24. Avrupa Bilişim Sistemleri Konferansı (24.European Conference on Information Systems) ECIS 2016 / 13 Haziran 2016

Distinguished Guests, dear colleagues, dear students

I am delighted and honored to welcome you all today to the The European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS).  We are particularly proud that the the Association for Information Systems (AIS) has chosen to work in partnership with Boğazici University’s Management Information Systems Department to organize this event in Turkey  for the first time in its 24 year history!

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation for the Association for Information Systems (AIS) which hosts more than 4000 members from 100 countries. I am well aware of the significant work that they do; their mission to advance knowledge in the use of information technologies is a noble one, a mission that certainly deserves respect and support.  

Boğaziçi University was originally founded in 1863 as Robert College, the first American institution of higher learning outside the United States.  Since then, and with the establishment of Boğaziçi University from Robert College in 1971, we have gone from strength to strength. We are now one of the preeminent institutions of higher learning in the world, with more than 15,000 brightest students and more than 56,000 entrepreneurial, innovative and critical-minded alumni. 

Building on the tradition of excellence of Boğaziçi University, our Management Information Systems degree program, established in 1995, is the first of its kind in Turkey, and undoubtedly the best, and recently they have been instrumental in establishing the AIS Chapter in Turkey.  It is therefore only natural that ECIS 2016 is being organized under the leadership of the BU-MIS faculty who possess the experience, expertise and know-how to manage such a prestigious scholarly undertaking.

Boğaziçi University is an institution that has a very unique legacy, one that is rooted in the values and traditions of academic autonomy, scientific freedom, and independent thinking. This legacy is an integral part of its culture, which is fully committed to democratic governance, embracing and practicing liberal values that acknowledge differences and accept and respect them. This is an institution that cherishes human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and democracy, and that works tirelessly to ensure these principles manifest themselves in the real life experiences of everyone who is a part of its community.  We are very proud of championing this democratic culture where individuals from all walks of life can live, learn, and enjoy life and the pursuit of knowledge together.  

Ladies and gentlemen,

During the last few decades, striking and dramatic changes have occurred at the national, regional, and perhaps most especially, at the global level. Much  has been written and said about this globalization process. We know that it is a reality and that it is a journey for which there is no return ticket.  

In addition to recent changes in politico-economic systems, revolutionary breakthroughs have occurred in the areas of information technology and global communications.The ongoing information revolution is as important as, if not more important than, previous revolutions in human history, such as the discovery of the printing press or the Industrial Revolution. Although traditional businesses have been in constant flux under the pressure of technological innovation and increased global competition for a long time, we can predict that the real revolution still lies ahead, and disruptive change is underway in all industries. 

As we are welcoming the 4th Industrial Revolution, the universities have gained a more significant role in providing information and skills to the society in response to societal demand and as contribution to enhance economic development. A challenging but also exciting future awaits us all, and a new vision and a long-term commitment for bold global leadership are most certainly needed. I believe that this Conference will go a long way towards delineating this vision and commitment by providing a novel forum to exchange experiences of present challenges, discuss future strategies for responding to pressures to change, and thus anticipate tomorrow’s challenges and needs. 

Just to conclude, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of the individuals who worked hand-to-hand for the realization of this Meeting and wish you all a successful and fruitful conference. Thank you so much…