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About Mike

Throughout my career, community development and enterprise have been recurrent themes. Early on, I spent time teaching and doing voluntary service overseas where I saw at first hand  the futility of well-meaning, top-down, development programmes when the Overseas Development Agency wanted me to teach chemistry to the children of sub-Saharan farmers. English and oral rehydration were what was required.

I first got involved with the business support sector 20 years ago. I have had plenty of commercial experience working in small businesses, serving as a Director of one for several years. In May 2003, I set up my own company, Realise Development.  I had the opportunity to work with Ernesto Sirolli and the other Directors of the Sirolli Institute for two years and was closely involved with the development of projects in UK and North America. I left the Institute in January 2008.

I am a trainer, consultant and writer on enterprise and entrepreneurship, management and leadership, and community development.  I am also a keen twitterer (@mikechitty) and have helped to pioneer ‘Social Media Surgeries’ in Leeds.  I firmly belief in the power of enterprise to transform even our most challenging communities.

  1. Dear Mike,

    Apologies for the unannounced nature of my email. I will keep it brief. I stumbled across your contact details when searching on ‘dialogue Leeds’

    My organisation Finetune runs experiential workshops that teach attendees how to deal with chaos, difference and dilemma in their lives – this is particularly effective for bringing different cultures and diverse groups of people together. Rather than retreating from chaos our ‘community building’ process allows and encourages each person present to hang in there to a significant depth of dialogue as well as often reaching a place where one feels like the group is being orchestrated by a celestial conductor!… the results are truly amazing and I wonder if you, or a representative of your area of work, would consider coming along to our next event to be held at Bradford Cathedral on 22&23 March, the cost is just £35 to include lunch and refreshments during both days.

    You can find out more at

    Many thanks for your time,

    Best regards

    Les Peebles
    07 967 967 453

  2. Adam Sawyer permalink

    Dear Mike,

    Apologies too for the unannounced nature of my email. I am a third year geography student and resident of Leeds, and I’m doing my dissertation on Clarence dock with the community aspect being very important to my study. I am just wondering if it would be possible to have a phone interview with yourself when you have some spare time to discuss the development and your thoughts on community development at Clarence Dock.

    my email address is

    Many thanks,


  3. Joe Bardon permalink

    Dear Mike,

    I have an idea that you might be interested in and able to help me regarding. If you get this message please email me on the address below.

    kind regards,

    Joe Bardon

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