IBA-SBS 3rd International Conference 2024

‘Innovation and Disruption: Business Success Through AI’ – IBA-SBS 3rd International Conference 2024

“In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, innovation and disruption are not just buzzwords. They are imperative for survival and growth.”

Dr. Tariq Rafi, Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC), Sindh

Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) School of Business Studies (SBS), Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi, organized IBA-SBS 3rd International Conference 2024 on ‘Innovation and Disruption: Business Success Through AI’ at Main Campus, IBA. Esteemed national and international academicians, researchers, practitioners, students and speakers participated in the conference.

Executive Director, IBA Karachi, Dr. S Akbar Zaidi, warmly welcomed the attendees to a dynamic conference featuring presentations and discussions on AI in business, innovation, and entrepreneurship. In his opening remarks, he stated, “The presence of artificial intelligence is causing major interference, disruption in how we think about life and the School of Business Studies is particularly impacted by such interferences and innovations.” This makes it pivotal to hold such conferences addressing the evolving challenges and opportunities presented by AI. Furthermore, Dr. Zaidi recognized the SBS for hosting its 3rd international conference on the pertinent topic of AI, emphasizing that we are behind the curve in Pakistan on this front and therefore need to catch up and adapt as faculty.

Welcome remarks were given by Dean SBS and Conference Chair, Dr. Abdullah Zafar Sheikh, who shed light on the potential of AI to drive business success. Dr. Sheikh stated, “We are living in an era which is nearly impossible without artificial intelligence. Universities are key actors in the development of digital culture and business schools take center stage when it comes to such discussions and dialogues.” He further emphasized that “The goal of business school is to ensure that our curriculum and pedagogy is sufficiently technology infused and how we can leverage from artificial intelligence and digital transformation.”

Associate Professor SBS and Conference Convener, Dr. Irum Saba, delivered the introductory remarks, emphasizing the uniqueness of IBA’s SBS International Conference in bringing together academic scholars from Pakistan and around the world, along with industry practitioners. She added that this third conference received 130 research papers (from around the world), articles, and case studies submissions. More than 15 universities of Pakistan participated in the conference and the IBA is delighted to provide this platform for intellectual discourse on AI and its nuances.

Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC), Sindh and Guest of Honor, Dr. Tariq Rafi, commended IBA for organizing the conference on such a relevant topic. He shared his thoughts on how artificial intelligence can be applied in education. He stated, “Through strategic partnership with industry leaders, development agencies, and international organizations, we are working to bridge the gap between the academia and the industry.”

He added that by bringing together leaders, practitioners, policy makers from around the world, we can collectively explore the possibilities, challenges, and ethical complications of AI-driven innovations and disruptions.

Federal Minister, Maritime Affairs, Pakistan and Chief Guest, Mr. Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, highlighted the importance of AI in modernizing industries and improving operational efficiencies. He stated, “Today’s topic of Artificial Intelligence is of great importance. Businesses in Pakistan, many of which are family-run, have not taken advantage of the innovations of AI.” He emphasized the significance of AI, as it offers immense opportunities for our youth and can propel our country towards greater economic achievements.

Keynote speakers at the conference included Professor of Leadership & Management for Healthcare and Director of Global Business School for Health, University College London (UCL), Dr. Nora Colton; Department Chair of DAN Management, Western University, Canada, Dr. Geoffery Wood; and Associate Professor of Finance, Montpellier Business School, France, and Poznam University of Economics and Business, Poland, Dr. Adam Zaremba.

Dr. Colton in her keynote address stated, “Universal healthcare is impossible to achieve in our current model without innovation. And that’s where innovation and AI come in. Health needs cannot be left unaddressed.” She emphasized the critical role of AI and innovation in transforming global healthcare. She also highlighted challenges like workforce shortages, rising costs, and the impacts of pandemics and climate change. Using UCL as a case study, she stressed the importance of systemic technology adoption to improve healthcare efficiency and productivity.

Dr. Wood focused on several critical aspects of AI and its implications, focusing on five components: significant events, calibrating intelligence, the double-edged sword of technology, AI and its associated hype, and an overview of AI’s workings, including a detailed exploration of how AI works, along with the questions and challenges it raises. He emphasized the challenges of integrating AI with humanity, noting that while technology offers substantial benefits, it can also have unforeseen consequences. Additionally, Dr. Wood addressed the ethical responsibilities involved in the development and application of AI, urging a more profound consideration of these factors.

Multiple panel discussions, keynote addresses, and parallel technical sessions took place on both days of the conference, delving into the intricacies of AI, innovation, and business disruption.