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Event details

As part of the launch of Southampton Solent University’s new School of Business and Law, we are hosting a business networking conference which will appeal to students and local business contacts alike. Join us as we look to the future of business, covering topics such as emerging technologies, the impact of employment law changes on business, cloud computing and globalisation.

Our conference will be opened at 3pm by the director of the School of Business and Law, and will end at 8pm with networking drinks. The programme will feature a range of key workshops and keynote speaker sessions, as well as a number of networking breaks. The second half of the conference will be opened by Graham Baldwin, University Vice-Chancellor. Refreshments, including an afternoon tea, will be included.

Why should you attend?

  • A diverse range of notable keynote speakers.
  • Great networking opportunities.
  • An opportunity to take part in practical workshop sessions.
  • Visit our exciting exhibition space featuring interactive technology demonstrations.
  • Visit our mock trial court room - R v Lightman – hacker or not? You decide.

Confirmed speakers

John Denham.
Chair of the Southern Policy Centre.

The Southern Policy Centre is a new think-tank/policy forum for central southern England. Its initial priorities include: the new localism in southern England, the use of open data to shape public policy, innovative forms of public participation, and health and social care. John Denham was the MP for Southampton Itchen from 1992 until he stood down at the 2015 election. He held a variety of ministerial and cabinet posts in the last Labour government and also chaired the Home Affairs Select Committee. In addition to his SPC role he is a visiting professor at both the London School of Economics and Winchester University.

Topic: the devolution debate and its effect on business.
A southern powerhouse - as the world economy globalises, public policy in many countries is pursuing local, regional and national devolution. In part this reflects a popular hunger for a strong sense of identity in a fast changing world. But it also it also reflects the search for the best way of enabling cities and regions to become more productive and innovative as competition intensifies. John Denham will looks at the opportunities and challenges of ‘devo-south’.


Dr Peter Waggett.
Emerging Technology Programme Leader, IBM.

Topic: the Global Technology Outlook (GTO): predicting the future! 
IBM has an annual process to predict the shape of the IT landscape in the ten year time frame. The next ten years looks to be a turbulent time for the industry with a number of conventionally held views being challenged. This talk will describe these challenges and discuss what the industry needs to do to meet them. This outlook also tries to predict the impact of this landscape on business and the wider society. Dr Waggett will present the latest GTO and provide some context on how to apply the outcomes.


Session leads

Jonathan Cheshire OBE.
Chairman, Southampton Solent University.

Topic: social justice for the future.
Jonathan Cheshire OBE will look at the social justice agenda, how this might develop going into the future and what impact that might have on our society and our economy.

Kevin Kimber, Social Cloud Leader.
Managing Director of Cloud, SAP UKI.

Kevin graduated from Solent in 2000 with a BA (Hons) in Business Management. Kevin is currently the UK managing director of SAP’s cloud businesses and is responsible for all elements of the Cloud business. Prior to joining SAP Kevin was responsible for the launch of a number of Cloud start-ups where he held various leadership roles.

Kevin is a regular business speaker on topics of innovation and technology and was recently awarded an Honorary MBA by Solent for services to business and entrepreneurism.

Topic: cloud computing.
The future of business and technology – using technology to Innovate and change Industry.

Technology is changing the relationships between businesses and consumers and many organisations and in some cases, whole industries are changing as a result. As technology continues to present new opportunities to innovate business models, how can technology today help answer the questions of tomorrow when you don’t necessarily know what the questions are?

Marc Long, Partner, Clarke Willmott LLP.
Marc is a partner and barrister in the Clarke Willmott Employment & HR team. He specialises in all aspects of both contentious and non-contentious employment law with particular emphasis on restructuring and outsourcing. Marc was called to the Bar in 1995.

Marc Long "is quick to respond and down to earth, and explains things in a manner that is easy to understand" (Legal 500, 2014). “USP is the personal touch.” He “sees the grey rather than just the black and white” (Legal 500, 2014).

Marc is also noted for his expertise in TUPE issues, strike actions and public sector pensions (Chambers, 2015).

Topic: the impact of changing employment law on business.
Employment law for business, what does the future hold?

In this seminar Marc Long looks at the changing face of employment law and how things may alter for business in the future.

Already, employment tribunal claims are down an average of 70% with some tribunals likely to close and redundancies to follow. So does that mean businesses can forget about employment law for this parliament? Not a chance!

In this interactive session we will consider both the recent changes in employment law (zero hours, holiday pay, commission/overtime changes etc) but also look to the future at what employers can be expect in the longer term.

Mock trial court room - R v Lightman: hacker or not? You decide.
Social networks are an increasing part of people’s lives in the 21st century, how does the law prohibit unauthorised use? Danny Lightman is a 21 year old computer enthusiast. He has been charged with hacking the Facebook and email accounts of pop star Stellah and posting fake messages in her name. A team of staff and students from the law and criminology section of the School of Business and Law will guide the audience jury through this trial to its conclusion. You are the jury and decide his guilt, innocence and possible sentence.


The conference will appeal to local business and students (undergraduate and postgraduate) looking to update their knowledge, make new contacts and find out more about the work being done by the School of Business and Law.

Register for this free event