The International Publishers Association met at Frankfurt this week to appoint the next president and vice president of the organization.
Current IPA president Michiel Kolman ends his two year tenure on December 31 and will be succeeded by current vice president Hugo Setzer, who will hold the post for two years until December 31 2020, at which point it’s a given Bodour Al Qasimi will succeed to the IPA throne and a new VP will move into her seat.
The event will mark only the second women VP in the IPA’s history, and the first Arab tenure
For the IPA, outgoing president Kolman said,
The election of Hugo Setzer and Bodour Al Qasimi as President and Vice President of the IPA is great news for the future of IPA. These are two people from different regions with great experience of the industry as publishers and within national, regional and international associations. Their commitment to IPA’s pillars, Freedom to Publish and Copyright, have been proven again and again. It is important that IPA’s leaders will now be gender balanced and show off the diversity of our organisation.
Kolman’s presidency has seen remarkable strides by the IPA to embrace diversity, equality and to shift the IPA focus away from the safe houses and towards the much-neglected emerging markets, and we see some of that in the official statements of the two successors.
Mexico’s Hugo Setzer said,
It is a great privilege for me to be elected as President of the International Publishers Association. We work to make a better world by bringing the creations of countless authors to as many readers as possible. We entertain, we educate, we bring curated scientific information to those who need it. It is my mission to make sure IPA brings that message to policy makers worldwide.
The UAE’s Bodour Al Qasimi said,
I have never been more hopeful about our industry than I am today and what can be achieve together with IPA member support tomorrow. There are emerging industry issues that need to be addressed, freedom to publish injustices that deserve our collective attention, and publishers requiring our support to uphold their intellectual property rights. Progress can’t happen without you, and I look forward to discussing how we can work together to move the IPA and the publishing industry forward.
Via IPA Press release.
At which point let’s lay the press release to one side and consider the bigger picture.
Hugo Setzer brings a Latin American perspective to the IPA, and his track record speaks for itself. Check out this recent IPA interview with Setzer by way of example.
For that reason, and with no disrespect to Setzer, I propose to focus here on Bodour Al Qasimi, as the lesser-known name outside of the IPA, to show why I’m excited by what the IPA will achieve over the next five years.
I’ll do so with reference to two recent articles by Qasimi on the Arab publishing news site Nasher.
In early September Qasimi wrote a post on Nasher titled, “Can Emerging Markets Be The Answer To Global Readers’ Quest For New, Fresh Content?”
Just a decade ago, emerging publishing markets, such as the Middle East, Africa and Asia, have played a relatively modest role in the global publishing industry, especially in terms of content. Today, and thanks to the growth in both translation and technology, I can see the potential for them to occupy a much more important one.
I have tremendous faith that it is only a matter of time until the populations and economic trends in emerging markets will change the face of the global publishing industry as we now know it.
Later the same month Qasimi addressed “The role of publishing in the global refugee crisis.”
As the present global refugee crisis continues to outpour, with migrants fleeing war from across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe, it is safe to say that another—equally damaging crisis—has also been quietly unfolding especially for children refugees; a crisis of literacy.
It is undeniable that every child should be able to benefit from the power of reading. Books are often a child’s first glimpse of the outside world. And children—all children—deserve to be given this chance. This is even more important for children and adults who are living the refugee crisis day in and day out. It is, therefore, our duty in the publishing world to be a solution and a beacon of hope, understanding, and humanity. As I witnessed myself in the refugee camp in Jordan, we publishers, in many cases, might be the only shining light in the lives of these refugees.
But I’ll end this post with a link to a TNPS post from May, at the time of the IPA Lagos conference in Nigeria, where Bodour Al Qasimi spoke of the future of global publishing as being the emerging markets.
Follow Bodour Al Qasimi in twitter: @Bodour
Follow Hugo Setzer on twitter: ‘@HugoSetzer
Follow Michiel Kolman on twitter: @michielams
Follow the IPA on twitter: @intpublishers
Follow The New Publishing Standard on twitter: @thenewpubstd