We are delighted to kick off the SMS 41st Annual Conference, to be held in Toronto, Canada in September 2021!
After the sudden and necessary movement to the virtual format in 2020, the 2021 conference, we hope, will mark a return to a new normal. At the same time, we do not expect the “new normal” to look exactly like the “old normal” of SMS conferences. Instead, we expect that the 2020 initiative will help us discover opportunities to reshape the conference format and content, both to enrich the global impact of our research and to push forward with SMS’s goal of engaging more deeply with the strategic practice communities.
It is too early to know what those learnings will be, but fortunately they are “known unknowns,” so we can be proactive in looking for opportunities to innovate. This goal is very much in keeping with the theme of the 2021 conference, “Imagination and Inspiration: Creating Strategy Breakthroughs in a Discordant World.” We are excited about the opportunity to work with you to get past the discord and exercise our collective imagination and inspiration to push forward to insights about the understanding and practice of strategic management.
The location for the 2021 SMS Annual Conference in Toronto is quite appropriate. Within the “Imagination and Inspiration” theme, we are highlighting four all-conference tracks: (1) Connectivity; (2) The reality of climate change; (3) Cross-border flows of products, services, and people; and (4) Market and political transformations. Each of these subthemes is highly relevant for Canada – and for Toronto as the largest city in the country. Indeed, as an economically and socially vibrant location, as well as perhaps the most diverse city in the world, Toronto embraces the joys and challenges of each of these themes.
This will be an outstanding conference. We know you will be deeply engaged in conversations and debates about strategy research and practice. We also know that you will find it hard to return to the conference center once you start walking the streets of the city, with its vast array of places to enjoy and, most importantly, its vibrant mix of faces, languages, styles, and voices.
We look forward to seeing you and talking with you in Toronto.