Board member – Robin Asby

Robin Asby has had a varied life; born into a Royal Naval family in 1943 he attended 3 junior schools including one in New South Wales, and 3 secondary schools. He graduated from Cambridge University in 1965 with a degree in Mathematics, and gained a Doctorate from London University in 1968 in Mathematical Physics.  In his initial career he moved to a research post in Rochester NY in the United States, and subsequently back to the UK. From 1974 he spent 16 years training teachers in the teaching of mathematics and computing. During this time he was elected to the post of Treasurer of the Pembrokeshire Constituency Labour party for seven consecutive years and subsequently Vice Chair and chair for a further three years.  During this time, 1976-1979, he self-built a three bedroom detached house outside Narberth in Pembrokeshire. Following this he founded a small IT business installing microcomputer business systems in the early days of microcomputers, and in 1984 was elected a Narberth Town Councillor retiring eventually in 1996. 

Finding that most small business problems were largely problems of management in 1994 he joined what was then King Alfred’s College in Winchester as one of two appointees to found a new business department which has now become Winchester Business School.

From 1998 to 2006 his principal activity was consultancy work in conjunction with Hull University mentoring senior and middle managers in the Middle East, Far East, and UK in the development of their understanding and use of management theory in practice.  This work covered a range of topics and a variety of organisations, and resulted in a masters or doctoral dissertations for the University, new thinking for the organisation and advancement for the individual within their organisation. 

His major research interest is in the development of understanding in Systems Thinking, thinking in complex interconnected problem situations which involve many people and different cultural perspectives.  From 2001 he became an Open University Tutor, then a contributor to the development of systems thinking courses. He chaired the development of the Open University MSc ‘Systems Thinking in Practice’.  He is author of a shortly to be published book ‘Thinking Systems: an organic language of harmony for human survival’.

He has a strong interest in education. From 2000 -2012 he was a governor of Todmorden High School and was also a governor of Batley Girls’ High School 2002 -2015, in both cases having been elected vice chair and chair for a number of years. In 2014 he joined the board of the Incredible Farm in Todmorden.