Keynote Speakers 2024 (in alphabetical order)

The Fashion for AI

David Crowther, University of Bedfordshire, UK; Shahla Seifi, Social Responsibility Research Network

Short bio: David Crowther is expert in various fields: he is a specialist in business administration, a games theoretician and a psychologist while also a qualified accountant who had worked as an accountant, systems specialist and general manager in local government, industry and commerce for over 20 years. After a number of years in the financial services sector, including a spell as divisional managing director of a multinational during which he set up and ran a credit card scheme, he decided to leave the business world and become an academic. In 1994 he joined Aston University and there obtained a PhD in 1999 for research into corporate social performance. In 2001 he became the first Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility in the world. He now holds various positions as Professor as well as being visiting professor in various institutions. He gives advice as Chief Research Fellow at the Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics and has consulted extensively around the world.  At Ansted University he is also a member of the Board and President of the Sustainability Research Institute. He has consulted widely including to US Presidential candidates, UN, EU & governments. David has published more than 500 articles in academic, business and professional journals and  edited book collections and over 60 books. He has also spoken widely at conferences and seminars worldwide and acted as a consultant to a wide range of government, professional and commercial organisations, including to US presidential candidates. In 2002 he founded Social Responsibility Journal and established the Social Responsibility Research Network, an international body which now has several thousand members, together with associated international conference series, journals and books series. In 2010 he established the Organisation Governance Network and conference series.  He is listed in Who’s Who in the World and various other directories. His research is into sustainability, governance and corporate social responsibility with a particular emphasis on the relationship between sustainability and social, environmental and financial performance. He can be contacted at or

Short bio: Shahla is an engineer by background and worked for over 20 years in the National Standards Institute of Iran. There she was responsible for assessing products, developing national standards and international affairs as well as sitting on the National Steering Committee developing ISO 26000. She has developed more than 200 national standards related to topics such as energy efficiency and labelling, acoustics, renewable energy etc.. In 2013 she relocated to the UK where she is now based. She is both a British and an Iranian citizen, and continues to publish within her area of sustainability. She currently researches, writes and runs the Social Responsibility Research Network while also acting as consultant, editor, guest lecturer and keynote speaker. In 2021 she founded and is currently editor of the journal Technological Sustainability (TechS), published by Emerald. Shahla has taught extensively – both to students and to managers – and translated much material into Farsi. As a qualified physical fitness trainer, she led courses in Tehran for a number of years. She is a member of the editorial boards of several journals and book series around the world, and consults and speaks in various locations. She has published more than 20 books in English; she has published over 50 articles in English as well as numerous articles in Farsi. Recent work includes during 2023 the publication of 6 edited books, the publication of various papers, speaking engagements around the world, the continued development of TechS and numerous ongoing projects. She can be contacted at

A Decomposition Analysis of the Renewable Energy Generation in the EU27

Oana M. Driha, University of Alicante, Spain

Short bio: Oana M. Driha is Associate Professor of Applied Economics in the Faculty of Economics, Business and researcher at the Institute of Tourism Research as well as at the Institute of International Economy within the University of Alicante, Spain. Oana holds an international PhD in economics, a bachelor in International Economic Relations (University of Oradea) and another one in Tourism (University of Alicante).  Her research interests are focused on energy economics, innovation, tourism economics, climate change and economic growth. The results of her research are published in more than 20 papers in well-known international journals like Journal of Cleaner Production, Renewable energy, Resources Policy or Current issues in tourism. She also has vast experience as project manager in the field of energy transition, sustainable development, sustainable tourism and climate change in over 45 countries around the world. Oana has been collaborating with different donors like the European Commission, the European Union Intellectual Property Office, the Spanish and the Philippines Ministry of Higher Education or the National Secretary of Science, Innovation and Technology.

Challenges of higher education in the context of the implementation of the Bologna process

Ovidiu Folcuț, Romanian-American University, Romania

Short bio: Ovidiu Folcuț is 1997 graduate of Romanian-American University, School of Domestic and International Business, Banking and Finance. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics – Bucharest University of Economic Studies. Currently is full professor in the Department of Commerce, European Integration and Business Administration. He published over 75 scientific articles, being director or member of 14th scientific research grants (national or international). He is Member of many professional associations/organizations, as follows: SOREC, IETI, EAIE, NAFSA, AVE. His fields of interest and research cover international business, competitiveness and innovation, ethics in business, education.

