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Race-No. 1: Political economy, industrial policy and infrastructure
The global political economy is ever more interdependent – and at the same time, tensions are rising. Production processes rely on supply chains that are truly global in scope. To give an example, more than 160 component suppliers from six countries contribute to making an iPhone. Hence, resources, such as energy, materials but also processes, talent and knowledge are dispersed around the globe. Meanwhile, the global political economy sees frictions that not only hamper the production process but also cause disruption in the supply chains themselves. The central development in this regard is the US-China economic conflict. Nonetheless, economic relations between the US/EU and China/EU are heated, too. Whilst interdependence is a fact of life for all parties involved, each player seeks to secure access to resources as well as ownership of infrastructure and connectivity. Everyone’s aim is to ensure technological sovereignty and strategic autonomy. Thus, the role of state intervention and industrial policy cannot be underestimated when it comes to questions such as trade, investment flows and technological development.
Race-No. 2: Energy resources
In a world that consumes ever more energy, energy security and supply are as vital as ever. Global electricity production has risen from 11,882 TWh in 1990 to 26,590 TWh in 2018, according to EnerData – an increase of more than 3% year on year. At the same time, energy markets have not yet been able to accommodate for increasingly diversified energy resources, ranging from fossil fuels to various renewables including hydro, wind, solar and waste biomass. Energy infrastructure is at the centre of global political and economic debates. The energy transition may lead to disruptive innovation and favour innovative players. The United Nations Environmental Programme’s global trends in renewable energy investment show that renewable every capacity investment was more geographically diversified across the globe than ever, with 29 countries each investing more than 1bn USD in 2018. The apparent acceleration of investment in renewables combined with rapidly changing cost structures, driven both by state intervention and markets, may have disruptive impacts not only in energy generation itself but across wide sectors including technology and resources.
Race-No. 3: Circular economy and materials
The global public has never been more concerned about global environmental degradation than today. In the scramble to provide sustainable solutions, there are two main debates: firstly, what materials are we using for production and consumption, specifically in high-tech, and how sustainable are they? Think of lithium, titanium or rare earths: Who has access? How are they mined and processed? Secondly, how can a circular economy help save the environment, with its concept of ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ and the ‘share-repair’ principles? The shift towards a circular economy requires innovation in terms of policy frameworks, business models, design and technology, and consumption culture. There are many business models on the market addressing this. A successful implementation, however, also requires knowledge and networking of what works and what doesn’t, not only on a B2B level but also involving states actors and NGOs. The EU, China and other actors increasingly promote the concept of a circular economy through policy interventions that may have international impacts. The question is then how to streamline different initiatives and advance on circular economy solutions.
Race-No. 4: Business models and management methods
As laid out in the races No. 1-3 above, we live in an interdependent global economy that is marked by hyper-competition when it comes to access and control of resources and infrastructure. Moreover, the so-called fourth industrial revolution, in which not only people but machines and ‘things’ are connected 24/7, combined with new technical possibilities such as robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, causes entire business models to disrupt from one day to another. This, in turn, may weaken or strengthen entire economies and thus states. Such an environment makes sustainable and most of all flexible and agile business models and management methods ever more vital to surviving. Start-up businesses have shown established corporates all over the globe how to be prepared and how to be adaptable enough to compete in the ever-faster business world. Keywords are design thinking, agile management, new work and corporate/start-up collaboration such as via accelerators or incubators. These methods and models have also gained a foothold in state administrations and may be of help to keep up in the race for global resource leadership.
The event takes place in the framework of the UACES Collaborative Research Network on EU-China Relations (ESSCA School of Management at Angers / College of Europe at Bruges). The event is generously supported by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Regional Project Energy Security and Climate Change Asia-Pacific (RECAP), based in Hong Kong SAR.
We invite applications by both senior and junior scholars, researchers, graduate students, practitioners and representatives of the private sector and the civil society of all nationalities to send us their paper proposals or case studies on the following themes:
Race No. 1: Political economy, industrial policy and infrastructure
Race No. 2: Energy resources
Race No. 3: Circular economy and materials
Race No. 4: Business models and management methods
Proposals should not exceed 400 words. Deadline for submission is Sun, 2 February 2020. Accepted panellists will be informed on a rolling admissions basis. The full-fledged papers of 5000-8000 words or case studies will be expected by Sun, 3 April 2020.
Participants are expected to cover their travel expenses to Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Expenses on accommodation and board at the Workshop will be fully covered. Senior participants receive individual hotel accommodation. Junior participants receive hotel accommodation in pairs of two.
For the papers submission, click below