I had the possibility to join a round table session at the conference “Management Horizons in Changing Economic Environment: Visions and Challenges”, held in autumn 2011 at Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management in Kaunas, Lithuania.
The round table session was presented by Jean Monnet Project, coordinated by Nijole Petkevičiūtė from Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania). Dr. Egidija Laumenskaitė from Center of Spiritual Education and Meditation (Lithuania) and Dr. Claude Alavoine from IPAG Business School, Nice (France) worked as chairpersons and moderators. Other speakers in the round table session were André Boyer from Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, IPAG Laboratory of Research (France), Monika Didzgalvyte from Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), Olev Tõru from Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia), Kirsten Zachariassen from University of Tromsø (Norway), and myself from Tampere University of Applied Sciences.
The topics discussed covered several issues, among others challenges in intercultural negotiations, leadership and negotiations, intercultural communication in projects and intensive programmes, challenges in international studies, and spiritual aspect of management in Europe.
The participation in the session gave many ideas for the future. It showed also how difficult it sometimes was to keep the speakers and the audience focused on the topic, Cross-Cultural Challenges in Europe, and not have people discuss any possible issues, because the topic would have given possibilities to this. Claude Alavoine succeeded very well in his efforts to coordinate the discussion and keep the schedule given for the session.
In the end of the round table session the words “tolerance”, “communication” and the idea “from competition to cooperation” were expressed to sum up the discussion. Many small groups of people continued their discussions after the session while having their lunch break.
Text and photo: Pirkko Varis, Senior Lecturer in Marketing & International Coordinator, TAMK Virrat Campus