International Publishers Association launches InSPIRe

September 21, 2021 / 12:10 PM
Sharjah24: Following IPA’s landmark report From Response to Recovery: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Publishing Industry, President Bodour Al Qasimi formed the International Sustainable Publishing and Industry Resilience (InSPIRe) Plan Taskforce in early 2021 to lead an industry consultation to identify key pandemic-induced challenges facing publishers and promote cooperation on the way forward.
“Publishing is facing an uncertain recovery if our industry doesn’t come together. While developed publishing markets have fared better, our colleagues in emerging publishing markets are facing existential challenges. The global pandemic doesn’t just affect publishers - the livelihoods of millions of publishers, authors, illustrators, printers, distributors, and booksellers around the world are at risk,” said IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi.  

The InSPIRe Charter, is one of the first achievements of the Taskforce. Charter signatories have committed to industry-wide cooperation on a forthcoming plan for the post-pandemic future of publishing. By endorsing the Charter, signatories have agreed to ten areas of cooperation targeting the sector’s interactions with policy makers but also building inter-sector dialogue and closing skill gaps.

The InSPIRe Plan is unique in its intentional inclusion of a broad spectrum of the publishing ecosystem. 

“The publishing industry’s post-pandemic future looks likely to be even more dependent on cooperation, unity, and solidarity. The Inspire Charter is a formal framework for coordinated action so the entire publishing ecosystem can learn and move forward together in these unprecedented times. We want all organizations committed to positively shaping global publishing’s post-pandemic future to join us,” said Al Qasimi. 

To date, the following entities have joined the 86 members of the IPA in endorsing the Inspire Charter: 
African Publishers Network 
Arab Publishers Association 
ASEAN Book Publishers Association
Association for the Development of Education in Africa
Association of American Literary Agents
Bologna Children’s Book Fair  
Book Aid International
Buenos Aires Book Fair
Delhi Book Fair
European and International Booksellers Federation
European Educational Publishers Group
Etats Généraux du Livre en Langue Française 
Frankfurt Book Fair
Ghana International Book Fair
Goteborg Book Fair
Grupo Ibero-Americano de Editores
Independent Book Publishers Association
International Association of STM Publishers
International Board on Books for Young People
International Istanbul Book Fair
London Book Fair
Nairobi International Book Fair
Nigeria International Book Fair
Pan African Writers Association
PEN International
Rio Int’l Book Fair
Più Libri Più Liberi (Rome Book Fair)
Sao Paulo Int’l Book Fair
Seoul International Book Fair
Sharjah International Book Fair
Tbilisi International Book Festival
Turin Book Fair
U.S. Book Show
About the International Publisher Association’s International Sustainable Publishing and Industry Resilience (InSPIRe) Plan Initiative.

IPA is leading a wide-ranging consultation to develop consensus on the global pandemic’s impact on global publishing and what’s next. The consultation, which will culminate in an industry-wide analysis on the state of global publishing and advance recommendations to enhance resilience and sustainability, is being overseen by a multi-stakeholder taskforce called the Inspire Plan Taskforce. The taskforce is composed of 11 members of the IPA Executive Committee. 

In May, the Inspire Plan Taskforce developed the Inspire Charter to be endorsed by publishing stakeholders as a symbolic commitment to continuing the high level of industry-wide cooperation that emerged in response to the global pandemic. The Inspire Plan consultation has been designed to reinforce this cooperation by including the entire publishing ecosystem to develop a systemic, collaborative approach to building industry sustainability and resilience.

The ten commitments are:
1. Asserting the value of publishing to policymakers as an essential industry.
2. Advocating for publishing-specific government stimulus programs to build a more sustainable and resilient global publishing industry that continuously adapts to changing consumer and competitive dynamics;
3. Fostering dialogue between publishing ecosystem stakeholders to build resilience, expand partnerships, mitigate risks from global supply chain disruptions, and minimize the environmental impacts of the publishing supply chain;
4. Demonstrating the damaging effects of piracy, and advocating for the development, protection, and enforcement of fit-for-purpose copyright frameworks that guarantee fair competition and protect the rights of publishers and content creators;
5. Identifying common ground between publishing stakeholders, rights organizations, and governments to fight censorship and promote freedom to publish;
6. Closing emerging workforce skills gaps through capacity building, mentorship, and partnerships;
7. Exploring partnerships and programs that emphasize the role of publishing in promoting access to knowledge, continuity of education and lifelong learning for all children and young people, with equal opportunities for girls and boys;
8. Empowering underrepresented voices to ensure diversity and inclusion in the publishing ecosystem;
9. Supporting indigenous language publishing through targeted initiatives and partnerships;
10. Highlighting the role of small and medium-sized independent publishers and booksellers, which make up the vast majority of the publishing industry globally, in ensuring bibliodiversity and supporting measures needed to future proof their businesses. 

September 21, 2021 / 12:10 PM

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