Samet Akyüz has been working as an investment consultant in Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (Invest in Turkey) for over 5 years. Before hat, he worked as a foreign trade specialist in the Ministry of Economy and in private sector. First, he completed an MBA program at Atilim University in Turkey and then gained an MSc degree in International Business and Development at Birkbeck, University of London. His dissertation was on the spillover effects of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector and it particularly focused on Multinational Enterprises (MNE) – related factors which affect technology spillover processes in backward linkages. His dissertation, “How do MNE-related factors affect technology spillovers in backward linkages in Turkish manufacturing sector?” has been added to the “Best Dissertations Database” for the Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London.
Diana Baciuc has gained her BA Hons Business and Human Resource Management from Coventry University in 2015 and in 2020 she completed her Msc in Business Innovation and International Technology Management at Birkbeck, University of London. Her course at Birkbeck and her dissertation project “Internationalisation of research in times of turmoil: how UK universities are adapting their strategies in response to Brexit” inspired and enabled her to change her career pathway. She currently works in academic consultancy within the Innovation and Enterprise Unit of one of the top universities in the UK.
Olayinka Bandele is a development economist, specializing in trade and private sector development. She is a trade advisor for an inter-governmental organization providing advisory services to middle income and low-income economies in Africa, Caribbean and Asia Pacific countries. She holds a BA (Hons) in economics from the University of Sussex, an MSc in development economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and recently completed the MSc International Business and Development at Birkbeck College. Her dissertation entitled ‘How may innovation policies and the length of cycle of technologies determine the ability of developing states to achieve technological leapfrogging?’ explores the process of economic transformation, focusing on patents as a proxy for improved technological know-how. Olayinka started her career as an Overseas Development Institute fellow, stationed in Namibia, and has undertaken progressively responsible roles in development in her career. She is the 2018 Best Overall Post-graduate Student in International Business/Management awarded by the Department of Management at Birkbeck. Read an abstract of her MSc dissertation (.pdf)
Dr Laurence Borel is a marketing professional with 15+ years’ experience working for global brands such as RS Components, Axa Investment Managers and Amazon. She also lectures Marketing in institutions in France and the UK. Laurence graduated from Birkbeck with an MRes in Marketing obtained with Distinction in 2014, and completed her PhD in April 2021. With a passion for social media, her MRes Dissertation scrutinised the effects of advertising creativity on consumer-branded hashtag engagement. In her PhD thesis, , Laurence developed a conceptual model of drivers, outcomes and moderators for posting selfies with brands following a post-positive approach. Her research interests include, but are not limited to, consumer engagement, consumer-brand relationships and consumer psychology. Discover her research on or follow her on .
Abeer Danish is a Saudi Diplomat with the rank of (First Secretary), working in The Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Jeddah Branch. Her current position is, A Supervisor of Women Section in the Department of Administration and Finance. Abeer graduated with BA in European Languages (English Literature) King Abdul-Aziz University (1996). She worked as an English teacher in Saudi Arabia for (8 years). Abeer came to work in the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London (2004). She started her master degree in Birkbeck College (2008). Her dissertation was about female entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia – she investigated the opportunities and challenges for businesswomen involved with small businesses in Jeddah. An article based on her dissertation was published in the International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship in 2009. It has been very widely cited.
Ayo Disu is the founder and principal of Octillion Capital Partners the United Kingdom’s first black owned search fund focusing on identifying, acquiring, scaling and exiting digital businesses. Ayo has experience in private equity and consulting. Ayo’s key activities at OCP include creating, communicating and implementing the organisation’s mission and overall direction. Ayo has an undergraduate from the University of Central Lancashire in Sport Business management and two master’s degrees from Cass business school (Management) and Birkbeck, University of London in Business innovation and electronic business. Ayo’s dissertation focused on the role are disruptive technologies currently playing in higher education in times of the Coronavirus Pandemic. (A Focus on UK universities). Ayo’s interest includes value investing, digital businesses, blockchain, new media, Jazz and Football. Dissertation abstract (.pdf)
Guangchi Duong is an experienced professional working in the Finance industry. He holds a BSc in Business Studies and completed an MSc in Management with International Business at Birkbeck University of London. His dissertation “Is online and remote working affecting how we share knowledge and information within the workplace?” focused on the analysis of current trends in knowledge management in comparison to the early part of the 21st century. It has been added to the “Best Dissertations Database” for the Department of Management at Birkbeck, University of London.”
