Your chance to link in with Richard Branson

IN AN Australian first, business people have the opportunity to secure a position on stage alongside Sir Richard Branson thanks to a program by the University of Queensland Business School, facilitated by LinkedIn.

As part of the UQ Business School event NEXT? The Future of Business Q&A on 9 May, business professionals, business owners and business students can nominate themselves or a LinkedIn connection to join the events' five-person panel, headlined by Branson, to discuss a series of interactive questions on the future of global business.

Nominees are required to submit a 25 word submission via the events' website and by doing so will also go into the draw to win a two night stay at Sir Richard Branson's exclusive Noosa retreat, Makepeace Island.

One of the five LinkedIn members most recommended by their peers will be chosen as the 5th panellist for the event by the UQ Business School.

Sir Richard Branson is the most "followed" thought leader on LinkedIn's Influencer Program that was first launched in October 2013, with more than 1.5 million followers currently.

Joining Sir Richard Branson on the panel is the Dean of UQ Business School Professor Andrew Griffiths, acclaimed Futurist Tim Longhurst and Director of Rockcote and winner of the 2012 Australian Financial Review's Top 100 Women of Influence awards, Chris Cameron.

"UQ Business School is focused on the future of global business and we are thrilled not only to connect with Sir Richard Branson for the NEXT? The Future of Business Q&A but to either showcase an Australian business leader or uncover a new one as part of this innovative panel discussion," said UQ Business School director of marketing and external relations Samantha Kennerley.

"We are excited to be the facilitator of this innovative program.  By leveraging the LinkedIn platform, the University of Queensland Business School is engaging with an audience of more than 3 million professionals and students in Australia, ultimately enabling the audience to interact with today's thought leaders, gain insights and become even more successful at what they do," said Matt Tindale, Director of Marketing Solutions  at LinkedIn.

Questions to the panel will also be accepted from the business community via the website. 

The five most thought provoking questions will be posed to the panel on the day and the question nominators will win a VIP ticket to the event and meet Sir Richard Branson.

"The business insight generated by this five-strong expert panel will bring to light even more challenging issues that will then be the subject of research by UQ Business School," Ms Kennerley said. 

More than 1500 business leaders will attend the NEXT? event, drawn from the public and private sector, Government representatives, students from Brisbane's key high schools and UQ Business School alumni.

To nominate a future business leader for the NEXT? The Future of Business Q&A panel, post a question for Sir Richard Branson or purchase tickets to the event visit

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