Friday 26 October 2018, 09:00 - 16:00

UNCTAD 2018 World Investment Forum

Multi-Disciplinary Academic Conference - Setting the Future Investment Research Agenda

Multi-Disciplinary Academic Conference

Setting the Future Investment Research Agenda

This Multi-Disciplinary Academic Conference is the central academic platform within the UNCTAD 2018 World Investment Forum (WIF). Its objective is to facilitate collective, multidisciplinary brainstorming aimed at developing a shared vision and shaping the future research agenda for investment in sustainable development.

This day-long event will take place on Day 5 of the WIF. Organized in cooperation with academic partners, including the Graduate Institute's Centre for Finance and Development (CFD), the Academy of International Business (AIB), the Society of International Economy and Law (SIEL), and the European International Business Academy (EIBA), the event will bring together scholars of international business, economics, law and other relevant fields under the auspices of the UNCTAD Academic Network on Investment.

Discussions will explore emerging trends for future research in investment and multinational enterprise. The event will produce a “Future Investment Research Agenda” which will be presented during the plenary session and identify a list of opportunities for collaboration between researchers and UNCTAD’s Investment and Enterprise Division. The debate will centre on key themes that are expected to shape the international business and development landscape in the coming years.

Issues for the debate:

  • The digital economy and the new industrial revolution are fundamentally changing the way firms operate internationally. Can existing theories of international business, from OLI to GVCs, still fully explain current trends in international production?
  • What is the latest thinking among scholars on the implications of the new era of globalization for global investment patterns and financial flows? What is their prognosis for policy directions?
  • What are the key emerging challenges and opportunities for research and policy analysis on investment and development?

Expected outcomes:

  • A broad framework for a policy research agenda on investment, which is a living document to be developed and evolved collectively, by UNCTAD and partners from all disciplines.
  • An agreed set of processes for continuing the engagement of all partners, including for: 1/ The research agenda per se; 2/ Constructing multidisciplinary networks; 3/ A research repository.


  • Parallel sessions (BY INVITATION ONLY, from 9:00 to 14:00) will address specific research areas, and will be chaired by three academics. Participants will be assigned to one of these areas, based on their submitted abstracts or research background. Chairs will contact participants to organize the dialogue in their respective research areas.
  • The plenary session (PUBLIC EVENT. FREE ENTRANCE, from 14:15 to 16:00 - final schedule TBC) will, first, bring focus to the aims of the research agenda through addresses from key speakers. Secondly, the session will pull the outcomes of the breakout sessions together in defining a multidisciplinary policy research agenda. Such a research agenda will be a living document which will continue to evolve. Please register below.

The detailed programme will be available in August 2018.


  • Parallel sessions will take place on Friday 26 October 2018 from 9:00 to 14:00 at the Graduate Institute Geneva. Selected participants will be informed of the rooms' allocation.
  • The plenary session, open to the public, will take place on Friday 26 October 2018 from 14:15 to 16:00 (final schedule TBC) in auditorium Ivan Pictet A at the Graduate Institute Geneva.




  • Parallel sessions are by invitation only. Invited participants do not need to register to neither parallel nor plenary sessions.


  • Registration to the plenary session is compulsory for the public (additionnaly to your WIF registration). Please fill in the below registration form.


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