Imagination and Inspiration: Creating Strategy Breakthroughs in a Discordant World

Imagination and inspiration in business scholarship and practice are needed today more than ever. Our world of business performance and social welfare faces multiple discordant shocks, including climate crises, immigration barriers, technological expansions and shifts, supply chain disruptions, political realignments, trade transformations, and a global viral pandemic. Tackling these challenges requires novel solutions that build on a dynamic combination of imagination and inspiration.

Imagination and inspiration are intimately intertwined. According to Merriam-Webster, imagination is “the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality,” while inspiration is “the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions.” Together, these forces can respond to discord by creating new images and then inspiring action in response to the images.

The theme for the SMS 41st Annual Conference in Toronto encourages individual and collective imagination and inspiration toward tackling the discordant challenges we face in strategy scholarship and practice. The theme signals the desire for novel combinations of imagination and inspiration that proactively respond to and even shape discord.


Submission System Opens
FEBRUARY 24, 2021
Submission Deadline for Proposals
MARCH 3, 2021
Co-Author Confirmation Deadline
Notification of Review Committee Decisions
Presenter Registration Deadline
SUMMER, 2021
Conference Program Available Online
SEPTEMBER 18-21, 2021
SMS Annual Conference

Conference Hotel

The 2021 Annual Conference in Toronto will be held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto. More info coming soon!

Toronto Conference News

City of Toronto

Sponsorship Opportunities

The annual conference of the Strategic Management Society (SMS) brings together international thought leaders from academe, business, and consultancy interested in strategic management. More than 1000 attendees will participate in sessions with scholars presenting their cutting edge research, keynote speeches, practitioner panels, workshops, as well as a variety of networking events. Attendees come to SMS conferences to establish personal contacts, network, and identify new and emerging research in the field. Being a sponsor at the SMS Annual Conference builds visibility for your company or university and connects you with educators and field leaders. For more information, contact Anna Allen at

Call for Proposals

Learn more about the conference theme and read the Call for Proposals. Click below to download!