Cornwall Business School Conference 2024: Building Resilience

21 May 2024

The Cornwall Business School recently hosted their first-ever Year in Review Business Conference 2024, focusing on the importance of building resilience. The conference brought together the Cornish business community at our Penryn campus with the aim of sharing knowledge and insights. 

The day started with a keynote from Martin Glinski, MD, St. Ewe Eggs, who talked about how the company – as recently rated one of the best places to work in Cornwall (Business Cornwall) – include wellbeing at every level as a resilience strategy. The keynote was followed by a panel discussion on how technology businesses are encouraged to help find a work-life balance to support mental health, how army cadets are encouraged to concentrate on social interactions, and how the media industry is helping Cornwall and looking at their own wellbeing to build business resilience. The panel was joined by Director of Tech South West, Ben Cooper, Colonel Paul Deakin, and MD at Cornwall's Rewind Radio - Richard Woods. 

During Mental Health Awareness Week, the conversation did not stop there as a mental health champion and CEO of Cornwall Mind, Paul Reeve moderated a panel on resilience through wellbeing and asked some fantastic questions to a renowned psychotherapist, business coach, and the author of Driven: The Audacity to Thrive in Entrepreneurship - Bhavna Raithatha to talk about the importance of looking at employees as human beings to deliver better performance - as wellbeing is the key differentiator in building resilience. The conference also talked about building resilience through Sustainability with inputs from the Eden Project through their Head of Higher Education, Dan Ryan and Cornwall Business School graduate Max Church working with Verdant Brewery as a Sustainability Coordinator.  

Following lunch, the afternoon session delved into other key areas of building resilience. Falmouth University's Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Emma Hunt talked about how the University sits in the position between creativity and innovation which allows it to contribute significantly towards encouraging innovation and asked the audience to be on the lookout for their next great idea.

Jeremy Sneller, MD, TouchByte, talked about his wonderful journey from starting a company in Cornwall to having a global launch in Las Vegas. Cornwall Business School graduate and co-founder of Hungry Billy, Benjamin Drees shared how the gaming industry is being disrupted and innovation in gamification is helping different industries including the education industry. Visit Cornwall's Executive Chair Malcolm Bell and Founder of Kernow Travel Company and Visit Albania Mark Lawther talked about the importance of tourism in Cornwall to build resilience and how diversified projects could help companies.  

The conference ended with a much-needed panel on talent as a key resilience strategy. From Rob Ingram, Senior Head of the Academy for Continuing Education at Falmouth University to the Head of Employability, Alex Mesterton-Gibbons, discussions revolved around employees being the key factor in business success and the importance of investing in them.

Rachel Pearce, Head of Client Success at Peaky Digital talked about how they, being one of the best employers in Cornwall, attract the right talent. A wonderful addition to the panel was Falmouth University student Emily Smith who shared her experience of working with Cornish businesses, the importance of internships and how businesses could leverage student talent, and how it is important to give a chance to the new candidates as they learn new skills at the university and are eager to apply the same into practice. 

The conference was held on the last working day of Mental Health Awareness Week and highlighted the importance of employee, employer, and business wellbeing as an essential element of building resilience throughout the day. The other key element of the conference was the participation of Cornwall Business School graduates and current students throughout the day sharing their insights.

Max Church, a Falmouth University graduate shared his viewpoint on sustainability and working with Verdant Brewery. Benjamin Drees, Falmouth graduate and Co-founder of Hungry Billy shared how they are using innovation in diverse industries to build resilience as a game development studio. Emily Smith, a Business & Digital Marketing student at Cornwall Business School requested the local businesses to give working opportunities to students for them to share their skills and expertise. Last but most importantly, Freya Pretty, Founder of Inclusive Solutions and a current student urged businesses to take care of their employees and that'd ensure quality work in return.

The Faculty of Business & Design Fellow Jo Lake-Jones said: “I thought that the range of speakers and the panel organisation was superb. It was a brilliant day and fantastically well organised.” 

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From emerging business talent to coaching and giving the entrepreneurs of tomorrow a head start, find out more about what Cornwall Business School brings to the local and regional economy. 

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