Sustainable International Business in the Digital Era – Vaasa International Business Conference started on Wednesday for the 17th time

Vaasa International Business Conference has grown over the years to become the largest biannual conference in its field in the Nordic region. This year the conference is organised for the 17th time and it is dedicated to the memory of its founder, the late Jorma Larimo, Professor of International Marketing at the University of Vaasa.

– Professor Larimo brought some of the most renowned researchers in international business to the conference at a very early stage, and almost all of them are still involved. The conference has played a major role in promoting the profile of Finnish international business research and building the reputation of the University of Vaasa, say conference organisers Professor Peter Gabrielsson and Assistant Professor Tiina Leposky from the University of Vaasa.

An important principle of the conference has been to bring together accomplished scholars and professors as well as doctoral students, who are just beginning their academic careers. The conference was preceded by a doctoral tutorial on Tuesday, where students received valuable comments on their research plans.


The conference brings together around 100 international professors, researchers and doctoral students from all over the world. Keynote speakers include professors Klaus Meyer from the Ivey Business School at Western University, Jean-Franҫois Hennart from Tilburg University, Stefan Schmid from the ESCP Business School in Berlin and professors Pervez Ghauri from the University of Birmingham, Gary Knight from Willamette University, and Brian Chabowski from the University of Tulsa.

Professor Stefan Schmid, ESCP Business School

The special theme of this year's conference is sustainable international business in the age of digitalisation.

– International companies are under increasing pressure to respond to global threats such as global warming and biodiversity loss. The rapid development of digitalisation offers companies new ways to respond to these challenges. The conference will bring together international business researchers to discuss research on the topic and provide recommendations for companies, says Professor Gabrielsson.

According to Assistant Professor Leposky, the theme raised a lot of interest among researchers, and the presentations at the conference approached the topic from varying perspectives.

- We hope that the presentations will generate a lot of discussion. We aim to create a comfortable atmosphere for sharing ideas and thoughts, says Leposky.

Professor Jean-Franҫois Hennart from Tilburg University talked on Wednesday about the limitations of the Uppsala model.

The conference, held from 16 to 17 August, will include presentations and discussions on six different thematic areas: sustainability in international business; knowledge, innovation and digitalisation in a global world; international entrepreneurship and internationalisation pathways; international marketing strategies and customer relations; global strategies and organisational leadership; and emerging markets and their multinational companies.

Professor Klaus Meyer
Hiljainen heti professori Jorma Larimon muistolle
A moment of silence in memory of the late Professor Larimo
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