Karine Pansa is set to take over as president of the International Publishers Association this January 1 for a two-year term. Currently vice-president, Pansa has served on the IPA’s executive committee since 2016, and follows a dynamic term as president by U.A.E.’s Sheika Bodour al Qasimi. “I plan to continue focusing on the IPA’s two key priorities, defending copyright protections and the freedom to publish around the world,” Pansa says.
Pansa is the owner and publishing director at Girassol Brasil Edições, a children’s book publisher in Sao Paolo, and first became involved with the IPA through the CBL, the Brazilian Book Chamber. For much of the past year, her main focus at the IPA has been chairing the organizing committee of the 33rd International Publishers Congress and she is about to see the fruits of that labor blossom: the Congress will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia from November 10–12 with the theme “Reading Matters: Embracing the Future.”
The program includes keynote speeches from the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Daren Tang, and award-winning Japanese author, Natsuo Kirino. Speakers include Jesús Badenes, CEO of Spain’s Planeta Group; Gabriella Page-Fort, editor from U.S.-based HarperOne; and Adi Ekatama, general manager of Indonesian publishing house Gramedia, among others.
“We’re going to discuss some new and potentially challenging topics,” says Pansa. “These include whether or not we should engage more directly with education publishers and what will be the impact of artificial intelligence on copyrights.” She adds that the Congress will be free of charge for the delegates for the first time due to the generosity of local authorities in Jakarta, who are sponsoring the event. (Transportation and accommodation are not free.)
The IPA has been central to publishing’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “We are very supportive of our Ukrainian colleagues from the Ukrainian Booksellers Association and we know that other members, such as Germany’s Börsenverein [des Deutschen Buchhandels] have raised €35,000 to support them,” Panse says.
As of mid-September membership of the IPA counts 86 members from 73 countries. Though by the time you read this there may be four new members, including three from the continent of Africa and one from central America. Russia was previously a member of the IPA, and having had let its membership lapse it was in process of reapplying when the war began. That application has since been withdrawn.
You cannot not ask a publishing professional what they are currently reading, and Panse says she is very much enjoying The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis. “I know I am late to it, but it is so good,” she says. And, noting that some of the research she has seen indicates that humans are capable of greater longevity, the 45-year-old mother of two teenagers says she is studying Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott’s The 100-Year Life. “The book triggered me to try to eat better and get more exercise.” She acknowledges that it is something that is likely to be even more challenging with the almost non-stop travel the role of president of the IPA involves. “I’ll do my best,” she says, shrugging a little. And should we continue to want a healthy publishing industry too, we have an obligation to encourage her.