Identity, Influence and Innovation – ICCO Summit 2023 (Day 1)

The 2023 ICCO Global Summit unfolded in Warsaw, Poland, on the 11th and 12th of October. Attendees were introduced to a diverse array of international speakers and had the opportunity to partake in social gatherings and networking sessions with peers from around the world.

The event kicked off with an inaugural address by Grzegorz Szczepanski, the ICCO President, followed by an electrifying keynote speech delivered by Adrian Monck, the former Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, who delved into the potential of artificial intelligence and the importance of balance in our rapidly changing world.

Following this, a keynote address by AnnaMaria DeSalva, Global Chairman and CEO, Hill+Knowlton Strategies explored the crucial role of communications in this era of continuous transformation and how leadership and innovation contribute to sustainable change. Wawrzyniec Smoczyński, President of the New Community Foundation, made a bold statement about the detrimental effects of polarisation on democracy during another keynote session. This session highlighted the division in societies and potential solutions.

The event continued with a powerful keynote from Chris Foster, CEO of Omnicom PR Group, discussing the evolving landscape of public relations in the face of dynamic shifts in social, political, economic, and technological realms.

Throughout the day, there were engaging panel discussions. The first panel focused on combatting misinformation and rebuilding trust in media and democracy. Moderated by Massimo Moriconi, CEO of Omnicom PR Group Italy, the panel featured Andrew Hillier, Board Member of the European Association of Communication Directors, Jarosław Włodarczyk, Secretary-General of the International Association of Press Clubs, Tomasso Canetta, Deputy Director of Facta News & Board Member of the European Fact Checking Standards Network.

Another panel addressed the challenges of mitigating risks from misinformation and was moderated by Maja Pawinska Sims, Associate Editor at PRovoke. Panelists Adrian Monck and Shayoni Lynn discussed this important topic.

The day also included a thought-provoking panel discussion on the Ukraine war and its influence on public perception and the role of PR. Moderated by Grzegorz Szczepanski, President of ICCO, the panel was chaired by Irina Pavlova, Communications Lead at B4Ukraine, Julia Petryk, Head of PR at MacPaw Inc and Co-Founder of Ukrainian PR Army, Viroslava Novosylna, Founder and CEO of SLOVA Tech PR and Co-Founder of Ukrainian PR Army.

The day was further enriched with a fireside chat featuring NATO’s Ben Tufft, moderated by Johna Burke, CEO of AMEC. Tina McCorkindale, CEO of IPR, presented a study on the perceptions of PR professionals regarding climate communications and how the industry can adapt and improve.

Boaz Paldi, Chief Creative Officer of the United Nations Development Programme, introduced the organization’s mission, brand, and communications challenges while extending an invitation to agencies to join their mission. Climate and AI were hot topics, with a panel discussion moderated by Maja Pawinska Sims. Panelists included Boaz Paldi and Tina McCorkindale.

The day also showcased the winners of the 2022 Gold PR World Cup competition, Morten Vester Haldrup, Advisor, Advice A/S and Sofie Rebecca Høj, Management Consultant, Implement Consulting Group who shared their success story of creating a global brand campaign for WWF in less than 48 hours.

Nitin Mantri, CEO of AvianWE, moderated a session with Next Gen Trailblazers, including Frederike Buddensiek, Consultant, ORCA van Loon Communications,  Guilia Polichetti, Client Executive, Omnicom PR Group, Morten Haldrup, Advisor, Advice A/S and Yashika Girdhar, Senior Account Manager, AvianWE.

Christina Forsgard, Founder, Netprofile Finland, Mary Beth West, Senior Strategist, Fletcher Marketing PR and Maxim Behar, CEO and Chairman, M3 Communications discussed the ethical incorporation of AI in PR as the last session concluded.

After a day brimming with knowledge, the event concluded with a delightful gala dinner at the Belvedere Restaurant with some local music and food.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarika Chavan
Sarika Chavan is a public relations professional with over 15 years of work experience.

Sarika has previously had stints with with Weber Shandwick as Vice President - Client Experience, Adfactors PR, Text100 (now Archetype) and Perfect Relations. With keen observation and analytical skills, Sarika has successfully led PR campaigns for key brands across multiple sectors by leveraging her strength and expertise in the communications arena.

She is a post graduate in communications from Xavier Institute of Communications. She is based in Mumbai and in her free time loves to spend time with her daughters, play with her dogs, read and travel.

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