Resilience: The role of university in training people for an uncertain future
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We live increasingly in a world where rapid technological, social, economic and cultural change is leading to greater uncertainty.  How do individuals and organisations cope and respond? 

Resilience, the ability to recover from challenges quickly is central to individual wellbeing, our ability to carve out a career path and for organisations to first survive and then thrive.  

These sessions will offer practical guidance and inspiration to students and those recently graduated on how they can successfully adapt to change.  It will also help managers and employers understand how their organisations can successfully evolve. Our five speakers will explain how they have been resilient in very different circumstances, and offer the lessons they have learnt that can be applied by individuals and organisations.  

There will be a Question and Answer session where you will have the opportunity to ask how you or your organisation might become more resilient. 

All sessions are held from 12:00 to 13:00. Please register your place via the above link.

  • Monday 20 July: Resilience in business
  • Tuesday 21 July: Resilience in the face of adversity in the hospitality sector
  • Wednesday 22 July: Responding to an uncertain future with star employees - views from an individual employee
  • Thursday 23 July: Resilience of entrepreneurs under continuous crises - evidence from conflict zones
  • Friday 24 July: The art of being unprepared - why improvisation is a must-have skill as we move forward

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Today's events

Plymouth Business School Speaker Sessions

Oliver is an Olivier award-winning West End theatre and film producer. He specialises in building and running large-scale temporary theatres having built eight commercial theatres since 2009, including the award-winning Kings Cross Theatre. In 2017 Oliver and Tristan Baker co-founded Troubadour Theatres, opening three new theatrical spaces in Wembley Park and White City. These dynamic venues are fully flexible, bespoke structures to offer the producer, audience and creatives, innovative spaces to work and create, in vibrant destinations. 

He set up his own production company BOS Productions Ltd in 2004 and has numerous theatre and film credits to his name.

Monday 20 July: Resilience in business

Oliver Royds, Joint Founder and CEO of Troubadour Theatres

Hazel is well known as a super-connector for the South West of England. Her eponymous award-winning consultancy provides wedding businesses, venues and suppliers, with targeted marketing, sales, management, consultancy and events.

Having worked within the hospitality sector for the last 22 years, Hazel has worked with some of the most prestigious hotels, country house estates and wedding venues in the South West, including projects for StIves Harbour Hotel, the Carbis Bay Estate, Launcells Barton, Trenderway Weddings, Ocean Studios, Pengenna Manor, Cosawes Barton and St.Aubyns Estates.

Hazel talks about her journey in the hospitality sector from hotel management through to venue consultancy. She shares some of the challenges facing her industry and how to adapt.


Tuesday 21 July: Resilience in the face of adversity in the hospitality sector

Hazel Parsons, Partner at Hazel Parsons Wedding, Marketing and Events Consultant, Associate Director of the National Association of Wedding Professionals

Since studying at the University of Plymouth in 2009 and graduating with BSc (Hons) Hospitality Management and MSc International Hospitality Management, Luke has held a number of different job roles in the hospitality industry, from working in kitchens to hotel management. 

He now work in the catering equipment manufacturing industry which, alongside many others, has been hugely affected by the current outbreak of COVID-19. As chaos descends into the UK economy and markets, finding new ways to respond to change and shift in consumer attitudes is key. University training has helped Luke to contribute to the company's recovery plan in ways he had never considered possible when he first started his degree.

Wednesday 22 July: Responding to an uncertain future with star employees - views from an individual employee

Luke Slater

Doaa is a Lecturer in Business and Enterprise in the Oxford Brookes Business School, Oxford Brookes University, UK. She worked in her home country, Palestine, with different local and international NGOs in humanitarian and development programmes aimed to reduce poverty, empower women and enhance economic development through entrepreneurship. 

This experience has inspired her to do a PhD at the University of Plymouth where she researched the resilience of entrepreneurs and gender in the conflict zones of Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.

Thursday 23 July: Resilience of entrepreneurs under continuous crises - evidence from conflict zones

Doaa Althalathini, Oxford Brookes University

You can't spell 'improve' without 'improv'. 

For over 25 years Michael worked at Amsterdam's #1 improv comedy club, "Boom Chicago" which produced talents like Seth Meyers and Jordan Peele. Every night Michael got on stage with his fellow comedians and, using audience suggestions, created brand new comedy scenes on the spot. Audiences are often amazed at how quick it all happens! There are no 'tricks' to improv, but certain rules and guidelines help ensure the scenes are successful. 

But Michael noticed that when visiting businesses around the world, everything takes SO LONG... and the way most companies come to conclusions, brainstorm, communicate and make decisions is the exact OPPOSITE to the way improvisers do it. So Michael thought, "What if I taught businesses to improvise?" And he's been doing it ever since. With the future so uncertain it's essential you learn how to adapt to change, save time, make good decisions and communicate effectively - by grasping the basics of improvisation.

Friday 24 July: The art of being unprepared - why improvisation is a must-have skill as we move forward

Michael Diederich, International Public Speaker and Speaking Coach