Keynote Addresses



 Jason Jixuan Hu

Jason Jixuan Hu, Ph.D. 
Wenjun Du, M.S. 

Dr. Jason Jixuan Hu earned his Ph.D. in Management and Organization from George Washington University in 1995. The primary focus of his study was Cybernetics and System Theory with a supporting field of Philosophy of Social Systems. His interdisciplinary research spread from cross-cultural communication, system thinking and cybernetics, system intervention in organizational behavior, organizational change and development, learning organizations, international relations and evolution of civilizations. He has traveled, presented, and worked in more than 30 countries and has studied all major religions. He is a lifetime member of American Society for Cybernetics as well as a member of Arizona Interfaith Movement. His career path has covered the territories of academic research, university teaching, corporate training and consulting, entrepreneurship, business development, and education management. He lives in Phoenix Arizona as an Independent Researcher. 
His CV is at and a short introduction is at 

Improving Organizational Effectiveness and Efficiency Through Systemic Roundtable-Leadership and Participatory-Management in Tourist (or Any) Industry – Introducing A Multi-Methodologies Training Curriculum for both Service and Production Sectors

The core of the new paradigm “Second Order Science,” i.e. systemic inclusion of the role of observer/participator in any human system being studied, is no more “the expert,” but all participants of the system who bring in interests, concerns, beliefs, knowledge and worldviews, in organizational processes - communications, consensus building, strategic and action planning etc.  The focus of organizational efforts is shifted from learning “the truth” to building, collectively, the shared vision and optimized consensus among all stakeholders.  A good exemplar for this new paradigm is our Roundtable Leadership and Participatory Management Skills Training Curriculum, a 7-year social-organizational-change-experiment conducted inside China - “WINTOP Roundtable Leadership.” It introduces ideas and practical skills of improving communication efficacy, consensus-building effectiveness, participatory strategic-planning, action-planning, and continuous-improvement.  It is a case of how practical hands-on ideation technologies are used at organizational level as systemic intervention methods to help organizations that perceive a need to change. 

The program contains seven 2-day modules, delivered by a team of two trainers to the top and mid-level management personals in half year, one module per month, with group homework in between the modules.  Successful results are documented and various learnings about organizational change are introduced.  This presentation will cover the basic concepts as well as real-world experiences from our 7-year experimentation testing the effectiveness and efficiency of this curriculum, in a society with strong authoritarian tradition but has wills to change and to adapt to a better future.  This presentation will benefit attendees from various sectors – government agencies, NGOs, business owners, researchers and educators, who will find something useful from both the theoretical and the practical contents to be introduced.


Kuan Yew Wong

Kuan Yew Wong, PhD 
Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia 
81310 UTM Skudai, Johor, Malaysia 

Kuan Yew Wong received his PhD degree from the University of Birmingham, UK. He is a Professor of Industrial Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Malaysia. He leads the Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Group, working in close collaboration with industries and other stakeholders to develop and implement solutions for operational improvement.Before joining the academia, he was an engineer in a Japanese multinational manufacturing company. He is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered IT Professional and Fellow of The Chartered Institute for IT (formerly known as British Computer Society). He has headed and completed various research projects funded by the Malaysia’s Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Intel Technology Ptd Ltd and Mexico State Council of Science and Technology. He is also an editorial board member of a number of international journals. He has received several awards and recognitions including the Emerald/CLADEA Research Award (awarded by Emerald Group Publishing, UK), Malaysia’s Rising Star Award (awarded by Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia and Thomson Reuters, Asean & North Asia) and Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (awarded by Royal Academy of Engineering, UK).

Knowledge Management Effect on Manufacturing Performance 

Knowledge Management (KM) deals with the management of three vital aspects which are knowledge resources, processes and factors. This research investigated the effect of KM on manufacturing performance and their relationship. KM was represented using various constructs for knowledge resources, KM processes and KM factors (i.e. human capital, knowledge and information capital, intellectual property, knowledge acquisition, knowledge creation and generation, knowledge utilization and application, knowledge storing and updating, knowledge sharing and transferring, knowledge protection, culture, management leadership and support, organizational infrastructure and technology, and strategy). Each of these constructs has its own set of measurement items or metrics. On the other hand, manufacturing performance was measured based on quality, cost, time and delivery, flexibility, and customer satisfaction. Data for KM and manufacturing performance were collected from a large number of manufacturing companies through a questionnaire survey. Based on these data, various hypotheses that linked KM with manufacturing performance were tested using structural equation modeling. First-order and second-order confirmatory factor analyses were done on the measurement models and the fitness of the overall structural model was evaluated. The hypotheses testing results showed that KM has a significant and direct effect on manufacturing performance, implying that it is a means to improve production performance. In essence, KM factors have the strongest positive effect on manufacturing performance, followed by knowledge resources and KM processes.



