International Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF) Conference, 2012
Entrepreneurship and Sustainability: From Lifestyles to Innovative Enterprises in Creative and Sustainable Environments’
Kuala Lumpur (KL) Malaysia on 3-6 September 2012.
We are only a few days away from our 11th foray in to new domains of entrepreneurship. Kuala Lumpur promises to be another significant landmark in our entrepreneurial journey of discourse and action through lifestyles, innovative enterprises in creative and sustainable environments.
We are making the final preparations to receive and interact with delegates from 29 countries around the world and some of the leading institutions that shape our thinking for now and in the future. We are privileged to have The Prime Minster of Malaysia, the Rt. Honourable Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak opening our event, and the ex- Prime Minister Rt. Honourable Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohammad addressing the conference at our closing ceremony. In between the Honourable Datuk, Seri Mustapa Mohammad, the Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia, the Deputy Secretary General of the OECD, Mr Yves Leterme, followed by a band of some of the best in policy, practice and research, will open doors of new knowledge and learning. We cannot match the Olympics or the Paralympics in terms of athletic glory and ceremonial glitter but we promise a rich fare in new combinations of ideas, practice and insights.
You will find a lot more about the IEF at the conference. It is probably one of the loosest networks of people and ideas in the world! It has for the past 11 years drawn together enquiring researchers, creative ideas generators, innovative practitioners and committed policy makers to deliberate and act on various matters that affect our lives through the lenses of entrepreneurship.
Our purpose again is to augment and add to the compendium of entrepreneurial thought and action. Schumpeter’s new combinations, Kirzner’s notion of changes in the means-ends framework for economic development, of Baumol’s trinity of productive, unproductive and destructive entrepreneurship, Granovetter’s networks of strong and weak ties, Putnam’s social capital, Christensen’s disruptive innovation and Sarasvathy’s effectuation, will no doubt be invoked and tested empirically again. We will also be stepping out of the circular flow of these concepts to new questions, seek novel answers and perhaps even start the process of shifting paradigms.
Entrepreneurship underpins sustainability in that it enables new combinations for the future from the smithy of the present, and in doing so to offer the proper organization of our resources and talents. But perhaps now the prerogative of sustainability demands a shift in thought and action which I hope the deliberations at this conference will help to envision and promote. At CER we endeavor to open up new opportunities for research, teaching and knowledge exchange. This enables us to overcome silo-based narrowness of thought and observation that has probably led us down many an unsustainable route to the economic, social, and environmental predicaments in our world today. We need more rigorous holistic approaches to enquiry, policy making and in practice.
What we are about to witness could not have been possible without the partnership of UNIKL, MARA, Prof Che Musa and all his colleagues, my Co-Chair, Dr Sulaiman Sajilan, the enthusiastic and patient team of Farid and Azizah and all at Kemelak, the conference organisers and my CER team, especially Ayesha. I take this opportunity to thank my Business School and University for supporting our international work. To all of you who have taken an interest to attend this conference, I wish to express my sincerest appreciation for your support.
So with this this message before the conference last I urge you to engage and create value through novel combinations, to explore, debate, network and collaborate over the next few days and then beyond as friends and colleagues.
I look forward to seeing you in Kuala Lumpur next week. To those who are unable to join us, I am sure we will connect in one form or another soon.
Centre for Entrepreneurship Research
Essex Business School
University of Essex