Central Asia is forging a new role in the world, one that is necessarily simultaneously global and local, and one that requires coupling an identity carved out of tradition with a sustainable, globally-oriented economy. Sustainable pathways require coupling an identity carved out of tradition with an outlook toward the modern aspects of emerging futures. The route to such complex challenge lies through the branding identity of the historical heritage and promotion of new city brands.

How can cities successfully balance global and local dynamics in crafting a brand and fostering a creative and forward-looking society? Through the Forum’s three sessions, keynote speakers, and panelists, we will explore the critical challenges of generating a brand for cities that find themselves in the midst of a global technological revolution, shifting identities at home, and a world facing environmental challenges. In order to build truly sustainable economies, cities must actively and purposefully imagine preferred futures that engage the global within the context of local aspirations and values. Cities must envision and enact an identity that serves to inspire while crafting a global brand in order to create an innovative and sustainable society. How Central Asian cities navigate the challenges of branding, shifting identities, and accelerating technology will dictate their relevance and relation to the world, as well as their ability to inspire, innovate, and sustain their economic and cultural vitality.

Friday, April 19 - 9 am - 7:30 pm


9 - 9:15 am

Forum Opening and Introduction (Dr. Gregory Dunn, Dean of Narxoz Business School)

9:15 - 9:35 am

Keynote Speech: Dr. Sarah Chan, L’Oreal Business Development Manager (SEA-ANZ)

Topic: “Open Innovation in Singapore and Engagement with the Ecosystem.”

9:35 - 9:45 am

Q & A

9:45 - 10 am

Coffee Break

Session I: Sustainable Futures: Critical Challenges and Uncommon Opportunities

10 - 10:20 am

Session Keynote: Dr. Anjan Ghosh, IIEST

Topic: “What’s So Social in Social Enterprises – A Reflection”

10:20 - 10:35 am

Dr. John Sweeney, Narxoz Business School

Topic: “Radically Sustainable: Futures beyond Resilience and Adaptation”

10:35 - 11:05 am

Panel Discussion: Dr. Sarah Chan, Dr. John Sweeney, Matt Guenther, Dr. Mohammadali Ghahfarokhi, Dr. Anjan Ghosh

Panel Moderator: Dr. Jayarethanam Pillai, Dean of AUCA School of Entrepreneurship & Business Administration

11:05 - 11:15 am

Q & A

11:15 - 11:45 am

Coffee Break and Networking

Session II: Powering Innovation: Smart Cities, Energy, and Technological Innovation

11:45 - 12 pm

Session Keynote: Dr. Mirco Milletari, Data and Machine Learning Scientist at Microsoft

Topic: “Empowering the Cities of the Future with AI:  Opportunities and Challenges”

12:00 - 12:30 pm

Panelists: Dr. Rakesh Sengupta, Dr. Morena Skalamera, Dr. Mirco Milletari, Zulfiya Abdukhalikova


Panel Moderator: Dr. Gregory Dunn, Narxoz Business School

12:30 - 1:30 pm

Lunch Break

Session III: Situating the New: Tourism, City Branding, and Shifting Identities

1.30 - 2.00 pm

Session Keynote: Dr. Rob Davidson, MICE Knowledge

Topic: “The Role of Business Events in City Development”

2 - 2:15 pm

Lina Ostapchuk, Lviv Tourism Office

Topic: “Congress Ambassadors: Success Story of Lviv”

2:15 - 2:30 pm

Dr. Slawomir Jan Wroblewski, Narxoz Business School

Topic: “Ten Steps to Develop Business Tourism in Almaty: Dream or Reality?”

2:30 - 2:45 pm

Coffee Break

2:45 - 3 pm

Oksana Serebrennikova, BCD Travel

Topic: “How to Work Successfully with Foreign and Domestic Corporate Clients for Travel and Events”

3 - 3.15 pm

Aleksey Yanshin, Sabre Kazakhstan

Topic: “The Digital Business Traveler”

3:15 - 3.30 pm

Dr. Brian Evans McConnell, Florida Atlantic University

Topic: “‘BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!’ – Tourism for Study Abroad and Experiential Learning”

3.30 - 3:40 pm

Dmitriy Tin, Center Smart Tourism

Topic: “Really! Almaty is a smart city for tourists”

3.40 - 3:55 pm

Q & A with Presenters

Optional Research Workshop for Faculty and Students (Separate Registration Required)

4 - 6 pm

Research Workshop and Roundtable Presentations (discussion led by Stephanie Yesmukanova and Dr. Morena Skalamera)

6 - 7.30 pm

Dinner for Nominees, Presenters and Invited Participants



Dr. Anjan Ghosh

Assistant Professor of Strategic Management IIEST

Dr. Sarah Chan

L’Oreal Business Development Manager

Dr. Mirco Milletari

Data and Machine Learning Scientist at Microsoft
Yanshin Aleksey

Alexey Yanshin

country manager of Sabre Kazakhstan

Dr. John Sweeney

Assistant Professor, Narxoz University, Director, QRIFS
Oksana Serebrennikova

Oksana Serebrennikova

General Director and owner of BCD Travel

Dr. Rob Davidson

Managing Director of MICE Knowledge

Lina Ostapchuk

Head of Lviv Tourism Office

Dr. Rakesh Sengupta

PhD, cognitive scientist specializing in vision, attention, and working memory
Morena pic_MS

Dr. Morena Skalamera

Assistant Professor of Russian and International Studies at Leiden University

Dr. Mohammadali Baradaran ghahfarokhi

PhD of foresight and futures studies

Matthew Guenther

Senior Environmental Sustainability Manager for TAL Apparel

Dr. Jayarethanam Pillai

AUCA School of Entrepreneurship and Business Administration Dean and Associate Professor
Brian E. McConnell_Photo

Dr. Brian E. McConnell

Professor of Art History & Classical Archaeology at Florida Atlantic University

Our Partners

To register or for more information, please contact us nbs@narxoz.kz