CEEMAN Annual Conference in Trieste - a bold move has paid off
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While most international events are still taking place online, CEEMAN was determined to run its 29th CEEMAN Annual Conference in person in beautiful Trieste on the Adriatic coast of Italy. And the bold move has definitely paid off! Close to 90 participants have gathered at the magnificent Ferdinandeo Palace campus of MIB Trieste School of Management in person, and another 50 joined online – together representing 28 countries around the globe.
The main topic of the Conference was “Management Education at the Crossroads”, resonating deeply with the challenges we are facing. Participants noted the great content, quality of speakers, depth of the issues raised – and of course the joy of meeting in person again after a long time, feeling the commitment and passion of the CEEMAN network, and enjoying the unique atmosphere of Trieste.

Pre-conference events on Wednesday, 23 September included company visit to Orion Valves led by its CEO and Vice President Luca Farina, who shared great insights about the leadership challenges the company is facing. Individual Dean2Dean meetings provided an opportunity to discuss potential collaboration, while fast-paced poster session for faculty and researchers hosted presentations of latest research, teaching and best practices. 

The first Conference day raised the issues and choices that management education is currently facing, including the growing competition and customer demands and perspectives: 
- In the Conference opening, CEEMAN President Danica Purg and MIB Trieste Founder and CEO Vladimir Nanut stressed the importance of the Conference topic and the successful collaboration between CEEMAN and MIB dating back to the very beginning of both organizations.
- Alessia Rosolen, Councilor for Work, Training, Education, Research, University, and Family of Region Friuli Venezia (which supported the Conference) welcomed the participants, while MIB Trieste Dean Andrea Tracogna chaired the Conference
- Derek Abell, Founding President of ESMT Berlin, one of the "founding fathers" of CEEMAN, and author of the CEEMAN Manifesto, explored the crossroads management education finds itself in. He was joined by Riccardo Illy, Chairman of Polo del Gusto, former VP of illycaffe and Mayor of Trieste (1993-2001), who provided a corporate view and emphasized the role of communication skills and emotional intelligence. 
- Seán Meehan of IMD Lausanne and Mark Smith of University of Stellenbosch Business School explored the growing competition of business schools. They wondered if this is the “Kodak moment” for management education, are we recognizing it - and what are we going to do about it.
- An excellent panel of business leaders shared “perspectives from customers” and their expectations of management education.
- Participants then had a chance to work in groups on specific questions around teaching and research – discussing the obstacles management education is facing, and how to go about it. The discussions were engaging and thought provoking, both in person and online! 

At the CEEMAN Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony, CEEMAN President Danica Purg and CEEMAN Director Olga Veligurska presented report on CEEMAN activities in the past year, plans for 2021/22 academic year, as well as celebrated new CEEMAN members, institutions that received CEEMAN IQA – International Quality Accreditation, as well as the winners of the CEEMAN/Emerald Case Writing Competition and CEEMAN Champion Awards. The busy Conference day concluded with an exclusive dinner at Yacht Club Adriaco.

The second Conference day started with an excellent keynote by Dominique Turcq (Founder and President of Boostzone Institute, France) on the impact of technology and the opportunities it brings for management education. It was followed by engaging sessions with experiences and best practices from Italian business schools, CEEMAN network, and the Alliance of Management Development Associations in Rising Economies, showing the true power and global spirit of the gathering. The Gala dinner at Pier No 4 was a wonderful conclusion of the Conference – of course, with live music and a dance!  

 All Conference participants will enjoy access to the online Conference platform with all sessions’ recordings, materials, and networking opportunities for a few more weeks. The Conference proceedings are also being prepared and will be published towards the end of the year.

The next Conference will take place on 21-23 September 2022. Since it will be the 30th Annual Conference, starting the Anniversary year for CEEMAN, it is only fitting that it will be hosted at the CEEMAN headquarters IEDC-Bled School of Management, on the shores of Alpine Lake Bled. Join us!
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