Sir Richard reveals what’s next for business at UQ event

17 May 2013

Around 1,500 people gathered in Brisbane to hear entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and a panel of experts reveal their predictions for the future of business.

NEXT? The Future of Business Q&A, which was hosted by UQ Business School, was one of the largest events of its type in the city in recent years, attracting an audience ranging from business and government leaders to students and schoolchildren. Thousands more people watched the television coverage which was broadcast on Sky News Business the weekend following the event.

The event was the culmination of a three-month campaign which saw members of the public suggest questions for the panel through a dedicated website and, in an Australian first, put forward nominations via LinkedIn for a fifth panellist to share the stage with the Virgin founder.

The winner was Mick Spencer, a 22-year-old entrepreneur who founded custom-branded sportswear business OnTheGo. Sitting alongside Mick and Sir Richard on the panel were the Dean of UQ Business School Professor Andrew Griffiths, acclaimed futurist Tim Longhurst and award-winning businesswoman Chris Cameron, who is a Director of Rockcote.

The event took place at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre with Brooke Corte of Sky News Business as master of ceremonies. The event has attracted dozens of messages from attendees congratulating the Business School on its success.

Andrew Griffiths said that staff had been overwhelmed by the positive feedback: “UQ Business School has been challenging the future for over a decade. We are constantly asking the big questions about what’s next for global business and preparing our students for the changes ahead. NEXT? The Future of Business Q&A was the single largest industry engagement the university has held.

“We are pleased that it has stimulated wider debate on the future of business and hope to see this continue. The university will be following up some of the questions in our research and we are also inviting people to put forward their own opinions on our website at

Log on to to see the five questions put to the panel and to let us know your thoughts. The site also contains a photo gallery from the event while video and media content will be uploaded soon.