Welcome from the Program Chairs

Dear Colleagues:

We invite you to the 40th SMS Annual Conference in London!

This is an exciting time to be a Strategy scholar. Following the digital revolution of the last 20 years, we are now on the cusp of another technological revolution with AI, virtual reality, robotics, and machine learning combining to radically transform the business landscape once again. Companies—still trying to adjust to the numerous disruptions that hit them over the past 20 years—need to rise up again and prepare for the next wave of disruption. They have to do so in a political and geopolitical context that is ripe with risks and threats at every turn.

Companies need to design strategies and develop organizations that will enable them to survive and prosper in such a turbulent world. It is in this context that we gather in London to discuss, debate, explore, and learn. The potential to learn new things in these times of change is enormous, and so is the potential for us as academics to develop ideas that will help transform our societies and world. What better place to do so than in London, the place where the first SMS Conference took place in 1981.

London has always been a city where people from different cultures converged and the place where ideas that changed the world originated. More than 270 nationalities make up the fabric of the city, and more than 300 different languages are spoken in London—more than in any other city in the world. Less than 50% of its 8 million inhabitants are actually English. There are more than 17,000 music performances every year, and the city boasts almost 40,000 restaurants, 68 of which have Michelin stars. It should come as no surprise that in such a diverse and vibrant city, innovations come thick and fast. We all know that penicillin was discovered in London, but did you know that things like rubber clothing, ATM cash machines, the nuclear chain reaction, and the machine gun all had their origins in London?

We encourage you to not only learn from each other in our conference’s numerous sessions, but to immerse yourself in this vibrant city of culture, science, and history. Explore the many cultural delights London has to offer—medieval castles, royal palaces, unparalleled museums and galleries, fantastic universities, wonderful theater and musicals, cosmopolitan shopping, and of course, traditional English pubs that can serve you up to 100 different types of British ale (with or without the fish and chips!).

We extend a warm welcome to all of you!

Program Chairs

picture of Julian Birkinshaw
Julian Birkinshaw
London Business School
picture of Costas Markides
Costas Markides
London Business School