Jeremy Galpin leads the Costain Group www.costain.com Digital Social Value and Stakeholder Management consultancy offering. Jeremy is a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personal and Development (CIPD) and a Member of the Association of Coaching, a member of Social Value UK, and a founding member and Director of the London Design and Engineering University Technical College (LDE UTC). Jeremy graduated in 2020 with Distinction in his MSc in Business Innovation and International Technology Management from Birkbeck College, University of London. His dissertation was entitled ‘How is, and how can, digital technology be used to maximise the social value delivered through major infrastructure projects?’ and proposes a definition of social value for the sector along with 12 actionable recommendations. Jeremy can be contacted via https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-galpin/.Dissertation Abstract (.pdf)”
Gillian Gray is a marketing and propositions professional in financial services with a focus on innovation and the start-up community. She graduated from Birkbeck University with an MSc in Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship and was also awarded Best Overall Student – Innovation and Creative Industries. Her dissertation ‘Experience versus youth: An exploratory study of the motivations of older entrepreneurs’ examines the decisions of someone over the age of 50 to switch from traditional employment to being an entrepreneur. The research identified a complex mix personal motivation, access to resources and environmental determinants and has now been published in Wiley’s Strategic Change Journal..
Ali Hashem is the COO & Co-Founder ofa Co-working office provider in London, it has a grow network of spaces for professionals, start-ups & freelancers. He was previously a management consultant working on projects in Government Infrastructure, Renewable Energy, Hospitality and Social Enterprise sectors. He is interested in how Government policy impacts and promotes innovation & entrepreneurship. He was elected in 2014 as a in London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham & became its Deputy Mayor for 2014/15, supporting businesses to thrive in the area.
Glyn Hawkins studied MSc Business Innovation with e-commerce. His dissertation ‘Digital Business Models for Museums – engaging users to build online value’ looked at whether cultural institutions could learn from other sectors such as news publishing to create value and income online and how this could be achieved. He applied his findings to the Imperial War Museums in London, which helped to frame the dissertation question, and generated some interesting business models for them.
Glyn’s main career has been in commercial design consultancy. A Masters from the Royal College of Art was followed by work in commercial interior design and the creation of his own retail design consultancy with major clients such as Sainsbury’s and Boots. This was followed by a period in the not-for-profit sector where he learned and applied strategies for fundraising. He came to Birkbeck to enhance these skills with strategies from digital businesses. Dissertation Abstract (.pdf)
Karoline Hecker is currently based in Ningbo, China where she is a Senior Consultant in Educational Technologies at the country’s first Sino-Foreign university, the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC). She completed an MSc in International Business and Development in 2014/15 and was the recipient of the Best Overall International Postgraduate Student award. With more than 14 years’ experience in Higher Education, Transnational Education, FinTech, International Development and Transport under her belt, Karoline has worked in four countries on three continents. . Dissertation Abstract (.pdf)
Lauren Heffer works at a bank as a business consultant with experience managing change and transformation projects within the financial services and automotive industries. She holds a BA in Applied Economics from the University of Portsmouth and completed a MSc in Management with Business Innovation at Birkbeck. Her dissertation looked at the use of connected car technology and the opportunity for a new disruptive value proposition to emerge. Her interests include social innovation; customer centric transformations and smart cities. Dissertation Abstract (.pdf)
George Hunter graduated from Birkbeck University with an MSc in Business Innovation having previously completed an MA in Business Management from the University of Westminster. He is currently Director of Sales at Coltraco Ultrasonics, a UK manufacturer providing specialist ultrasonic technologies, primarily in safety applications, and exporting to 120 countries worldwide. Also heavily involved in the Research & Development projects and having engaged with numerous government business grants, George’s dissertation explored alternative methods for delivering government business support in a more efficient, tangible and quantifiable method.
