Keynote speakers


STRATEGICA conference features every year high-profile speakers addressing important economics, business, management and business ethics issues. The 2019 edition speeches will help set the tone for the two days of conference sessions, networking and sharing your academic findings.

Confirmed keynote speakers of the 2019 edition are:

Ioannis Ioannou

Ioannis Ioannou is Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School. He is also very active on social media and a frequent contributor to articles in the popular and managerial press including outlets such as the Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Guardian, BBC, Le Monde, and Forbes. In further recognition of his impactful work, Prof. Ioannou has been shortlisted for the Future Thinker Award of Thinkers50, the first-ever global ranking of management thinkers whose mission is to recognize ideas that have the power to change the world.

He regularly publishes in top-tier peer-reviewed academic journals and  his work is widely cited. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Strategic Management Journal. His academic work focuses on issues of corporate social responsibility and sustainability,  seeking to understand whether, how, and the extent to which the modern business organization contributes towards building a sustainable future. Thus, his academic work revolves around two main themes: a) understanding how the broader investment community perceives, evaluates and reacts to corporate engagement with, and integration of, environmental and social issues into strategy and b) understanding the multiple and multilevel factors that may affect the corporate decision to adopt environmentally and socially responsible strategies.

Keynote speech: Sustainability: From Surviving to Thriving

In my research, I seek to understand whether, how, and the extent to which the modern business organization contributes towards building a sustainable future. In particular, my academic work revolves around two main themes: a) understanding how investment analysts, and the public equity markets, perceive, evaluate and react to corporate engagement with, and integration of, environmental and social issues into strategy and b) understanding the multiple factors (e.g. institutional, regulatory, behavioural) that may affect, drive or hinder, the corporate decision to adopt environmentally and socially responsible strategies. In this talk, I will discuss some of my recent work in the domain of corporate sustainability that provides empirical evidence for the emergence of the “sustainable organization”; a new type of the modern business organization that genuinely and effectively integrates environmental and social issues into its business model, strategy, organizational structure and conduct. Importantly, I will present rigorous academic evidence regarding the significant long-term outperformance of this type of organization compared to the traditional corporate form, both in terms of operating as well as stock market performance and evidence regarding the fundamental innovations that are needed in order for an organization to become a sustainable one. Finally, I will discuss the links between corporate sustainability and capital markets as they pertain to investment analyst recommendations, and more broadly, as they relate to the realization of value in public equity markets through a commitment to sustainability.

Mike C. Jackson

Michael C. Jackson is Emeritus Professor at the University of Hull, editor-in-chief of Systems Research and Behavioural Science, and MD of Systems Research Ltd. He graduated from Oxford University, gained an MA from Lancaster University and a PhD from Hull, and has worked in the civil service, in academia and as a consultant. Between 1999 and 2011, Mike was Dean of Hull University Business School, leading it to triple-crown accreditation. Mike has been President of the International Federation for Systems Research and the International Society for the Systems Sciences. He is a Companion of the Association of Business Schools, a Chartered IT Professional, and a Fellow of the British Computer Society, the Cybernetics Society, the Chartered Management Institute, the Operational Research Society and the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences. Mike has received many awards, two honorary degrees, and has been a visiting professor at numerous international universities. In 2011 he was awarded an OBE for services to higher education and business. In 2017 he received the Beale Medal of the UK Operational Research Society for ‘a sustained contribution over many years to the theory, practice, or philosophy of Operational Research’. His latest book Critical Systems Thinking and the Management of Complexity was published by Wiley/Blackwell in February 2019.

Keynote speech: Systems thinking in an age of complexity

The world has become increasingly networked and unpredictable. Decision-makers at all levels are required to manage the consequences of complexity every day. Simple solutions to complex issues are usually inadequate and risk exacerbating the very problems they are designed to solve. Leaders of international bodies such as the UN, OECD, UNESCO and WHO – and of major business, public sector, charitable, and professional organizations – have all declared systems thinking an essential leadership skill for managing the complexity of the economic, social and environmental issues they face.
This presentation explains the need for a systems approach and charts the development of systems thinking as it has sought to come to terms with different aspects of complexity. It shows how different systems approaches have to be used in informed combinations to manage the interconnected problems that decision-makers currently face – an approach known as ‘critical systems thinking’. Finally, it reviews some of the challenges of the digital age and suggests how systems thinking can act as a guide to maximize the opportunities that new technologies bring and to overcome the threats they pose.

Ralf Wagner

Professor dr. Ralf Wagner teaches Business Administration and Marketing at the University of Kassel. Since 2006 he is the chair of the SVI Endowed Chair for International Direct Marketing at the University of Kassel. Ralf Wagner studied business administration with the main focus on marketing at Bielefeld University. The fields of study of Ralf Wagner are Marketing Interaction in different cultures, Direct Marketing in Alteration, Competitive Interaction, Competitive Intelligence, and Quantitative Methods of Marketing Research.

Vladislav Valentinov

Professor dr. Vladislav Valentinov is based at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies in Halle, Germany, and offers several lecture courses at the Department of Law and Economics at the Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg. He has been Marie Curie Fellow of the European Commission and Schumpeter Fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation. His work appeared in Cambridge Journal of Economics, Ecological Economics, Journal of Institutional Economics, Journal of Economic Issues, Journal of Business Ethics, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Administration & Society and other journals. Currently he is a member of the editorial boards of Voluntas and Kybernetes.

Keynote speech: Rationality and morality in the theory of the firm: a systems theory view

Coauthored by Prof. Dr. Ingo Pies and Prof. Dr. Steffen Roth, this presentation will revisit the ongoing debate about how managers deal with moral dilemmas arising from the conflicting expectations of corporate stakeholders. Drawing on Niklas Luhmann’s social systems theory, these moral dilemmas will be shown to be individual-level projections of the precarious relations between social systems (such as corporations) and societal environment. The key systems-theoretic insight is that systemic rationality works best in the societal environment that has been sufficiently adjusted or „filtered“, while often producing precarious results otherwise. Accordingly, the problematic relationship between rationality and morality in the theory of the firm can be explained in terms of the lack of the sufficient adjustment of the societal environment. This argument locates the role of morality in institutional reforms that adjust the societal environment in such a way that the exercise of rationality, exemplified by corporate long-run profit maximization, does not produce precarious results. The presentation will conclude by elaborating the implications of this argument for the scholarly discourse on corporate social responsibility.

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