Research & Innovation

Stevens leads LMDE: Leading and Managing in the Digital Era Conference

School of Business goes international with the five-day event in Greece. 

When the Stevens School of Business says it strives to be a worldwide leader in transforming business education, the LMDE 2023: Leading and Managing in the Digital Era conference is exactly what it means.   

Collaborating with Athens University of Economics and Business, the top business school in Greece, and the Bodossaki Foundation, a public benefit organization whose vision includes equal opportunity for all, SSB hosted more than 200 participants from five continents for a jam-packed conference in Athens, followed by a research colloquium and doctoral consortium in Syros, Greece.  

The conference program brought together academic and business leaders from around the world for conversations about the future of work and business education, organizational transformation and how to better prepare the next generation of innovators in the digital economy.  

Led by conference co-chairs Gregory Prastacos, SSB Dean, and Dimitris Bourantonis, Rector of AUEB, and also by program committee chair, Nancy Pouloudi, AUEB Professor and President-Elect of the Association of Information Systems, the inaugural LMDE conference was a triumphant achievement. Participant reviews included, “best conference ever,” and 80% of the attendees rated it as “extremely successful.” 

“Along with several of our outstanding faculty, I was proud to represent the Stevens School of Business,” Prastacos said. “We addressed several very important topics around digital technologies, leadership and business education. Having both practitioners and academics come together to address complex problems was what made this such a unique experience, and the response from both sides was amazing.” 

The conference was built using four central pillars—Leadership & Governance in the Digital Age, the Future of Work, Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Digital Age and the Future(s) of Business Schools in the Digital Age.   The two days in Athens featured more than 80 presentations and panel discussions on topics including:  

  • Digital Savviness and Upskilling 

  • Technology and Social Welfare in the Digital Era 

  • Remote Work and Work-Life Balance 

  • Broadening and Deepening DEI Research 

  • Organizational transformation and Innovation 

  • Microfoundations of High-Performing Workforce 

  • Broadening and Deepening DEI Research 

  • Manufacturing and Digital Twins 

  • HR Challenges in the Digital Era 

  • Public Policy Issues in the Digital Era 

  • Digital Technology as a Marketing Game-Changer 

  • Generative AI: Disrupting Knowledge Creation and Learning 

  • Leading Change in Business Schools 

  • Sustainable Business and the Future of Business Education 

  • Challenges and Opportunities for Management Research in the Digital Era 

  • Educating Marketers for the Digital Era 

  • Curricular Innovations in Business Schools, and more. 

 Additionally, a series of keynote addresses gave business and academic leaders the opportunity to share their expertise and experience in DEI work, using new technology for environmentally sustainable business, how business schools must adapt to the changing students, remaining relevant during rapid change, navigating disruption in learning platforms, and transforming people and organizations.  “I think the conference was particularly important and unique,” said Chihoon Lee, an associate professor and associate dean of the graduate division at Stevens. “It was important to hear from the industry panels about how digital technology has transformed their work and business environment and related academic and government projects. Such studies could be infused into the business education in developing leaders in digital era.”  

A boat ride to the beautiful island of Syros kicked off a 2.5-day research colloquium and doctoral consortium where more than 40 research papers and doctoral theses were presented, and faculty and doctoral students had the opportunity to further network. Topics included: Optimization and Machine Learning AI and Digital Twins, Innovation in the Digital Era, AI, the Human and the Future of Work, Entrepreneurship and Tech Transfer, and more. 

The conference wasn’t all work and no play. A rich social and cultural component offered new networking opportunities and strengthened existing partnerships. Featured events included a formal dinner overlooking the Parthenon, visits to the Acropolis, the Plaka and the Acropolis Museum, a unique show at the Herodes Atticus theater, a visit to Syros’ Ergostasio, and a performance by the Syros En Hordais Syros conservatory. 

“Carefully balancing work with a well-designed social and cultural program was a key component that made this such a successful conference,” Prastacos said. “There are way too many people to thank individually, but I want to express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to everyone who had a hand in organizing and executing the conference. We can’t wait for LMDE 2.0!” 

