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Rachel Lopata

Institute Associate Profile

Rachel has 20 years of varied experience in market and social research. She has extensive quantitative and qualitative research experience having worked at Director level for two major market research agencies, ORC International and Opinion Leader Research, before setting up her own company, Community Research. She also worked for six years in a local government policy and research role.

Whilst broadly experienced in a range of research approaches, Rachel’s particular areas of expertise are deliberative events and citizens and community panels (particularly online panels). She has also recently developed knowledge of peer to peer research approaches.

Rachel’s company, Community Research, currently runs Thames Water’s online consumer panel and Rachel designed and runs The Institute’s Effective Citizens and Community Panels course. In terms of deliberative events Rachel has developed, designed managed and facilitated some of the most high profile deliberative research and consultation exercises ever seen in the UK including, for example, the National Pensions Debate. She also helped Leicestershire County Council to develop their approach to participatory budgeting, and is an associate of The Participatory Budgeting Unit.

Her recent clients include a number of local authorities and health trusts as well as the General Medical Council, Consumer Focus and Thames Water.

Rachel is a keen scuba diver and co-founder of marine conservation charity Sea-Changers. She runs a regular 6-monthly beach clean in Sandsend North Yorkshire, organising locals and tourists alike to pick up litter and record what they find. She is also a keen runner and regularly participates in her local community’s Park Run for which she also volunteers.

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