Emily Xu, standing together with her doctoral degree disputation opponent, Tommy Inkinen, Professor at the Centre for Maritime Studies, University of Turku, Finland. Emily successfully defended her thesis entitled, “The Internet of Things: Projects-Places-Policies” [1] on 25 Oct. 2017.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

Doctoral degree disputation events are special because it is not everyday that one comes around in the proximate circle of your closest colleagues. On 25 Oct. 2017, Emily Xu, who is a member of faculty at the Centre for International Business Studies (CIBS) at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled, The Internet of Things: Projects – Places – Policies. Her dissertation publication is timely, considering the progressive interconnectivity enabled by digital infrastructure and technologies. Her main argument is that the Internet of Things (IoT) is a paradigm shift in terms of machine intelligence, its knowledge production and interaction occuring with little or no human intervention. Digital intelligence are their own agents in producing, storing and transferring knowledge. These events and activities call for a myriad of human knowledge in order to manage the situation, from product to policy, it seems sometimes that humanity is both at the forefront of knowledge creation whilst trying to ‘catch the tail of the Dragon’ at the same time. A seeming contradiction that some might not wish to see solved by an unsuspected and imposed Singularity by artificial inteligence.

Leaving aside the agenda of the IoT call for action in terms of responsible technology production, and appropriate policy implementation pegged at the multiple levels of the business enterprise, national and supra-national institutions, the day was a happy one that certainly called for the popping of some champagne bottles! Congratulations, Dr. Emily Xu!

Room D32. Location of the disputation event at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Chairman of the disputation session was Patrik Ström (standing), Associate Professor of Economic Geography and Head of Department, Business Administration, at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Patrik was also main supervisor to Emily’s doctoral thesis.

Claes G. Alvstam, Professor Emeritus of Economic Geography, formerly Vice Dean at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, stands together with Emily Xu. Claes is academic mentor to Emily and was her second supervisor to her doctoral thesis.

Emily Xu and Jan-Erik Vahlne, Professor Emeritus in International Business and author of the well-cited Uppsala model of firm internationalization theory.

Cheryl Cordeiro, in discussion with Jan-Erik Vahlne on applications of the Uppsala model during the mingle session, whilst waiting for Emily’s examination committee to comem with the official announcement of her pass with doctor’s degree.

A resounding round of applause went up in the room when it was announced by the examination committee that Emily had passed with her doctor’s degree.

Drinks all around when it was announced that Emily Xu passed with a doctor’s degree.

Rosé bubbly

More wines at the dinner followed the mingle session and examination result announcement. Dinner was held at Malmstensvåning at the School.

L-R: Parisa Panahi and Jennie Yu, toastmasters for the evening.

Patrik and Claes present Emily with graduation gifts.

Linda Berg, Director of the Centre for European Reesarch at the University of Gothenburg (CERGU), gives a speech during dinner.

[1] Xiangxuan, X. (2017). The Internet of Things : Projects – places – policies. Handelshögskolan vid Göteborgs universitet. Företagsekonomiska institutionen. Göteborgs universitet. Internet resource at https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/53525. Retrieved 28 Oct. 2017.