The Start of Our Journey With The BIBAs Academy

It still amazes me that Magma Digital won two awards at this years BIBAs ceremony. We were extremely proud to win the ‘Employer of the Year’ and ‘Professional Services Business of the Year’ awards and Magma Digital is very grateful to the Chamber of Commerce and the judges for all their hard work.

This year the winners of awards benefit from inclusion in a BIBAs Academy hosted by Lancaster University and sponsored by the Chamber. This is the first year that the BIBAs winners have been offered this benefit and last week we attended the first session.

As Jeremy and I arrived, the winners congregated together with sponsors and representatives of the Chamber and the University. Everyone was buzzing with nervous anticipation. No-one quite knew what to expect and how the evening was going to pan out. This was slightly scary and exciting all at the same time.

We chatted and networked over some drinks and canapés, before moving into an introduction session opened by Norman Tenray, the newly appointed President of the Chamber. Norman was followed by Professor Ellie Hamilton, Associate Dean for Enterprise Engagement at Lancaster University Management School. Ellie outlined the Lead programme and what we should expect both from each other and the university.

One by one, we took to the stage to introduce ourselves and our companies, taking care to highlight some of our hopes and objectives from attending the programme. This was a useful exercise, as we gained valuable insight into the people and organisations with whom we will be sharing twelve months of peer group learning and support.

We then networked for about 40 minutes over coffee and proceeded into the main lecture theatre for the main speaker event. Richard Watson a renowned Futurist (sounds like something out of Star Trek!) and trend spotter was the main speaker of the evening. He was very insightful and kept the audience interested and engaged throughout his hour long lecture.

Unsurprisingly his talk focused on the future, and in particular there was a fairly strong theme around technology both for domestic and business markets. He focused in on five futures forces which he described as: Demographic Change, Economic Re-Balancing, Global Connectivity, Sustainability & Resources and BINNG Technologies (rise of the machines). Richard also touched on a sixth force, which he called Anxieties, as he believes anxiety is caused by all of the above in our current age.

Some of our main take away points from Richards talk were:

  • Be alert and be prepared as a business to shift
  • Get hold of good people and keep them
  • Globalisation will start to fray and local will become more important again
  • The internet of things / Big Data
  • Disconnection as well as Connection
  • Robotics
  • Real and Virtual Worlds colliding

Richard took each of the above points and explained how he thinks they will impact businesses in the future.

Jeremy and I both reported back to the team that we thoroughly enjoyed Richard’s insights and the whole evening. We are really looking forward to the next event and if you are considering entering the BIBAs in 2015, the opportunity to attend a programme like this should be a huge motivator to get involved in the awards.

This invaluable opportunity to learn and share with such a wonderful group of businesses and academics is a superb gift to the winners, one which Jeremy and I very much appreciate!

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