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Panel members

CEO of National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE), Johnny Luk

Johnny is the CEO of NACUE, which organises some of the largest student enterprise events in Europe, such as the Student Enterprise Conference. They work with entrepreneurial students across 260 UK campuses, supporting the development of student-led enterprise clubs and societies, to encourage an enterprising and entrepreneurial generation. NACUE is recognised by UNCTAD as a 'global best practice in youth-led enterprise models'. Johnny previously held roles as a Senior Policy Advisor, and Deputy Head of Strategy for Entrepreneurship in the UK Government. He was an alumnus of Lord Wei’s Diaspora Leadership Programme where he helped develop a research piece of UK-China branding. He is a graduate of Durham University.

Co-founder of BritainThinks, Entrepreneur and Vice-Chair of University Council, Viki Cooke

BritainThinks was launched in July 2010, a consultancy that aims to put the public - as a citizen, consumer or colleague - at the heart of decision making. Prior to setting up BritainThinks, Viki was Joint Chair of the Research and Engagement Division of Chime Communications. Viki began her career in advertising before founding Opinion Leader Research in 1992. Opinion Leader grew to be one of the most highly respected market research agencies in the UK winning numerous awards and an enviable reputation for innovation. Viki has been a pioneer in the use of deliberative research methods and has been closely involved in designing and delivering programmes that engage citizens in an informed dialogue on a wide range of complex policy issues including reform of the NHS, future funding of the pensions system, climate change and, most recently, dealing with the deficit. Viki is a frequent media commentator, particularly on news and current affairs programmes, a regular conference speaker and writer. She is a Chair of Hubbub Foundation a behaviour change sustainability charity.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, Professor Christina Hughes

Christina graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree and PhD in Sociology. Since that time she has taught and researched in the fields of sociology, social policy and lifelong learning. With Miriam David she was the founding co-chair of the Gender and Education Association and had previously been co-editor of the journal Gender and Education. Christina is also co-editor of the International Journal of Social Research Methodology and continues to serve of the board of Gender, Work and Organisation. Christina is currently serving as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) at the University of Warwick.

WIHEA International Visiting Teaching Fellow, Professor Geoff Malleck

Geoff is a Professor of Economics whose primary focus is exploring the principles and conditions that drive the ‘Creativity-Innovation-Entrepreneurship Continuum and the relationship with economic prosperity and culture. In addition to introducing entrepreneurship in class Geoff works on personal and professional development and individual brand building. Geoff is a founding director of the Research Entrepreneurs Advancing Prosperity (, a unique and truly innovative program. Geoff is also a key driver in the development of Waterloo’s sixth pillar in Entrepreneurship. In the faculty of Arts, Geoff is the director of the International Trade Specialization, the Global Engagement Specialisation and the Management Studies Program. Geoff is associated with the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development where, amongst other responsibilities, Geoff provides instruction in ‘Green Entrepreneurship’ and 'Entrepreneurship and Economic Development'.

Entrepreneur, Dr Phil O’Donovan

Warwick graduate Phil O’Donovan has worked for very small and very large engineering companies (both private and public) and became an entrepreneur in 1998 when he co-founded Cambridge Silicon Radio. In its first five years of operation, Cambridge Silicon Radio, as a fabless semiconductor company, became the largest global market supplier of Bluetooth chips. Phil helped grow the company from a start-up with nine employees into a highly successful publicly listed company, employing more than 2,000 people in 23 offices. By 2015, CSR had shipped a total of more than 3 billion chips which have been embedded by its customers in high-volume consumer products including phones, headsets, PCs, cameras and cars. As a technology start-up, CSR is one of the UK’s great commercial success stories of the past decade. Phil helped grow CSR, as founding Managing Director, from a start-up in 1998 into a highly successful publicly listed company with $705 million in revenue and $154m in pre-tax profit in 2006. CSR was acquired by Qualcomm, also a fabless semiconductor company, in September 2015 in a deal that valued CSR at $2.5 billion.

Managing Director for the Universities Division of Santander UK, Robin Foale

Robin joined Santander in June 2008 and currently leads a team of people across the UK developing strong relationships between the Bank and the Higher Education sector. Currently, Santander has agreement with 81 universities, and has been collaborating with academic institutions since 2007.

He has enjoyed a career in banking spanning over 25 years, during at least 15 of which he has led teams within Retail, Small Business and Corporate Banking. Formerly with Barclays, and now with Santander, his primary focus for 2016 will be to work with the HE sector to fund more scholarships, professional internships, study aids and various other projects. He has also been self-employed, running 3 of his own businesses over the period of his career.