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Published 9th Mar 2017

Kate Baucherel

A Teesside University lecturer has been invited to address one of the biggest and most prestigious technology conferences in the world.

Kate Baucherel will speak this week at the world-renowned SXSW Interactive conference at Austin, Texas, as part of a discussion on retaining volunteer talent in a community.

Kate, who lectures in accounting and finance at Teesside University Business School, is a business development and strategic consultant, as well as a published author.

At SXSW she will be speaking as part of an international panel of experts with a particular focus on what it is that motivates people to volunteer.

Her expertise in retaining volunteers comes after she co-founded community software company, Ambix, which was formed in 2012 with the help of Teesside University’s graduate enterprise programme.

Kate said: “Ambix was initially set up as a collaboration tool for large organisations and networks, but we quickly found it was attracting volunteer and community groups.

“This led me into researching what it was that motivated volunteers and the methods of communication between them and their organisations.

 “My research led me to a doctoral thesis completed at Teesside University by Dr Jennifer Hagan and I’ve built on a lot of her work for my talk at SXSW.

“Many organisations treat volunteers differently to full-time staff, however very often these people are just as professional but their motivations are misunderstood.”

Although this will be Kate’s first time speaking at SXSW, it is her third trip to the conference. She first attended to take part in technology pitching competition HATCH Pitch, with Ambix.

Kate added: “Going to SXSW is like diving into a pool of knowledge, it’s an absolutely fantastic experience.

“Because I work with digital businesses, it’s vital that I keep up to date with emerging technology and trends.

“SXSW is the ideal place to do that, you get to see the latest, cutting-edge technology for business and meet the inspiring people behind global brands.”

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