Future Book Forum 2022: Finding new, sustainable and profitable growth

May 4, 2022 at Canon, Munich, Germany (2 days)

The Future Book Forum is now in its 9th year, and I will be hosting it again from Canon’s European base in Munich, joined by a live audience, and many more publishers joining online from across the world.

Fast-changing markets, uncertain futures, conscious consumers, climate crisis, social injustice, disrupted supply, rising costs, digital technologies, shareholder expectations … finding new growth is not easy in today’s world.

Growth is no longer about simply increasing your sales. It needs to be profitable, and sustainable too.

Sustainability can sometimes seem like it doesn’t go alongside growth. The challenge is to find ways to reduce our negative impacts, and also to increase positive impacts. And to make this valuable to consumers, profitable to business. You could even call this “good” and “bad” growth … and within that paradigm, explore how each potential initiative, could be imagined in a way that is more sustainable, and more profitable.

Every industry is stepping up to address the same challenges – and increasingly is facing a tipping point – an accelerating shift towards clean energy, electric cars, plant-based foods, recycled fashion, and more.

Book publishing has huge challenges in reducing its negative impacts – deforestation, energy, transport, waste and more. But it is also a force for good – educating and entertaining – reaching more people, enabling them to achieve more.

In the USA alone, the book publishing industry uses around 35 million trees, and emits around 45 million tonnes of CO2 each year. It is the third largest industry in terms of greenhouse gas pollution. Many publishers have already sought to address the obvious – shifting to responsibly sourced paper, non-toxic vegetable inks and glues. Digital platforms drive more hybrid experiences, where physical books add value in more premium ways.

Our real challenge is to think differently – How can sustainability open new opportunities for growth? How can it be a catalyst for innovation? How can we explore new markets, new platforms, new experiences and new business models?

Some of these challenges and opportunities we can solve better together, working as an industry to drive systemic change in our ecosystems and practices. Some of the opportunities offer new competitive advantage.

Agenda 4 May 2022 : Finding new growth

  • 0900 : Welcome … Peter Woolf
  • 0910 : Good growth and bad growth … Peter Fisk
  • 0930 : Adidas, the power to change lives … Matthias Rippel
  • 1010 : Consumers and sustainable living … Jemima Cox
  • 1050 : Break
  • 1130 : Sustainable, profitable publishing … Richard Charkin
  • 1210 : Publishing deep dive … Elanders and Halstan
  • 1230 : Lunch
  • 1330 : Where can we find new growth? … Expert panel
  • 1400 : Growth Accelerator: Where are we now?
  • 1515  : Break
  • 1545 : Growth Accelerator: How can we do better?
  • 1645 : What are our biggest opportunities? … Expert panel
  • 1715 : Summary of the day

Agenda 5 May 2022 : Delivering new growth

  • 0900 : Welcome back … Joerg Engelstaedter
  • 0910 : Working together to do more … Peter Kraus vom Cleff, FEP
  • 0945 : Introducing our Innovation Labs … 12 Innovation Experts
  • 1030 : Break
  • 1100 : Innovation Labs, Round 1
  • 1130 :  Change
  • 1135 : Innovation Labs, Round 2
  • 1205 : Change
  • 1210 : Innovation Labs, Round 3
  • 1240 : Lunch
  • 1400 : Insights from the Innovation Labs … 12 Innovation Experts
  • 1500 : Sustainable growth in action … Andy Hunter
  • 1530 : Summary of the forum

Journey of the FBF

Here’s a reminder of some of the previous years: