We are delighted to invite you to the SMS Special Conference in Hangzhou, China, June 12-14, 2020. Over 3,000 years old, the city of Hangzhou has long been famed for its natural beauty, especially the exquisite West Lake, described by Song Dynasty poet Su Shih (1037-1101) as “the Beauty of the West” and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. More recently, Hangzhou has gained recognition as a thriving commercial and technological hub. The city is home to Alibaba, Geely, and many other thriving Chinese businesses, as well as to R&D centers of several leading multinationals. It has been called the "Silicon Valley of China."
This combination of ancient and modern makes Hangzhou the perfect location for a conference that focuses on the technological and economic forces fundamentally reshaping the world of business in the 21st century. Are these changes a challenge or an opportunity for researchers and practitioners of strategy? Our conference theme of a Brave New World—a simultaneous reference to the thrill of discovery that calls forth this cry in Shakespeare’s Tempest and the capitalist dystopia envisioned in Aldous Huxley’s eponymous novel—suggests they might be both. More importantly, though, it highlights the need to explore these emerging phenomena, building on existing scholarship, but not being bound by it. To that end, the tracks for the conference identify five key trends—related to digitization, globalization, organizational design, entrepreneurship, and leadership—and invite research that helps us better understand their impact and the strategies firms may adopt to deal with them. Our goal is thus to bring together researchers and practitioners of strategy from both within Asia and around the world for an engaged and intense three-day dialogue on the shape of things to come.
The conference will be held in the beautiful new campus of the School of Management at Zhejiang University, which is one of China’s preeminent universities and a leading center of research in the region. Hangzhou is an easy one-hour high-speed train ride from Shanghai, and it has its own international airport. And if you’re interested in combining your trip to the conference with a little relaxation, the surrounding region offers several exciting tourist destinations. We hope you’ll come join us!