The second edition of Alumni UK Live took place on 6 and 7 December 2023 with two days packed full of panel discussions, workshops, regional and keynote sessions. 

What is Alumni UK Live?

Alumni UK Live is an online festival for global UK alumni.

The festival offers exclusive professional development opportunities to enhance your knowledge, develop your career and connect with other international UK alumni across the world. This latest edition focused on key topics:

  • AI in the workplace
  • Leadership through uncertainty
  • Employability and career guidance
  • Managing mental health and wellbeing
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Climate change

Why attend?

  • Connect and network with international UK Alumni from across the world; 
  • Be inspired by global leaders and industry experts on AI in the workplace and leading in uncertain times;
  • Learn from the British Council's Alumni Award finalists and winners who will share their own experiences of starting and growing enterprises and embarking on careers tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges.  

Who can attend?

If you studied at a UK university either in person or via distance learning, you are invited to attend our virtual events.

Programme

Taking place over two days, this free online festival included keynote speakers and regional sessions, and covered themes including leading through uncertain times, managing mental health and climate change.   

Sessions took place at different times so alumni could join from around the world. For any you missed, recordings will be shared on the Alumni UK online platform.

December recordings will be available soon. In the meantime, you can watch recordings from the first edition of Alumni UK Live in March 2023 on the Alumni UK online platform

Wednesday 6 December 2023 - Part1

Welcome with Kate Ewart-Biggs OBE 

9.30 - 9.35 UK time

Journey to leadership: in conversation with Professor David Mba 

9.35 - 10.20 UK time

During the opening session of Alumni UK Live, Professor David Mba shares his inspiring leadership journey from graduating with a first class degree in engineering, washing cars, to becoming Vice-Chancellor of Birmingham City University. Today, Mba is a champion for equity, passionately supporting the university’s 30,000 students and staff to overcome socio-economic challenges, and driving social mobility through practice-based learning. Hear about his fascinating journey to leadership and learn his tips for success.

Chaired by Kate Ewart-Biggs OBE, Deputy Chief Executive, British Council.

Professor David Mba, Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University.

How business can tackle the climate crisis

11.30 - 12.30 UK time 

In the context of differing political options and governmental approaches towads the urgency of tackling the climate crisis, what is the role for business? Industry and non-governmental leaders will share their perspectives on the green transition and their role to drive change. They will also discuss the skills that are in demand and what wil be required in the future. 

Chaired by Karl Belizaire, Policy and Project Lead, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Vi Bui, Climate Finance Researcher, Climate Arc, Stephen Jones, Resilience Co-ordinator, Climate Northern Ireland, Desma Natome, Program Analyst, UNDP. 

The role of technology in social impact 

13.00 - 14.00 UK time

This session will examine how technology can be leveraged to create positive social impact. Drawing on case studies from the social sector in South Asia, the panel will be discussing topics such as digital inclusion, data analytics, and online advocacy. 

Chaired by Dr Munir Moosa, Assistant Professor of Education, Sindh Madressatul Islam University.

Dr Mustak Ayub, Assistant Professor of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Dhaka, Prerna Mukharya, Founder, Outline India, Pravin Nikam - Founder, Samata Center, Dr Sarah Qureshi, CEO and Founder, Aero Engine Craft.

Wednesday 6 December 2023 - Part2

The power of transformative actions in shaping mindsets and policies

14.30 - 15.30 UK time

A workplace that respects equality, diversity and inclusion is a workplace that benefits all employees. During this panel discussion, the inspiring speakers will share their experiences of leading transformative actions to include under-represented groups. They will highlight the impact of these initiatives in the workplace, on the direct beneficiaries as well as those who witnessed or participated in the change. Attendees will learn how they could become agents of change for inclusion, regardless of their experience with discrimination, and how all individuals and workplaces can benefit when equality, diversity and inclusion is effectively implemented.

Chaired by Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, Activist and Executive Director, Stand to End Rape Initiative.

Zara Todd, Disability Activist, Dr Israel Balogun, Disability and Inclusion Consultant, Robin Davies, Former Country Director - Sudan, British Council, Jeeja Ghosh, Manager, EnABle India.

Leading with joy: integrating mindfulness and entrepreneurialism as your growth mindset for 2024  

16.00 - 17.00 UK time

This session is designed for entrepreneurs who aspire to transform their reality and lead with impactful change in the realms of business, society, and personal life by creating, experiencing, and ultimately 'Leading with Joy'. Marty demonstrates that as we step into the Web3 era, our approach and skills as entrepreneurs and leaders must evolve. It's time to pivot towards intention-led leadership, moving beyond mere purpose. This shift is rooted in a practical application of mindfulness in everything we do. In the session Marty will co-create a blueprint for growth in 2024 and beyond, one that is centred around the profound 'Joy' that has the power to reshape life, as well as the everyday 'joys' that sprinkle wonder into our daily routines. Explore Marty’s podcast in advance of the session by searching ‘Leading with Joy’ on all major podcast platforms.

Marty Zalewski, Impact-focused global venture leader, author, podcast host and speaker.

Careers reimagined: from conventions to pioneers 

18.00 -19.00 UK time

This panel session will inspire, inform, and motivate by providing insights into how you can forge innovative and unique career journeys. Hear from UK alumni who have successfully embraced non-traditional career paths, gain a deeper understanding of the evolving job market and the confidence to consider alternative career choices. 

