Issues such a global sustainability challenges and potential solutions were the focus of the discussion between prominent leaders from the business and government sectors and academia at the 4th Business Management Conference (BMC) which was hosted by the UKZN College of Law and Management Studies from 24 to 26 August at the Riverside Hotel, Durban.
The multi-disciplinary conference themed: “Innovative and Creative Solutions for Economic Growth Strategies and Sustainable Futures”, created a platform for the international community to engage in dialogue and share their expertise in addressing the world’s most pressing socio-economic challenges.
Commenting on the theme, the Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Mr Daniel Mminele said: ‘The theme of this conference is well-chosen and very relevant to our current context as, eight years after the global financial crisis, strong, sustainable and balanced growth remains elusive, and policymakers across the world, including in South Africa, are indeed grappling with finding innovative and creative solutions for generating growth.’
Mminele contributed to the conference proceedings through a keynote address titled: “South Africa’s poor economic performance and the relevance of Monetary Policy”. The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO, Mr Alan Mukoki also gave a speech with a theme focused on: “Industrial production, trade and economic growth in South Africa: What is the missing piece of the puzzle?”
The other highlight of the BMC was a gala dinner which saw KZN Provincial Treasury’s Head of Department, Mr Simiso Magagula, delivering an address on “The role of government in promoting innovative and creative inclusive economic growth”.
Magagula concurred with Mminele stating that innovation should be prioritised in order to grow our country’s economy. ‘Our government needs to commit to supporting research and innovation, creating a more open and integrated innovation ecosystem, as well as by removing barriers to innovation,’ said Magagula.
The Conference also featured international speakers including the Chair for Innovation Research and Technology Management, Professor Dr Stefan Hüsig, as well as Research Associate at the Department of Political Science, Dr Sebastian Liebold, both from the Technische Universitat Chemnitz, Germany. The two speakers spoke on “Innovation and sustainability. From disruption out of emerging markets to the base of the pyramid. Innovation and beyond” and “Sustainability and Liberty – Remarks on a Conflict of Social Values” respectively.
Commenting on the importance of the Conference within a global perspective, Conference Convener and College Dean of Research, Professor Marita Carnelley said: ‘The hosting of the BMC is a further validation that the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which prides itself in being a research-led institution, is committed to utilising multi-disciplinary and cross-border collaborations as a tool for innovation when it comes to cultivating economic growth and pushing research boundaries where the creation of a sustainable future for all is concerned.’
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College, Professor John C Mubangizi commended Carnelley for her commitment to ensuring an improvement in research output of the College and encouraged academics and postgraduate students to convert their papers into publishable research work.