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IPA VP Hugo Setzer speaking at the PANZ International Conference (June 2018)

On 28-29 June, IPA’s Vice President, Hugo Setzer, was invited by the Publishers Association of New Zealand to deliver the opening keynote speech at their PANZ International Conference 2018.

The excellently organized event included a host of insightful speakers, many of them from other countries, who contributed to the program under the theme “Publishing Matters: Fresh Perspectives, New Directions.”

Hugo found a dynamic publishing industry in a small country with a total population of 4.5 million inhabitants — about 20% of his native, Mexico City . But that doesn’t seem to be an impediment for an energetic industry. Many of its publishers travel the world in search of business opportunities and one of them, Sam Elworthy, is a current member of the IPA’s Executive Committee.

New Zealand’s rich cultural heritage successfully integrates the indigenous Maori with the later British settlers and with ongoing immigration from all over the world. It is nowadays one of the world’s most diverse countries.

Going back to the conference, after the welcome ceremony by Maori tribal leaders and the official salutation by PANZ’s President, Peter Dowling, Hugo presented the case of why publishing matters. Among other things, he mentioned that publishing is valuable because we bring the creations of the intellect of countless authors to readers, because we entertain, we educate, we bring curated scientific information to those who need it.

He also had the opportunity to present an overview of the IPA’s work: our two main pillars, copyright and freedom to publish, and why they are so important to us. But he also spoke about our work in literacy and educational publishing as well as our support of the Marrakesh Treaty and the Accessible Books Consortium.

One of the most striking speeches of the day saw Martin Green of Australia’s Pantera Press bring incredible energy and passion to his address Behind the Curtain: Finding and Lifting Your Publishing Ambition, which started off detailing what a horrible world we live in before talking about Pantera’s desire to create an innovative new model of publishing and their belief that publishing is a social purpose business. He outlined all the ways publishers affect change and support organisations working in literacy and education. Martin urged those present to set their goals ridiculously high, stating that way if you fail, you’re still above everyone else. He told the room that if think you’re too small to be effective you’ve never been in the dark with a mosquito. Martin’s conclusion? “The world sucks and it’s not fair and we can make a difference.” You can read his full speech here.

Some of the other interesting speeches and panels covered subjects like “Global Markets”, “Inclusivity and Diversity in Publishing”, and “The Transformative Power of Education”. At the end of the two-day conference there was definitely plenty of proof that publishing matters.

You can read the PANZ summary of the event here.

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