The First Steps towards a World Congress

Chronology of Progress Toward a World Congress

Milan, 2009 and Glasgow, 2010
Meeting between the European Business History Association - EBHA (Harm Schröter) and Japanese Delegation (Takeshi Abe) from the Japanese Society for Business History - BHSJ; agreement to have the councils of both organisations discuss the idea of a world congress.
Athens, 2011
In preparation and after the Athens Congress of the EBHA, the councils of both associations started their decision-making process on the idea of a global conference.
Paris, 2012
After the EBHA congress in Paris the Initiative Group from Japan, Australia, USA, Africa, Latin America and Europe met and decided to organize such a congress.
Since a full-blown congress could not happen before 2016 because of WEHC in Kyoto 2015, the Group accepted the generous offer of the University of Bergen to host such a congress in 2016 (First World Congress of Business History, Bergen). At the same time, in order to maintain momentum, the group planned a one-day conference in Frankfurt in 2014 as a way of gauging interest in a multi-day World Congress. (World Conference, Frankfurt)
Frankfurt, 2014
The Initiative Group spread the information on the one-day conference held as the World Conference of Business History around the globe ( This conference proved a great success, with 180 delegates from all around the world.
During that meeting, the Initiative Group met and elected a Team to oversee preparations for the First World Congress in Bergen: Takeshi Abe (Japan), Carlos Davila (Colombia), Andrew Godley (UK), Paloma Fernandez (Spain/EBHA); Andrea Lluch (Argentina), Stephen Mihm (USA/Business History Conference - BHC), Simon Mowatt (New Zealand); Andrea Schneider (Germany/EBHA); Harm Schröter (Local Organizer/Norway), Grietjie Verhoef (South Africa).
Bergen, 2016
The First World Congress on Business History was held in Bergen in tandem with the 20th Annual Congress of the EBHA. Over the course of three days, 400 participants presented papers, inaugurating the first full-length global meeting.
Another Meeting of the Initiative Group took place and since Japan offered to host the next World Congress in 2020 in Nagoya the Group welcomed the idea of continuing with the World Congresses every fourth year (but not in the same years as the IEHA will have its World Congress); thus the following congress is planned for 2025.
Vienna, 2017
A pre-organizational team was set-up in Bergen that met in Vienna to work on the preparations for Nagoya and set up a program committee.