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Bright Building during the summer.

MBA Management & Leadership Summit


The MBA Management & Leadership Summit has been designed to explore and discuss a range of key topics surrounding Management and Leadership. Academics and industry experts will come together to deliver sessions surrounding advancements that they are witnessing in their fields throughout the Summit.

The schedule will continually be updated with further sessions to be added and additional details to be updated for each session. Keep an eye out for regular updates.

Friday 16 June 2023

The first day of the summit will commence with a 9am start where attendees will have the opportunity to join us for the AI Industry Forum. The AI Industry Forum will be exploring and hosting "The Future of Business in the Era of Artificial Intelligence". Hosted by the Business Analytics, Circular Economy & Entrepreneurship (BACE) research department the forum will aim to explore a range of topics including sustainable AI practice for business, integrating AI into SMEs and societal impact.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has proliferated in recent years, with significant implications for businesses, society and the environment. As companies and organisations seek to innovate and adapt to a changing landscape it is critical to comprehend the implications of AI, potential opportunities and challenges they present.

On Friday 16 June 2023, the University of Bradford School of Management will be hosting the inaugural AI Industry Forum.  The forum aims to explore these issues and promote dialogue between academia and industry with the Business Analytics, Circular Economy and Entrepreneurship (BACE) department hosting the forum.

The forum will bring together professionals from academia and industry to exchange knowledge and best practice, explore emerging trends and technologies, network and establish valuable collaborations with like-minded individuals.

You are invited to join the AI Industry Forum to gain insight into the world of business and artificial intelligence exploring how AI can impact sustainability, innovation and social impact.

AI Forum Schedule

Time Session Facilitators
9am - 9.30am Registration -
9.30am - 10.30am Welcome & AI For Sustainability

Welcome from Prof. Amir Sharif, Dean of Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences

Mathias Kern (BT) - How AI & sustainability research helps to transform BT's operations

Arevinth Vignarajasarma (Formerly of R2 Factory) - AI's role in sustainability: (Un)intended lessons from aviation supply chains

Academic panellist: Craig Johnson 

10.30am - 11am Poster Presentations & Coffee Break Facilitator: Su Jung Lee
11am - 12pm AI for Healthcare

Elaine Taylor-Whilde (Nine Health Global) - Integrating AI in healthcare: personalised predictive tools for the front line

Academic panellists: Tillal Eldabi & Kamran Mahroof

12pm - 12.30pm Mini-pitch for Entrepreneurs Facilitator: Paul Thorning
12.30pm - 1.30pm Lunch -
1.30pm - 2.30pm AI for Innovation

Jason Baines (Incommunities) - Embedding ethical data-driven business culture through AI-based innovation strategy within a UK social housing provider

Mark Barret (Lead Tech) - Unlocking hidden treasures: how to build a thriving data team to generate profit

Academic panellists: Takao Maruyama & Charles Vincent 

2.30pm - 3pm Poster Presentations & Coffee Break Facilitator: Tillal Eldabi
3pm - 4pm Roundtable Discussion on AI for the Betterment of Bradford & Closing Address

Speakers: Sonya Bachra-Byrne, Sherin Mathew, Elaine Taylor-Whilde, Mathias Kern, Arevinth Vignarajasarma, Jason Baines, Mark Barret

Facilitator: Paul Thorning

At 4.30pm the MBA Summit will kick off with an opening welcome from Professor Amir Sharif (Dean of Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences) and Dr Nick Snowden (Director of Programme, MBA).

After their initial welcome you will be invited to join us for a drinks reception and canapes which will provide a key networking opportunity where you will get to meet with your peers and fellow alumni.

From 7pm onwards attendees will have the chance to make the most of free time to revisit the sights and restaurants of Bradford and catch up with peers and alumni.

Saturday 17 June 2023

Saturday will comprise of a programme of keynotes and cluster sessions themed around innovation, entrepreneurship, social change and impact, sustainability, technology, career and personal development. Delivered by alumni and the School of Management academic colleagues the sessions will aim to keep keep you up to date on the latest industry developments whilst also giving you opportunities to develop and find that next step.

