bit redundant. It has to be either the first STARS School of the Region event I organised running as smoothly as we all hoped or working on getting the new STARS Education system written and back up and running in 2018. I accept there were some issues but given the small size of our team, I am proud of the job we did.

Tell us a fun fact about you

During lockdown #1 my wife & I were due to walk Hadrian’s Wall. That got cancelled so we walked the 84 miles doing circuits from home. My Fitbit recorded 191,306 steps that week!

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