In the IABS2019 Conference in San Diego
The 30th Annual Meeting of the International Association for Business and Society was organised in San Diego, California, USA, March 21–24, 2019. The theme of the conference – Border Crossing – urged scholars to think about how their research does or does not cross borders. The conference brought together over 140 researchers in the field of business and society from 25 countries all over the world. The topics covered a wide range of issues from stakeholder theory, to business and community relations, and Blue Marble Thinking. Along with the traditional sessions, the conference hosted a Writing Camp and a Doctoral Corsortium. For more information, visit: http://iabs.net.
While this was the 5th IABS conference for me, I had not participated after 2008, when we hosted the conference in Tampere. It was great to notice that the inspiring, constructive and supporting atmosphere was still there, and I met a lot of old friends and made some new, too. I presented the B2N research project’s paper on nature-inclusive stakeholder engagement. In this paper, we present an analysis of how previous literature has discussed the stakeholder status of the nature and argue that it is time to move beyond the disagreement of whether natural environment can and should have a stakeholder status or not. Instead of continuing the disagreement, we should move the focus on understanding the ways by which the natural environment can be known, and included in organisational decision-making. The paper received great response and we got a lot of useful comments for its further development.
San Diego is famous for its lovely climate and beautiful coastline. However, Southern California has lost over 90% of its coastal wetland habitat to urban development. Tijuana river meets the Pacific Ocean in San Diego near the Mexican border. The Tijuana Estuary, a national reserve area, has been established to retain natural daily tidal flushing in the urban coastal area. Shallow basins within the area are warmed by the sun, and provide food and shelter for numerous plants and animals including over 370 species of birds. The Estuary also offers an essential resting area for the thousands of migratory birds moving along the Pacific Flyway. The Tijuana Estuary Visitors Center provides free programs, videos, art classes and guided field trips for children and adults. The Estuary has also been an important research site for over three decades. The work accomplished as contributed greatly to the understanding, protection and restoration of local wetlands. The locals love to use the area for recreational purposes and most people understand and support the restoration of the area. For more information, visit: http://trnerr.org.
There is plenty of green area also within the city. Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre urban cultural park situated in the middle of in San Diego. The park was established in 1868 and its land use and maintenance have often been driven by major events in history. Today, it has become one of the largest public parks in the United States. The most visited area of the park is the National Register Historic District which was given the National Historic Landmark status in 1977.
The Balboa Park Conservancy is helping to preserve, protect, and renew Balboa Park’s urban forest with the help of tree lovers. The Conservancy provides expertise, advocacy and resources to envision, enhance and sustain Balboa Park for all visitors in partnership with the City of San Diego and in collaboration with other organizations in the Park and the community. For example, they are planting 500 trees in partnership with the City of San Diego. In addition to open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths, it contains museums, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. For more information, visit: https://www.balboapark.org.
The San Diego area has many other places worth to visit, too. For nature lovers, I strongly recommend to visit the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park that offers wonderful views over Pacific Ocean. The aim of the park is to create a place where “people can enjoy San Diego's natural coastal environment as it once was, free from the effects of man and intended to inspire the user to reflect on the grandeur of the sea, and the beauty of the cliffs that was once Point Loma.” Seeing the sun to set in the Pacific Ocean was one of the highlights of my trip to San Diego. For more information, visit: https://www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation.