Annual Global Business Directions Conference

Thursday February 6th 2020
Location – Ashley LT001
Dr Ijeoma Onwumere and Kathryn Taylor

As the ‘Connected University’ to meet the needs of our student, businesses and society, the focus of this year’s conference will be on “Global Business Challenges: Thriving in a hyper-connected Global World: The way forward”.  We shall be exploring contemporary issues which businesses are facing globally and how these influence different areas of a business, such as, Digital Marketing, Business Administration and Strategy, Supply Chain in addition to the Health Service. The aim to support learners in building the advanced level skills of critical awareness and reflectivity necessary for a successful career in the 21st Century.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s keynote innovative, globally experienced and industrial speakers are: Tony Evans; Luke Bracegirdle; Balint Laszl; Dr Abdul Jabbar; Dr Radi Haloub; and Steve Lawley.

Tony Evans, Head of Financial Services, UK Amazon Web Services

Tony Evans

Tony Evans, Head of Financial services, UK amazon web services. A globally experienced & innovative executive, working with customers to create data-driven digital strategies. He takes personal pride in developing customer-obsessed solutions, top talent and creating a world-class performance culture.

Tony has vast interest in growth leaders, Digital Disruption, Big Data, change Management and Business Strategy. Also, as former Head of Leonardo and Analytics,Tony was responsible for enabling customers to leverage SAP’s innovation portfolio, to drive business transformation and operational improvement. As the executive sponsor for SAP Machine Learning and Cloud customer adoption, Tony partnered with customer executive teams to promote SAP’s next generation computing platform. At SAP, Tony led SAP’s billion-dollar North American Database business and has managed the North American financial services business as the Chief Operating Officer.

Prior to SAP, Tony has a successful track record in driving Business Process Reengineering and change management for global organisations, including PepsiCo, Lucent Technologies and IXNet. Tony has also held senior leadership positions across Oracle, BlackBerry and SAP, where he has led the organisation of sales, technical and marketing professionals, driving revenue growth through partnership with customers.

Tony is an alumnus of Staffordshire University, where he graduated with BA (Hons) in Business Studies and a Diploma in Marketing from CIM. Tony has an MBA in Change Management from the University of Brighton and is a qualified Project Manager with the Project Management Institute, an organisation he sat on the board of in NYC and represented in the Global Project Management Forum. Tony also sits on the board of a successful start-up, CrowdFlik where he partners with, and advises the CEO around business strategy.

In addition, we have excellent guest speakers from our network of local businesses and Alumni who will be sharing some of their valuable experiences.

Luke Bracegirdle BSc (Hons) Director of Virtual Health SHED Ltd.

Luke develops mobile applications, virtual reality and augmented reality digital resources for health. His work to develop a learning system for health students at Keele University was recently “Highly Commended” at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2018 for the Outstanding Digital Innovation of the Year category.

He is now working for the Digital Inclusion Programme for North Staffordshire, funded by NHS England to create patient information resources for voice activated assistants (e.g. Alexa), smartphones and tablets.

As a Director for the Virtual Health SHED, he leads on projects working to create innovative digital solutions for patient information and clinical training.

Luke has several Selected Publications:


  • Bracegirdle L and Chapman SR. Virtual Human Interaction System. AU.

Journal Articles

  • Humphreys M and Bracegirdle L. 2013. Using a Virtual Learning Environment within Simulation to enhance inter-professional team working skills. EDULEARN13 Abstracts, 4263-4268.
  • Richardson A, Bracegirdle L, McLachlan SIH, Chapman SR. 2013. Use of a Three-Dimensional Virtual Environment to Teach Drug-Receptor Interactions. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, vol. 77(1), Article 11.
  • Bracegirdle L and Chapman SR. 2010. Programmable Patients: Simulation of Consultation Skills in a Virtual Environment. Bio-Algorithms and Med-Systems, vol. 6(No. 11), 111-115.


  • Pringle JK, Bracegirdle L, Potter JA. Educational forensic e-gaming as effective learning environments for Higher Education Students in Forensic Science Education and Training. Editors: Williams A, Cassella JP, Maskell PD. 1: 119-136. Wiley 30 Jun 2017 (Chapter 9)
  • Humphreys M, Rosenorn-Lanng D, Bracegirdle L. 2013. Using a Virtual Learning Environment within Simulation to enhance inter-professional team working skills and patient safety. In Patient Safety and Quality Dimensions of Health Informatics. Michell V, Gulliver S, Rosenorn-Lanng D, Currie W, Kuljis J (Eds.). IGI Global, Pennsylvania.

Dr Abdul Jabbar: Director of Learning Development 

Dr Abdul is the Director of Learning Development at Huddersfield University Business School. He is a guardian award winning academic with significant experience in software development, network design and e-commerce business models. Abdul is responsible for the Centre of Learning, Innovation and Development which has a focus on developing the student experience and providing innovative teaching and learning solutions. He is also the course leader for the cutting-edge course Business Data Analytics degree.

As part of his research Abdul has been successful in developing and running a fully functional Blockchain. Utilising his software skills and his expertise in business analytics.

Abdul has modelled and simulated different business processes within a Blockchain environment to ascertain the potential use case scenarios to support business growth. Current research has a focus on Blockchain and the use of real-time processing in automated decision making, with a view to anticipate the changing world of work.

Selected publication:

Balint Laszlo: Founder/ MD

Balint Laszlo is the Founder and MD of project consultancy company B2Control. He is currently a Senior Programme Control Consultant to National Grid’s Viking Link project, responsible for the time and cost controls for the overall programme of EPC work including cables, converters and civil’ s contracts.

After spending nearly, a decade in engineering the shift to project management has enabled Balint to work on major projects including London Power Tunnels in the UK, Lower Churchill Converters and Transition Compounds Project in Canada and Buk-Dangjin-Godeok project in South Korea. Working in the energy sector Balint passion towards sustainable energy production and consumption fired some debates with his peers and friends. Balint holds a BA(Hons) in Business Administration, Management and Operations and Engineering Degree in Telecommunications.

Dr Radi Haloub Senior Lecturer in Strategy

Radi is interested in multidisciplinary research and teaching between the Business School, School of Applied Science and School of Engineering by teaching Strategic Management for non-Business Students and leading Business Research projects.

Radi’s research interests lie in the areas of general Management, more specifically on Strategic Management, Minority Entrepreneurship, Forecasting and Business Ethics. Prior to joining the academia, Radi worked in practice for nine years in a strategic planning department at an international pharmaceutical company that operates in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) countries, in addition to his last post as a Unit Head at Procter and Gamble’s distributor (IATCO) in Saudi Arabia.

Radi is currently looking at the impact of culture and religion in social integration of minorities and its influence on forced entrepreneurship status for refuges and economic migrants.

Radi has served the community in the UK by conducting consultancy projects with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT), Kirklees Council, Calderdale Council, in addition to a few projects for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Yorkshire.

Selected Publication

Funded projects:

BA/Leverhulme funded project: Radi was commissioned as Co-investigator and working with Deema Refai and John Lever. This project titled: A Better Future – Understanding Refugee Entrepreneurship (BFURE). The team has been commissioned to carry out multi-site researches in West Yorkshire region and develop refugee’s skills and integration into the society. The project is supported by the Kirklees Council and some voluntary sector organisations such as Huddersfield Sanctuary and Yorkshire Spirit CIC (Education). Value: £6,060 (ongoing).

University Sandpit project: Radi was commissioned as the Principal Investigator and working with Deema Refai, Toby Martin and John Lever. This project titled: Sounding Out Refugees Stories in Jordan (SORJ). This is an interdisciplinary project to explore the journeys of Syrian refugees in Jordan and the challenges they face, focusing particularly on how these journeys and challenges lead them to engage in entrepreneurship, whereby they enhance their socio-economic cohesion. The project aimed to turn refugee stories into two songs to be presented at two main events in Jordan (at a university and a secondary school, respectively) to promote the positive image of refugees through songs. Value: £14,300 (completed in 2019).

Santander Student Mobility Funds: Radi was commissioned to lead a group of four MSc students to present and contribute to Business Ethics workshop at the American University of Madaba in Jordan. The workshop and presentation were conducted at the School level and all students and academics were involved. Value: £5,000 (completed in 2016).

Steve Lawley: Director, ThriveNet

Steve has worked most of his career with BT in a wide variety of roles in field engineering, customer service and programme management, also heading up the UK planning division when the Broadband network was initially being built. With 10 years’ experience at senior manager level in BT, he became Business Services Director in the Openreach division, responsible for business connectivity across the UK, before leaving BT in 2017 to become founder of his own consultancy business.

Steve is currently working with several business clients in the fibre and connectivity arena where his expertise in network asset investment is key to supporting current & future IP based technologies.

Steve holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Telecommunications Business from University College London, although has attended the Staffordshire campus previously before it became a Business School.

Staffordshire University
Business School
Location Ashley LT001

Programme for the Day

09:00 Registration and Networking
09:30 Welcome and IntroductionsIjeoma Onwumere & Kat Taylor
09:40 – 10:20 Keynote Speaker 1Tony Evans
Global Business Challenges: Thriving in a hyper-connected Global World: The way forward
10:30 Break
10:40 – 11:20 Speaker 2Abdul Jabbar
Artificial Intelligence & Big Data in today’s Business
11:30 – 12:10 Speaker 3Luke Bracegirdle
Technology innovation, Global Cross
Culture and Global business ethics’ in
health care medicines and IT policies.
12:10 Lunch and Networking
13:00 – 13:10Introduction to afternoon
13:10 – 13:50 Speaker 4Balint Laszlo
The effect and impact of green
sustainability in business
13:50 Break
14:00 – 14:40 Speaker 5Radi Haloub
Global Cross culture and Global business ethics in Business
14:45 – 15:25 Speaker 6Steve Lawley
Business Challenges – Digital Disruption and More
15:35 Summation and Closing RemarksIjeoma Onwumere & Kat Taylor

Organiser contact details:

Ijeoma Onwumere – 01782 294670
Kathryn Taylor 01782294675

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