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Readmore about the episodes, and hear what our experts have to say about each topic
Evan Davis hosts the business conversation show with people at the top giving insight into what matters.
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Realise your full potential, wherever you are. From MBAs to introduction to financial services, the Open University Business School has it covered.Read moreFind out what the OU Business School can do for you
Get a competitive edge in a fluid, crowded market with The Open University Business School.Read moreMBAs with the OU Business School
Are you a member of the LinkedIn social network? Meet people interested in similar topics with the Open University Business School groupRead moreNetwork with like-minded people
Find out about studying with the Open University Business School with a prospectus.Read moreOrder or download a prospectus
How do businesses develop strategies, handle risk and take decisions? What’s involved in functions such as marketing, accounting and finance? This innovative degree is firmly rooted in your own experience.Read moreBA (Honours) Business Management
This key introductory OU level 1 module provides an accessible and comprehensive introduction to business and management in a globalised world.Read moreAn introduction to business and management
The Internet of Things promised to revolutionise the way we live and work but what has it delivered and what more is it capable of doing?
Kevin Ashton, Author who coined the phrase the Internet of Things
Caroline Gorski, Global Director of R2 Data Labs, Rolls Royce Plc
Paul Beastall, Head of Strategy, Cambridge Consultants
Higher education in the UK is an astonishingly successful British industry, with an income of almost £35 billion a year. Universities have expanded hugely with more students from home and abroad. But uncertain times lie ahead. Tuition fees are under review and some people in the sector argue Brexit may make it harder to attract students from EU countries. Are universities sustainable as businesses?
Professor Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northampton
Professor Trevor McMillan Vice-Chancellor of Keele University
Dr Helen Carasso, Department of Education, Oxford University
Understanding how humans think and what makes them tick can be enormously helpful if you're running a company. Luckily behavioural science is on hand to do just that. How far can its use improve decision making in businesses?
Octavius Black, CEO and Co-founder of MindGym
David Halpern, CEO, The Behavioural Insights Team
Kim Atherton, Chief People Officer, Ovo Energy and CEO and Founder of Just3Things
What's the point of an audit if it fails to detect when a company's about to go under? The sudden collapse of BHS, Carillion and Patisserie Valerie has dented public confidence in the firms that audited them and prompted calls for a shake-up of the audit industry. Would more competition in the sector, which is dominated by four big players, drive audit quality up? Do accountants need to be more robust in challenging company figures?
Bill Michael, UK Chairman and Senior Partner at KPMG.
Jac Berry, Audit Partner and UK Head of Quality at Mazars.
and Christopher Humphrey, Professor of Accounting at the Alliance Manchester Business School.
There are more than two-and-a-half thousand consumer and business magazine titles on sale in the UK. What is the appeal of magazines and how does the business endure in spite of falling advertising revenues and declining circulation figures?
Wolfgang Bau, President, Conde Nast International
Terri White, Editor-in-Chief, Empire Magazine
Rebecca McGrath, Senior Analyst, Media, Mintel
Technological advances have made it easier for businesses to offer us more personalised goods and services, from customised cars to clothes that fit better and pioneering cell and gene therapies to target serious illnesses. How far can this personalisation revolution go?
Darrin Disley, Chief Executive of cell therapy company, Mogrify.
Georgina Silvester, Chief Operating Officer (designate), Handelsbanken UK.
Karl Howkins, Managing Director, Citroen UK.
Kate Ancketill, Chief Executive of GDR Creative Intelligence.
For many graduates an internship has become the default route to full-time, paid employment. But getting a good placement is competitive and in some cases poorly paid or unpaid. What does this mean for social mobility and diversity in the workplace? Evan Davis and guests discuss the pros and cons of internships.
Sarah Churchman, UK Head of Inclusion, Diversity and Wellbeing, PwC.
Amalia Illgner , Freelance journalist and a former intern.
Oliver Sidwell, Co-founder, Rate My Placement.
It's hard to buy anything these days without being asked to rate or review it. Evan Davis and guests look at how have businesses such as Tripadvisor, Feefo and Checkatrade have altered the relationship between companies and consumers? Do you trust the wisdom of crowds more than an expert's view?
Matt West, Chief Executive of Feefo.
Rob Paterson, Chief Executive of Best Western Hotels GB.
