Local responses to major economic challenges
Of particular significance to regional and vulnerable communities is an international conference hosted by James Cook University this week.
The International Conference on Business, Economics, Management and Sustainability (BEMAS) will look beyond orthodox economics to consider approaches that may be better suited to particular communities.
“When we are looking for ways to survive and thrive in the face of risks such as climate change and a global pandemic, we must go beyond a one-stop-response approach,” said Associate Professor Taha Chaiechi, President of the conference.
“This is especially important for vulnerable and at-risk communities, who tend to be more sensitive to external risks such as natural disasters and public health emergencies.
“On the positive side, each community has unique strengths and potential that it can bring to meet these challenges. To achieve sustainable development, we need to identify the untapped skills and knowledge that each community can use to adapt or overcome the challenges they face, ”she said.
This conference follows the success of the Urban Thinkers Campus event, which JCU hosted in Cairns in 2019.
“At this pre-COVID event, we brought together national, international and local thinkers to share ideas about urban space,” said Dr Chaiechi. “Of course for the people of our region this included a discussion of how to plan for the tropics, cool our urban spaces and see how small regional centers can develop without losing what we love about our communities.
This year’s conference will follow the themes of empowering communities, sustainable cities and transformative economies.
BEMAS is hosted by the JCU Center for International Trade and Business in Asia and is ongoing at the University’s Nguma-bada campus at Smithfield.