Matthew Jayes, MSc, MA, BA (Hons), completed research on participatory design and new business models as part of MSc Creative Industries (Management) at Birkbeck in 2016. He has worked on strategic projects for business schools and the Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). He now heads up work on strategic partnerships and networks for the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
Peter Jelfs completed his PhD at Birkbeck on the financial performance of West Midlands University Spin-Off companies under the supervision of Professor Helen Lawton Smith and Dr Pierre Nadeau. He was subsequently appointed Professor of Practice at Brunel University Business School. Peter has worked as a tax consultant at the Department for International Trade, HMRC and private sector organisations including EY, KPMG and Gateley.
Karen Jensen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology and English Philology from the University of Göttingen and a MSc in Creative Industries (Management) from the Department of Management, Birkbeck. Her dissertation “Mapping corporate sponsorship of theatres -from philanthropy to business investment” focused on sponsorship as a valuable component of business strategies. Her research interests include the relationship between business and culture and innovation in the creative industries. Currently she is working for a travel trade association.
Matthew Johnson completed an MSc in Business Innovation at Birkbeck where his dissertation focused on the impacts of initial public offerings on firm innovation. He works with early stage, technology driven businesses to help them get investment ready and connect with venture capital and angel investors. He is the author of CIMR Working Paper Number 22.
Samuel Jolly is currently a Manager at Vodafone UK. He studied BA (Hons) Film, Radio and Television Studies with American Studies with a Year in North America. This study was conducted at Christ Church University and Columbia College, Missouri (USA). His undergraduate mixed media dissertation was ‘An exploration of Du Bois notion of double consciousness, and how different perspectives relating to double consciousness help to contextualise black popular culture in the United States and the United Kingdom’ – there is a video production accompanying this essay (https://vimeo.com/167906589). He studied MSc Business Innovation with Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management at Birkbeck. The topic of his postgraduate dissertation was ‘What are the artists’ motivations for the use of music on digital platforms?
Katerina Klaver pursued a career in the hospitality sector managing events, while studying for a bachelor’s degree in management at Birkbeck. Upon completion of the studies, she went on to obtain MSc in Management with Business Innovation, also at Birkbeck. Having deep fascination of new and exciting technologies, her dissertation, supervised by Dr Rossi, focused on the use of emerging disruptive technologies such as AI, quantum computing and blockchain in enhancing research and development activities in organisations. Currently working in a family office in a position that requires largely multifaceted skill development, she is hoping to gain expertise and move on to work for a tech start-up and then, eventually, to have an idea for her own start-up that can help solve some of the environmental challenges the world is facing today, with the application of latest technologies.
Danae Le Jeannic is an Msc business Innovation graduate from Birkbeck University with a specialisation in International Technology Management. After graduating with a Master in Economics & Management in Paris (2013), she cames to London to improve her English: she worked as Events Executive and after a two years break, returned to academic study and chose to follow a Masters in Innovation (2015). Her dissertation was about the relationship between startups and large firms in multi-corporate incubators; she investigated the large firms strategy, the power balance in the relationship and the inter-firm adaptation. She is now looking for challenging opportunities in Management Consulting in London.
Gabriella Losito is a marketing professional with 6 years’ experience in the electronics manufacturing sector. Her current role involves the management and development of corporates digital marketing strategies to increase customers brand awareness. She holds a BA in Marketing and Business Communications from the University of Bari, Italy, and recently graduated at Birkbeck with a MSc in Marketing. She’s passionate about social media, technology, and fitness. Her qualitative master’s dissertation ‘Exploring digital ﬁtness consumption in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic: how social interaction and gamiﬁed experience are coming to the forefront of intention to use ﬁtness apps’ brought her passions together as she explored the impact of the pandemic on the factors driving the adoption and use of fitness apps. The study unveiled how the social interaction and gamification of fitness are becoming increasingly important for postmodern fitness app users after the pandemic. Connect with her in LinkedIn here.
