Keynote Speakers

Academic key note

Kasra Ferdows, Professor of Global Manufacturing, Georgetown University, Washington D.C. on

Kasra Ferdows

“Research on Global Operations: What is holding us back?”

You would expect the OM scholars to be at the forefront of research into management of global production and supply chains. But even a cursory search shows that we are not. The thought-leaders in this area are mostly scholars from other fields: strategy, finance, international business, economics. The OM perspective, arguably the most critical one, is often missing. What is holding us back?

Three obstacles–detail complexity, hysteresis, and messy data–make research in this area particularly challenging. But these obstacles have not stopped scholars in other fields and they should not stop us either. Our scholars deserve at least an equal voice at the “global table” to present the OM perspective in this important debate. We need to be more ambitious about how we define our field and more daring in presenting our knowledge.

Kasra Ferdows, a Fellow of EurOMA, has been doing research, teaching, and consulting in the field of operations management for three decades. Before joining Georgetown, he taught for 10 years at INSEAD (The European Institute of Business Administration, in Fontainebleau, France), where he still occasionally teaches as a visiting professor. He also has been a visiting faculty member at Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School, and Melbourne Business School. He is also a Fellow of the Production and Operations Management Society and was its President in 2005-2006. As a consultant and teacher, he has worked with many multinationals including Apple Computers (Ireland), Barilla (Italy), BASF (Germany), BHP Billiton (Australia), Danfoss (Denmark), Eli Lilly (France), Ford of Europe (UK), Hewlett-Packard (US), General Electric (US), IBM (US), Norsk Hydro (Norway), Pechiney (Now Rio Tinto, France), PepsiAmericas (US), SABMiller (South Africa), Unilever (Mexico) and the World Bank Group.

Industrial key note

Kristine Gramstad Wedler, Group Communication Director of Marine Harvest ASA


Marine Harvest ASA is one of the largest seafood companies in the world, and the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon satisfying one fifth of global demand. Marine Harvest is represented in 23 different countries, including Norway, Scotland, Canada, Chile, Ireland and Faroe, making interactions among different cultures a part of every-day operations.
Mrs. Gramstad Wedler joined Marine Harvest as Group Communication Director in August 2013, before which she was State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs. She has also held positions in Rogaland County Council as Labor Party Group Leader (2007 to 2011). Mrs. Gramstad Wedler holds a master’s degree in Change Management from University of Stavanger and a bachelor’s degree in European Studies from the University of Oslo.

For more information about Marine Harvest, see Learn about Marine Harvest’s seafood value chain here.

The Marine Harvest value chain (Photos: Marine Harvest)
The Marine Harvest seafood value chain (Photos: Marine Harvest)