Welcome to our April 2019 Newsletter. Spring has finally sprung and with it, a round-up of our MGIP activities at London Book Fair and more information on our summer meeting in Greece.
10th April 2019:
Sorry for a misunderstanding in copying Jean Arcache’s welcome speech:
Alberto Gremese is not giving a lecture on ‘wisdom and philosophy’ at the summer meeting in Greece.
He was just presenting the MGIP summer meeting at the London dinner to attendees.
Sorry for that!
Library in Russia vs. Library in China
President's Welcome Speech
During the London dinner, Jean Arcache, MGIP President, gave the following speech:
This year’s London Book Fair is taking place under unusual and exceptional circumstances, at a time when the UK, a country we love and respect, seems to have gone completely crazy facing what will probably be a hard Brexit.
I am left wondering when intelligence will rise again?
It is not just the UK, however. It seems like we are in a time where most of the world is losing intelligence and turning “crazy”. Each tweet by Donald Trump is greater proof of this. Even France is losing control; we need only look at the violent behaviour of the ‘Yellow Vest’ movement. How will Europe resist, and how will it become stronger after the next May elections?
Publishing books in this environment is becoming more and more of a risky business. Our community needs intelligent publishers who are brave enough to publish books which can help their readers keep a clear view on things, and in return, publishers who trust in the intelligence of their readers.
It is a big issue for our more or less solid book eco-system, where printing is still strong and predominant, that new players are introducing digital-first products and responding quickly to audio trends for smart speakers such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home and platforms like Storytell. Children’s books, however, continue to be a growing market worldwide, particularly in China, which is a positive sign for the future of reading. I strongly believe in, and have faith that books and bookshops will transform and survive as a way to protect ideas, raising our intelligence and understanding to fight against fake news.
Should we take inspiration from ancient wisdom and philosophy to begin building a more intelligent world?
Maybe we should all be inspired by the future? The main transformation of our eco-system is coming from the implementation of artificial intelligence, which will play a role in every step of the book publishing process.
The Grupo Planeta, where I worked as the CEO of 15 well-known publishing brands, has recently sold its French arm, Editis, to the Vivendi group, and, as a result, I am now retiring from book publishing. I have recently started an executive program at MIT in the US on AI for Business Strategy and from now on I will work as a consultant on the implementation of AI in cultural organisations. The future is there, and it is a very exciting new life for me.
Consequently, I have informed the Board today that I will be stepping down after 20 years as Director, Chairman and Executive President, and will ideally leave the Board at the General Assembly at our summer meeting in June, to be replaced by Christopher Hudson, our current Chairman.
I am convinced that the MGIP group, with members coming from all continents, is doing perfectly well, and it should get new strategic inputs in addition to its 42 years of world experience. For any non-members here tonight, don’t hesitate to join this unique organisation asap and bring your valuable insight and input with you!
MGIP London Dinner
We would like to thank our generous sponsors, Thames & Hudson and MGIP member, Sophie Thompson, who made it possible for us to host our annual London dinner at the beautiful Stationer's Hall for the second year in a row.
A working session between MGIP members at this year's Bologna Children's Book Fair. From right to left: Christopher Hudson, Laurent Germeau, Catherine de Duve, Eric Ghyssels as well as Orith Kollodny (Milano)
Whilst in Bologna, we also held a dinner for our members and friends who were attending the Book Fair.
MGIP welcomes a new member!
We are happy to welcome our new associate member, Isabelle Gerard, who is Director of Publications at the Royal Museum of Central Africa. www.africamuseum.be
Congratulations to Jean Arcache
As Jean Arcache mentioned in his speech above, he has recently undertaken a programme run by MIT that focuses on key AI technologies, such as machine learning, natural language processing and robotics, and learned what the implications of these new technologies on business strategy are, as well as the economic and societal issues they raise.
Jean has now successfully completed the course and we would like to say a massive congratulations to him!
Summer Meeting 2019 at Grecotel Cape Sounio, Greece
28th June to 1st July 2019
Don’t miss the chance to spend three fantastic days at one of the most famous archaeological sites and picturesque places in all of Greece, the Temple of Poseidon. The Cape Sounio Grecotel hotel has impressive views and overlooks the bay towards the temple and seems to be at ‘the end of the world’ – the temple, pine trees and the open sea – nothing else.
We have set a second deadline for our members to reserve their places! Please contact email@example.com before 25th April 2019. You will not want to miss it!
Lectures and speeches:
As with previous years, we have not just organised a wonderful location and the Rights Centre, we have also arranged a series of stimulating speeches and lectures.
We are excited to announce some of the speakers who will be taking part in the summer meeting lectures:
Jennifer Clement - President of PEN International, Mexico City
Jennifer is an internationally acclaimed writer whose novel, Prayers for the Stolen, was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice Book, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, winner of both the Gran Prix des Lectrices Lyceenes de ELLE 2015 and the Sara Curry Humanitarian Award. The novel appeared internationally on many ‘Best Books of the Year’ lists, including The Irish Times. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016 for Gun Love.
Prof. Manolis Korres - Director of the Acropolis Restoration Project, University of Athens.
Professor Korres has been awarded by institutions all over the world for his research.He is a trained architect and archaeologist, and is the foremost expert on columns and the Acropolis. He has also been featured in a National Geographic documentary addressing the construction and sustainability of the Parthenon Temple.
Isabelle Gerard - Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium.
Head of the Publications Department, Isabelle is a manager, publisher (for scientific monographs, journals and exhibitions catalogues, collections books, visitor’s guides, etc.), trainer and is in charge of the Open Access Policy at the RMCA.
More information about the speeches and lectures taking place will be circulated soon by mail.
Here is an overview of the itinerary for the summer meeting:
Friday 28th June -
Welcome dinner at the Grecotel’s seaside restaurant
Saturday 29th June -
09.00am - General Assembly
10.30am - 2 minutes Power Point Presentations
During the day: Rights Centre, lectures
05.30pm - Bus trip to Athens, welcome drinks at the Presidential Palace, dinner at the Benizelos Mansion which, for the first time, the museum opens the garden for us!
Sunday 30th June -
From 09.00am – Individual Meetings, Voting for the MGIP Book Award and the Award BOOKS ON FILMS, Lectures.
05.30pm – Departure to the visit of the Poseidon Temple and further on too our farewell-dinner at the winery Papagiannakos.
Monday 1st July -
For those leaving, we say goodbye at 10am or;
07:30am - Special excursion, departure by boat to the Island of Kea.
All details regarding the summer meeting will follow once all reservations have been made.
Here are some details about exciting activities that will take place during our Summer Meeting just to whet your appetite:
Dinner in Athens -
On the second evening of our stay in Greece, we will drive to Athens and have dinner in a jewel of Athen’s Plaka – the Benizelos Mansion.
Once home to the Benizelos family, this Ottoman house was most likely constructed in the first half of the 18th Century. It is the last surviving konaki in Athens and one of very few such mansions left in southern Greece. It was carefully renovated and is now home to a museum.
Our MGIP dinner is unique because for the first time ever, dinner will take place in the courtyard in front of a grand painting of a medieval scene. We were granted special permission by the Mansion’s owner, the Church, to have our dinner at such a wonderful and cultural building.
The Special Excursion -
Our special excursion this year will be a boat trip to Kea, one of the near-by islands of the Cyclades. Early in the morning of 1st July, we will take a bus to Lavrio and from there a ferry across to Kea. Once on the island we shall explore the archeological sites (which are the most important of its kind in the Cyclades) and visit the stone ‘Lion of Kea’. We have plenty of time for you to stroll around the main town, Ioulis, before we find a tavern to have lunch at. Following our lunch, we shall return to the ferry which will take us back to Lavrio, then onto Grecotel for the evening.
Frankfurt Fellowship Programme
We would like to remind all members to apply for the Frankfurt Fellowship Programme before 30th April 2019.
This can be done either directly through Frankfurt Book Fairs website by referencing ‘Motovun Group’ or via our office before 20th April.