Graduates` Employability: An Interdependence Performance Model of Values and Skills

Alba Kruja, Epoka University, Albania; Belita Hysaj, Epoka University, Albania

Short bio: Alba Kruja is an associate professor of entrepreneurship and Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Epoka University. She speaks and teaches internationally on cultivating the entrepreneurial mindset and espousing the positive force of entrepreneurship education as a societal change agent. Her scholarly contributions encompass a range of topics within entrepreneurship, innovation, higher education and business development. Her publications, found in reputable academic journals and conference proceedings, contribute valuable insights to the academic community and industry practitioners alike. In addition to her role as a professor, Alba Kruja actively engages in various projects as a seasoned entrepreneurship expert and mentor. With a keen understanding of the entrepreneurial landscape, she has lent her expertise to impactful initiatives, guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the intricacies of business development.

The Evaluation of Financial Development Impact on Sustainable Development in European Countries

Florian Marcel Nuță, Danubius University from Galati, Romania

Short bio: Florian Marcel Nuţă is a Full Professor Dr. Habil. in Accounting at Danubius University from Galaţi, with over 17 years of teaching and research experience. He is affiliated with the Ştefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Doctoral School of Social and Human Sciences, for research and doctoral supervising activities. Dr. Nuţă holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Insurance and a master’s degree in Accounting from the Dunărea de Jos University of Galaţi. He attended the Doctoral School of Economics and Business Administration at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, defending the Environmental Protection Accounting in the Contemporary Economy thesis in 2009.
In 2011, Dr. Nuţă won a national grant competition to finance a postdoctoral project on a topic related to SME’s corporate social and environmental responsibility. The Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi and the Bucharest University of Economic Studies hosted the project activities, which included a research visit to the University of Messina, Italy, in 2012. Starting in 2014, he has been in charge of research activity management as vice-rector with the Danubius University from Galaţi. In January 2022, Dr. Nuţă defended his habilitation thesis, entitled “Research on Environmental and Social Accounting in the Context of Sustainable Development Objectives and for Ensuring Intergenerational Equity” at the Ştefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Doctoral School of Social and Human Sciences, being afterward affiliated to the same doctoral school. His scientific research is conducted in the following fields: Environmental Accounting, Climate Change Economics, Energy Economics, Urban Environmental Accounting, Carbon Accounting, Green Taxation, and Public Policy. He is involved in numerous editorial initiatives as editor-in-chief, editor, member of the international scientific board, and reviewer for scientific journals and international conferences, conducting more than 500 peer-reviews during his academic career. Dr. Nuţă worked as a reviewer for Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, Energy Efficiency, Resources Policy, Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, Sustainability, Energies, Economic Research, Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Countries, Cogent Business and Management, and other peer-reviewed scientific journals.


Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research Using a Critical Realism Lens

Gabriela Sabau, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Short bio: Gabriela Sabau was born in Romania and emigrated to Canada in 2002. She holds a BA and a PhD in Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania. Before moving to Canada, Gabriela was an Associate Professor of Economics at the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest and a member of an interdisciplinary research network for sustainable reconstruction of Romania chaired by Professor Beniamin Cotigaru. Since 2003, Gabriela taught courses in Economics, Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics, Environmental Studies, Sustainability Assessment and Transdisciplinary Sustainability at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), Grenfell Campus. Between 2008-1018, Gabriela was also a Visiting Professor at the University Center of the Westfjords in Iceland, where she taught a Master’s level course in Economics and Policies of Coastal and Marine Areas. Gabriela retired from teaching in 2022 and has since been Honorary Research Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at MUN, Grenfell Campus, where she continues to supervise graduate students, mostly doctoral students in the Transdisciplinary Sustainability PhD program. She also holds a Canadian federal research grant around assessing the potential for agroecological transition in Newfoundland and Labrador agriculture using a transdisciplinary approach. Gabriela’s research interests are: sustainability; sustainable development fueled by scientific knowledge and value judgements; unjust un-economic growth; demand-side management of water resources; sustainable management of fisheries with a focus on small-scale fisheries; and, sustainable agriculture based on agro-ecological practices. Author of numerous articles, reports, book-chapters and books, Gabriela’s most recent publication is the book Critical Realism and the Objective Value of Sustainability. Philosophical and Ethical Approaches published by Routledge in February 2024. She can be reached at

Holistic Value Addition Framework of Sustainable Development

Gagan Deep Sharma, University School of Management Studies & Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, India

