Business Leaders Forum

The University of Exeter’s Business Leaders Forum is a networking group for business people in the South West.

Running for over 20 years, the Business Leaders Forum is aimed at business professionals in the South West. It is a membership-based organisation that enables influential business people to stay up-to-date with current trends in business. The Forum also provides an invaluable means of exchanging knowledge and developing ideas through business peers and leading academics.

Members meet four times a year, on a weekday evening in Exeter. Each event comprises of a guest speaker/s, with delicious refreshments served throughout the evening.

Membership fees

Annual membership fees for the Business Leaders Forum August 2016 - July 2017:

Individual membership

£150 + VAT per year, per person (non-transferable – only the named member can attend events).
One guest can accompany the member to each event. The same guest can attend two events maximum per year.

Corporate membership

£220 + VAT for 2 people (transferable – places can be offered to colleagues at the same organisation).
Additional memberships £80 + VAT per person.

Two guests can accompany the member to each event. The same guests can attend two events maximum per year.

Memberships can be bought and upgraded part-way through the membership year and will be pro-rated accordingly. Please contact the Events Team for prices.

Benefits Include:

  • Networking opportunities with key professionals in the South West and our academic community
  • Access to cutting edge research and how it may impact and relate to business
  • Networking events throughout the year
  • 30% discount off the tuition fees for the Full Time (12 months) and Executive (24-30 months) One Planet MBA programmes
  • Opportunity to join the Exeter Leadership Network events free of charge (places are limited and will be on a first come first served basis)

We are now offering taster places for non-members!

If you are a non-member and would like to try the Business Leaders Forum before committing to a membership you can attend one of our events for free.

 8 February 2017

Global Policy Challenges – Interactive Event

For our February 8th event we welcomed five Business School academics from the Business, Institutions and Policy research cluster, each delivered a mini-presentation to the forum, hosted by Professor Will Harvey.

1 December 2016

A threat is a change you are not leading - The Business Leaders Forum December Event

On December 1st the Business School hosted its winter Business Leaders Forum, featuring Mark Thompson of Holos who discussed trends in leadership and change.

13 October 2016

Maximising decision making and performance through effective data management - The Business Leaders Forum Autumn Event

On Thursday 13th October The University of Exeter Business School hosted our autumn event which explored how effective data management can boost decision making and performance in business.

21 July 2016

Dimensions of Leadership - The Business Leaders Forum's Summer Party

The final Business Leaders’ Forum event of 2015/16 saw the beginning of the new style of Business Leaders’ Forum Events, with talks from panel members from the Exeter Centre for Leadership Studies. Interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Richard Owen, was delighted to invite guests to the Business Leaders’ Forum Summer Party, an event themed around leadership.

12 April 2016

The Independent Director: The Non-Executive Directors Guide to Effective Board Presence

The third Business Leaders Forum event of 2015/16 saw alumnus Gerry Brown (Economics and Economic History 1966), Chairman of Novaquest Management, present on the good, the bad and the ugly involved in the role of the Independent Director.

14 December 2015

Innovation in Big Data at the Business Leaders Forum

Three regional experts gave their views on Innovation in Big Data from 3 different perspectives.

8 September 2015

Banks and the Crisis - was it anything new or had we seen this before?

John Sutherland, Senior Adviser at the Bank of England

17 June 2015

20:20 Vision - Learning from the past 20 years to launch into the next

Deborah Meaden, Dragons Den Investor

23 April 2015

Apple & IBM - Reinventing Enterprise Mobility

Caroline Taylor - Vice President Marketing, Communications & Citizenship and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for IBM Europe

3 December 2014

Better Connected! A business led review of the Strategic Connectivity requirements for the South West


Jim French, CBE - Former Chairman & CEO of Flybe Group plc and former Chairman of CBI South West

11 September 2014

Napoleonic Leadership: a study in power

Professor Jonathan Gosling, Professor of Leadership, Centre for Leadership Studies, University of Exeter Business School

16 June 2014

Building a circular economy

James Walker, Head of Innovation, Net Positive at Kingfisher and Mark Hodgson, QSA Partners

7 April 2014

Responsible Innovation

Professor Richard Owen, Associate Dean of Research and Knowledge Transfer and Chair Responsible Innovation, University of Exeter Business School

3 December 2013

Starbucks, Tax Avoidance and Public Outrage

Professor Gareth Myles, Professor of Economics & Director of Tax Administration Research Centre (TARC) and Professor Lynne Oats, Professor of Taxation and Accounting, University of Exeter Business School

9 September 2013

Understanding gender diversity: How business leaders and academics can work together

Professor Michelle Ryan, Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences

30 July 2013

The Power of Ecosystems

Professor Kevin Gaston, Professor of Biodiversity and Conservation
Director of Environment and Sustainability Institute

12 June 2013

Brand and Reputation

Caroline Taylor, Vice President of Marketing, Communciations & Citizenship for IBM UK & Ireland

19 December 2012

A new dawn for financial stability

Stephen Collins, South West Agent, Bank of England

6 September 2012

Facing Chaos: Personal Reflections on Strategic Leadership

Lt Gen (Retd) Sir Paul Newton KBE MPhil, Director, Strategy and Security Institute, University of Exeter

20 June 2012

The End of Externalities: Responsible lifestyles for the 21st Century

Prof Michael Depledge, Chair of Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School

25 April 2012

Redefining the purpose of Business

Paul Turner, Community & Sustainable Business Director, Lloyds Banking Group

19 December 2011

Is Christmas a deadweight loss?

Prof Stephen Lea (retired), Psychology

21 September 2011

Baby boomers, retirement and the Future of Business

Dr David Melzer, Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health, Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry and Dr Jonathan Powell, previously Director of Integrative Physiology, Unilever

22 June 2011

It's not what you know but who you know and more importantly who they know!

Professor Jo Horton, Professor of Accounting, University of Exeter Business School

5 April 2011

Water: Demand is escalating - what are the implications for business?

Professor Dragan Savic, Founder and Co-Director of the Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter & Neil Whiter, Head of Supply Demand Strategy, South West Water

21 September 2010

Entrepreneurship Policy Research at Exeter: Which UK Cities Attract and Retain the Best Entrepreneurial Talent?

Professors Marc Cowling & Gordon Murray, Emeritus Professor of Management (Entrepreneurship), University of Exeter Business School

30 June 2010

A Passion for Food - Growing the South West Economy

Michael Caines MBE, Food and Beverage Director of Brownsword Hotels and Executive Chef of Gidleigh Park

29 April 2010 

The New Psychology of Leadership: Identity, Influence & Power

Professor Alex Haslam, Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences