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2018 Winter conference

21st Century University Workplace

Eat | Live | Work | Play


Leeds Beckett University host CUBO's biggest winter conference


The conference opened with Professor Peter Slee, VC of Leeds Beckett, on the four big trends of globalisation, population, environmental cost and technological convergence and their impact on on higher education.

From the business world, Michele Moore provided an evidence-based formula to boost staff engagement, retention and productivity and with it customer satisfaction, while Andrew Marrins shared the inside story of fast-growing BrewDog and its high-performance work culture. A key takeaway was the need to support staff through their constantly evolving roles in today’s workplace.

This year's hot topics were both research-focused: Tom Laskey of Sodexo on global university trends and Jo Hardman, CUBO Vice Chair, on CUBO benchmarking and future research into the impact of campus services.

Day one rounded off with a panel debate on emerging food trends from veganism to gut health, chaired by Professor David Russell. All strands of debate pointed to a ‘fragmentation of healthy eating’, where the challenge is to cater for different diets but remain inclusive by offering them in shared eating spaces.The food and drink throughout the conference was certainly varied and inclusive, with katsu curry and vegan burgers from the Vegan Punks, a Brewdog beer-tasting and Leeds Beckett showcasing their best chefs at the conference dinner.

On Thursday, Carnegie Great Outdoors had everyone out of their seats for a game of “human bingo” in a laughter-filled session focused on personal and professional growth. Jo Haigh’s talk on directors in the 21st Century included tips on managing millennials as well as sound governance advice. Digital guru Simon McCaskill then illustrated how to work smarter and do a week’s work in four days, thanks in part to JOMO – the joy of missing out! There were also insights into the next generation workforce and all-important influencers.

The final session from the Yorkshire Rows was the inspiring and motivating story of a physical and mental journey preparing for and crossing the Atlantic, illustrating that we can do anything if we try. Then it was time for a physical challenge of our own, rowing (indoors) in aid of Student Minds. Seven pairs, each featuring a CUBO member and partner, vied to go the greatest distance in two minutes. Bets were taken, distances were impressive and some dark horses emerged among the competitors! It was a great end to the conference that has so far raised £400.

“Great location and venue. Expertly organised. Informed and exciting speakers. Great food and networking. Really impressed.”

Julia Taylor, Head of Hospitality and Commercial Services at Newcastle University

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