Birmingham Business School Education Conference 2023

We are pleased to announce the 3rd Birmingham Business School Education Conference. Join us for a thought-provoking and inspiring conference titled "The Future of Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities." This brings together visionary educators, researchers, professional service staff and students to delve into the evolving landscape of higher education.

Explore the dynamic challenges and opportunities faced by universities and institutions as they navigate an increasingly digital world; grapple with the evolving models and discussions on equality diversity and inclusion (EDI) and adapt to the changing business environment where responsible business is at the forefront. Engage in stimulating discussions and network with a diverse community of attendees fostering connections and collaborations that will inform the future of education. 

The conference will be hosted at the University of Birmingham on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th September 2023 and will take place in University House.

The conference will be followed by decolonisation project events on both days. Additionally, there will be “AI Literacy Accelerator Workshop” taking place on Monday 11th September 2023. Please see at the bottom of the page for more details about the AI workshop as well as the decolonisation project events. 

Keynote speakers

Dr Cristina Galalae


University of Leicester School of Business 

Beyond EDI pledges: What can we learn from our diversity labour?  

Professor Bernd Vogel


Henley Business School, University of Reading 

Leadership for Responsible Business 

Dr Chahna Gonsalves

Chahna Gonsalves

King's Business School, King's College London 

Bricks versus Clicks: The Digital Metamorphosis of Business Schools 

Keynote Speaker Abstracts

Dr Cristina Galalae

Beyond EDI pledges: What can we learn from our diversity labour? 

Recent public crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have laid bare entrenched systemic inequalities in countries across the globe. In response, there has been substantial growth in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) efforts.

Companies and academic institutions have made pledges to contribute to fairer, more just, and inclusive societies. Recognising their pivotal role in educating future leaders and driving societal change, several Business Schools in the UK are now explicitly declaring their commitment to EDI in their strategic vision statements. Such statements might at times seem repetitive, obscuring a tremendous amount of diversity labour performed by students, professional services colleagues and by academics. Labour to decolonise our teaching, learning and research. Labour to explore and implement assessment approaches that are truly inclusive. Labour to organise EDI committees, to engage with Equality Charters, to foster grassroot initiatives that lead to institutional transformation. Labour that requires solidarity within and across our institutions.

What can we learn from our diversity labour and who are our role models? This talk is an invitation to reflect on the knowledge that can emerge from our diversity work and on the experience of those who embody diversity.  

Professor Bernd Vogel

Leadership for Responsible Business

All eyes are also on the thinking and practice of leadership, when managers, researchers and educators, or business schools look at responsible businesses and themes like diversity, inclusion and equality/equity, climate emergency, or individual well-being to name but a few.

The understanding and practicality of responsibility/ies seem to be growing steadily in breadth and depth. However, when looking at leadership as an enabling factor for responsible businesses or as an answer and remedy a constrained view on leadership practice and thinking seems to prevail.

The session aims to stretch our understanding and practice for responsible businesses and education.

The session focusses on – what leadership and leading can mean and do in business and education for a sustained shift to responsible business practice and education – expanding the horizon of where leadership in organisations is headed – considering sustained shared energy and momentum to understand the shift to responsible businesses and the role of education.

Dr Chahna Gonsalves

Bricks versus Clicks: The Digital Metamorphosis of Business Schools

The world is transforming through digitalisation and business schools are predisposed to this transition. Yet some universities have sailed through the transition, while others have been left behind.  

In a seismic shift, universities worldwide face a "bricks versus clicks" dilemma. In the old days, campuses were all about physical buildings and in-person classes with professors. But now, digital education has arrived, blurring the line between the real world and the virtual one. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this transformation, pushing universities towards rapid adoption of digital education. Lectures once confined to physical spaces now thrive in virtual classrooms, connecting students globally. 

As the digital dust settles, some changes remain. Digital education increases accessibility and inclusivity, breaking barriers like distance and learning styles. It also grants flexibility, enabling students to balance studies with other commitments. 

