Loyola University Chicago

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Silk Road scholars

Silk Road Conference

Scholars will analyze the Silk Road's past, present, and future economic implications at a conference on March 29.

If you think the Silk Road is only relevant in your history books, it’s time to go back to school.

The trade route that connected Europe and Asia was critical to the development of the modern globalized world, facilitating the exchange of goods, culture, and technology between East and West. As trade along the Silk Road declined, many of the countries along these routes fell behind the rest of the world in terms of economic development and global trade. Now, many of these countries, most notably China, are returning to lead roles on the world stage.

As an international business professional, you have your role to play, too, and Quinlan’s Center for International Business will help prepare you with our Land and Marine Silk Road Countries workshop. With globally focused academics from diverse fields, leaders who are engaged in business in Silk Road countries, and experts on sustainable business practices, Quinlan’s Mine Cinar, PhD, will lead you through the twists and turns of the modern-day Silk Road.

It’s a complex topic, but luckily, Professor Cinar has provided some background—a pre-departure briefing, if you like. Below are her insights.

Why does the Silk Road matter for global business?
Major proportions of trade are conducted along the marine Silk Road, with inherent security risks. Persons interested in global business, trade, or looking to invest abroad should be aware of the major trends driving trade with these countries.

What are the biggest opportunities and challenges to practicing international business along the Silk Road?
Risk has been a major challenge to international business along the Silk Road, both historically and in the present. Companies doing business in these countries often face significant risk associated with political instability and security. While these risks are a challenge, we also hope to emphasize the potential opportunity that it brings for companies that can successfully manage this risk. This will involve discussions from practitioners on how companies manage security along the Marine Silk Road, and discussions from academics on how companies can incorporate risk management into their supply chains.

What is the goal of the workshop?
The goal of the workshop is to create an understanding of the trends that are driving trade along the Marine and Land Silk Roads. Because these trends are complex, the workshop will be interdisciplinary and will bring together individuals from many different backgrounds. These include academic researchers from the fields of finance, economics, marketing, management, and supply chain management as well as leaders and consultants from companies that currently do business in the Silk Road countries.

How does this workshop relate to Quinlan's focus on sustainable business practices and corporate social responsibility?
Presenters on sustainable tourism along the Silk Road and on the extraction of energy and mineral resources will discuss many of these issues. Many of the countries along the Silk Road face significant environmental problems, so we will emphasize how sustainable business practices can benefit both the Silk Road countries and the companies that do business with them in the long term.

What future trends do you anticipate for business along the Silk Road?
We expect trade and business with these countries to become much more important in the future. While many of the countries along the Silk Road remain underdeveloped, many of them are also taking steps to invest in their infrastructure and integrate into the global economy. The workshop will give attention to economic development programs in these countries, and speakers will discuss topics such as the Mega-Suez project in Egypt and microcredit enterprises in India. 

What is the structure of the workshop?
The morning portion of the workshop is a multi-academic point of view of the historical and present day Silk Road. The afternoon sessions emphasize risk management on the Silk Road for practitioners.


We’re looking for someone to share in an adventure.
Join us for our workshop on Land and Marine Silk Road Countries: Past, Present, and Future.
Saturday, March 29, 8 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Regents Hall, 111 E. Pearson St., Chicago, Illinois, 60611.

How to register:
The conference fee is $50 and includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as drinks and snacks. To learn more, visit the conference webpage. To sign up, click here.