Short bio: Dr. Gagan Deep Sharma currently works as a Professor in Management at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi, India. He holds PhD in Management and Masters in Philosophy and Commerce. He has an academic experience of over eighteen years. He also holds the position of Associate Director, Office of International Affairs of the University. He is the Associate Editor of ‘Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management’, ‘Journal of Public Affairs’, and ‘Corporate Governance’. Dr Sharma is the subject editor for ‘Social Sciences and Humanities Open’. He is the guest editor for ‘Resources Policy’, ‘Venture Capital’, ‘Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy’, ‘Sustainability’, ‘Frontiers in Environmental Science’, ‘Frontiers in Psychology’, ‘Annals of Financial Economics’, World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Sustainable Development’, and ‘International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies’. He holds editorial responsibilities at renowned journals including ‘International Journal of Emerging Markets’, ‘Frontiers in Psychology’, ‘Frontiers in Environmental Sciences’, ‘World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development’, and ‘International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies’. He has visited Japan, Poland, UK, Canada, China, USA, Thailand, Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius, Australia, Belgium, and Germany for academic purposes. Current areas of his research interest include Sustainable & holistic development, Green finance, Neuro finance, and Economics of Happiness. He has been keenly involved in the propagation of ‘Human Values and Professional Ethics’ education across India.

Challenges of the Optimal Taxation

Marius Surugiu, Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy, Romania

Short bio: Marius Surugiu is a senior researcher at the Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania. Holding a Ph.D. in economics, his research portfolio primarily focuses on key elements that significantly impact socio-economic development: foreign trade and tourism as factors, the scarcity of natural resources, and the necessity of environmental protection as constraints, along with taxation as a challenge. His scientific, professional, and academic achievements can be structured along four major directions: exploring the complex interactions between fiscal policy and economic development, addressing challenges of socio-economic development in the context of climate change, examining determinants of intra-industry trade, and investigating the role of tourism in stimulating economic growth.

The Incidence of the Company's Digital Transformation on Human Resource Performance. A Comparative Analysis at EU Level

Valentina Vasile, Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy, Romania; Elena Bunduchi, Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy, Romania; Răzvan Vasile, "Costin C. Kiriţescu" National Institute of Economic Research, Romanian Academy, Romania

Short bio: Valentina Vasile holds a PhD in economics and is full professor and senior researcher. She is the director of the Institute of National Economy- Romanian Academy and is teaching at Nicolae Titulescu University of Bucharest. She is also a PhD advisor. She has a wide experience as researcher in economics, who participated in internal and international interdisciplinary research projects, main topics of research being labour economics, migration, human capital, digital economy and employment, social policies. She has a good international cooperation as coordinator, team member in interdisciplinary research projects financed from European funds, Horizon2020, SEE Program, Black Sea Basin ENI CBC, CEDEFOP, ILO, Eurofound or other sources like projects financed by universities (i.e. Hitotshubashi University – Tokyo, Japan etc.). She published scientific papers and books indexed in Web of Sciences, Scopus and other international database and acts as reviewer for several scientific journals.

Short bio: Elena Bunduchi received her B.S. degree in Finance from the Academy of Economic Studies in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova in 2011. In 2019, she obtained the title of Doctor of Economics at the Institute of National Economy – Romanian Academy. She is currently a lecturer at the University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Sciences and Technology in Târgu-Mures, Romania and a researcher at the Institute of National Economy - Romanian Academy. Her research interests include the impact of international migration and remittances on economic growth, direct investment decision, data analysis and the impact of digitization on economies and societies from a macro and micro economic perspective. Elena Bunduchi was a manager and team member in various international and national projects, editor of two books published by international publishing houses, and author and co-author of numerous international Web of Science publications.

Short bio: Razvan Vasile is a PhD candidate in economics at SCOSAAR and researcher at “Costin C. Kiritescu” National Institute for Economic Research – Romanian Academy. Main topics of research are focused on digital transition, labour market disequilibria, skills mismatch, financial inclusion, energy transition and sustainable development, cultural heritage interpretation, and digitalization and socio-economic evaluation. He has a good international cooperation as team member in interdisciplinary research projects.




Keynote Speakers 2023

Eco-innovation: dynamic capabilities, cooperation and strategic orientation

Jun Li, University of Huddersfield, UK

Short bio: Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at University of Huddersfield, UK. He was previously the Trustee of Institute of Small business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE, UK) and was the President of Chinese Economic Association (UK/Europe) in 2012-2013. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies. His recent research explores entrepreneurship and wellbeing, ageing and entrepreneurship, fintech innovation, eco-innovation, innovation collaboration, etc. His publications include research monographs Financing China’s Rural Enterprises (Routledge, 2002), Incentives for Innovation in China (Routledge, 2015), and papers in leading international journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Regional Studies, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Journal of Business Research, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, among others. He is the Editor-in-Chief at the Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies.

The impact of economic complexity or international tourism and environment

Daniel Balsalobre Lorente, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Short bio: Expertise in public finances, energy economics, economic growth, environment, tourism and innovation processes. He has published numerous papers in International Referred Journals including Energy Economics, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of Cleaner Production, Sustainability, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Resources Policy, Energy policy, Energies, and Journal of Public Affairs, among others. Editor and Reviewer in indexed journals and handbooks, with a high h-index. He is co-chief editor in Evaluation review and editor in several indexed journals. Prof. Balsalobre has been ranked in Standford Ranking and Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers.


Exploiting the powers of the cultural and creative industries to enhance cultural accessibility for audiences with auditory, visual, mobility and intellectual impairments

Dorothea Papathanasiou-Zuhrt, Open University of Cyprus, Cyprus

Short bio: Dorothea Papathanasiou-Zuhrt studied Classics and Germanistics at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens and History and Ethnology at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany, where she also obtained an M.A. degree in Linguistics. She has obtained her M.Sc. degree in Planning, Management and Policy of Tourism and her Ph.D. degree in Heritage Management at the University of the Aegean in Greece. She is proficient in English, German, French, Italian, Russian and have basic knowledge of Turkish. In the last 20 years she has completed 60 EU funded research projects with a total value of 19.496.302,51 EUR, including 58 museum applications, trails, guides, games, and digital apps and 21 training programs in HED and VET. She is active in the tertiary education at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the post-graduate study program “Cultural Policy and Development”, Open University of Cyprus and at the graduate study program at the “Department of Tourism Economics and Management”, University of the Aegean in Greece. In the last 20 years she has researched in the domains heritage and tourism with over 250 publications.


A new mathematical tool for investigating economic models involving time fractal via Abu-Shady—Kaabar Fractional Calculus

Mohammed K. A. Kaabar, University Malaya, Malaysia

Short bio: Mohammed K A Kaabar received all his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mathematics from Washington State University (WSU), Pullman, WA, USA. Kaabar has a global diverse experience in teaching and has worked as adjunct math Professor, math lab instructor, and lecturer at various US institutions such as Moreno Valley College, Washington State University, and Colorado Early Colleges. He authored two math textbooks, and he is an invited referee for more than 200 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) international conferences all over the world. He served as an editor for the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Graduate Student Blog, and he is also a full editor for an educational program (Mathematics Section) at California State University, Long Beach, CA, USA. He is an approved member of Science and Democracy Network (SDN) which is a part of the Science, Technology, and Society program at Harvard Kennedy School. Kaabar is also currently serving as an editor for 17 international scientific journals in applied mathematics and engineering. He is also a member of the expert editorial advisory board for the Big Data and Advanced Wireless Technologies Springer Book Series. His research interests are fractional calculus, applied mathematics, mathematical physics, and math education.


Teaching economic development through projects: Catching up with European qualification framework and sustainable development goals

Eglantina Hysa, Epoka University, Albania

Short bio: As a seasoned senior lecturer and experienced economics researcher, Professor Eglantina Hysa has been actively contributing to the field of higher education for over fifteen years. Her body of work includes numerous scholarly publications, such as book chapters and technical reports, that have been featured in esteemed international journals and publishing houses like the Journal of Applied Economics, Cogent Economics and Finance, and Routledge. In addition to her research endeavors, she has been an integral part of various EU projects, providing her expertise as a Bologna System expert for higher education. Furthermore, she has been serving as an expert evaluator in prestigious programs such as Horizon 2020/Europe and Erasmus+, while also being an International Expert in several European Accreditation Agencies for Higher Education.


Entrepreneurship in emerging markets. The shift of financing paradigm in the context of increasing post-crisis resilience

Gabriela Prelipcean, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania

Short bio: A professor and PhD coordinator with a wide experience as researcher, Fulbright Alumna and member of prestigious professional associations. She has received numerous fellowships, awards and grants as project manager and coordinated large teams and complex national and European projects.


Mircea Boscoianu, Transilvania University of Brasov

Short bio: Full Professor at Transilvania University of Brasov, PhD Advisor, and Senior Researcher at National Institute for Aerospace Research "Elie Carafoli". He has experience in the management of complex socio-technical systems, in the management of higher education, and in the management of R&D projects with multiple teams (project manager). He is an author of books and scientific articles.


Building resilience of the national economy in the context of overlapping crises - the main challenge for economic growth. A comparative analysis of the EU member states.

Valentina Vasile, Marius-Razvan Surugiu, Raluca Mazilescu – Institute of National Economy, Romania

Short bio: senior researchers, Center for Sustainable Development of the Institute of National Economy