What are you looking forward to most about MKBAA 2022? After a year and a half working at home, we’re really looking forward to meeting and networking again face to face. While we have been able to continue providing education through our distance learning model, there’s no substitute for talking directly to business leaders, sharing challenges and learning from each other. The awards ceremony will be a celebration of the strength of

Milton Keynes businesses, and will be a testament to their resilience and adaptability.

What do you think of this year’s theme for MKBAA? With COP26 taking place this autumn, the challenges of sustainability and climate change are at the forefront of every business leader’s mind. We are already seeing the impacts of the climate crisis each day and it is vital that all organisations think seriously about their part in this and how they can become more sustainable. But we also know that to face challenges of this magnitude, a

skilled workforce is needed. T at’s why we work with businesses to understand the skills shortages they have. That may include developing new managers and leaders with a strong strategic vision, or helping them to train new IT specialists to help them improve their digital off ering. It’s a daunting challenge, but a vital one and we all need to play

our part and off er up our expertise, and that’s something the Open University takes very seriously.

How does the theme for MKBAA tie in with the OU’s own vision for the future? We helped to put plastics on the world stage through our involvement with BBC’s Blue Planet II, and we want to show that the education sector is an integral part of the climate crisis solution. We held our fi rst sustainability week and Climate Emergency Forum in October


2019 and subsequently sustainability has become a major focus, with staff encouraged to think about their own impact. On a wider level, we’ve been keen to engage

with COP26 and sent nine colleagues along to the summit as offi cial observers. We were also selected by the Cabinet Offi ce to co-host an event in the offi cial COP26 Green Zone with Glasgow Life and have curated a range of free resources for the public to widen their knowledge on our OpenLearn platform. We have a sustainability sponsor on our senior

leadership team and there’s a lot happening internally and externally – so it is great to see the MKBAA thinking along similar lines and making sustainability a top priority.

What’s your message to businesses in MK who are thinking of entering the awards? It has been a tough and challenging time for all employers, so I’d encourage any business of any size to share their successes. T ere are plenty of categories to choose from, so it is a real opportunity to showcase stories and the people who have helped business survive, revive and thrive.

To fi nd out more about the fi nal few remaining sponsorship opportunities or to enter your business for a Milton Keynes Business Achievement Award, visit and follow @MK_BAA on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and join the discussion on LinkedIn – To fi nd out more about the Open University go to


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