The first day of Frankfurt book fair saw IPA’s Copyright Committee come together in a well attended meeting that enabled members to learn about IPA’s recent copyright work and share their own current challenges.

While this was happening, IPA President, Karine Pansa, was at the launch of the Ljubljana Manifesto on higher-level reading as part of the Slovenian Guest of Honour Programme. The Manifesto underlines the importance of developing the ability to read long form texts and examines how the format – paper or digital – can impact comprehension. IPA supports the Manifesto and you can read about the pre-Frankfurt launch here.

The third sustainability summit continued to grow with a bigger room following 2022’s standing room only edition. Juergen Books opened the summit underlining the importance of the whole sector working together on the SDGs. UN Publication’s Mary Glenn shared the progress of the SDG Publishers Compact before a panel discussion on sustainability aspects of bookselling and STM publishing as well as the progress of the 2030 Publishing Accelerator and the recent Book 2.0 conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

The open Freedom to Publish meeting featured two guest speakers Tanja Tuma from Slovenia who spoke about the situation in her own country but also in the broader Balkans region, sharing details from a new PEN International report on the region. You can read that report here. Our second guest was Dee Collins, from Prix Voltaire shortlisted publisher Mercier Press in Ireland. She gave a compelling look at Mercier Presses 80-year history and how the house had challenged accepted Catholic dogma in the country and Irish censorship.

IPA’s day closed with a special event to bring together IPA members and friends. They were treated to an engaging and inspiring discussion between Penguin Random House CEO Emeritus, Markus Dohle, and Nigerian author, publishers, bookseller and festival organizer Lola Shoneyin. They covered copyright, AI , freedom of expression and diversity in wide-ranging discussion that underlined the power of publishing, with Dohle encouraging every attendee to leave the session and be an advocate for the success of our sector and publishing specifically.

The second day opened with a meeting of the Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee for an exchange on progress within the different working groups and looking ahead to 2024.

In the afternoon, Publishing Perspectives Editor in Chief, Porter Anderson, moderated an IPA Freedom to Publish session at the Pavilion under the title ‘Pressure on Publisher – challenging norms and navigating controversy’. The session looked at the kinds of pressure publishers can face when trying to cover certain topics and how those pressures vary from region to region. The speakers underlined the responsibility publishers have to resist self-censorship. You can watch the full session.

As the Frankfurt receptions started, IPA was at the Mexican reception to announce the theme and logo for the 34thInternational Publishers Congress set to take place in Guadalajara from 3-6 December 2024. Read a full report on that here. Check out the Congress website here.

The Friday morning of the fair was the occasion for the traditional open meeting of the IPA’s Educational Publishers Forum. This year’s meeting focused on sustainability and opened with a presentation of UNESCO’s Greening Education initiative by Simon Wanda, Programme Specialist in the Section of Education for Sustainable Development at UNESCO. Rachel Martin, Sustainability Director at Elsevier, presented Elsevier’s efforts to improve its environmental footprint and was followed by a panel discussion looking at how different regions are tackling the sustainability challenge.

Most IPA business was completed by Friday although the Saturday included a meeting of the national bookfair stand coordinators.

The IPA President, Vice President and Secretary General attended the Peace Prize ceremony on the last day of the fair.