Showbiz stars get top billing in Cambridge MBA
Is the traditional MBA about to spawn a glamorous new sibling? The Masters of Entertainment may be just around the corner thanks to a new partnership between showbiz greats and the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.
The university is used to schooling technology stars in the UK innovation cluster. Now the Entertainment Master Class – the entertainment industry’s international peer-to-peer academy – is partnering with Judge to bring the EMC’s annual Entertainment Management master class and alumni campus to the University of Cambridge next week.
Billed as a ‘think-tank for decision makers, a writer’s room for creators and a ‘future lab’ for entertainment entrepreneurs’, EMC’s Entertainment Management master class will run over five days from Jan 14-18 and bring an international group of entertainment executives and creative talent to Cambridge. The five-day programme will pack in 22 sessions.
The list of international speakers and mentors from EMC’s creative faculty includes Peter Bazalgette (Big Brother, Deal or No Deal); Wayne Garvie (Chief Creative Officer, Sony Pictures TV; Strictly Come Dancing); David Lyle (CEO, National Geographic Channels); Sir Jeremy Isaacs (Founder, Channel 4); Mikkel Bondesen (The Killing, Burn Notice); Jason Silva (Host, Brain Games); Wil Harris (CEO, ChannelFlip), Malte Andreasson (CEO, United Screens); Michael Schmidt (MD, Creative Operations, Red Arrow); Jacob Houlind (CEO, Nordisk Film TV); Paul Jackson (The Office); Geoff Posner (The Young Ones, Little Britain) and David Liddiment (All3Media/BBC Trust). Delegates from Ofcom will also attend.
The master classes aim to bridge the traditional gap between practical experience and professional business education that has long been the hallmark of the industry.
Christoph Fey, managing director of the EMC says: “We need to understand both sides of the entertainment business: How to make the show and how to make the money.
“Connecting our faculty of 100 leading industry practitioners and our 350 alumni from over 40 countries to one of the smartest spaces imaginable at the University of Cambridge is one of the most exciting and significant developments so far in our history.”
The delegates, all leading entertainment executives and top media entrepreneurs, hail from 10 different nations. One of the draws that led the EMC to partner with Cambridge is Dr Allegre Hadida – highly regarded in the entertainment industry for being one of the rare academics who researches, writes and listens to them on the subject of their business.
An expert in cultural, arts and media management, Hadida has been analysing how the industry does business for much of her career, and has pioneered teaching and research on creativity in business at the Cambridge Judge Business School.
A self-confessed film and TV obsessive, Dr Hadida is excited about welcoming some of her heroes to her lecture theatre: “I am very excited to have such stellar names coming to Cambridge, but the real excitement is that, from January, the Entertainment Master Class will make its main home here with us at the Cambridge Judge.
“This is a partnership we are delighted to be part of. When it comes to business principles and practice – and the entrepreneurial spirit – the entertainment industry is as much in need of professional support as any.
“Perhaps more so, as the emphasis in show biz has traditionally been on the ‘show’ – the creative side of things - rather than on the business. The EMC’s move to professionalise the business side is very sensible, and we are proud to be part of it.”
As well as the academic input there will be mentoring from some very high profile creators, producers, distributors and financiers, offering unique experience and perspectives to help kick-start new businesses and unlock artistic potential.
A core theme of this year’s Entertainment Management Master Class is ‘the entertainment entrepreneur’. Hadida said: “Talent turned entrepreneur is really new for the industry and is highly attractive to senior players because it gives complete control of the artistic and business output.
“But they need to understand basic business principles and models, how technology changes things, the higher strategic view and how to manage people.”
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Dr Allegre Hadida