The plenary session focused on the current debate among academics and practitioners about humanitarian operations and the challenges faced by the Ibero-American countries, organizations and supply chains that want to comply with the best practices in the field. Besiou’s presentation underscored the relevance of the academic research on humanitarian logistics by highlighting examples from her work with humanitarian organizations in Africa and Asia.
From a multi-disciplinary and cross-functional approach, the panel discussed the resolution of problems and exploitation of opportunities within humanitarian operations. Humanitarian operations are receiving more and more attention in the wake of events like Katrina, the tsunami in Asia, constant flooding in Latin America and Asia, and endemic poverty in Africa. The challenge is to use operations management to manage humanitarian systems for the quick alleviation of human suffering after natural or man-made disasters. At the same time, operations management can strengthen sustainable conditions to promote long-term development.
A world in transition – business, multiculturalism and society were the topics proposed by the the 8th Iberoamerican Academy Conference. In a complex and dynamic global environment, both academics and practitioners must deal with dramatic changes in the areas of economics, geopolitics, society and culture. Latin America faces different challenges within this scenario, including: how to integrate dissimilar cultures in the region, and how to promote an inclusive environment and cope with inequalities and politics. The region presents high levels of developement, and extreme poverty as well. Despite idiosyncrasies among nations, they face similar challenges related to education and productivity in public and private organizations that defy managers on a daily basis.