On November 17-18, 2023, HEC Montréal was delighted to host the AIB Chapter conference at their new Hélène Desmarais Campus in downtown Montréal. The conference provided an excellent occasion for international business scholars to discuss various topics under the theme of Chalking the Walk: Redesigning International Business Policy for New Global Realities. We received a total of 75 scholars from across the country. Within Canada, we have representation from 17 universities located in 6 different provinces. Our audience also includes international scholars, policymakers, and industry leaders—all of whom play pivotal roles in shaping international business and global business policies.

In adherence to the tradition and spirit of AIB Canada, the conference featured a combination of academic and practitioner speakers. In this context, we were privileged to host Canada’s inaugural Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE), Mrs. Sheri Meyerhoffer, as our keynote speaker. In her address, titled “Promoting respect for human rights and responsible business conduct overseas”, Mrs. Meyerhoffer provided a comprehensive background of  CORE, why it was founded in 2022, what have been its key initiatives, and which has been its initial impact. We were glad to see that several speakers throughout the conference referred to the opening speech, suggesting the contribution that the presentation had on the intellectual depth of the AIB meeting.

Two other highlights on the first day of the conference were the Meet the Editor and Ethics Panels, which led to vibrant discussions about the “do’s and don’ts” in international business research. This included conversations about the importance of data transparency, how to address politically sensitive issues in academic work, the academic and societal impact of publications, and many other topics that need to be reflected on to develop a robust, transparent, and collaborative academic ecosystem in AIB Canada.

To round off the day, we had the pleasure of receiving a keynote address by Prof. Gabriel Benito of BI Norwegian Business School. In his presentation related to the conference theme, Prof. Benito provided a thought-provoking analysis of contemporary approaches taken by governments to deal with Grand Challenges, Examples of such challenges include climate change, biodiversity loss, and excessive use of natural resources.  Using the clean energy and circular economy policies of Nordic countries as an example, Prof. Benito illustrated how a new wave of industrial policies, especially those aiming at Green Challenges end up only being second best. International business scholarship has an agency and can actively take part in policy development processes and contribute to the design of new industrial policies.

On the morning of the second day, which was particularly geared toward Ph.D. students and young scholars, the conference features several activities. The newly minted president of AIB Canada, Kristin Brandl (University of Copenhagen & University of Victoria), joined forces with Prof. Vanessa Hasse Western University to launch a new network initiative for Canadian students in international business. We also had the panel, « So, you want to do EDI research… now what? », with Prof. Stacey Fitzsimmons (University of Victoria) and Prof. Tania Saba (Université de Montréal) where participants discussed the implications of equity, diversity, and inclusion in IB research. The conference came to a close with an enriching JIBS/JIBP PDW, where multiple roundtables were set up to discuss working papers from junior scholars and PhD students.

We would like to thank all the participants for their enthusiastic contribution to discussions at our conference. We acknowledge the support of Prof. Anthony Goerzen (Queen’s University), Prof. Kristin Brandl and all the AIB Canada staff and we are very grateful for their invaluable support. We would also like to thank the HEC Montreal community, in particular the members of the International Business department, for their engagement.

We hope to cross paths soon in future events organized by the AIB Canada Chapter.

Prof. Ari Van Assche, Prof. Natalia Aguilar Delgado and Prof. Gilbert Kofi Adarkwah (Organizing committee at HEC Montreal)

AIB Canada Conference in images (pictures taken by Ali Arsalan Pasha)

Opening of the conference

Presentation by CORE Ombudsperson

Meet the editors and ethics panel session

 

Organizing committee and CORE Ombudsperson

 

Organizing committee with keynote speaker Prof. Gabriel Benito

 

PDW sessions

Group picture of all participants