MBA CSEA 2017 European Conference – What it’s about and why you should come!

ehenryby Ewan Henry, Employer Relations Consultant, Nottingham University business School and 2017 European Conference Co-Chair


Just before Christmas (happy New Year by the way) I arrived back in the UK from a very productive trip to Lisbon where I met with the conference managers at the Epic Sana Lisboa, the location of the 2017 MBA CSEA European Conference on the 26th – 29th of March. I thought it’d be worthwhile explaining (in case you don’t know) who the MBA CSEA are and what sorts of things will happen at the upcoming conference in the hope that you’ll make the trip to join us.

The MBA CSEA is a global alliance of employers and business schools with over 800 member institutions and businesses who to quote our website ‘work together to support each other’s success’. In a nutshell the MBA CSEA provides an opportunity for businesses to collaborate with the people who are training their future leaders. Why is this important? Because businesses can only react to the challenges that lay on the horizon if they are bringing in well equipped adaptable recruits and that can’t happen if business schools aren’t instilling their students with the right knowledge, skills and attitude. Exciting and important stuff!

lisbonpicSo what do we have in store for the 2017 European Conference? The theme, linking nicely the Lisbon’s nautical history is “The Age of Explorers: What the Future Holds for Business Schools and Employers Alike” and it isn’t hard to see why we’ve chosen this. Without throwing a detailed PEST analysis at you it is clear for all to see that we are living in a time of rapid global change. We have Brexit here in the UK (sorry about that!), we have an angry chap across the Atlantic who may or may not Make America Great Again, we have populist movements gaining momentum throughout Europe and protectionism creeping back on the menu of acceptable political discourse. This of course has huge implications for economies around the world who are still adapting to the new world post 2008. We will cover some of these implications in industry specific workshops to examine how businesses can adapt both in terms of the strategies they employ and the people they recruit.

Closer to home (or at least the work place) we have millennials making their mark in middle to senior level positions (hello!) bringing with them their own way of doing things and we now have Generation Z beginning to make their mark. That they do this whilst sitting around in their onesies using words that no-one understands and snapchatting their ‘bae’ every five minutes is an impressive sight to behold. Give it 10 years of career progression and sharing pictures of one’s lunch might begin to be an item on people’s PDPRs! With this in mind we will be discussing how management styles need to change and how recruitment teams need to stay on their toes to make sure they are assessing potential staff in the most effective way.

Lastly we have disruptive technological change, be that advancements in the recruitment industry or automation moving off the shop floor and into the back office. If you believe some it is only a matter of time before we may as well all learn code and accept Skynet as our overlord! I wouldn’t go to that far personally but in a world where we are already seeing virtual lawyers and accountants it isn’t a big leap to accept that the world of work is going to look very different in 20 years time! This presents a big problem for business schools and employers alike; namely how do you prepare your students for a world of work which is likely to be in a great deal of flux in terms of roles and responsibilities? What knowledge do we need to be instilling in our students and can you even coach workplace flexibility?!

We expect this conference to stimulate a lot of conversation about what changes lie ahead for us and how they are best overcome. We can’t promise to give you all the answers in just three days but we can certainly have a crack at giving you some of them leaving you with genuine insights that you can take back to your business. Oh and I am co-chairing alongside the wonderful Natalia Milani (she’s the brains of the operation) so why on earth wouldn’t you want to come?!

If you employ, train or recruit MBA and specialist masters graduates in your business, or if you are involved in business education then I would love to see you in Lisbon on the 26th – 29th of March 2017. If you have any questions please leave a comment or message me directly and I will get back to you!

See you there!


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