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The Business of…

The Business of……

14th and 15th June

Kicking off the series of Blue Skies sessions and debates, we spend two days looking at broad business ideas in a philsophical way. Discussing The Business of... trust, creativity, diversity and the concept of disruption. 

With a focus on a couple of themes close to Liverpool's heart, but with a truly global reach - football and music. 

14th June

Blue Skies Stage, Exhibition Centre



1000 The Business of The Future

Chris Kutarna co-author of Age of Discovery: Navigating The Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance.

We start our programme of sessions and debates with a wide-ranging and relevant look to the future. Change is happening at an accelerated rate, while many of our certainties have been thrown into doubt.

How do we all navigate through this tangled and uncertain time, characterized by diverse lifestyles, technological upheaval, crises and conflict, increasing inequality as well as the optimism of better health and education?

Chris Kutarna co-author of Age of Discovery - a new book about our present but also the future – believes not only have we been here before but that our new Renaissance resonates with and can learn from the first Renaissance.

Kutarna compellingly suggests what must we do to achieve our full potential, individually and together, this time around. How can we ensure we repeat the glories of the Renaissance and learn from its miseries? 

To attend this event register here.

1115 - 1215 The Business of Trust

‘Why is this lying bastard, lying to me’ Louis Heren, former Deputy Editor of The Times was talking about politicans, but many of us don’t trust journalists, the police or business leaders. Global law firm DLA Piper, argues that all businesses start with a deficit of trust which must be tackled in order to gain the confidence of stakeholders and the wider public. Business leaders know the public is sceptical of them – especially after the global financial crash. So how can trust be restored?

Lord Tim Clement-Jones, Liberal Democrat Peer and Managing Partner at DLA Piper, discusses options with Andrew Lynch, Assistant Business Editor, The Sunday Times, Ron Emerson British Business Bank and Mira Hammad, Consultant Business Ethics, Jackson Canter Solicitors.

To attend this event register here.

1230-1345 The Business of Music

At the end of 2015, Liverpool won UNESCO City of Music status, because of music’s place in the heart of the city’s life. But what’s the point of an accolade like this? Is celebrating music any kind of economic driver?

Kevin McManus, Head of Liverpool UNESCO City of Music, and a panel of experts discuss how a heritage brand can boost an industry in the future.

Facilitator: Craig Pennington, Bido Lito

Judith Owen - British Music Experience

To attend this event register here. 


The Business of Creativity

In conversation with John Kampfner, Chief Executive, Creative Industries Federation

'Creativity has come to be the most highly prized commodity in our economy - and yet it is not a commodity. Creativity comes from people.' - Richard Florida

The Creative Industries Federation brings together the arts, creative industries and cultural education, from advertising to video games, publishing to performance, universities, fashion and more, all combining to add £84.1bn GVA to the British economy.  But what does creativity add to your business?

John Kampfner will discuss the many often and unexpected ways that creativity manifests itself across business, regardless of sector, and will show how creative thinking at the heart of business leads to success.


Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director Crafts Council

Rachel, Liverpool John Moores

Paul Cockle, Production Director Stufish

To attend this event register here. 


The Business of Football

There are three forms of revenue in the football business, broadcasting rights, commercial activity and the fans. This 90 minute session explores all three and asks whether the relationship between club and fan is weakening. And with technology developing as fast as it is, will our football experience change completely in the future? 

Speakers include:

Professor Chris Brady, Director for the Centre for Sports Business at Salford University

Amanda Jacks, Football Supporters Federation

Sue Wright, Premier Legends

Facilitator: Peter Hooton, Lead Singer of The Farm and author of When Football Was Football.

Mark Palios, Chairman, Tranmere Rovers

To book this event register here. 

The Business of…Diversity and Disruption

15th June

Blue Skies Stage, Exhibition Centre

1000 – 1500



The Business of Diversity in The Workplace

With Arup

Bosses should get rid of men aged over 55 to make space for younger staff, there should be women only programmes to improve female leadership at work, and workforces should reflect the local area in which they are based. Just three of our provocations on the business of diversity in the workplace. Come and hear six people argue cases for and against schemes to make work more representative of our society – and vote on the arguments in our own mini world of work referenda.

Facilitator: Susan Claris, Arup

Provocateurs include: Claire Dove, Chair, Social Enterprise UK

Kate Willard, Head of Corporate Projects, Stobart Group

Sarah Churchman, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, PwC

Paul Grover, Arup

To attend this event register here. 


The Business of Women

Jude Kelly and WOW - Women of The World

WOW is a global movement of festivals, founded by Jude Kelly at Southbank Centre in 2011.  Each festival celebrates the formidable strength and inventiveness of women, takes a frank look at what prevents them from achieving their potential, raises awareness globally of the issues they face and considers possible solutions.  Since 2011, WOW has been launched in 15 cities across five continents.

The global WOW movement is growing at a time when female voices have become immensely powerful as a force for positive change - and they need platforms and to be connected so they can debate the questions and make new solutions together, including on how men and boys can make gender equality their priority. Jude Kelly will talk about how WOW is changing lives for women worldwide.

Facilitator: Sarah Churchman, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, PwC


Jude Kelly, WOW and Artistic Director Southbank Centre

Claire Dove, Chair Social Enterprise UK

Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor University of Liverpool

To attend this event register here.

1415 - 1515

The Business of Disruption

The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter said without the gale of creative destruction, business cannot develop and thrive. Today this is called ‘disruption’. A desire to change and improve what you are creating, by constantly questioning what you are doing.

But are some industries more disruptive than others? How dangerous is it to find a formula and stick to it?

As IFB2016 brings together people from all walks of working life, what can we learn from each other?

Ben Griffin, Lead Specialist for Design at Innovate UK, and designer Wayne Hemingway are going to find out.

Facilitated by Jude Kelly

To attend this event register here. 

The Sunday Times Session 

1530-1630 Fired up: how the British motor industry was lost and won

A conversation between:

Sir John Egan, former chairman and chief executive of Jaguar, and author of Saving Jaguar

David Smith, economics editor of The Sunday Times, and author of Something Will Turn Up: Britain's Economy Past, Present and Future

Hosted by Andrew Lynch, Assistant Business Editor of The Sunday Times

To attend this event register here.

In order to attend a Blue Skies Session register on Eventbrite for the session you wish to attend. 

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