Caroline Wiertz, Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship at the Cass Business School in London.
Every business faces uncertainty. In the final programme of the series Evan Davis and guests ask what businesses should do when faced with uncertainty.
Jeremy Bentham, Head of Scenarios, Shell.
Nick Allan, CEO, Control Risks.
Dr Sandra Bell, Head of Resilience Consulting, Sungard Availability Services.
Antibiotic resistance is a global problem but there have been no new drugs produced since the 1980s. So who is to blame? The public's over-consumption or the current economic model for drug research and production? Evan Davis and guests discuss.
Seema Patel, Medical Director, Hospital Business, Pfizer, UK, Ireland and the Nordics
Lord Jim O'Neill, Chair Anti-Microbial Resistance Review (2016), Former Chief Economist, Goldman Sachs
Professor Colin Garner, Co Founder and Director, Antibiotic Research UK
The package brought to your door may have crossed the globe - but the most expensive and fiddly bit of the journey will undoubtedly be what's known as 'the last mile'. Delivery firms are constantly innovating how they do this - using electric vehicles and e cargo bikes, robots, or offering customers a click and collect option at a local store of their choice. Consumers take it for granted that they will get free delivery in many cases. But is the whole 'last mile' industry sustainable? Delivery vans add to traffic congestion and consumers are ordering more than they need and returning unwanted goods for free.
Evan Davis and guests discuss the latest trends in the logistical puzzle of 'the last mile.'
Jon Ormond Operations Director of Hubs and Depots at parcel carrier, Hermes.
Nick Hale, Managing Director of BT Ventures.
and Catherine Weetman, founder of Re-think solutions.
Who wins and loses in the cut-throat exercise market? Looking good and being fit has become more important as we have become more wealthy. Yet most new gyms and fitness centres fail. Evan Davis and his guests work out the secrets of success in this growing industry, which is is worth over £5 billion in the UK.
Stuart Broster, CEO, Anytime Fitness UK
Tommy Matthews, Managing Director, Be Military Fit
Dawn Tuckwell,, Director and Co-founder, Action PR
PRESENTER: Evan Davis
PRODUCER: Julie Ball
From Somali pirates who've turned kidnapping into a global enterprise to cybercrime and fraud - the worlds of business and wrongdoing potentially have much in common. Clever criminals build business empires and fraud is sometimes carried out by well paid workers at legitimate companies. What the two worlds can have in common is a pursuit of profit and a series of apparently rational calculations. Evan Davis and guests explore why some bright, talented people try to get rich the wrong way, while others manage to do it within the rules.
Barrister, Sara George, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP
Michael Corrigan, Chief Executive at Prosper 4 - a training and recruitment firm for former prisoners
and Dr Anja Shortland, Reader in Political Economy at King's College, London.
Can a sudden change in direction save a new company? Evan Davis and his guests hear stories about the start-up's nightmare: the original product is not selling, and cash is running out. Can changing focus - with a new service or product - pluck success from the jaws of doom? Speaking to entrepreneurs and experts, he learns about how in a range of sectors, from sanitary products to event ticketing, the key is to shift while staying true to the original vision.
Celia Pool, cofounder DAME
Edmund Glover and Nick Stone, FIXR
Ramdane Mir, cofounder Cobbleweb
Poundland, Lidl, B&M Bargains and Primark are thriving successes on the High Street, while more mainstream retailers have seen their profits hit. Just how do the discounters keep their prices so low? Keeping the business model simple, supply chains lean and costs down are key parts of the story.
Barry Williams, Managing Director of Poundland
Simon Arora, Chief Executive, B&M Bargains
Catherine Shuttleworth, Chief Executive of Savvy Marketing
You trust financial professionals to grow your long term savings and pension pot. But how do you know if they are investing it wisely? The UK investment industry is awash with complicated terms and conditions, and unclear and sometimes high charges, which can eat into your monetary returns. The woes of star fund manager Neil Woodford, who has temporarily frozen one of his funds to its investors after poor performance, highlights just how complicated an industry it is. Is some clarity starting to emerge? Evan Davis and expert guests look under the bonnet of the UK investment industry.
