Istanbul and Marketing Science III
A personal view from Koen Pauwels on coming to Istanbul for Marketing Science 2013
Dear friends and colleagues,
Moved by your many expressions of concern and support, including Roland?s, I feel this is the right forum to share my own feelings and thoughts. Having taking many political stances in my life, I always wondered what the considered parties would want me to do. Now the situation is different, as I am a protester myself. As a protester, I do encourage you to contact the embassy in your country to express your deep concern. As a protester, I encourage you to contact your representatives to pressure government officials that misbehave. As a protester, I encourage you to join me in standing still for 5 minutes at 8pm wherever you are. As a protester, I don?t see any point in reneging your commitment to participate in a conference. Such action will not even register with the government officials you are targeting, let alone hurt their standing. You may hurt your fellow presenters in the conference session, your audience and the people you were supposed to meet. Personally, I am happy I stayed in the United States despite my strong objections to specific government actions and that I went to German conferences despite the tear gassing at Stuttgart 21. I am currently considering not going to the 2014 Fifa World Cup (and finally watching Belgium win) because (1) the protests in Brazil appear directly related to the World Cup preparations and (2) it is a leisure trip, not a professional commitment.
As a friend, I understand and respect you each have a tolerance for political events in a country you are travelling to. And of course I do not expect everyone to react like colleagues Joel Huber, Jacob Goldenberg, Klaus Wertenbroch and Eitan Muller, who enjoyed walking in protest areas earlier this month. If you choose to, you can witness interesting developments such as the standing (wo)men protests and the community gatherings, which may not seem as newsworthy to many media channels, but strengthen the evidence of an active and forward-looking democracy. If you choose not to, you can enjoy the marketing science conference in a wonderful setting. Just don?t choose to forego either believing this is making a stance against government actions. As I reposted today from a friend, this is a great time to come and, if you want to, show your support and ?learn a thing or two from the bravest, kindest, most creative people in the world while you are here?
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