Sometimes investment vehicles develop a life of their own: in 2001, Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill coined an acronym bearing the promise of new financial opportunities, by “Building Better Global Economic BRICs.” Brazil, Russia, India, and China, thus his reasoning, would be reshaping the world economy. While “investment by acronym” tends to be sneered at, the BRICs took matters into their own hands and joined forces, both economically and politically. Together with South Africa, they have founded the New Development Bank to counter-balance the influence of the International Monetary Fund and strengthened their cultural, educational, and structural ties. Although many keep questioning the BRICS’s staying power, the extent of institutionalization suggests that they intend to become an increasingly more important global player and redesign the balance of world politics.
In collaboration with international scholars, members of St.Gallen’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences have tackled many issues facing those who want to do either business or research in the BRIC States. The findings have led to the publication of Transculturalism and Business in the BRIC States (Gower/Ashgate, 2015). Our conference offers the opportunity to continue our conversation on Transcultural Management in the BRICS and discuss new challenges.