Master Class – Europe
Developing Strategic Business Skills for STM and Social Science Publishers

Course Director: Richard Balkwill, Course Director, STM Master Class

General overview

The STM Master Class has established itself as a benchmark of exciting and innovative teaching and learning in strategic business skills. The STM Master Class attracts senior and influential speakers from within and outside the publishing industry whose ideas challenge the delegates to tackle today's key publishing issues - achieving innovation, tackling change, evaluating risk, licensing and acquiring intellectual property, managing relationships with key stakeholders, and enhancing brand values.

For the ninth consecutive year, The Master Class is being held in Oxford. Every year feedback from the students has been positive and every year the committee of senior publishers commit to adapting the course to the industry's constantly changing needs.

Who is the course for?

  • Tomorrow's international senior managers in all STM publishing functions: marketing/sales, business development and editorial.
  • Managers will have between three - five years' experience, including some responsibility for managing budgets, resources and staff.

Benefits of participating in the course

  • More confidence in making strategic decisions
  • Original and innovative ideas to manage change - and succeed during the recession
  • A radically different way of looking at the STM market
  • Greater willingness to review models and apply techniques from outside our industry
  • Membership in a growing community of highly motivated and committed former delegates
  • Providing strategies publishers need to weather the recession

Some features of the course

  • An emphasis on thinking strategically, not on honing process skills
  • A superb range of senior high-profile speakers
  • Demanding group work with case studies that brings to life course themes and topics
  • A clearer vision of who our partners and stakeholders are, and what they might want
  • Contrasting points of view from stakeholders, customers and publishers


Comments from the 2008 Master Class - Europe

'A really useful & interesting course. I would certainly recommend to colleagues in similar positions

'Good balance between theory & practice'

'The whole course was structured extremely well . . . really enjoyed the opportunities to network and hear the views of the other delegates.;

'Alternative spins from the speakers were good.'

'Good to have speakers that aren't from the traditional or actively in publishing.'

'Case studies useful, great working with the whole group.'


The venue is the modernist St. Catherine's College in the university. Excellent facilities provides the ideal setting in which to benefit from three days of high-powered presentations, followed by the challenge of putting new ideas into practice through a sequence of stimulating and demanding case studies. There is also ample opportunity to share ideas with an international mix of high-calibre STM managers.


Monday 14 September

12.30       Registration

13.00       Lunch

14.00       Keynote introduction

Michael Mabe, Chief Executive, STM Association

Richard Balkwill, Course Director

14.15       'Publishing in times of recession'

Michael Mabe, Chief Executive, STM Association

15.15       Break

15.30       Delegate introductions

15.45       Introduction to case study

'What are the biggest threats to my company?'

16.00       Group work on case study

16.45       Groups feed back their findings

17.15       Poker School

Led by Chris Blake, Business Consultant and Investor

18.30       Master Class photograph

19.15     Dinner and keynote speech

Long Dining Room of the Senior Common Room

Host for the evening: Dr. Tim Book, Fellow of St. Catherine's College

Guest speaker: Ian Bannerman, Managing Director (Journals), Taylor & Francis

Tuesday 15 September

09.00       'Decision making, risk and the recession'

Chris Blake, Consultant and Investor

10.45       Break

11.15       Introduction to case study

'How can we recession-proof our business?'

13.00       Lunch

14.00       Groups feed back their responses to the case study

15.00       'How do we weather the recession?'

Piers Russell-Cobb, Managing Director, MediaFund Limited

Mark Ware, Mark Ware Consulting Ltd

Andrew Robinson, Vice-President, Managing Director (Medicine),

Wiley-Blackwell Ltd

15.45       Break

16.00       Presentations continue

16.30       Questions and discussions

17.00       Close

18.00       Reception and course quiz

19.00       Delegates join one of three groups for dinner in local restaurants, or return to St. Catherine's College

Wednesday 16 September

09.00     'Managing the digital rights environment'

Dr Alicia Wise, Chief Executive, Publishers Licensing Society

Sue Joshua, Director of Legal Affairs, John Wiley & Son

10.30      Break

11.00     'Maintaining quality at better value'

Aneeta Madhavan, Sales Director, UK and Europe, NewGen Imaging Systems

Mike Fenton, Vice-President, Director of Global Operations,

Wiley-Blackwell Ltd

12.30      Introduction to group work and debate

'Strategic issues facing STM publishers'

13.00      Lunch

14.00     'Unfolding digital strategy for the future'

Professor David Nicholas, Director of Information Studies,

University College London

Rod Cookson, Editorial Director, Taylor & Francis

15.30      Groups work on issues for debate

17.30      Break

18.30      Taxi leaves for Headington Hill Hall, Oxford Brookes University

19.00      Reception at Headington Hill Hall

19.30      Dinner sponsored by Elsevier

Guest speaker:

Professor Peter Atkins, Professor of Chemistry and Fellow of Lincoln College

University of Oxford

22.00      Taxi returns to St. Catherine's College


Thursday 17 September

09.00       'Creating a new vision for an enterprise'

Hugh Look, Senior Consultant, Rightscom

10.30       Break

10.45       'Strategic issues facing STM publishers'

Debate and discussion

12.15       Comments and feedback on final group work

12.30       Presentation of certificates

Course summary

13.00       Optional lunch

14.00       Course closes

Member:   €3000
Registration fee includes accommodation.

For member organizations registering 3 or more people, you are entitled to an additional €200 discount per registrant.

Events Terms and Conditions

Where an event has registration fees, cancellations made in writing up to 30 days before an event are eligible for a 50% refund. No refunds can be made for cancellations received on or after 30 days prior to the event date, however, substitutions may be made free of charge at any time.

Registration fees do not include insurance. Participants are advised to take out adequate personal insurance to cover travel, accommodation, cancellation and personal effects.