The John Byrne Award is a project of The Iris Initiative. The Iris Initiative is a Scottish charity overseen by a board of trustees. The trustees of The Iris Initiative are:


Andrew is the founder of The Iris Initiative and architect of The John Byrne Award. He was educated at Currie Hugh School and Strathclyde University, where he studied Naval Architecture. He entered the Oil and Gas industry working for operating oil companies for whom he focussed upon well construction. In 1996 he founded Peak Well Management, which duly became The Peak Group, with offices in Aberdeen, London, Dubai, Houston and Perth. The company was sold in 2006 and Andrew retired from executive work. He has since held non-executive positions at Fairfield Energy (retired 2011) and Peak Well Systems. Andrew has a passionate belief in the benefits of understanding one’s own personal and communal values. He does not however wish to promote any particular values through The Iris Initiative. Rather, he sees merit in The Iris Initiative because it is a resolutely non-partisan facilitator of values debate and consideration.


Emma is an actress, director and writer. Her theatre company, Acting Up, engages industrial clients in a 7 step health and safety behavioural change process which begins with unexpected live theatre, progresses to story-generation within the workforce and ends with the production of a short film. Emma’s unusual stories reveal the hidden consequences of complacency and encourage culture change from a place of enlightenment and shared values.


James graduated from Aston University in 1980 with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering and Drama. An initial career as a drilling engineer in the oil Industry followed until he was made redundant in the energy recession of 1986. A brief spell as an actor came to an end when the opportunity came to create his first company Keltec. This was followed in 1992 by GMIS/ADTI and in 2005 by the Senergy Group; one of the industry’s leading technical management consultancies. A two-time winner of Ernst & Young’s prestigious entrepreneur of the year award and an internationally recognised businessman in the energy sector, James prefers to see himself as an engineer by profession but an equally passionate supporter of the arts and important social causes. Following the successful sale of the Senergy Group to Lloyds Register in 2013 James has continued to pursue all his passions including initiating two major architectural projects, starting two new energy companies and raising funds for charities including Maggie’s and The Iris initiative.


Christina Jansen is currently the Managing Director of The Scottish Gallery.  The Scottish Gallery specialises in contemporary and historical fine art as well as holding a unique programme of applied and visual art. The Scottish Gallery celebrated 175 Years of Art in 2017.