Business leaders, entrepreneurs, visionaries, and creatives from some of the UK’s most innovative companies gathered in London at the end of May for Bayes Business School’s MBA London Symposium 2024.

The four-day elective, themed “From Vision to Reality: London’s Role in Creating Cutting-edge Products”, welcomed participants from Bayes’ MBA programmes as well as visitors from around the world. Now in its 11th year, the Symposium delivered a mix of highly-renowned guest speakers, masterclasses, and site visits – giving Bayes’ MBA students unparalleled access to game-changing businesses and expert insight from sector leaders.

Professor Costas Andriopoulos, Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Associate Dean, MBA Programmes, welcomed students and guests to the event, which was held in multiple venues across the capital.

Insight from innovators

Each year, the Symposium attracts many high-profile speakers, who share their personal and professional stories of innovation and experience at the leading-edge of their respective fields.  

Among the speakers this year was Oliver Yonchev, Entrepreneur and CEO of Flight Story – a global marketing and communication company that specialises in strategy, creative, communication, and performance media services. He talked about the challenges and opportunities of AI.

Also speaking at the event was Olufikayo Adeola, Writer and Entrepreneur who co-founded Kugali Media. A graduate of City, University of London’s MA in Creative Writing, he received start-up support from City’s entrepreneurship arm CityVentures in 2016. Adeola’s work ranges from comics to film and TV, most notably as writer and director of Disney’s Iwaju.

Zoe Peden is an experienced tech entrepreneur and Partner for Ananda Impact Ventures, who now devotes her time to hunting down Europe’s most impactful software and science entrepreneurs to invest in and partner for growth. Zoe spoke on the “the pain and the thrills” of a career in entrepreneurship and venture capital in London.

Explaining his belief that “impossible is just an opinion”, polar explorer Ben Saunders detailed how he organised and led a record-breaking 108-day return journey to the South Pole on foot that spanned 1,800 miles. He also shared his insights as Founder and investor at Kintanna Ventures – a unique venture capital firm investing in early-stage frontier climate technology.

The easyGroup of brands has brought innovation and change to a wide range of sectors, including the airline industry, car hire, and financial services. Sharing insight at the event was Tony Anderson, Consultant and Advisor at EasyGroup, and Tim Slesinger, CEO of easyStorage. EasyGroup founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is a graduate of Bayes Business School (MSc in Shipping, Trade and Finance, 1988), and the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation offers generous support to Bayes students

Backstage access to cutting-edge businesses

Across the week delegates made site visits to see how cutting-edge businesses operate in-situ. Companies included:

  • Viasat (previously Inmarsat) – the global communications company connecting homes, businesses, governments & militaries with satellite internet.
  • CBRE – the global leader in commercial real estate services and investments.
  • Preqin – a privately held London-based investment data company, that provides financial data and insight on the alternative assets market.

The Symposium concluded on Thursday, 23 May, with a visit to the Silverstone HQ of Aston Martin Aramco Formula One™ Team (AMF1). Following a site tour, delegates heard from Rob Bloom, Chief Marketing Officer, and Debbie Wall, ESG Director.

Essential to the MBA journey

Full-time MBA graduate Neha Chauhan attended the 2023 London Symposium. Graduates of Bayes’ MBA programmes gain access to one free elective per year after graduation, enabling them to continue their professional development.

For Neha the event presented an excellent opportunity to widen her network.

Events like this are essential to the MBA journey as they bring together knowledge from well-renowned speakers from diverse industries and backgrounds,” Neha said.

About the Bayes MBA London Symposium

The Bayes MBA London Symposium looks at the economic drivers of the city as a commercial hub and its influence in international business. Benefitting from Bayes’ location and network, the event creates valuable insights into how business is conducted and impacts the UK, European, and the global economy.

The Symposium is an elective element of the Bayes MBA programme, which brings together students from all Bayes MBA cohorts, as well as MBA teams from other global business schools.

The first Symposium was held in 2014 to celebrate Bayes’ unique network inside the heart of one of the world’s best global cities. The Symposium mixes thought leadership in plenary sessions with a backstage pass to some of London’s most iconic brands and organisations which drive the city’s prosperity.

It is now the flagship MBA elective, providing students with excellent networking opportunities and access to some of London’s most prominent and respected business figures.