Dr. Carlo SESSA

Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems of Rome (ISINNOVA) 

Dr. Carlo SESSA, former President, is now Research Director at the Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems of Rome (ISINNOVA). Before joining the institute in 1983, he has conducted research at NYU, where he worked with Nobel Prize winner Wassily Leontieff. He was the Coordinator of several EU research projects, in the 5th, 6th and 7th Framework Programmes, mostly in the fields of transport, energy, environment and urban governance issues. In this context, he was leading several participatory projects, involving panels of experts and citizens and aiming to raise the citizens awareness of science and technology prospects in the field of sustainable urban development (EU project RAISE), sustainable urban transport (EU project MOVE TOGETHER) and sustainable water management (EU project AWARE). Amongst several projects dealing with foresight issues, Carlo was involved as leading researcher in some EU funded Social Sciences and Humanities research projects: PASHMINA (Paradigm shifts modelling and innovative approaches); GLOBAL-IQ, aiming to enhance the ability to understand and manage global changes by means of a new generation of models and qualitative foresight tools; MEDPRO – Prospective analysis for the Mediterranean region; FLAGSHIP – Forward Looking Analysis of Grand Societal Challenges and Innovative Policies. Carlo is member of the Board of Directors of EMEA – Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association. He was involved as Italian member in the COST Action 332 on Land Use and Transport Planning, and currently he is member of the COST Action TD 1408 on Interdisciplinarity in research programming and funding cycles (INTREPID).

Sustainable mobility and inclusive development of touristic destinations: a system approach 

The intervention will discuss a system approach undertaken in the EU project CIVITAS destinations. CIVITAS is a network of cities dedicated to cleaner, better transport in Europe and beyond. Since it was launched by the European Commission in 2002, the CIVITAS Initiative has tested and implemented over 800 measures and urban transport solutions as part of demonstration projects in more than 80 Living Lab cities Europe-wide. Within CIVITAS, the DESTINATIONS project builds up an integrated approach to address mobility and tourism, testing balanced strategies to face the rising challenges of these two growing sectors and to achieve sustainable development and a better quality of life in Funchal (Portugal), Limassol (Cyprus), Rethymno (Crete), Elba (Italy), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain) and Valletta (Malta). In the six European touristic sites, DESTINATIONS develops a set of innovative actions in order to implement sustainable transport solutions for tourists and residents alike through innovation and cooperation with all major stakeholders. These solutions aim to improve site accessibility, the cost effectiveness and integration of transport services and to reduce emissions and energy consumption. Sustainable mobility will also support tourism development, the quality of life and environment in the sites, fostering new business and services directly in the transport sector and indirectly in other sectors of the local economy. In DESTINATIONS, sustainable mobility is seen as a key component of the whole destination hospitality experience, for different segments of tourists, old and new residents. It requires to be achieved a systemic approach, taking care of integrating different stakeholders and citizens perspectives and needs. Another key concept is the integrated planning of mobility and tourism market design, aiming to provide support and an incubation environment for triggering new inclusive and job-friendly businesses in the touristic destination. 


Afonso Ferreira

Afonso Ferreira 
Toulouse Institute of Computer Science - IRIT 

In a career spanning more than 25 years, Afonso Ferreira has held European leadership roles in institutional policy and research. As an expert in the areas of Cybersecurity, Futures, and Policy Making, he recently spent six years seconded to the European Commission working as a policy and programme officer. He holds a PhD in Computer Science, is Directeur de Recherche with the French CNRS, and is currently the Programme Manager for European Affairs at the Toulouse Institute for Computer Sciences (IRIT), France.

Afonso has a deep understanding of the European landscape in cybersecurity, research, and innovation, thanks to 14 years working in Brussels and in European-related functions. His vision and his talks are greatly appreciated for their clarity and in 2017 he was invited around the world to explain European policy to audiences in Brussels, Madeira Island, Rome, São Paulo, Singapore, Tokyo, Tenerife, and Toulouse, among others.

