The 33rd International Publishers Congress was jam-packed with two days full of discussions, powerful keynotes, award ceremonies and a vibrant atmosphere of publishers coming together from around the world.
IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi underlined the importance of collaboration to the future of our sector and thanked all of those who had come worked together to make the Congress such a successful reality.
WIPO Director General, Daren Tang, delivered his keynote speech where he spoke of the importance of publishers and the valued cooperation between the World Intellectual Property Organization and the IPA.
We heard about the freedom to publish challenges in Iran, Thailand and Indonesia and how technology can both be used to improve freedoms but also concentrate power in the hands of a few media companies. Those messages echoed when discussing Artificial Intelligence (AI), which has the potential to bring great opportunities to publishing. Publishers have been integrating AI in production and distribution processes, but there are also challenges in the copyright sphere with Tech giants calling for overbroad exceptions for text and data mining, which would undermine publishers’ licensing models .
The morning closed with the awards ceremony for two new awards. Hugo Setzer opened the session with a moving tribute to international publishing colleague Julián Viñuales Solé who passed away the just before the Congress.
We then celebrated the contribution of Indian Publisher Asoke Ghosh to the international publishing community and the Brazilian Book Chamber’s Conexão Livraria.
Our afternoon dived into children’s publishing and the responsibilities children’s publishers have to publish books on a wide range of issues and for the book sector to work together to ensure books get into the hands of all children.
We heard about new approaches to marketing and how new platforms can influence a revival of physical bookshops. Platforms remained in the spotlight as we heard about the opportunities and risks that come with embracing new technologies and platforms.
We closed the day with a profound look at how the book sector can play its role in tackling the climate crisis through what they publish but also how they publish.
Watch day one, or select a single session to watch here:
Day two opened with Karine Pansa taking us back to the origins of the congress theme - reading matters - and how the pandemic lockdowns inspired the desire to embrace the future.
Japanese author Natsuo Kirino delivered her keynote underlining the risks to freedom of expression that can come not only from the state but from within every one of us.
The first panel further energised the room as IPA President, Bodour Al Qasimi, led a special session on women in publishing, closing with a beautiful gathering of all the women in the room joining the panel on stage.
Discussions then shifted to educational technology, EdTech and the different stakes at play in ensuring that technology creates better educational outcomes.
After lunch the pace picked up with accessibility and accessible publishing in the spotlight, followed by a fascinating look at the power of translations.
The theme of the congress was centre stage for a comprehensive discussion on the evolution of reading habits and the last session of the day looked at the importance of diversity in publishing, dissected from every angle.
The destination of the 34th International Publishers Congress was announced as Guadalajara, Mexico, due to take place from 4-6 December 2024.
IPA President, Bodour Al Qasimi delivered her closing remarks underlining the camaraderie of the Congress and the vibrant discussions.
The day closed with a spectacular gala dinner and a fitting tribute to brave Thai publsiher Same Sky Publishing at the 2022 IPA Prix Voltaire ceremony.
Watch day 2 or specific sessions here: