Professor Gerard George
Vice Dean, Imperial College Business School
Professor George is an award-winning researcher and teacher,and his work focuses on business models, organisational design, and its implications for innovation, and entrepreneurship in multiple settings. Professor George visited Queen's in April 2013 and delivered a public lecture and a series of master classes aimed at the local business and academic communities. You can find out more about these events by clicking the links below.
How Low Cost Innovation is Changing What We Do
In his lecture Professor George discussed the need to transform a culture to innovate within constraints.
Implausible Opportunities: Crafting an Effective Narrative for Growth
This session explored how to craft narratives and design the business model for success.
Growing profitably: Streamlining Your Revenue Model
Growth is not always profitable, and in this session we explored ways to make it profitable.
Creating Customer Delight: Designing Your Business to Make Customers Come Back
This session explored participant experiences in service delivery to help strengthen customer trust and build more profitable relationships.
What are some of the challenges ahead and how can innovative manufacturing help us solve them?
These were the key questions addressed in a fascinating talk by guest speaker, Sir David King on 26 February 2013. Sir David’s visit to deliver the 12th Annual Sir Bernard Crossland Lecture, organised in conjunction with Engineers Ireland, is one of a series of lectures he is giving to mark the centenary of The Association of Commonwealth Universities.
Almost 300 business leaders, engineers and other academics attended the lecture which followed a reception in Riddel Hall.
Sir David King is Director of Research in Physical Chemistry, University of Cambridge. He is currently Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, Senior Scientific Advisor to UBS and Science Adviser to President Kagame of Rwanda. He was the former Chief Scientific Advisor under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and during this time he was instrumental in creating a new £1bn Energy Technologies Institute. He also chaired the government's Global Science and Innovation Forum, and has advised the government on such issues as the Foot and Mouth epidemic, GM foods, energy provision, and innovation and wealth creation.
Showing a number of informative graphs Sir David began by making the case for population growth as one driver for change. He stressed though that the more drastic change driver is development, and the increased use of resources by the population. Here, environmental risk management for mankind becomes an opportunity for business to efficiently move ahead. In order for the most effective solutions to come about, manufacturers must be allowed to flourish in the right atmosphere. What is needed then is a supportive environment in which governments create the level framework (regulation and opportunities) allowing business to create and take solutions to the marketplace. These new challenges require new solutions and new economic thinking; increasing the role that manufacturing plays in finding them.
Guests of Engineers Ireland and members of the Chief Executives’ Club at Queen’s continued the debate over dinner after the lecture.
The most recent in a series of 'Local Talent, Global Impact' events proved to be extremely popular, with around 300 people filling every seat in the large conference room at Riddel Hall. This evening of short presentations by four leading medical researchers allowed the public to hear first-hand about the ground-breaking work taking place at Queen’s and its impact on patient outcomes locally and globally.
Each of the four presenters spoke passionately and clearly about their own research work and how it is helping to improve outcomes for their patients:
Professor Joe O’Sullivan - 'Prostate Cancer - Cinderella No More'
Professor Danny McAuley - 'Finding New Treatments for Failing Lungs'
Professor Ian Young - 'Understanding Cholesterol: It's More than Just a Bad Diet'
Professor Usha Chakravarthy - 'Macular Degeneration: The Journey from Blighting Blindness to the Shoots of Sight'
For further information about the event please click here
The 14th Chief Executives’ Club at Queen’s annual black tie Gala Dinner took place in the Sir William Whitla Hall at Queen’s University on Thursday 6 December 2012. The lively and highly enjoyable social occasion provided an opportunity to celebrate the friendships and connections made throughout a year of high level business networking between higher education and industry and was attended by almost 300 guests, comprised of senior figures from the local business community, senior University staff and their guests.
Guests arrived for the pre-dinner drinks reception to the sound of music provided by the Scott Flannigan Jazz Trio and were also entertained by roving magician, Caolan McBride.
For the first time, the Gala evening also incorporated the inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Impact Prize. These awards celebrate Queen's researchers who have best demonstrated how they have engaged with external partners to maximise the economic or societal benefit of their research.
Once guests were seated, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Peter Gregson made a short welcome address before introducing Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry MLA. Minister Farry announced the allocation of an additional 300 PhD publically funded places in areas of economic relevance over the next three financial years.
Addressing guests, the Minister said: “For the further development and rebalancing of the Northern Ireland economy, it is imperative that we develop and sustain an excellent and world-leading research base. The impact of higher education research is particularly important given that our universities are the major suppliers of research and have a vital role to play in our economic competitiveness.
“In order to fully capitalise on further opportunities, it is vital to invest in our high level skills base, including in particular investment in PhD places.
“It is my intention to allocate the additional places to the universities on the basis of the proportion of the quality-related formula that is used for the distribution of research funding. While this varies slightly year on year, it means that Queen’s University will receive approximately two thirds of the places on offer while the University of Ulster’s allocation will be approximately one third.”
After the Vice-Chancellor welcomed the Minister’s announcement, dinner was served.
Over coffee, comic actress, columnist and playwright, Nuala McKeever took to the stage to compère the Vice-Chancellor’s Impact Prize Awards ceremony. She announced and outlined the work of the ten short-listed finalists:
Professor Adrian Long School of Planning, Architecture & Civil Engineering
Dr Karl Malcolm School of Pharmacy
Professor Shadd Maruna School of Law
Professor. Phil Scraton School of Law
Professor Ken Seddon School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
Dr Fran Brearton School of English
Professor Roy Douglas School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Dr Bhaskar Sengupta School of Planning, Architecture & Civil Engineering
Professor Joanne Hughes School of Education
Professor David Jones School of Pharmacy
To access the presentation on the ten short-listed finalists please click here.
The Impact Prize awards were announced and presented by the Vice-Chancellor. Collecting the two runner-up awards were Dr Karl Malcolm, from the School of Pharmacy for his work on the Microbicide Vaginal Ring protecting women against AIDS/HIV, and Professor Kenneth Seddon from Queen's School of Chemistry for his work on Mercury Removal from Natural Gas Streams (who was represented by colleague Professor Jim Swindall).
The overall winner was Professor Phil Scraton, the primary author of the report published by the Hillsborough Independent Panel. Professor Scraton’s previous research into the context, circumstances and aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 men, women and children, led to the publication of two reports and the much-acclaimed book Hillsborough: The Truth. In 2010 he was appointed to the Panel by the Home Secretary to lead its research.
In announcing the winner, Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson said: "I am delighted to present Professor Scraton with my inaugural Impact Prize. There can be no doubt that his work has answered many of the questions asked by the bereaved families of the victims of Hillsborough and will have a far reaching impact on the practice of responding to such controversial events.
“This Impact Prize celebrates the diverse range of activities taking place across Queen’s that engage the public and external organisations with our research. From law to cancer therapies, cyber-security to archaeology, our academics collaborate with businesses, government and charities to bring their ground breaking research into practice.”
Along with his fellow nominees tonight, Professor Scraton highlights the positive role Queen’s plays at home and across the world in benefiting society.”
Accepting the award, Professor Scraton said: “I receive this award with humility but on behalf of the families and survivors, my fellow researchers and all who have worked tirelessly and with integrity on the Panel. It emphasises the significance of critical, independent research and its contribution to knowledge and to our teaching. Tonight’s event demonstrates the excellent, international impact of Queen’s research and I am honoured to have been recognised alongside such outstanding colleagues.”
The top three submissions received contributions to their research groups of £5k, £3k and £2k respectively.
To round off the evening, Nuala raffled a range of prizes, kindly donated by a number of local businesses, with assistance from Brenda Carabine, meaning many guests also went home with a prize.
Members of the Chief Executives’ Club at Queen’s were invited to a Belfast Festival at Queen’s talks event and enjoyed a members’ reception beforehand, in the Canada Room, with the evening’s speaker, venture capitalist, academic and multi-millionaire, Dr William Janeway in attendance.
Dr William Janeway serves as Vice-Chairman, Managing Director, Senior Advisor and a Member of the US Advisory Board at Warburgh Pincus LLC, based in New York. He is a Director of Magnet Systems, Nuance Communications, O’Reilly Media and Roubini Global Economics. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Social Science Research Council, the Board of Governors of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, and the Board of the Science, Technology and Economic Policy of the US National Academy of Sciences. He earned a PhD in Economics from Cambridge University where he was a Marshall Scholar and a BA from Princeton University where he was valedictorian of the class of 1965.
After the reception, members and guests proceeded to the Great Hall, where Dr Janeway was introduced by former University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir George Bain, before he began to offer an in-depth analysis of ‘Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy’.
Dr Janeway provided a fascinating examination of the three-way relationship of capitalism, entrepreneurship and the state. He provided a range of up-to-date statistics and quoted from his own new book, Inside the Innovation Academy, as well as other leading recent academic research, to illustrate new ways of understanding the complex inter-linkages between the state, the market and the sources of finance.
After his talk, Dr Janeway responded to comments from the evening’s Chair, Professor Sir George Bain and from members of the floor.
In the run-up to the 57th United States Presidential Election on 6 November, when the world looked on to see whether President Obama would be able to secure a second term in office, the Chief Executives’ Club at Queen’s and the School of History and Anthropology were delighted to host a timely lecture by American historian Dr Matthew Whitaker, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Arizona State University.
There was a buzz of informed speculation about the US election candidates over the reception preceding the guest lecture.
Matthew Whitaker specializes in African American history and life, civil rights, race relations, and social movements. He is the editor of three books and author of Race Work: The Rights of Civil Rights in the Urban West. He is also the CEO of The Whitaker Group, a human relations, cultural competency, and diversity consulting firm. Dr Whitaker lectures around the world and is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the 2008 Excellence in Diversity Award by the National League of Cities.
The speaker was introduced by Shane O’Neill, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor Political Theory within the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy.
Members of the audience listened intently to Dr Whitaker’s fluid, mesmerising and insightful portrayal of the complexities of race, class and gender in 21st Century America - and in its history and politics. Dr Whitaker also explored the ways in which Barack Obama overcame tremendous odds to become President during one of the most difficult economic period’s in the country’s history.
Dr Whitaker commented on President Obama’s performance during the election campaign and televised debates, exploring how the USA on the eve of the 2012 election is both similar to, and radically different from how it was in 1865, 1900, 2000 and 2008. He suggested that the exigencies of the ‘Age of Obama’ reflect these similarities and differences. A firm Obama supporter, Dr Whitaker felt that the President would succeed at the Polls for a second time – and was later proved correct!.
During the lecture Dr Whitaker commented: “In the face of the challenges Obama faced during his first term, and despite the salience of contemporary racism, sexism, economic exploitation and xenophobia, Obama’s election and leadership are substantive measures of continuity and major shifts in American life, while his very person is the embodiment of America’s promise. Yet, if the past is prologue to our future, the 2012 election will no doubt reveal not only racial progress in America, but will also reveal how far we have to go.”
Dr Charles Wessner, the internationally recognised innovation expert who is the director of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship at the National Academy of Sciences in the US, visited Belfast for three days, 17-19 September, as part of his first visit to Northern Ireland and Ireland.
During his visit, Dr Wessner met with business leaders and Queen’s University staff as he toured the Northern Ireland Science Park; Riddel Hall and the Leadership Institute and Queen’s School of Management based there; and the Northern Ireland Advanced Composite and Engineering Centre. Dr Wessner’s visit to Northern Ireland was initiated by an invitation from Basil McCrea, MLA, Chair of the Department for Education and Learning Committee and he also spent a day at Stormont, as well as visiting the University of Ulster.
The Chief Executives’ Club at Queen’s was delighted to host an evening lecture by Dr Wessner on Tuesday 18 September in Riddel Hall. More than 150 people attended the reception and lecture that he gave, entitled ‘Competing Globally in the 21st Century: How to Foster Innovation and Entrepreneurship’.
Wessner, who is recognised for his expertise around innovation policy, including entrepreneurship, early stage financing for new firms and public-private partnerships, works closely with the US Congress and advises agencies of the US government.
He is a former director of international technology policy at the US Department of Commerce and now advises technology agencies, as well as briefing government ministers in countries in Europe and Asia.
Dr Wessner gave a fascinating overview of the multifaceted aspects of the current global Innovation Imperative. He stressed that in order to compete globally in the 21st Century, government, universities and business, must each play a role, in collaboration, to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. During the question and answer session that followed his address, Dr Wessner spoke frankly about his perceptions of the opportunities that he believes exist for dynamic businesses based in Northern Ireland.
Dr Wessner continued his visit to this island by travelling down to Dublin where he spoke at public events at both Trinity College Dublin and UCD.