Why Bhubaneswar, India made me happy and sad

A Living Lab of Ancient and Modern

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There are some life-changing events; for me, one of them was the International Conference on Global Trends in Business Practices and Management Education, held on 24–25 January 2020 at Hotel The Crown, Bhubaneswar, India. While I have traveled extensively, this was my first time in India. From lift-off to landing was an adventure in a cultural experience.

Our host, Birla Global University, curated a professional and personal experience from beginning to end. At the airport, we were provided with both faculty and student guides to introduce us to the smaller, lesser-known metropolitan of Bhubaneswar; I found it subdued and yet fascinating. The city is home to both ancient and modern. 

There were many historic moments at the conference. Practitioners, government officials, academic scholars, students, and faculty all congregated to discuss the most recent trends in business.

What gave me joy was the nature of diverse voices from different countries, disciplines, age groups, religions, and perspectives.  It was like being in a kaleidoscope of global consciousness and awareness.  While the conference’s theme was global business trends, the meeting was akin to a living laboratory leveraging academic and professional differences for empowering the greater society.

What made me sad was the recognition that time is truly finite; my time of a few days was too short to absorb the beauty and texture of the city.  There were ancient temples, expansive beaches and a modern new mall all within minutes of each other.

If I should return in this lifetime, my goal will be to climb the temples, sit on the beach and shop until I drop in the new mall.  A dream deferred — at least for now.

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