The 2023 LMDE conference is the latest example of Stevens’ leadership at the intersection of business and technology, including co-founding the Center for Research toward Advancing Financial Technology (CRAFT), the first National Science Foundation-funded research center focused on the financial industry, coordinating Management Curriculum for the Digital Era (MaCuDE), a transformational effort by some of the world’s top business schools and co-chairing the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business Digital Transformation Affinity Group.  

What They’re Saying about LMDE 2023 

Vincenzo Capizzi, Unversita del Piemonte Orientale Professor  

“Congrats, dear Gregory! You put on a dramatic effort in arranging a truly inspiring conference! The discussions taking place in Athens and Syros will strongly contribute to reshape the business model of business schools allowing them to face the current challenges deriving from the digital revolution!” 

Peter Dominick, Stevens School of Business Teaching Professor 

“I especially appreciated that the conference brought together thought leaders from academia and professional practice. The views and experiences of practitioners helped to reinforce why, as academics, it is so essential for us to keep digitalization front and center in our efforts to develop meaningful curricula and related experiences. At the same time, I was inspired by the breadth of scholarly perspectives. The research presented drew from varied fields like computer science, information systems, human resources, sociology, economics, and psychology. Together these varied perspectives provided me with thought-provoking insights into the ever-evolving nature of work in the digital era.” 

Theodore Evgeniou, INSEAD Professor and and Director of the INSEAD Executive Education program on Transforming your Business with AI 

"As technologies such as AI redefine the way we learn and innovate, it is important to have venues like LMDE that bring together people from diverse backgrounds and across academia, industry and policy to exchange ideas and learn from each other. Challenges and opportunities require horizontal and vertical thinking across multiple areas and communities. This was a wonderful conference that was extremely well organized and provided an opportunity to create new relations. Looking forward to the next one!” 

Kalle Lyytinen, Weatherford School of Management at Case Western Reserve Professor

"The conference was a great interdisciplinary experience and gathering to discuss issues that relate to digitalization and business. I learned a lot of common challenges across disciplines and schools and how they are responding to the challenges, and I also made new connections and sustained some old ones. Great experience overall."

Dr. Helmut Krcmar, Technische Universität München Professor

"Leading and managing in the digital era is different than leading and managing in the past. The LMDE Conference provided insightful discussions about these topics, not just from analysis of the “as-is,” but more so by providing possible paths for the futures to come. The discussions where on a leadership level of internationally renowned business schools and forward-looking practioners of high caliber. The venue was great and facilitated interactions and helped us to get to know each other. If I was to share one insight: please let us have these exchanges again."

Ann Murphy, Stevens School of Business Associate Professor 

“Stevens, and the School of Business in particular, has a distinctive competence in understanding technology and how it can be leveraged for the benefit of not just industry but society. The conference gave me an opportunity to present my research and interact with exceptional scholars from 5 continents. I learned a lot and returned to Stevens even more motivated to tackle the challenging but important problems we discussed.” 

Klas Eric Soderquist, Athens University of Economics and Business Professor and Director, MBA International Program 

“A great conference with the timeliest topics bridging academia and business and setting directions for the future of business education. Congratulations and thanks to initiator, co-chair and Stevens Business School Dean Professor Gregory Prastacos, co-chair and AUEB Rector Professor Dimitris Bourantonis and program co-chair, Professor Nancy Pouloudi!” 

Michael Tsiros, University of Miami Professor and Director, Marketing Lab 

“The inaugural LMDE conference in Athens and Syros was a boutique conference providing a unique opportunity to scholars and practitioners around the world across various disciplines to meet and discuss the future of work and business education in the digital era. The small size of the conference provided a unique opportunity to interact and engage with various participants, and the venues were exceptional.” 

Stavros Zenios, University of Cyprus and The Wharton Financial Institutions Center Professor 

“A truly enriching and relaxing event put together by Gregory Prastacos and his remarkable international network to reflect on many current challenges in business education and research. Looking forward to LMDE 2.0!”