Thanks to his large knowledge of the Digital Revolution and its widespread impacts, Afonso is advising private and public actors, which include the European Parliament and the European Commission, how to navigate the nexus of technology, futures, and policy. In addition to his Institutional experience, he worked in the areas of Communication Networks, High Performance Computing, and Algorithms, having published more than 100 papers in the forefront of scientific research. He has been member of more than 70 Technical Committees for international organisations and events and is an editorial board member for international scientific journals. 
For detailed information, see

The Digital Transformation in the Tourism Sector: Some Future Thinking 

The Tourism sector of the economy is exposed to a large number of not necessarily related external factors, maybe more than any other sector. The influence of internal disturbances at source or destination, politics, economics, and violence are well understood, once identified. Long term trends, like demographics, globalisation and the rise of the middle class are also studied in their relationship with Tourism. And the consequences of environmental issues, like climate change and social reactions to it, are also starting to be assimilated.In this talk I’ll explore the effects brought by the Digital Revolution, and the corresponding world’s digital transformation, onto Tourism. Our Internet-planned journey will take RyanAir’s revolutionary business model towards a remote airport, where we’ll jump into an Uber car to arrive in our Airbnb destination. While enjoying our time, we’ll note that the disruption caused by just these three technological players is immense, eg with touristic cities uncapable to plan tourism influx because of the decentralisation of information.During this presentation we’ll also try and address together interesting questions, including the following. What new disruptions to Tourism will digital technologies enable in future? What will be the impact of Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Cars, Virtual Reality, and even this conference’s very own participation model in the Tourism sector? In complement, I hope that the audience will have their own set of questions for joint exploration.The Tourism sector is a complex system in itself. Its digital transformation will only make matters more difficult to control, even if economically many current inefficiencies are disappearing as we travel. 


 Dr. Yiannis Laouris

Dr. Yiannis Laouris

Dr Laouris is Senior Scientist and Chair of the Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute and also Lead Software Design Engineer and Product Director for Ekkotek, High-tech Business incubator. Medical graduate of the Leipzig University, Germany, completed a PhD in Neurophysiology at the Karl-Ludwig Institute (Leipzig) and an MS in Systems and Industrial Engineering at the University of Arizona. He represented Cyprus in several pan-European networks and research projects related to special needs and solutions enhancing cognitive abilities, including, COST219ter: Accessibility for all to services and terminals for next generation mobile networks, COST2102: Cross-Modal Analysis of Verbal and Non-verbal Communication, and CARDIAC: Advancing Research & Development in the area of Accessible & Assistive ICT. He was the lead developer of MAPS-Mental Attributes Profiling System, a language independent cognitive abilities profiling system capable of predicting weaknesses as well as equipping experts with a profile of mental abilities so as to design personalized remediation programs.
Dr. Laouris is also a social and business entrepreneur, member of the Board of the Institute of 21st Century Agoras, and Director of CYBERETHICS: Cyprus Safer Internet Center. He now leads a global project with title "Re-inventing democracy in the digital era", funded by both the Digital Futures Unit of the EC and the UN Democracy fund. He is one of the 12 experts who co-authored the Onlife Manifesto on behalf of the European Commission.
Dr. Laouris has more than 50 papers in peered reviewed journals, half of which in neuroscience, a quarter in applied systems science and peace, and the rest in IT-children and neuroscience of learning. He contributed chapters in about 20 books and made over 150 conference papers and presentations. He mainly publishes in Brain Research, Experimental Brain Research, Neuroscience, Journal of Neurophysiology, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, World Futures, Int. J. Applied Systemic Studies and Systemic Practice and Action Research.

Engaging citizens and stakeholders from highly touristic European coast cities in Structured Democratic Dialogues to address sustainable development challenges

In the context of MARINA (Marine Knowledge Sharing Platform for Federating Responsible Research and Innovation Communities) EC funded project, we are implementing Structured Democratic Dialogues (SDD) in European coast cities that wish to remain attractive for tourists, while at the same time engaging in Responsible Research Innovation to stay clean, sustainable and generally respond to marine related challenges.The SDDs help build lasting partnerships, cultivate joint visions and scenarios and connect societal needs with future expected advances in Science related to marine issues and their impact on the Societal Challenges. Building on the dialogues we create and validate a a networking and knowledge sharing platform for relevant projects, service contracts, marine actors, educational institutions and citizens, to support and enable discussion, mobilization and mutual learning, knowledge exchange and co-production of different communities related with the MARINA key strategic issues. The project will deliver guidelines and good practices for RRI assessment and promote them to CSOs, industry stakeholders, policy and decision makers, research funders, educational institutions. It will also provide recommendations and policy options for RRI relating to marine issues at EU, national and subnational levels. The resulting Influence MAPS from SDDs in Nicosia, Venice, Boulogne sur Mer, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Galway, Nicosia 2nd, Larnaca, Lisbon, Tallinn, and Brussels will be presented and used to draw conclusions of how they could benefit Greek cities.