Josephine (Jo) Magnani Jo works for a renowned, international Telecommunications Service Provider. She is a highly skilled, creative and passionate Business Innovation and Sales Specialist with over 4 decades’ experience combining Sales and Solution Architect roles, proposing and designing technological solutions to large multi-national enterprises including financial institutions, logistics and manufacturing customers. She has been successful in helping achieve fruitful customer business outcomes and surpasses her sales targets. As a former Solutions Architect, Jo has successfully designed large, global solutions based on the entire Telecommunications Portfolio: Cloud, Security, Network-as-a-Service, voice and data networks, Contact Centres for distinguished banks, insurance companies and shipping companies. She is experienced in formulating strategies involving AI, IoT, 5G, Blockchain, other Distributed Ledger Technologies and Digital Business solutions for smart cities, finance and logistics. Currently she is also a voluntary mentor of a tech start-up. Jo holds a MSc. (Distinction) in Business Innovation with EBusiness from Birkbeck College, University of London. Her Dissertation compared and analysed the extent of automation and Industry 4.0 between a prominent UK and German Manufacturer in case study form. She evaluated the critical success factors necessary to succeed and excel in this environment and made a few new academic contributions to this research. Jo also holds a BA (Hons) degree from Bedford College, University of London, plus various computer industry accreditations.
Gisela Mann is an alumnae of Birkbeck College with a specialization in International Business. She is interested in researching Global Value Chains, Modular Production Networks and the International Theory of the Firm. More specifically, her master’s thesis was focused on the modern development of transaction cost theory as an explicator for the growth of the firm. After a break in academic study, she returned to Birkbeck College to continue her study in the field of International Business under the supportive watch of Dr. Paz Estrella Tolentino. She is delighted to be asked to submit her thesis to the Centre for Innovation Management Research. Dissertation Abstract (.pdf)
Filipe Martins Gomes has been working on designing, developing, and heading the delivery of innovation and creativity programs for Aramco at the Creativity and Innovation Unit. Based out of the Idea Lab in Ithra, he leads a team that supports the development of Saudi Arabia’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem. With experience in several international markets such as the UK, US, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil, Filipe has learned from many different innovation approaches in his professional career. These observations, coupled with his experiences working in many different industries, have given him the tools to craft an innovative culture wherever he goes. This skill has been the most beneficial to him throughout his professional life. Over the last decade, Filipe’s work has focused on supporting organisations to build a culture of innovation and utilise digital technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, VR, AR,5G and IoT, as tools that support individuals and organisations to embrace Digital Transformation. Academically, Filipe got a Post-graduation Certification/Diploma in Management at Birkbeck College in 2022. He researched corporate start-up innovation and the role of innovation intermediaries in supporting value generation. He also has an MSc in Innovation Management, an MBA in Marketing, and a BA in Social Communication. .
Salvador Mazzochi is an experienced professional who has worked in the Telecommunications Industry for more than 8 years. He is a Telecommunications Engineer from a recognized University in Venezuela and holds a MSc in Management with Business Innovation from Birkbeck College, University of London. He has deep interest on how innovation is able to transform a business idea from a blackboard in a garage into a successful enterprise. He has developed a framework to help companies measure the impact on innovation when two or more businesses get involve into Mergers and Acquisitions. His Dissertation “The impact of Mergers and Acquisitions on innovation: a new framework for analysis” has been added to the CIMR ‘Best Dissertations Database’ for the Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London.