Chaired by Riedwaan Fakier, Digital Access Officer, British High Commission.

Cherubim Mawuli Amenyedor, Founder of Strimpe, Adanna Enwezor, Founder, African Hair Summit, Rose Nzyoka, Country Representative - Kenya, Palladium.

Gender equality: dismantling the glass ceiling 

20.00 - 21.00 UK time

What are the cultural and societal factors in Latin America that act as barriers to women in the workplace? Are there policies and initiatives that have been successful in promoting gender equality and breaking the glass ceiling? Women CEOs and senior leaders from across Latin America reflect on how they empower others to thrice in the workplace, sharing their insights and advice for young leaders. 

Chaired by Diana Daste, Cultural Engagement Lead, British council. 

Minerva Ledezma-Martinez, Professor at Tecnologico de Monterrey, Julieth Sanclemente, Senior Competition Lawyer, Adriana Maldonado Jíménez, General Secretary, Chevening Alumni Mexico, Solange Paredes Moscosso, Postdoctoral Researcher, Universidad de San Martin de Porres.

Thursday 7 December 2023 - Part 1

From student to professional: the secret of soft skills 

8.00 - 9.00 UK time

The dynamics of employment markets are being reshaped globally by the rapid pace of digitisation and in East Asia, and by the growing prominence of the service sector. This session will explore the changing landscape of job opportunities, giving practical insights into how UK alumni are successfully navigating these evolving markets.  

Chaired by Jazreel Goh, British Council, Country Director Malaysia.

Jacky Chan, Senior Premier Proposition Manager - Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC Hong Kong, Jirayut (Topp) Srupsrisopa, Founder and Group CEO, Bitkub Capital Group Holdings, Molly Wong, General Manager PwC Acceleration Centre, PwC, Chen Xu, Executive Director of Campus Recruitment, Zhilian Zhaopin.

Practical career workshop: the route to resilience

9.30 -10.30 UK time

Workplaces are environments of constant change and flux. While we can’t always control what happens there, there are several actions we can take at work to change our behaviour, responses and perceptions to situations, which help build resilience. Resilience is about having the capacity to thrive rather than just survive in a high-pressure environment. In the framework of our careers, it’s also about forward momentum - moving up and having the resilience to keep driving your career forward, not giving up if there’s a career goal you have set yourself or an issue or injustice at work that you simply can’t overlook.

This session looks at the four types of resilience, what they look like in the workplace, why resilience matters in your career, and top tips for boosting resilience for yourself and your co-workers.

Victoria McClean, CEO, Hanover Talent Solutions and City CV.

Entrepreneurship: your questions answered

12.30 - 13.30 UK time

Hear succesful entrepreneurs share their insights and experiences and shed light on the role that their UK education played in shaping their entrepreneurial journeys. From where and how to start, making your idea a reality, to keeping momentum, and scaling up, the panel will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to succeed, and will answer your burning questins about entrepreneurship. 

Chaired by Sue Milner, Regional Director for Education and English - MENA, British Council.

Passant Saied, Founder and CEO of PAF Dolls, Abedalrahman Alzghoul, Founder and CEO, Recycling4Education, Dr Reem Al Torki, Head of Operation - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, LEK Consulting. 

Thursday 7 December 2023 - Part 2

AI in the workplace: are we ready?

14.00 - 15.00 UK time 

The continued rise of the use of artifcial intelligence (AI) in the workplace is now inevitable. Having evolved quickly in recent years, AI is being used in a variety of industries, including healthcare, fnance, media, marketing, manufacturing, and logistics. In this panel discussion, hear from experts on how AI is changing the workplace, and what we need to know about these developments.

Chaired by Matthew O’Neill, Researcher, Queen’s University Belfast.

Cihan Altay, Head of AI Project Management and Delivery at Turkiye Is Bankasi, Dr Evangelia (Lilian) Balatsou, Speech Engineer, Vodafone, Jan Oleszczuk-Zygmuntowski, Lecturer in Management and AI, Kozminski University and CEO, PLZ Spółdzielnia.

Closing remarks

15.00 UK time

Maddalaine Ansell, Director of Education, British Council.

The following universities were present at Alumni UK Live:

Brunel University London

Canterbury Christ Church University

Cranfield University

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Oxford Brookes University

University of Birmingham 

University of East Anglia

University of Exeter

University of Huddersfield

University of York

About Alumni UK

Alumni UK is the new global network for people from around the world who have studied in the UK as an international student. By joining Alumni UK, you can grow your worldwide professional network, continue learning and share your experience and expertise with others. You will find resources to develop your career and new opportunities to help you succeed. It’s also a place where you can celebrate your connection to the UK and keep up to date with UK culture and English language.

UK alumni are among the most employable graduates in the world. Thirty eight per cent of Nobel laureates who studied abroad did so in the UK. Join us as we build the largest UK alumni community, connecting people who studied at any UK university and find out how Alumni UK can help you achieve your goals.  

Join the conversation on social media #AlumniUK

In keeping with British Council’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) principles, we will ensure representation across the region in terms of delegates and speakers.  This includes balanced participation in terms of geographical diversity, sector expertise, institutional profiles and gender.