Dr. John Thanopoulos  
Dean of IST and Professor of International Business 

Emeritus Professor, University of Piraeus 
World Education Congress 2012 Award, Best Professor in International Business

John Thanopoulos studied in Greece, France and England before receiving his Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Arkansas, in the U.S.A.  

As a business practitioner he achieved by the age of 26 more than $25,000,000 in sales. However, eventually, he joined the University of Akron in Ohio (1983) as a Professor and Director of the International Business Programs. He served in various other positions, including Co-chair of the Executive Committee of the Greater Akron Export Association,  President of the JTA, Inc., Associate Dean for the American College of Greece, Professor at the University of Piraeus from 2000-2015 and Professor and Business Dean of the IST College from 2015 to present. 

He received various awards and recognitions, such as World Education Congress, Best Professor in International Business (2012), University of Akron, Teaching Innovation Award (1997), Publication Award (1997), Teaching Excellence Award (1988), Distinguished Sales and Marketing Executives Award, 1994, etc.

He has contributed in hundreds of international events papers, speeches, reviews and related services which appeared in a variety of media and has published 19 books primarily in international business and business ethics. He enjoys contributing to the societal betterment, travelling, reading and year-around long-distance swimming.

Education and Tourism: Systemically Extending Case Studies from Past Experiences

 “Changing lives through education and travel”(*1) is one today’s many university-level mottoes promoting education and tourism-related programs.  It is believed that in our era it is a well-established assumption that education and tourism serve parallel domains aiming to systemically enhance socially-oriented concepts, like better understanding of the reasoning of being, togetherness, practical business aspects, exposure to different global realities, experience expansion, self-actualization potential, life contradictions,  process limitations, identification of daily routines, meeting visionary objectives, and so on.

Obviously the analysis of factors involved in the combination of education and tourism is based on the existing organizational experiences, in-depth study of syllabi propositions, the “blending” of such programs with the offered subject matter at the destination country, as well as the quality of the individuals that lead these efforts is critical of the success of such efforts. 

This paper capitalizes on the different methodologies used in a variety of cases in the business administration field(*2) that this individual faced during the last thirty five years of academic work (*3*4). Moreover, it elaborates on undergraduate, graduate and professional business courses that are offered as student experiences of the following types:

- Three-day, professional or of targeted knowledge.
- Seven-day, undergraduate, graduate or professional.
- Month-long, undergraduate or graduate.
- Semester or year-long undergraduate and graduate student exchanges. 
- Academic Tourism, i.e. Conferences.
- Faculty and staff training and retraining opportunities.
- Specific propositions that can be serviced by the existing facility and staff.

Elaborate infrastructure is needed for such activities that deal with special travel permits, hotel arrangements, tourist sights visitation, corporate meetings, executive speeches, identification of foreign individuals who are able-ready-willing to support these initiatives and so on.

The individual overseeing these activities must be very experienced in global travelling and capable to support major program-related crises, from student sickness to any major unexpected event.


(*1) Marymount University, International Study Programs, promotion of their program in Prague, 8/2018. 
(*2) This paper is targeted in the business-oriented education/tourism experiences. Major adjustments of the  practical issues will be required in other academic fields, for example, in nursing or engineering. 
(*3) The cases of this study were mainly offered from the University of Akron and from the University of Arkansas and primarily blended USA business educational offerings with experiences in China, England, Greece and Holland. 
(*4) It is worthwhile to observe that even the top university accreditation agencies propose reimaging business education.  See for example, Carlile, Paul R., et al, Reimaging Business Education: Insights and Actions from the Business Education Jam, Emerald Group Publishing Limited , Bingley UK, 2016.



