Oxford Brookes Business School

Oxford Brookes Global MBA Summer School 2019

Saturday, 28 September 2019

MBA Summer School 2019

The Oxford Brookes Global MBA was delighted to host the 7th MBA Summer School which was held on Saturday 28 September 2019.

This exciting event brought together current students, recent graduates, alumni and staff to hear a great range of inspiring and challenging talks on the theme ‘Beyond the BottomLine’.

Chosen and executed by a steering group of alumni and students, the theme aligns with Oxford Brookes Business Schools’ commitment, as a signatory to the UN’s Principles of Responsible Management Education, to encouraging business leaders to embrace the UN’s sustainable development goals within their business practice.

A record number of over 80 attendees, both on our Headington campus and online, listened to some great talks, ranging from recent Business School research on CSR reporting and Human Rights in business, to alumni and current students presenting about their social business ventures and external speakers sharing their views on why and how to go beyond the bottom line in business practice. Of course, they also enjoyed the opportunity to network and exchange ideas, which continued during the evening dinner.

The first speaker was Dr Sam Miles (Oxford Brookes Business School), whose research into FTSE 100 firms reporting on Corporate Social Responsibility – disappointingly – shows that most of these businesses still use very restricted boundaries for their reporting beyond the bottom-line. Given the apparent reluctance of firms to embrace ‘beyond the bottom-line’ it was great to follow with an inspiring talk by Dr Simon Biltcliffe on how ‘Marxist Capitalism’ is implemented in his Award-winning business Webmart. This unique business philosophy uses capitalism to generate income and Marxism to distribute the value created back to the employees and society at large.

One attendee, who started her MBA last week,said about Simon Biltcliffe’s talk: “Your speech was great inspiration. Thanks!”

Brookes Global MBA Alumna Sarah Rogers, cofounder of Watermark Collective, then showed how she has been using her MBA knowledge, skills and network to create a business plan and raise funds for developing Grand Junction, a new venue for the community, arts and culture, based at St Mary Magdalene Church near Paddington in London. Sarah was followed by another alumnus, Joseph Hanna, who spoke by video-link from Calgary, Canada. Like Sarah, he was inspired by the MBA module Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development to set up a social enterprise, alongside his work in the Oil and Energy industry. He created a fitness and beauty business in Egypt, employing ex-prisoners and drug-addicts to give them an opportunity to get their lives back on the rails, while also generating profit.

Current MBA student AbbieCooke, director of Brand Cooke, had brought two very special guests with her for her talk on the history and development of Gig-Arts, a charity that uses different forms of art-based events to bring together young people of different abilities to develop skills and contribute to their communities.

We then heard from Dr Samentha Goethals, Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow at OBBS, who explored with the audience the relevance of human rights in the workplace and how little we tend to know and do about this. The final speaker was Dr Will Tadros, NHS Clinical Psychologist and Non Exec Director at Ercol, who linked the need to go beyond the bottom line to his analysis of a very worrying level of immense psychological pain in our societies. He provided some great insights into what we individually and collectively, through connections and change, can do to reduces the causes of this pain and make society better.

The Summer School will be followed up with an online idea-generation workshop, to include a contribution from alumna Stella Atherstone, COO of Peter Jones Foundation, to create a focus for the Oxford Brookes Global MBA Community to collectively go beyond the bottom line.