Robert Mitkow completed his MRes degree in Business Innovation with E-Business at Birkbeck in 2016. His dissertation, entitled “Digital Disruption in The US Retail Sector: The Case of Amazon and Evidence From Business Innovation Theory” analysed the possible extent of digital disruption in the US retail sector and identified a number of market strategies that organisations could use in order to maximise their disruptive potential. Robert’s research interests lie in the areas of digital disruption, innovation systems, competitiveness, as well as business model innovation and stem from his varied practical experience in digital marketing. He has spent the past couple of years studying and working in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, and currently works as a SEO Account Manager at a leading global media agency, managing organic search strategy for a some of the world’s best known brands. Dissertation Abstract (.pdf)
Fernanda Garcia Onions completed an MSC in Business Innovation with International Technology Management in 2012 from the School of Business, Economics, and Informatics, Birkbeck. Her thesis title is “How do MNEs face barriers and challenges to develop and sustain international competitive advantage in order to prevail in the global competition and generate innovation? A specific case study of Glaxo Smith Klein in Brazil.” During her MSc study, she was part of the UKNOW project, which emphasized on innovation, working on the influences of rules, norms, and standards on knowledge exchange. In addition, between 2000 and 2009 Fernanda was the Intellectual Property Rights Manager for the Brazilian Ministry of Health, FIOCRUZ, working on few technology transfer agreements between UK and Brazil, she highlights the main ones being the license related to dengue disease from the Spin-Off Oxcitec (Oxford University) and the technology transfer of Insulin, from INDAR an Ukraine Institute.
Prior to joining Birkbeck Fernanda received and MBA in Entrepreneurship from The University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Fernanda developed her career further working for the one of the five leading UK-headquartered law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer the same time when she also managed to complete an MSC in IP Management from the Queen Mary University. Fernanda has converted her Brazilian Law Degree at BPP Law school, and now she works for the NHS Trust CNWL as a Senior Contract Manager as well as managing Onions & Blossoms Gourmet Social enterprise, a company she created to deliver change in the society.
Melina Padayachy is an Innovation Strategy Consultant. After completing the MSc in Innovation Management and Technology Policy at Birkbeck in 2006, she worked as an independent Analyst for a Strategy Consultancy, generating strategic insights for blue chip companies. She has recently developed a framework to help companies find and bring new ideas to market and has published her work in a small book entitled the Innovator’s Method: Bringing New Ideas To Markets. Currently, she works with start-ups to help them bring their ideas to market and she is interested in pursuing her research in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation. LinkedIn
Luis Puchades Vigar works as a Technology Analyst for the Financial Times, a global innovative financial news organisation. In the last five years, he has worked for several leading companies and acquired a valuable expertise in business, market and industry innovation. Luis lives and breathes technology. Early on, he has collaborated with a young entrepreneur to help him to implement innovative processes and develop a business sustainability. This rewarding experience motivated Luis to complete an MSc in Business Innovation and E-business and to investigate how companies can adapt and innovate in constantly changing environments. Dissertation Abstract (.pdf)
Laura Sacchi is Senior Manager in a Digital Transformation Company helping businesses leverage digital and technology to meet their strategic ambitions. She acts as a consultant to Large Corporates helping them develop a holistic understanding of their customers and employees, for this to inform their innovation strategies and transformation initiatives. She is expert in methodologies like Design Thinking, Lean and Agile to bring innovation from inception to delivery at scale. She is passionate about the democratisation of Design Thinking, as the increasing adoption of design capabilities by organisations looking to evolve and disrupt their competitive position in the market. In 2021, she completed a MSc in Business Innovation with Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management at Birkbeck College. Her dissertation project explored the contribution of Design Thinking towards organisational ambidexterity, as the ability of an organisation to structure itself to be successful in both exploiting existing knowledge (e.g. incremental innovation) and exploring new knowledge (e.g. radical innovation). . Dissertation Abstract (.pdf)
Dr. Fadil Sahiti’s research interests are in the area of entrepreneurship. Supervised by professor H. Lawton Smith (BBK) and S. Radosevic (UCL) in 2015 he has defended thesis on: Factors that enable and constrain the growth of firms: the case of Kosovo. The research activities involve application of various theoretical frameworks including the neo-Schumpeterian perspective used to examine the impact of firm dynamics on the growth of firms, the resource-based theory and managerial practices approach applied to explore factors that internally influence the growth of firms, and growth diagnostics theory used to examine the impact of external factors on the growth of firms. In addition, Fadil’s research interests lie in the field of firm innovation processes, exploring issues of social conditions that enable or constrain the emergence of innovative firms in low-income countries.