But amidst this digital revolution, questions loom. Can a computer screen replace the magic of in-person connections with teachers and peers? Can we merge "bricks" and "clicks" for the best educational experience?  

This provocation seeks to challenge norms and reshape the future of business schools. Embracing digital education while valuing human connections and wisdom holds the key to a transformative higher education era. 


Registration is now closed.

Education conference programme

This year’s conference theme is made up of three streams: Digital Technology and Higher Education; Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI); and Responsible Business Education. Please see more information about the three streams.  

The conference programme is now available. 

AI Literacy Accelerator Workshop

This immersive workshop aims to boost AI literacy, amplify AI-driven innovation and accelerate organisational learning, preparing Birmingham University Business School for the rapidly evolving technological landscape. Whether you're a lecturer, researcher, or professional services, this hands-on skills-based workshop is designed specifically for non-IT/technical professionals who want to learn how to incorporate AI into their work.

Delegates should bring their laptops and get ready to build their own chatbots, train their own AI.


Registration for the workshop is now open.

Delegate Outcomes

  • Improved AI literacy: Attendees will gain a better understanding of the ChatGPT and AI landscape, including the differences between generative and retrieval AI, and the ways AI is revolutionising various industries.
  • Practical AI skills: Participants will learn essential ChatGPT and AI skills, such as prompt engineering and no-code automation using Zapier. These skills can be applied in various academic and administrative contexts to increase productivity and efficiency.
  • Ability to build real AI tools: Attendees who opt to participate in the optional workshop will gain hands-on experience building a working chatbot or AI application. This can be a valuable addition to their portfolio and can be used to support their work in various ways.
  • Increased productivity: The practical AI skills learned in this workshop can help non-IT/technical professionals streamline their work processes and automate tasks, leading to increased productivity and time savings.
  • Enhanced teaching and learning support: Participants will learn how to use AI tools to enhance teaching and learning support, such as by creating interactive chatbots that can answer common student questions or provide personalized feedback.
  • Improved research capabilities: Attendees will learn how AI can be used to automate literature reviews and assist with data analysis, leading to more efficient and accurate research.

The Delivery Team

Dixon Humphreys

The workshop will be delivered Robert Dixon and Dylan Humphreys of Dixon Humphreys Ltd, industry leading experts who work in partnership with organisations across multiple sectors to develop AI capabilities.  

Robert Dixon (Director)


A seasoned business leader and respected academic, Robert excels in strategic management, specialising in AI applications for business. With 25 years' experience in both SME's and blue-chip firms, and over a decade in MBA education at Manchester Metropolitan University, Robert merges theory with practice, delivering cutting-edge insights and preparing both professionals and senior executives for the AI revolution.

Dixon Humphreys - AI Capability Partners: Consultancy and Training (Co-Founder)
Manchester Metropolitan University - Strategic Management MBA Programme (Unit Leader)
DixonSpace - Enterprise and Innovation Centre in Greater Manchester (Founder) - Produce and Academic Literature reviews on any subject (Co-Founder)  

Dylan Humphreys (Director)


Dylan is a seasoned technology professional with over 25 years of experience in the ICT sector. He is a specialist in Artificial Intelligence, Prompt Engineering, and ChatGPT. Dylan is an ardent advocate of AI and has been involved with ChatGPT since its launch. He is continuously exploring new advancements and applications in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Natural Programming Languages.

Dixon Humphreys - AI Capability Partners: Consultancy and Training (Co-Founder) - Produce and Academic Literature reviews on any subject (Co-Founder) 

Decolonisation project events

Tuesday 12th September, 5:15pm – 6:30pm 

Decolonising the Business School: Perspectives from BBS students and Professional Services colleagues. 

Film Screening, with talks from New Vic Borderlines and School of Film and Creative Writing, followed by a Q&A session with staff and students in the School.

We’ve all heard the calls to ‘Decolonise the University’, but what does this actually mean? 

Showcasing work from the first year of BBS’ Decolonisation Project, two short films created during workshops with BBS students and Professional Service colleagues will be premiered at this event, alongside talks from New Vic Borderlines, a theatre group who we worked with for our workshops with students, and Dr Richard Langly, and Jemma Penny from University of Birmingham’s Department of Film and Creative Writing. 

The talks and screenings will give you a practical understanding of what decolonisation means for staff and students at BBS, as well inspiration into how you can begin to decolonise your own practice. It will also showcase the role of alternative methodologies in research, such as walking, cultural animation, film and art. 

Wednesday 13th September, 2pm – 4:30pm 

Reflecting on Decolonisation in practice at BBS – one year on.  

We’d like to invite you to the final seminar of this year’s Decolonisation Project seminar series, where we’re thrilled to be joined by Sally Everett, who will be speaking about the decolonisation movement across UK business schools. 

It will be on Wednesday 13th September, Room G07, and we’ll be sharing updates from the Decolonisation Project after one year since the official launch of the project, hear our updates, reflections and findings about decolonising Birmingham Business School, as well as from those who have began the process of decolonising their own research, teaching and professional practice within the School, following allocation of the Decolonisation Project’s seedcorn funding. 

It is being organised in conjunction with the Education Conference. To sign up, please accept this invite, and check the option on the Education Conference Eventbrite at checkout via.


14:00 – 14:05: Welcome and Introduction 

14:05 – 14:35: Decolonisation and Diversification of the Curriculum: perspectives from UK Business Schools  

  • Sally Everett, Professor of Business Education, Deputy Dean (interim) and Vice Dean (Education) at King’s Business School, King’s College London, and member of CABS’ Race Equality Working Group and their Equality and Diversity Committee 

14:35 – 15:15: Reflections from the first year of the Decolonisation Project 

  • Decolonisation Project team (Caroline Chapain, Emma Surman, Anita Lateano) 

15:15 – 15:30: Coffee break  

15:30 – 16:15: Panel discussion from BBS Decolonisation Project Seedcorn funding winners (see speakers below) 

16:15 – 16:25: Reflections on BBS Decolonisation project in the context of other Business Schools’ initiatives 

  • CABS’ Race Equality Working Group and their Equality and Diversity Committee 

16:25 – 16:30: Closing remarks


  • Sally Everett, Professor of Business Education, Deputy Dean (interim) and Vice Dean (Education) at King’s Business School, King’s College London. 

Decolonisation and Diversification of the Curriculum: perspectives from UK Business Schools.  

Sally was the Academic Lead for Inclusive Education for King’s College London (2019-2023) and leads the business school’s gender network (Women@KBS). Sally is a National Teaching Fellow (2017), Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2013), Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence award holder (team leader, 2016) and is Equality Officer for the Association of National Teaching Fellows. Sally is a member of the Chartered Association of Business School’s Race Equality Working Group and their Equality and Diversity Committee.   

Panel speakers - BBS Decolonisation Project Seedcorn funding winners: 

  • Inya Egbe, Associate Professor in Accounting  

Challenges and Opportunities of Decolonizing the Accounting Curriculum. 

Inya’s research aims to explore the potential challenges associated with decolonizing the curriculum in relation to the reliance on accounting in economic decision-making. Q methodology will be employed to identify subjective viewpoints and perspectives of individuals involved in the fields of accounting and economics. By adopting a qualitative approach, this research seeks to uncover the diverse attitudes, beliefs, and values held by stakeholders regarding the interplay between accounting, economic decision-making, and the decolonization of education. The findings of this study can contribute to the ongoing discourse on curriculum reform and help shape educational strategies that promote inclusivity and diversity.   

  • Donna Ladkin, Professor of Inclusive Leadership. 

Reflections on the ‘Decolonising Book Club’ 

Educating ourselves around what decolonization is and how it can be undertaken within a business school setting is fundamental to moving this agenda forward. The Decolonizing Book Club was formed to provide a space where members of the Business School could come together to discuss books and articles key to developing our understanding of this agenda.  In addition to reading the seminal text, On Decoloniality by Mignolo and Walsh, we had the opportunity to spend a day discussing this agenda with one of the UK’s leading scholars in the field, Professor Bobby Banerjee from the Bayes Business School in London.  We are currently in discussion about ways to continue into the new academic year.    

