Open Eye: Head back to the Business Cafe

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The Independent Online
The second series of The Business Cafe opens up on Sunday mornings from 21 February between 7.45am and 8.15am on BBC2. Presented by the Today programme's Winifred Robinson, the nine programme series will serve up a rich mix of analysis with business innovators and management experts presenting their recipes for success in the new millennium.

Broadcast from London's Tower 42 overlooking the City, the magazine-style programme intends to cover everything from football to the FTSE and to look for the substance behind the fads and jargon. Drawing on the expertise of OU Business School academics, each programme will feature current key business issues including regeneration, knowledge management, the e-economy, managing risk, leadership and innovation, branding and skills for managers in the 21st century.

Knowledge management and intellectual capital are two central topics. ''Knowledge management is concerned with the creation, communication and application of knowledge of all kinds to achieve business goals,'' says OU Professor of Knowledge Management, Paul Quintas. ''Intelligence and experience turns information into knowledge. Many organisations are already introducing knowledge initiatives or appointing knowledge managers.'' One programme will examine issues around public and private partnerships in urban regeneration through the upgrading of Sheffield United's ground and its impact on the local community.

Later programmes look at issues of expansion and training in small business and the exponential growth of e-business with a look at the experience of the Amazon.com bookshop and two Swedish online entrepreneurs.

Take a cab ride with business leaders talking about their most important decisions: publisher Peter Kindersley, Tim Allen (1998 Entrepreneur of the Year) and former Tesco chief Lord MacLaren. The Office of My Own feature explores how our work spaces are altering. New media savvy ad agency St Lukes has a ball pond for staff to release creativity and frustration. Court jesters are employed by the software firm AIT.

Over your croissant and cafe latte, check out the Business Cafe website. Using streamed video and sound, viewers will be able to select within programme items, call up previous editions of the programme and take part in the on-line discussions on the week's business topics. The site will also have pieces by OUBS academics plus links to relevant web sites.

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