Saturday will start off with a welcome from Professor Sankar Sivarajah, Dean of the Faculty of Management. He'll help to provide insight to the summit and a introduction to the activities for the day.

Ian Adams is an alumnus of the University of Bradford School of Management having graduated with a BA (Hons) and MBA. For his Master’s in Business Administration he was awarded with Distinction in 2002. 

Ian will share his insights as a leader through a number of lenses, drawing upon his direct experience of modernising public services and as an advocate for social justice, following his time as a post-graduate student at Bradford.

His keynote aims to explore key themes that he has picked up on during his career that can help you to advance through your career. 

Cluster Session: Innovation & Entrepreneurship

This workshop will provide an update and insights from longitudinal research undertaken in the school of management explore resilience and responses to disruption in small and medium sized enterprises. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic we have been faced with an unprecedented period of uncertainty and volatility for businesses and the economy, however this research suggests some firms have the capabilities and experience to better weather such challenges. As well as sharing findings in this regard, participants in the workshop will also be asked to contribute to this ongoing work and share their insights and experiences in how they and others are responding to the issues and impact of the ongoing volatility faced today.

Cluster Session: Sustainability

Don has over 35 years experience in the energy industry and will use this to provide insight into 'The Energy Trilemma'. Join him as he presents on the balance between climate change, energy (fuel) poverty and energy security from an international and UK perspective. Attending this session will give you an understanding of the factors which underpin the Energy Trilemma. You'll explore international agreements and targets on climate change as well as the drivers and constraints of achieving these targets. Insight will be given into the current driving factors as well as how we can strike a future balance between the 3 elements of the trilemma.

Cluster Session: Career & Professional Development

Regardless of the leadership style a leader subscribes to, it all comes down to one thing: People.

The best leaders have the best teams. They also know how to motivate and inspire their teams into action. Whether working within middle management in a large organization or being the entrepreneur leading a small team, the principles are the same. This session will explore the importance of focusing on people in the leadership context.

Cristian aims to walk attendees through key questions including;

  • What makes people the most important part of a leader's job?
  • How can you build, motivate and inspire the right team?

Cluster Session: Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Businesses are operating in what seems an increasingly fast-paced world. Leaders must learn to identify what matters to their organisations from a tsunami of information. Teams need to come together to navigate the waves of change and stay one step ahead of the competition.

In this session we will try and make sense of the latest wave of innovation - artificial intelligence. How will it impact our organisations and the innovation process.

Join Jonathan as he explores and discusses how AI and machine learning technologies are impacting businesses - cutting through the hype to understand some of the opportunities and challenges presented by AI drawing particularly on experiences in the techsci space.

Please bring your own ideas and experiences to promote an active discussion.

Cluster Session: Sustainability

Mark provides a personal reflection of the evolution of corporate sustainability over the past 25 years and anticipations on what will drive it into the next. The understanding of the need, business case and ways for companies to adopt sustainability into their core business were all there 25 years ago. What was right then is equally right now – just desperately more urgent.

This interactive session will explore why uptake was inadequate, the distractions that didn't help and now why so many companies are finally taking it seriously. Companies are driving, and being driven, by a confluence of radical concepts and tools that challenge the foundations of capitalism. It is proposed that it will be the rise in adoption of the circular economy that will be nexus of green change. Dynamics that will power the cycle will be suggested.

What does this mean for future business leaders and the leadership qualities they will need to champion the next phase of corporate sustainability will be explored. What role will you seek to play in helping to reach a point where there is no difference between a company’s strategy and its sustainability strategy - just a business strategy purposed for a sustainable world?

Cluster Session: Career & Professional Development

Join Professor Tillal Eldabi, Director of the University of Bradford DBA programme as he provides insight into how you can progress onto the DBA programme.

The School of Management at the University of Bradford has been a longstanding provider of the DBA programme having been one of the first Schools in the UK to offer the DBA. Tillal will provide a description of the programme and the expectations of what takes place on a DBA. He will also cover the requirements of getting onto the DBA at the University of Bradford and the nature, aims, advantages and impact of doing so.

