OBIC Conference 2020

"Megatrends in Asia": Digitalization

Security and Foreign Policy Implications


May 4-5, 2020 - 
postponed to May 2021

Budapest, Hungary


Made apparent by the recently increasing spread of the COVID-19 virus in Europe including Hungary, the situation is so dynamic that each day brings a new turn of events. 
Unfortunately it has become clear that we have to take the very difficult decision to postpone the OBIC International Conference to 2021.

This decision has not been an easy one to make, as many of you were looking forward to attend the conference, as were we. However, the Hungarian government ordered a state of emergency in order to curb the spread of the virus in time and serious travel restrictions were put in place (from today on Hungarian borders are closed for foreign citizens). You may already be aware from the news that universities around Europe are closed and governments are taking every necessary measure to contain the epidemic, which sadly involve cancelling coming events and conferences.

Our preparations have been underway and we were very much looking forward to welcoming everyone to Budapest, for all that we are planning to reschedule the conference to next year May with the same program if possible - but further information will be provided in time.

There are indeed challenging times, but we are confident that the goals and values of the conference will remain.
Thank you for your understanding.
Take care of yourselves and one another.




conference website.

Topic of the Conference

The term megatrend was coined by John Naisbitt in 1982. Back then he defined ten global megatrends that he viewed as important, seemingly unstoppable long-term shifts in the progress of societies. The goal of the OBIC conference is to discuss key, long-term challenges-megatrends-of the Asian region, with a special focus on digitalization in countries' security and foreign policies.

In recent years, Asian societies have been confronted by the rise of China transforming the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in economy- and security-related areas. At the same time, India and Indonesia are also rising economic powers that are substantially changing the shape of Asian economic power relations. The rapid growth of markets in the region has become more and more important as an element of global growth, however, challenges such as migration, urbanization, severe environmental problems (the climate challenge, air pollution, etc.) must be dealt with too. Over the course of the last decade, these tensions have often turned into local political disputes (i.e. in the South China Sea) and new initiatives (such as the Belt and Road Initiative) have come under fire and have also been fiercely debated in some countries too.

One of the megatrends, to which special attention ought to be paid at the conference, is digitalization and its significance in countries' security and foreign policies. Recent technological developments have allowed observers to realize that a new wave of the technology revolution is about to transform the global economy and politics as well. Digitalization, 5G networks, the Internet of things, artificial intelligence, and their profound impact are already here, however the way we are doing business, implementing our economic policies, and pursuing foreign policies is about to change more significantly than we could ever have imagined.

Topics and panel themes:

  1. Digitalization
  2. Demographics
  3. Economic interconnectedness
  4. Economic power shift
  5. Climate change
  6. Urbanization
  7. Migration