2015 Conference San Juan, Puerto Rico
BALAS 2015 Annual Conference, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was a memorable conference in every sense of the word. Its special topic was Entrepreneurship in a Diverse World of Global Initiatives. Academics from thirteen countries attended BALAS 2015: the diversity and possibilities of networking were outstanding. A total of 156 papers were submitted, of which 84 were accepted. As always, the rigorous process of blind review assured the highest standards of acceptance of papers presented in BALAS annual conferences. This year's acceptance rate was 53.8%.
BALAS 2015 was a bittersweet moment for all of us who knew Luis Sanz. Luis would have stepped down as President of BALAS, and pass on the baton to Xavier Mendoza. Luis passed away on Saturday, March 20, just a few days before the launching of the conference. Luis was a living example of that feeling of joie de vivre, his cheerful enjoyment of life was a celebration of the spirit. We know he would have wanted BALAS 2015 to go on with all its program, and that is exactly what happened. We all missed Luis dearly during the Conference. However, we know in our hearts, that he was with us all along the way.
BALAS 2015 Annual Conference was a tribute to Luis Sanz. The opening plenary session featured its keynote speaker, the notable Saskia Sassen, the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology of Columbia University, and Co-Chair Committee on Global Thought and Columbia University. Her presentation introduced her most recent work, Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy. Soaring income inequality and unemployment, expanding populations of the displaced and imprisoned, accelerating destruction of land and water bodies: today's socioeconomic and environmental dislocations, were some of the very complex and controversial assertions and critiques made by Sassen. Several panels were organized as part of the program: innovation, family business succession, healthcare management, entrepreneurship and agribusiness. The themes were well chosen, the panelists did an outstanding job in sharing their wealth of experience and wisdom.
The City of San Juan, Capital city of Puerto Rico, designated Ibero-American Cultural Capital 2014, award given by the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities welcomed BALAS 2015 guests with its best traditions of music, culture, gastronomy, and hospitality. The Edificio de la Real Intendencia, and The Museo de Arte e Historia de San Juan were the settings for the official social and cultural events.
We would like to thank the following sponsors whose financial contribution was invaluable for the conference: CFA Institute, the Office of the Secretary of State of Puerto Rico, the Museo de Arte e Historia de San Juan, the Municipality of San Juan, Euromonitor.