James Anderson, partner at Baillie Gifford, who jointly manage the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust
Bella Caridade Ferreira, chief executive and founder of Fundscape
Sean Hagerty, managing director of Vanguard Europe
Producer: Lesley McAlpine
What can we learn from how one medical start-up fooled Silicon Valley and the world? Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford University at 19 to start Theranos. She promised investors and the public a revolutionary blood diagnosis machine which would be less painful, accessible and affordable than ordinary lab tests. She managed to raise $9 billion in funding. Bow the company is worth nothing. Holmes and her business partner may face up to 20 years in prison for fraud. How did she manage to deceive some of the world's cleverest minds - and is there something about start-up culture and the cult of the visionary leader which encourages charlatans? Evan Davis and guests discuss.
Rebecca Jarvis, chief business, economics and technology correspondent, ABC News
Margaret Heffernan, author and entrepreneur
Jos White, entrepreneur and partner, Notion Capital
Producer: Julie Ball
How can the aviation industry marry sustainability with increasing passenger numbers? Since the deregulation of Europe's airlines in the late 1990s, more and more of us have been flying every year. Whilst this may be good news for the airline industry, it's not good news for the environment. Manufacturers are trying to make models lighter and more fuel efficient, with a pledge by IATA to cut emissions to 50% by 2050. Nevertheless, experts say we are at least fifteen years away from hybrid engine powered flight. Evan Davis and guests ask whether commercial aviation can meet its climate targets through new technology and more fuel efficient engines, whilst keeping costs down for the airlines and the customer?
Paul Kahn, president, Connectivity, Cobham Plc
Volodymyr Bilotchak, economist, author of The Economics of Airlines
Rob Morris, head of Global Consultancy, Ascend by Cirium
Presenter: Evan Davis
Producer: Julie Ball
Editor: Hugh Levinson
Should companies be cautious when embracing new technologies for fear of displacing their employees?Watch now ❯Will artificial intelligence put us out of work?
Researchers have developed a new battery to enable user generated renewable power to be stored cheaply and safely, reports Tim Radford from the Climate News Network.Read now ❯Safer battery could spark investment in renewables
Studies of inclusion and diversity in the workplace have become more important than ever.Read now ❯Diversity, migrant entrepreneurship and socio-economic inclusion
How do businesses develop strategies, handle risk and take decisions? What’s involved in functions such as marketing, accounting and finance? This innovative degree is firmly rooted in your own experience.Read more ❯BA (Honours) Business Management
This module explores the choices organisations make about employment relations strategies and the associated impacts on employee engagement. It provides an understanding of different employment relations perspectives, theories and debates as well as the national and international contexts of employment relations. Throughout the module the roles of employee participation and voice as crucial processes underlying employee engagement are critically examined. Other areas covered include managing diversity, communication, change management, and the management of conflict associated with grievance, discipline and dismissal.Learn more ❯Employment relations and employee engagement
In this free course, Products, services and branding, you will find out about how organisations manage their products and services. This will include learning about how new products are developed and how the existing portfolio of offerings is managed. The particular characteristics of service products will be explained so that you can understand the impact that these features have on how services are managed.Learn more ❯Products, services and branding
A small grocery store run by one person and perhaps their family must pose quite different challenges from a multinational corporation with operations in many different countries. This free course introduces different types of business, depending on industry sector, size and type of ownership and discusses some of the ways in which businesses differ from each other.Learn more ❯Different types of business
This free course, Retail marketing, explores how retailers use marketing to communicate with their customers, considering definitions of retailing and consumers, the basics of communications, before moving on to look at different forms of marketing communications and advertising used by retailers.Learn more ❯Retail marketing
Terry O’Sullivan is a Senior Lecturer in Management at The Open University Business School where he researches and teaches in the fields of social and arts marketing. He is the joint author of Creative Arts Marketing, a guide to applying marketing practice in the cultural industries, which is popular with practitioners and students alike. Its third edition is now available. Terry's published research includes articles on marketing to promote pro-environmental behaviour in organisations, and the enhancement of audience experience at live arts events.
Liz Moody has an MBA from Strathclyde Graduate Business School and additional postgraduate qualifications gained through distance learning in marketing from the CIM, IDM and the British Management Institute as a management coach. Her undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Education and she has 20 years’ experience as a manager on which she has built her consultancy knowledge.