Dr John Kalogerakis
CEO JMK Ltd – Anthropocentric Corporate Training & Development 

Dr. Kalogerakis was born in Crete in 1957. He received his B.Sc. in Engineering, M.Sc. in Production & HR Management & Ph.D. in Applied Robotics from Strathclyde University, Scotland. Since 1982 has worked in a number of managerial positions for national & multinational companies in the UK, the M.East and Cyprus.  

He returned to Greece in 1988 and lectured at the National Technical University of Athens. As a visiting Professor to various British & Greek Universities, he has given numerous lectures and seminars internationally emphasizing the anthropocentric approach to sustainable corporate development. He has given numerous Management Skills Development seminars in 4 continents. 

Since 1993 he has lectured regularly at the Hellenic Management Association on People skills, empowerment, motivation and personal skills development. The programs offered, cover many aspects of soft skill personal development, from Leading with Emotional Intelligence to Ethics and Culture Change.  

The characteristic of all of his training seminars is the unique anthropocentric and ethical approach which has been developed over the last 36 years of entrepreneurial, managerial and coaching experience. In 2010, he published 15 different anthropocentric seminars on DVD ( ). 

Today, he is the CEO of JMK, with offices in Greece & Cyprus specializing in Anthropocentric Human Resource Development. He is married with a son.

The Systemic Approach to Anthropocentric Ethical Tourism 

Anthropocentric Ethical Tourism requires a systemic approach in order to effectively cater for the future touristic needs on the new generations. All stakeholders involved, from the tourism professionals and the visitors ( tourists ) to the local inhabitants, must project not only the local color and culture or the much needed and rare professionalism by all, but it is imperative that the ETHICAL behavior is endorsed, projected and put forward in every interaction. Most people understand well the importance of the behavior of tourism professionals as part of a sustainable tourism model.

In the systemic approach, other stakeholders such as the local residents are made part of sustaining tourism. The Anthropocentric Ethical Approach CAN & MUST be taught to all involved, going as far back as the school curriculum. 

There is also an unquestionable need to use local products for all tourism business and endeavors. It is not a matter of cost but a mutter of habit that will eventually become culture ( According to Aristotle ). The final point of the presentation will be an attempt to explain why "Ethics is the currency of the future".  



Theodore Spiliotis 
“E-SURVEY” Founder/CEO

Theodore Spiliotis is an Electrical Engineer with postgraduate degrees in Telematics (Middlesex University) and Business Administration (MBA, Kingston University), with over 15 years of professional experience in technology and positions in R&D, Marketing, and Sales. 

Founder/CEO of “E-SURVEY”, that developed two apps for customer satisfaction and employee attendance measurement respectively.

In December 2017, he published the book “The Monk who became CEO” – 1000 years Athonian Management. 

Athonian Management - A New 1000year-Old Management Ethic

 What does a 1,000year-old community management system has to offer to current debates on ethics across applied professions? 
In this poster, we will be presenting key findings from a recent study published in the book “The CEO-Monk” (Spiliotis, 2017) on the management practices that Monasteries in the Holy Mountain of Athos in Greece are run. The millennium-old method of managing economics, operations, communications and human resources in these establishments has withstood the test of time while it has contributed to a thriving community with characteristics that closely resemble powerful international corporations. 
The presentation will offer an insightful case-study, where personal and ‘professional’ ethics align, and private and communal ethical development is intertwined around a formal ‘citizenship’ code of equitable conduct and actualized being that has remained unchanged since the 9th century despite the eclectic modernization of the remote monastic community. 
In Athonian Management, all aspects of management are grounded on a framework of seven principles defining the central Athonian Ethos – the binding agent of written and unwritten codes that all citizen-monks across the Mount Athos peninsula are called to abide by. Peculiar to this applied Ethics at the center of Athonian Management is the practical distinction between “Intrinsic Ethics” and “Extrinsic Ethics”. The former relates to spiritual advancement values for individual monks and a culture of brotherhood in how they relate to each other under the common goal of survival and salvation. The latter addresses the appropriate treatment of guests, visitors or ‘end-users’ of their monastic life and enterprise. The success or failure of individuals or monasteries depends on the adherence and wholehearted commitment to this Ethos. 
What could be learned from such age-old resilient practices for the application of ethics to modern professional and corporate settings? While a sample of suggested interventions will demonstrate ways in which these Athonian Management ethics could be transferred to all aspects of everyday operations of corporations,  a particular emphasis will be placed on Economics Management. 
The presentation also aims to raise pertinent questions with far-reaching implications regarding corporate culture formation coupled with proposed areas for further study.