Rebecca Schulte started her professional career with Lufthansa Technik where she currently holds a position as Environmental, Health and Safety Coordinator at the Landing Gear division. She has worked in an international context for the past 5 years, having lived in Germany, China, and the UK. Graduating from Birkbeck, University of London with an MSc in Management with Business Innovation in 2020, she has a strong interest in new technologies and their deployment in different areas. In her dissertation, she analysed the support structure for Blockchain adoption in the aviation industry, and she is keen in exploring the trajectory of the technology further. Dissertation Abstract (link). Dissertation Abstract (.pdf)
Pasquale Senese is an experienced professional working full‐time in the Oil and Gas Industry. He holds an MSc/MEng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Naples and a MSc in Management from Birkbeck College, University of London.He co-authored academic paper in the fields of hydrogen production (Turco, M., Bagnasco, G., Cammarano, C., Senese, P., Costantino, U., & Sisani, M. (2007). Cu/ZnO/Al 2 O 3 catalysts for oxidative steam reforming of methanol: the role of Cu and the dispersing oxide matrix. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 77(1), 46-57). His Dissertation “Does the economic crisis affect firms’ innovative behaviours? Evidence from the oil and gas industry” has been added to the CIMR ‘Best Dissertations Database’ for the Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London. Dissertation Abstract (.pdf)
Evelina Stoyanova is an MSc Management graduate from Birkbeck University (2015) with deep interests in startup accelerators, innovative companies and entrepreneurship. Her dissertation was supervised by Professor Helen Lawton Smith and was devoted to the effectiveness of the Bethnal Green Ventures startup accelerator. Her research aimed to identify the positives and negatives of their accelerator programme and to give recommendations for improvement. Evelina also holds a BSc degree in Dental Technology and has two years of professional experience as a dental technician employing cutting edge 3D technologies for designing and manufacturing dental crowns. She also speaks Spanish and has lived and studied at Carlos III University of Madrid where she advanced her academic knowledge in the fields of management and business administration. Dissertation Abstract (.pdf)
Ellen Siu is the Senior Operation Officer for Research in the School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine at King’s College London. She oversees the School’s research support, fostering research excellence and innovation. She first completed a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Architecture at Cardiff University and then recently gained a Master of Science in Management at Birkbeck, University of London. She graduated with Distinction and won the ‘Overall Best Student (Business/Management)’ award.
Her dissertation “Interorganisational collaboration: Academic Health Science Centre- A Case Study on King’s Health Partnership” examines the inter-institutional university-hospital collaboration phenomenon in King’s Health Partnership, in a rich translational research context. The research is informed by her own practice as a university administrator as well as interviews and observations with Principal Investigators and researchers across different institutions. Her dissertation has been added to the “Best Dissertations Database” for the Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of CIMR Working Paper Number 40.
Daniel Weerawardena is Birkbeck graduate (2016) with an MSc in Management with Business Innovation. He has a strong interests in technology, networks of innovation and social capital. His dissertation titled “Overcoming Barriers in Music Creation: Motivations, Diversity and Investing into Social Capital” examines the importance of social capital in the context of achieving success as a music creator, and has been added to Birkbeck’s “Best Dissertations Database”. He also has an MEng in Civil Engineering from Imperial College London and currently works within the music industry for ‘PRS for Music’, a royalty collecting society for songwriters, composers and music publishers. He continues to explore opportunities to build on his business experience and entrepreneurial ability.
Waraporn Yangsap completed a PhD in Management from School of Business, Economics and Informatics, Birkbeck. Her thesis title is “Firms’ use of intellectual property (IP) exchange in the context of their open innovation strategies” During her PhD study, she was part of the UKNOW project, which emphasised on innovation, working on the influences of rules, norms and standards on knowledge exchange. She was also a sessional lecture for Management Studies from 2009-2014 at Department of Management, School of Business, Economics and Informatics, Birkbeck. In addition, she attended WIPO Summer School of Intellectual Property, WIPO Worldwide Academy in Geneva, Switzerland in 2008. Prior joining Birkbeck, She received her MSc in Public Polices for Science, Technology and Innovation from SPRU, University of Sussex. Waraporn’s research focuses on the IP exchange and open innovation strategies in ICT sector.