  • Yi Liu, Kamilya Suleymenova, Yao Yao, Department of Economics 

The Decolonisation of Economics. 

The aim of our project is to investigate the perceptions and attitudes of both academic colleagues and students towards the decolonisation agenda developing in the BBS. Using the outcomes of student and staff surveys/interviews/focus groups, we present the emerging themes and challenges to the advancement of the agenda. We will also aim to propose specific areas where the decolonisation is most likely to take place and be beneficial for the overall development of an inclusive curriculum. We will compare our findings to the examples / proposals of decolonisation of the economics curriculum in other institutions.   

  • Julie McDonald, Lecturer in Accounting 

Decolonising the curriculum: Implications, issues and challenges as it relates to the Dubai campus.  

Decolonization and the process of decolonizing the curriculum will have different meaning of different groups (Muldoon, 2019).  UAE was a previously a British colony, it population is multicultural with a significant group of migrant workers from previous colonies.  The Ministry of Exudation’s website noted that  private sector education the British Curriculum is one of 14 curriculum (ADEK 2023) , offered in the UAE.  It is against this background that the author approached the study on decolonizing the curriculum.  Studying at UOBD would have been an informed choice.  In exploring this topic the author will share the various perspectives gained during the network events and in discussion with student groups.    

  • Thomas Sebastian, Assistant Professor in Economics 

Reflections on the ‘Decolonising the Discourse’ one day conference. 

Thomas Sebastian is holding a one-day conference to explore ways in which some aspects of decolonial thinking can be introduced into the University. The conference, held on 14th August, will bring together scholars, experts, students and community members to discuss the impact of eurocentrisim on various aspects of society and to explore the potential for decolonisation in these fields. The keynote speaker, Sandew Hira, argues that colonialism has created a specific form of knowledge production for the social sciences, mathematics and the hard sciences that has produced distorted views of the world of humans and nature. This one-day conference will explore ways in which some aspects of decolonial thinking can be introduced into the University. Sign up to attend the event.   

  • Rohit Varman, Professor of Marking and Consumption 

Decolonisation and Modern Slavery 

A recent report by the International Labour Organization observes that nearly 55 million people are trapped in slavery across the world.  Modern slavery is found in different sectors of the global economy both in the Global South and North.  Despite its widespread existence, marketing theorists have paid relatively little attention to modern slavery.  In this interdisciplinary research, I offer insights into the conditions of modern slavery. I examine India as a site of modern slavery and show how contemporary capitalist accumulation is based on neocolonial relations of production. I further contend that decolonisation cannot be achieved without containing the neocolonial impulses of capitalism.   


If you have any questions about the Education Conference, please send your enquiry to  

For questions regarding the decolonisation project events, please contact the decolonisation project team: 

Queries in relation to the AI workshop should be sent to: 

Education Conference Organising Committee


  • Nishat Azmat (Department of Accounting) 

  • Rweyemamu Ndibalema (Department of Management) 

  • Cristina Sambrook (Department of Marketing) 

Digital Technology and Higher Education Stream Convenors: 

  • Mary Dawood (Department of Economics) 

  • Ahmad Bhatti (Department of Management) 

  • Maria Psyllou (Department of Economics) 

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Stream Convenors:  

  • Fatos Ozkan Erciyas (Department of Marketing) 

  • Heather Jeffrey (Department of Marketing) 

  • Joachim Timlon (Department of Strategy and International Business)

  • Kamilya Suleymenova (Department of Economics) 

  • Khansa AlSabah (Department of Economics)  

  • Saneesh Edacherian (Department of Strategy and International Business) 

Responsible Business Education Stream Convenors:  

  • Jennifer TyreeHageman (Department of Management) 

  • Emma Surman (BBS PRME Champion and Department of Marketing)  

  • Aineias Gkikas 

Event Managers: 

  • Max Everett (Dean’s Office) 

  • Natalia Bateson (Dean’s Office) 

  • Janet Eboh-Sampson (Dean’s Office)