UWE Bristol awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration to Kalpna Woolf in recognition of her contribution and commitment to economic and social equality and diversity initiatives in Bristol.
The honorary degree was conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Business and Law at Bristol Cathedral on Wednesday 18 July at 10:30.
Kalpna completed her early education in London culminating in a BA Hons in Russian from University of London, Queen Mary College. Since she came to Bristol 20 years ago, Kalpna has been a major influencer for change in our region – both at senior board and grassroots level. After an award-winning career in the BBC, where she was Head of Production overseeing a £100m global business including the BBC’s world-renowned Natural History Unit (including ‘Planet Earth, Antiques Roadshow, Rick Stein, Countryfile and many other factual series), Kalpna was recognised for her work in the media in 2013, winning the national Asian Women’s Achievement Award.
She continues to work within the creative sector and alongside this, she has established an impressive portfolio career underpinned by her business track record and her passion for social justice and equality. She has held positions on business and charity boards including Chair of Trustees for Frank Water, business advisor and Chair of the Skills Group to the West of England LEP Board. Her board work and drive for inclusive and economic equality has led her to launch the BeOnBoard programme which is striving to deliver diversity on business boards.
She devised a Masters programme in Production Management in the Media for UWE and was awarded Visiting Professorship for the Faculty of Business and Law.
She has written a best–selling food book – Spice Yourself Slim – and in 2015 she founded 91 Ways to Build A Global City – an innovative charity which reaches out to unite all the 91 language communities in Bristol, to bring greater understanding, break down barriers and build a more cohesive city. Three years on, the charity has run Peace Cafes connecting more than 10,000 people at over 100 events and modeled a template for similar projects to be rolled out in other cities in the UK.
Kalpna has won four other national awards including the BBC’s Food and Farming Hero Award, the Guild of Food Writers Inspiration Award and MTM Woman of the Year award.