The history of international globalization conferences in Ostrava started in 2003. Vladimír Baar, the head of the Department of Human Geography of the University of Ostrava that time, introduced an idea to organize a multi-discipline conference for all the faculties of the university. The first edition, named “Globalisation and its Geopolitical, Cultural, Economic and Ecological Context”, was held in the Harmony hotel under the auspices of the rector of the University of Ostrava – Petr Pánek. More than 60 participants arrived not only from our university, but also from another universities in Czechia as well as from some neighbouring European countries. It was decided to organize these conferences every two years.
The next conferences, titled “Globalisation and its Impact to Society, Regions and States” and “Globalisation and its Impact on Localities”, took place in 2005 and 2007. The group of participants decreased despite some regular ones and the topic seemed to be exhausted.
The fourth edition of the event in 2009 was held under the name: “Beyond Globalisation: Exploring the Limits of Globalisation in the Regional Context”. The aim was not to look at the globalisation itself and its consequences, but to take into consideration the context of these processes. The amount of people participanting was the smallest ever (about 30); however, countries of their origin were more different, including the USA and Iran. Moreover, its scientific level was really the highest. Keynote speakers represented the top level of recent geography and political science: Derek Gregory (The University of Vancouver), Noel Castree (The University of Manchester), Viggo Plum (The University of Roskilde) and Petr Drulák (The Czech Institute of International Affairs). The conference proceedings were placed on the Web of Science.
The last conference in Ostrava took place in 2011. It was based on the successful 2009 model with the slogan “Think Globally, Act Locally, Change Individually in the 21stCentury”. The number of participants from 19 countries increased to 65. Proceedings were also sent to Web of Science.
This year, the University of Ostrava is organizing the sixth conference. We do not reduce the main topic to different aspects of globalization, although it is one of the broadest issues in current social and human sciences. Consequently, the full title will be “Political Factors of Regional Development in Transition Economies”. Hopefully, it would be a good platform for exchanging ideas and scientific experiences.
So welcome in Ostrava one more time!