Member Q&A with Anouar Kassim MBE, founding director of Milton Keynes Islamic Arts, Heritage and Culture (MKIAC)

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From left to right: Nicholas Mann, Chair of MKBLP with Anouar Kassim MBE and MKBLP Board Directors, Simon DeMaid and Julie Mills OBE.

We are delighted to welcome Anouar Kassim MBE to MKBLP as a new member. Anouar is the founding director of Milton Keynes Islamic Arts, Heritage and Culture (MKIAC). Inspired by Islamic arts, heritage, and culture, encompassing both traditional and contemporary art forms, MKIAC covers a broad spectrum of inclusive arts-based events throughout the year. Its primary focus is using the arts as a vehicle to overcome societal divisions and provide a sense of community in Milton Keynes.


1. Why being a member of MKBLP is important to you?

Becoming a member of MKBLP has enabled us to engage with diverse business leaders from their own disciplinary professional backgrounds. It has also given us the opportunity to contribute to this platform and make a difference.


2. What do you, and your organisation, bring to the Milton Keynes business community?

MKIAC works to proactively build community cohesion through high quality arts experiences. The business community within Milton Keynes is incredibly strong, and the technology sector in particular is renowned for its innovation. We can add value by bringing creativity together with businesses who specialise in these technology applications to create inclusive events which drives diversity throughout all communities within Milton Keynes.


3. What challenges do you believe face the business community in both the short and the long term?

We have not yet fully understood the challenges around Brexit, particularly the implications around R&D and European innovation funds. Therefore, we need more free thinking, research sharing and skills developments, particularly for the younger generation still in education. The Milton Keynes business community works hard to cultivate these relationships with local education institutions however there is still work to be done to reach more businesses and people within the region.


4. How can businesses get involved with MKIAC?

Businesses can support and play proactive roles within the MKIAC programme, from this involvement they will enhance their knowledge in the areas around inclusion and diversity and the role culture and heritage plays in business. Companies with a passion for technical innovation can help bring creativity to life at our events.


5. What is your tip for success in business/life?

Have a passion for what you do, build relationships and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.