The directors general of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, and of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Daren Tang, will open the Symposium which will present the findings of a series of InSPIRe workshops involving publishing houses, distributors, authors, educators, bookfairs, reading, literacy and free expression advocates, during an international online symposium.

These workshops built on the initial findings of a survey of InSPIRe charter signatories which was published at Frankfurt Book Fair in 2021 as the InSPIRe report. The workshops dissected the challenges, opportunities, and partnership prospects in the five areas named by InSPIRe consultees as priorities: copyright, freedom to publish, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and technology and innovation. The workshops were a unique discussion platform for a cross-section of professionals from the wider publishing space to bring their perspectives, experiences, and ideas.

In closing the Symposium, IPA Secretary General José Borghino will lead a discussion about the findings with John Degen, Executive Director of the Writers’ Union of Canada and Chair of the International Authors Forum (IAF); Andre Breedt, Managing Director of Nielsen Book; and Jean-Luc Treutenaere, Co-President of the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF).

IPA President, Bodour Al Qasimi, said ‘I am extremely proud of the International Publishers Association’s stewardship in convening such a distinguished group of stakeholders to codevelop a more sustainable resilient global publishing industry. This is one of the first times that I can remember that the industry has been able to establish a global, multi-stakeholder discussion on the future of publishing. Despite sometimes opposing industry interests, the International Publishers Association stepped up at one of the most critical times for our industry to set aside differences and challenge siloed thinking. We need to build on this solidarity to future proof publishing.’


About the IPA International Sustainable Publishing and Industry Resilience (InSPIRe) initiative

InSPIRe is an IPA-led, wide-ranging consultation to understand the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on global publishing and put forward recommendations to increase the industry’s resilience and sustainability. It was formally launched in September 2021 based on the contributions of more than 60 publishing stakeholders in 20 countries. Overseen by the InSPIRe Plan Taskforce, comprising 11 members of the IPA Executive Committee, it identifies publishing’s major post-pandemic challenges and reveals how the whole ecosystem — from authors and illustrators to booksellers and publishing houses — can collaborate on mutual priorities and overcome longstanding, systemic obstacles.

The Taskforce also developed the InSPIRe Charter in 2021, which won the endorsement of more than 60 influential organizations as a show of commitment to continuing the high level of industrywide cooperation catalysed by the pandemic.