The SMS 41st Annual Conference was held virtually on September 18-21, 2021 after the SMS Board of Directors voted to hold the conference online instead of through a traditional in-person meeting in Toronto due to health and safety concerns and the travel and event restrictions imposed by the Canadian government related to the coronavirus pandemic. The conference had a record 1,477 conference registrants.
The theme “Imagination and Inspiration: Creating Strategy Breakthroughs in a Discordant World,” developed by Program Chairs Mary Crossan, Will Mitchell, Joanne Oxley, and George Stalk, received 1,208 proposal submissions. The conference Competitive Program featured 167 Paper and 15 Panel sessions. Additionally, the Interest Groups and Communities hosted 12 Workshops and 35 topical IG&C Sessions. All six Plenary sessions featured speakers from academic, business, and consulting backgrounds, including a fireside chat with the CEOs of CIBC and African Capital Alliance, a panel on Movement of People & Ideas in a Globalized Workforce with executives from Microsoft, Corel Corporation, and IBM, and a conversation on Business Strategies in the Face of Climate Change with leaders from Four Seasons, Alectra Green Energy & Technology Centre, and Pembina Institute. Click here to learn more about the conference program.
The program also included several networking opportunities. These included a Trivia Night event hosted by Toronto’s own Secret City Adventures, Academic-Practitioner Roundtables, the 3rd Annual Women’s Networking Social, and Research “Elevator Pitch” Speed Networking events. A meet-and-greet for new members and first-time attendees hosted by the SMS Ombudsperson was also held in conjunction with the conference.
In addition to live conference sessions, the conference platform featured dedicated Awards & Honors pages, where the nominees for the Best Conference Paper Prize, Best Conference PhD Paper Prize, and the Research Methods Paper Prize were highlighted, as were the SMS Awards and the journals’ Paper Prize winners. These pages included video abstracts for the nominated Paper Prize papers or recorded acceptance speeches for the SMS Awards. Click here for details on the 2021 Award Recipients. The SRF Dissertation Scholars likewise had dedicated virtual "booths" where visitors could watch video presentations recorded by the SRF Scholars.