Invited speakers

In contemporary times, the centuries old process of economic and cultural globalization – that commenced seriously several centuries ago with European explorations, settlements and imperial conquests – has not ended, but has entered troubled waters. Brexit; assertive American, Russian and selective East European nationalisms; China flexing econo-military muscle; and major regional conflicts – these are all affecting established patterns of trade, investment, migration and cultural exchanges.

These two panels will explore current challenges to markets, consumers and citizens in these turbulent times.



Thu, July 5, 9.30 – 11.00

Ruby R. Dhoalakia photoRuby R. Dholakia is the first president of ISMD. She chaired the ISMD conference in New Delhi in 1991. An established scholar in macromarketing and household technology impacts, she is Professor Emerita at the University of Rhode Island.






Fuat Firat photo

Fuat Firat launched the ISMD conference series, by organizing the first conference in Istanbul in 1986. He became the second president of ISMD after it was founded. He is a professor in the Robert C. Vackar College of Business & Entrepreneurship, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. His research on consumption patterns, using cultural critique and political economic analysis, is recognized globally.





Olav J. Sorensen photo

Olav J. Sorensen is the cofounder of NOMAD Bulletin, the precursor newsletter that led to ISMD conferences and later to the creation of the ISMD organization – which he co-founded and presided over in the 1990s. Olav is Professor at International Business Centre of Aalborg University. He took part in numerous research projects mostly in direct relation with the business community – regionally and internationally, working closely with universities in China, Vietnam, Ghana and Tanzania.





Pia Polsa photoPia Polsa is the Executive Director of ISMD. She has been a president of ISMD and chaired the ISMD Conference in Casablanca in 2012. She is a professor at Hanken School, Helsinki. Her research includes grocery retailing and consumer behaviour in China and sustainable poverty alleviating business models in India. Her current research interests are poverty, service and relationship marketing at non-profit settings like health care in developing countries, international marketing channels, and cross-cultural methodology.






Saturday, July 7, 9.00 – 10.30

Anna Akhalkatsi photo

Anna Akhalkatsi is the head of the World Bank Office in Moldova. Anna has extensive work experience within the International Financial Corporation and the World Bank. Anna worked in the Strategy Unit within International Financial Corporation’s Central and Eastern Europe Department on the development of regional, country and sector strategies. She has also rich experience in private sector development, investment, and structural reforms across the World Bank Group.




Octavian Armasu photoOctavian Armasu is the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Moldova. He is also a coordinator of several governmental and inter-ministerial negotiation groups with international donor organizations. Octavian has experience and expertise in corporate finance, financial management, financial analysis and control, and IT management. Before joining the Government, Octavian was financial director and CEO of Sudzucker Moldova SA that is part of Sudzucker International GmbH.




Jeremy Lefroy photoJeremy Lefroy is Member of the UK Parliament since May 6th 2010. From 1989 to 2000, he and his family lived in Tanzania where he worked in the coffee industry. On returning to the UK, he worked assisting smallholder farmers in East Africa, until his election to Parliament in 2010. In October 2016, Jeremy was elected to serve on the cross-party ‘Exiting the European Union Committee’. Jeremy is also Chair of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF.






Romeo V. Turcan photo

Romeo V. Turcan is Professor of International Entrepreneurship and Organization Studies at Aalborg University in Denmark. Romeo coordinates a number of research and policy oriented projects. In 2012 he founded and launched the Theory Building Research Programme. Romeo has also coordinated large EU funded projects. Romeo has business and executive experience in power, oil, military high-tech, management consulting, and NGO sectors.