Celebrating our year of Masterclasses

News | Posted on Thursday 17 August 2023

Since we formed the School for Business and Society in 2022, we have enjoyed a successful year of Masterclasses. Find out more and watch these insightful and inspiring talks on our YouTube channel.

External collaborations

The first series of Masterclass talks have taken place in the new School for Business and Society over the past year. In total, we have hosted 10 speakers, all highly experienced leaders and subject matter experts in their fields. We asked the speakers to share their insights on important issues relevant to Business and Society, resulting in a wide range of topical issues being covered. Staff, students and the public are invited to attend and to date over 200 attendees have benefited from the Masterclasses Series.

The Speakers

Nick Waters


A lawyer and commercial airline pilot, told us what a typical day in the life of an airline pilot involves. He went on to discuss challenges in the wider airline industry and gave us a glimpse into the future of aviation in the context of environmental trends and innovation.


Sanjay Bandari

Chair of Kick It Out – a charity organisation addressing racial discrimination in football, discussed the changing landscape and responses to racism and discrimination in football. He explained how the Kick It Out organisation confronts these problems within the game and wider society.

Andrew Robshaw, former commodity trader, entrepreneur, and international business leader, presented his new book on the concept of “Thankonomics”, a radical paradigm for benefiting society by measuring value in real-time. The approach claims to challenge the fundamentals of business and economics by exploring the true meaning of words like value, money, and appreciation.

Seijiro Takeshita, a Professor at the University of Shizuoka in Japan and former investment banker, took us into the world of corporate Japan and the serious problem of “Karoshi”, or death from overwork. He shared some intriguing insights into the unique features of corporate Japan and its implications for society.

L-R: Nick Waters, Professor Seijiro Takeshita, Andrew Robshaw

Tristram Hicks, an international criminal justice advisor and former New Scotland Yard detective presented his new book on "The War on Dirty Money", co-authored with Nicholas Gilmour. The book challenges the global approach for dealing with dirty money within the world’s financial system and suggests overall progress has been slow.

Jyoti Sharma

Jyoti Sharma



CEO and Founder of TaraCares shared her journey into ethical entrepreneurship and AI healthtech. Her business venture tackles the problems of misinformation, misdiagnosis, and mismanagement in relation to menopause and is supported by Enterprise Works at the University of York.

Mike Saks, Emeritus Professor at the University of Suffolk, discussed the meaning of responsible leadership in turbulent times, connecting this to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Phil Henry, a senior level engineer with Genuit Group, shared his experiences of engineering plant-based solutions in urban environments to combat the effects of climate change. Drawing on a project to install a green roof above a shopping mall in Manchester, he showed the power of interdisciplinarity to create commercial and social value in cities.

Steve Taylor, a Professor of Leadership and Creativity at WPI Business School, Massachusetts, discussed leadership as a craft that involves creating, shaping, and moulding the connections between people.

Laura Ibbotson

Laura Ibbotson

A HR Group Director with over 20 years HR experience discussed the challenges facing working parents and how they can be better supported by government, employers, and colleagues. She drew on examples in Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany to highlight best practice.

Thank you

We would like to thank all of the Masterclass speakers for sharing their insights and inspiring us this year. Finally, we would also like to thank Professor Chris Williams who has been instrumental in the success of the Masterclass series. 

Future Masterclasses

If you are a leader in the business, charity or public sector and would like to be a speaker at one of our future sessions, then please get in touch! Email: sbs-support@york.ac.uk

Watch Masterclass talks on our YouTube channel.