Ranked 2nd for Business and Management in the Guardian University Guide 2017
As we head into the Christmas break, it’s now a good time to take stock of the recent developments and early plans for next year across the School.
Last month we were delighted to appoint the new Research Director, Professor Steve Wood. While it’s early days in his role, Steve has started the process of forming a Research Committee, with the objective to strengthen the School’s research culture and environment even further.
We are pleased to announce that University Student Enterprise team have taken up residence at Surrey Business School. This new high profile space will allow even more students from across campus to access Surrey Student Enterprise activities and will strengthen the support the team receives from the School.
CoDE (Centre for the Digital Economy) have had some recent funding success with a research bid to EPSRC for: Addressing Cybersecurity and Cybercrime via a co-Evolutionary approach to reducing human-related risks. The grant is led by Dr Shujun Li in Computer Science and includes the strong involvement of Dr Mike McGuire in Sociology. So, this grant is the result of a great inter-Faculty collaboration, which we will be seeing more of in the new year. Other Universities involved include UCL Security and Crime Science and Warwick Manufacturing Group. The grant is for 24 months and the value is 1.1M. The grant adds to CoDE’s expanding list of research awards.
Further plans for the new year will be to significantly expand our Executive Education programmes, which is well underway. Our plans include both open-enrolment and tailor-made Executive Education activities, as well as one day programmes.
As we look back at the last year, I am inspired with confidence for the year ahead and the many new achievements yet to be reached.
Students on the first year module Economics, Business and Sustainability took over the Business Insights Lab on 12 and 13 December to host the first Sustainability Showcase Poster Exhibition. Groups were asked to answer why sustainability is important in the business environment, how businesses operate sustainably, who benefits and what are the benefits of operating sustainably?
Each group chose a case to apply their knowledge to an organisation, an industry sector or even a country!
Is the pursuit of a ‘100% sustainable’ food producer an achievable goal?
The Body Shop
Toxic Throwaway Fashion
Students were graded on their work by a team of markers looking for evidence of the groups’ comprehension of the topic of sustainable business, evidence of relevant breadth and depth of research into topic, the critical analysis of the case chosen and the creativity, layout, appearance and quality of the poster and group working ability.
Initial feedback from the students is positive as an innovative and creative method of assessment and a good way to make friends in the first semester.
We hope you managed to stop by to see the good works of our new undergraduate cohort!
I’ll start with the picture.
There are some wintry branches, behind them, a metal fence, on a cold grey flat day. The metal fence encloses two sides of a small car park and by the nature of car parks, we can just make out a few cars at the back against a brick wall. The wall, about 2m high if that, is crudely made of rough red bricks. Walls figure largely here, both literally and figuratively – on which, more later.
The wall is in Warsaw where, as a guest of the British Embassy, I was part of what could in grander circumstances could be called a “Trade Delegation”. There were five of us – authors and panel members of the 2016 Walport Report ‘Distributed Ledger Technology: Beyond Blockchain’. This very well received report has now been translated into several other languages, including Japanese and French, and a Polish version is coming out soon. We were in town to share and possibly sell expertise in blockchain and all things digital, and to develop links with interested local firms and scholars; maybe also to break down a few walls (see??) and build some bridges.
Specifically, I had been asked to talk about FinTech the previous day, before the main event on Distributed Ledgers. The recent 2016 global FinTech Hub report placed London at the top of the tree, followed by Singapore and New York. The analysis scored FinTech hubs on 6 qualities: a strong innovation culture: proximity to expertise; proximity to customers; the extent of foreign start-ups; the nature of regulation; and the degree of government support. London scores highly on all 6 qualities. Interestingly countries and cities lose places most rapidly in this analysis if their innovation culture is less developed and government support weakens, or regulation is unfavourable.
The FinTech scene is not well developed in Poland, but they have a thriving and visible banking culture, with lots of small banks and lots of banking start-ups. But they had no financial crash to act as a burning platform for “too big to fail” to have made an impression on their government, and from conversations they have a slightly overzealous regulatory system (perhaps the latter is linked to the lack of a financial crash?), making life for FinTech slightly less relevant and a bit more difficult.
So they have issues on regulation and government support, and there is less developed impetus to their FinTech movement. I advised them to concentrate on the “tech” (they have a strong innovation culture) and let the “fin” and maybe other applications grow on the back of that. Interestingly for the London experience, an earlier 2016 EY report prepared for the UK Treasury makes a number of recommendations to retain London’s pre-eminence. Among these is the need to create and attract a strong talent pool, and to build stronger international bridges.
A better view of the wall; there look like metal stanchions in the top, maybe for a bit of wire to add some height.
This poor little lonely neglected wall, below, was useful in marking out private spaces, and once was much, much longer. Here’s part of its route marked out on the pavement.
This part is near the big tower building, the Palace of Culture and Science, imposed on Warsaw by the Soviets. One wall in Europe knocked down; another built to replace it bit later a bit further west, in a different country, but with the same purpose of separation.
Sadly, I fear we had better get used to what these pictures represent: the future looking cold, grey, flat and bleak with iron railings and walls everywhere. For in its heyday, when it was much, much longer, and new and fresh, this quickly assembled wall was the wall built by fascists around the Warsaw ghetto, which imprisoned, and ultimately worse, some Poles based on their ideas and beliefs.
In early August 1914, Lord Grey, then UK Foreign Secretary, watched the evening lights going on in the Mall from his office in Whitehall and famously said, “The lamps are going out all over Europe, and we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” Well, the walls — on the ground and in people’s minds — are going up again everywhere. I doubt that I shall see them fall again in my lifetime. As biologist and author E.O Wilson said: “We have Palaeolithic emotions, mediaeval institutions, and God-like technology”. Pity we didn’t sort out the first two before implementing the third.
Dr Phil Godsiff Senior Research Fellow, Centre for the Digital Economy (CoDE)
Find out more about our research in the digital economy
Surrey Business School project DESIGNSCAPES “Building Capacity for Design enabled Innovation in Urban Environments” has won funding from the European Commission’s research Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.
A research study has found that people’s energy towards colleagues has a major influence on how likely they are to leave their job voluntarily.
The University of Surrey has appointed Professor Ansgar Richter as the new Dean of Surrey Business School, ranked second in the UK for Business and Management and twelfth for Accounting and Finance by the Guardian University Guide 2017.
At Surrey Business School, we’ve created an innovative and stimulating environment in which our academics, students and alumni work with international corporate businesses, SMEs and government, offering bespoke consultancy and applied education programmes. Here are just a few examples of some of the organisations we’re currently working with: