London Book Fair: IPA Focuses on Sustainability

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The International Publishers Association’s programming for London Book Fair centers on the SDG Publishers Compact.

At a seminar event in the 2018 iteration of London Book Fair. Image: LBF

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

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Sustainability Takes the Floor
The International Publishers Association‘s programming at London Book Fair—opening Tuesday, April 5) has as its centerpiece a “Sustainability Afternoon” on Wednesday (April 6), which in part again marks, as the association did at Bologna Children’s Book Fair in March, the conclusion of the SDG Book Club.

Indeed, there’s a kind of warm-up session set for Tuesday (April 5), to introduce and put into play the sustainability issue.

Here’s a quick look at these events at the London event, an industry-facing trade show at Olympia London, despite at least one popular cinematic treatment of London Book Fair as a public-facing show in Covent Garden.

All times here are BST, British Summer Time, which is GMT+1.

We recommend that throughout the week you keep an eye on venues for your events, as they’re not necessarily the same as in past iterations of the fair. The introduction of the Main Stage in Pillar Hall, for example, is new this year.

Tuesday, April 5

SDG Book Club: How Important Is Sustainability in Children’s Literature?
2 to 2:45 p.m.
Olympia Theatre

  • Moderator: Michiel Kolman, Elsevier and IPA Inclusive Publishing and Literacy committee chair
  • Olatoun Gabi Williams, African chapter of the SDG Book Club
  • Karine Pansa, Brazilian Portuguese chapter of the SDG Book Club
  • Irina Lumelsky, United Nations Publications

The Role of Publishing and Culture During Global Conflict
3:15 to 4 p.m.
Main Stage

This program, led by the United Kingdom’s Publishers Association “considers the role of publishers and the wider cultural industries during global conflict.

It will highlight some of the specific initiatives and responses from the publishing industry to the Ukraine crisis [and] consider how culture can play a role during difficult times of global conflict, and what that means in practice.

  • Moderator: Stephen Lotinga, Publishers Association CEO
  • Bodour Al Qasimi, IPA president
  • Jane Mann, Cambridge University Press
  • Cortina Butler, British Council

Wednesday, April 6, “IPA Sustainability Afternoon”

SDG Publishers Compact photo event
1 to 1:20 p.m.
Main Stage

Signatories of the IPA-United Nations SDG Publishers Compact gather for a record photo in Pillar Hall.

“Sustainability Keynote and Conversation”
1:20 to 2:30 p.m.
Main Stage

The Lancet’s editor-in-chief Richard Horton speaks, and then has a conversation with IPA president Bodour Al Qasimi.

“Sustainability in the Publishing Industry”
2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Main Stage

This session is devised to “explore key sustainability initiatives already in progress and share insights from a panel looking at sustainability from a range of perspectives.”

  • Moderator: Michiel Kolman, Elsevier and IPA Inclusive Publishing and Literacy committee chair
  • Stephen Lotinga, Publishers Association CEO
  • Ken Wilson-Max, children’s author
  • Jessica Lobo, UN Global Compact

“Taking Practical Steps Toward Sustainability”
3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Main Stage

  • Caroline Priday, PUP Europe, Princeton University Press
  • Rachel Martin, Elsevier
  • Stacy Scott, Taylor and Francis (World Intellectual Property Organization ABC Award winner)
  • Karina Urquhart, Green Book Alliance

Thursday, April 7

Charles Clark Memorial Lecture

Mark D. Cole

Mark D. Cole, professor of media and telecommunication law at the University of Luxembourg, on “The Answer to Platform Regulation Is in the Regulation of Platforms”

This program is this year supported by the IPA as well as by the Copyright Licensing Agency, the Federation of European Publishers, the Publishers Association, and the Publishers Licensing Services.


A programming note: Elsevier’s Michiel Kolman is heard with Olatoun Gabi-Williams and Aaron Friedland on the topic of the SDG Book Club and African publishing, in Christopher Kenneally’s “Velocity of Content” podcast from Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), an edition just released today (April 4). 

You’ll find the complete podcast here. And below is a preview of the conversation with Gabi-Williams, produced for CCC’s Twitter account.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the work of the International Publishers Association is here, and more on London Book Fair is here.

Publishing Perspectives is the world media partner of the International Publishers Association.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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