OBIC Conference 2021

"Megatrends in Asia": Digitalization
Security and Foreign Policy Implications

The OBIC Conference 2020, which was postponed, will be held online on the 6-7th of May 2021.

Welcome to the 2021 OBIC conference webpage!

After having to postpone the OBIC Conference 2020, the OBIC organizes its annual international conference in 2021 online, through live-stream with real-time presence. For the virtual event, presentations shall be recorded in advance, meanwhile panel discussions will require real-time participation in order to facilitate scholarly discussion and debate. 

As we promised, the papers that were approved last year will be accepted for this year's conference too, however, there is the possibility to update your abstracts and full papers if needed. 

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:

  • Digitalization
  • Demographics
  • Economic interconnectedness
  • Economic power shift
  • Climate change
  • Urbanization
  • Migration


Alexei D. Voskressenski

Professor Dr.Pol.Sc., Ph.D. (Victoria University of Manchester), PhD (Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Moscow), directs a Center of Comprehensive Chinese Studies and Regional Projects (MGIMO University). He joined MGIMO in 1999 as head of the Department of Asian and African Studies (1999-2007) after many years of work for the Russian Academy of Sciences, was Dean, College of Political Affairs and World Politics and School of Political Science (2008-2017), and is professor of Asian Studies, IR and Comparative Politics at the School of International Relations (MGIMO) from 1999. He is founding editor-in-chiefof the internationally indexed peer-reviewed journal "Comparative Politics Russia" (www.comparative, member of the Civic Council, Ministry for the Development of Far East, and vice-chairman of the Steering Committee, Russian Association of Chinese Studies. Professor Voskressenski is an author, co-author, joint-author and editor of 50+ books (the most recent are The Regional World Order, Non-Western International Relation Theories, and Is Non-Western Democracy Possible?) published in Russia, the USA, GB, EU, Singapore, China and around 450+ book chapters, academic articles, essays, reviews and other professional writings of various kind published in many countries. He regularly appears on TV commenting on international politics.

John E. Endicott (TBC)

Endicott serves as Vice Chancellor of the Solbridge International School of Business and President of Woosong University. Previously, he served as a Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech and director of the school's Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy. Endicott has written or co-written five books on foreign policy and security issues: Japan's Nuclear Option (1975); American Defense Policy (1977); The Politics of East Asia (1978); Regional Security Issues (1991) and U.S. Foreign Policy: History, Process, and Policy (2005). Serving in the military, he acted as the Deputy Air Force Representative to the Military Staff Committee of the United Nations, was Associate Dean of the National War College, and Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies of Washington, D.C. In 2008 he was awarded the title, Professor Emeritus, and in 2010, Honorary Doctorate from the University of Toulouse.