In the late 1980's an MBA was an almost guaranteed passport to enhanced career prospects and a significant hike in salary. "Making it" for many MBA's meant making money (lots of it) as a proxy for success, and climbing the career ladder required joining global companies to access the trappings of success - the then scarce mobile phone, the corner office and ultimately the corporate jet.

Thirty four years later the world has changed and so have the things we care about. An MBA is still a passport to greater financial security but does it provide a recipe for a rounded and happy life? Bradford alumnus Paul Donovan will take you on his personal career journey, sharing lessons he wished he'd learned sooner, extolling the value of curiosity as an acquired skill. He will explain how embracing "meaning over money" can accelerate personal growth, and how identifying your unique "gift" can be the key to living a purposeful life.

Paul aims to explore his experience of a thirty-four year career and use his insights to encourage alumni to focus on a self-development approach to their careers. With a range of experience across different industries he'll discuss key themes and lessons from his experience which you can use to find meaning in the work you do.

Cluster Session: Technology

With the advent of ChatGPT-like systems, many people are forecast to lose their jobs, and new kinds of skills are needed for the New Digital Age. This is why we have embarked on the AI for Skill Discovery and Development project . Through this project, using methods from Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and Network Analysis, we analyse hundreds of thousands of job adverts in the UK to discover:

  1. What skills are needed for the UK market
  2. What is the value of each skills
  3. Whether we can automatically construct skill paths for job seekers to help them with their intelligent job search and reskilling.

Dr Emad Mohamed will provide insight into the project and research that he has conducted and provide the initial findings and results as well as providing insight into the future work to take place.

The session will provide attendees with insight into how AI can be used for mapping the job market and the impacts this has. It will also cover what we need to do as individuals to remain relevant in the AI age and why you should (not) be afraid of AI.

Cluster Session: Sustainability

The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) protocol, one way of carbon accounting, differentiates between three scopes of company's emissions:

  • Scope 1 - Direct emissions
  • Scope 2 - Indirect emissions from purchased energy
  • Scope 3 - other indirect emissions

Scope 3 emissions are classified in 15 categories, including those such as purchased goods and services as well as distribution. Scope 3 emissions vary largely among business segments, but are estimated to be at around 75% of all companies emissions. Yet, only a limited number of companies report and actively manage these.

Imagine the multiplying effect if more companies become aware of their Scope 3 GHG emissions and start to actively manage those. Imagine if this is being done voluntarily in a transitional, knowledge sharing, respectful, fair and open way regarding outsourced activities. This could support getting to net-zero faster. 

One way of doing it will be presented during the session, which hopefully is a teaser to accelerate getting Scope 3 out of the niche. As an attendee you will learn how Scope 3 can be applied in companies purchasing activities without threatening their suppliers.   

Cluster Session: Career & Professional Development

It takes a lot to have a successful career but whether you are in IT or finance there are key principles required for such which cuts across all spheres of the workspace. Zenith will provide an in-depth understanding of what it takes to lead a successful career.

He will explore how you can understand and identify with the strategy of your business from both shareholders perspectives and a cleaner level and how everything is underpinned by return of investments and profit making. He explores how understanding strategy and stakeholders, whether they are the local community or employees, can enlighten you on the business and your development. From there you can take the time to convert your line of duty to returns, understand cost drives and produce your end product.

The session will help you to understand how other people can be key to your development and how you can acclimatise to the processes within a business in order to build relationships that allow your career and business success. 

Zenith believes that understanding and mastering the above is key to your career success, professional development and bolstering your confidence.

Cluster Session: Innovation & Entrepreneurship

A recent partnership with a geospatial mapping technology company in the world. The invitation to bid for the 2040 Dubai 20-minute neighbourhoods and a live demo of the technology to showcase to the audience the value of the insight of the proposition.

How a start-up in Bradford is leveraging technology on a globally significant level.

Cluster Session: Technology

Nuno's session will dive into the fascinating world of the future of work and AI. It's a hot topic that affects all of us, especially MBA students and alumni. So, let's explore what this future holds and what we can learn from it.

AI-driven automation is a game-changer. We'll discuss how it can actually augment human capabilities, rather than replace them. We'll also dive into the shifting job landscape, identifying emerging roles and industries that are being transformed by AI. And of course, we'll cover strategies for upskilling and reskilling to ensure you stay relevant in this evolving environment.

By the end of our session, you'll have a solid understanding of the future of work in the AI era. You'll know how to identify opportunities, navigate challenges, and make informed decisions about your career path.

Cluster Session: Career & Professional Development

Attendees will be guided through the challenges of career changes and equipped with strategies to overcome imposter syndrome. Liam will share personal experiences, emphasizing the importance of understanding career transitions and the impact of imposter syndrome on professional growth.

Practical strategies will be provided, including self-reflection, seeking support from mentors or networks, reframing negative thoughts, setting achievable goals, and embracing continuous learning. The talk will also outline key steps for navigating successful career transitions, such as self-assessment, research, networking, skill development, and effective resume crafting.

The speaker will inspire the audience with success stories of individuals who triumphed over imposter syndrome, encouraging them to embrace change, tap into their potential, and fearlessly pursue their passions. The talk will conclude with a call to action, urging attendees to take proactive steps towards their career aspirations and unlock their full potential.

Through relatable examples and personal anecdotes Liam will provide attendees with practical strategies and insights on how to recognise signs of imposter syndrome, understand its impact and navigate career transitions. Imposter syndrome can impact individuals confidence and professional growth so attendees will be given the tools including self-awareness and how to seek support. They will also explore key considerations for successful career transitions, such as self-assessment, research, networking, skill development, and effective resume crafting. The session will inspire attendees to embrace change, unlock their potential, and pursue fulfilling career paths.

Nicola has enjoyed a successful career as an executive and board advisor. In 2022 she stepped into the CEO role at trying to lead a business through crisis.

Join Nicola as she discusses her career journey and how she built resilience, nurtured growth and tackled the challenge of operating a company in crisis. She'll discuss her experience of being a CEO in the midst of a crisis and how she found resilience and character to be key to her career success.

Day 2 of the Summit will conclude with a closing speech from representatives of the School of Management. After the closing talk there will be an evening social which will allow you to take some time to meet with your fellow alumni and peers and build up your networks.

Sunday 18 June 2023

The final day of the Summit will run from 9am to 1pm with a focus on bringing everything together from the weekend. The day will act as an opportunity for discussion and reflection as we aim to build context into the sessions you've attended and how they impact your in your personal and career development.

The day will start with a quick welcome from the hosts as they provide an introduction to the days activities. This will then break into the first of 2 keynote sessions to take place.

The session will cover the story of Inovia Bio - a tech-bio UK-based start-up - which uses Artificial Intelligence to speed up the drug development process with unprecedented accuracy.

This will provide insights and lessons from building a tech-bio start-up. Robert-Antonio will aim to cover topics including an introduction to responsible AI, fundraising and selling into the pharmaceutical industry.

This session helps to wrap up the cluster session topics for the summit as Robert-Antonio covers his career journey as an innovator and entrepreneur. It brings focus into sustainability and tech as he explores the industry and use of responsible AI.

Cliff Kirby will be part of a fireside chat style session hosted by Rachel Hatfield as they discuss the emotional lessons that you can learn through experience. He'll discuss his entrepreneurial journey and career and the lessons he has learned about building success, taking on challenges and being resilient.

The discussion aims to tie the weekends activities together by explaining what you need to do and think of in order to have success as an entrepreneur. 

The final session of the MBA Summit will take place in the form of an expert panel hosted by Paul Donovan. Paul will be joined by a range of guests from the weekends activities as they provide insight into start ups, entrepreneurship and what it takes to be successful.

The final talk of the weekend comes from Director of MBA, Nick Snowden. Nick will discuss your position as MBA alumni and students and the impact you can have on society. Nick has identified that the key to success in your career and having that societal impact that you wish to is to "do well by doing good".

Over the weekend we have covered key themes including societal impact and sustainability. Nick will close off the weekend by discussing how everything ties together and how you as MBA stakeholders can apply yourselves to have the impact you desire.