Future Book Forum 2017 enabled by Canon shapes role of ‘smart books’ in future learning

LONDON, 14th December 2017 – Canon welcomed over 380 delegates from 32 countries to the Future Book Forum 2017, which took place from 27th to 29th November at its Customer Experience Centre near Munich, Germany.

Peter Fisk, business thinker and professor of strategy and innovation at IE Business School

Future Book Forum 2017 was held at Canon’s Customer Experience Centre near Munich, Germany

Peter Wolff, Senior Director, Customer Group Commercial Printer and Production CRD, Canon Europe

The fifth event of its kind, Future Book Forum 2017 was initiated by Canon to bring together a community of forward-looking book publishers and producers from around the world. The Forum sets out to explore future publishing trends and devise creative solutions to meet evolving consumer demands.

Drawing on the key outcomes of the 2016 event, the theme of Future Book Forum 2017 was ‘The Smart Book’, examining how publishers can adapt proactively to contemporary preferences for user-orientated consumption of content across multiple media platforms. This topic was debated with a focus on the future of education – or Education 4.0 – which is characterised by multi-generational, lifelong learners requiring educational materials tailored to their specific needs and challenges.

Peter Wolff, Senior Director, Customer Group Commercial Printer and Production CRD, Canon Europe, comments: “With sales of physical books now showing growth again, the publishing community is optimistic and confident in the medium. Now their focus is on innovation, while developing more dynamic business processes to reduce the commercial risks associated with analogue publishing models. This requires close collaboration between publisher, printer and digital technology provider, and that’s what Canon facilitates with Future Book Forum. With audience growth of 20 per cent year on year, it’s clear that the publishing community appreciates this unique opportunity to come together and shape the future.”

Chaired by Peter Fisk, business thinker and professor of strategy and innovation at IE Business School, the Future Book Forum 2017 programme featured prominent speakers from the worlds of publishing, marketing and technology.

Sven Fund (fullstopp) described the challenges and opportunities facing the sector, while Dr. Wolfgang Merkle (University of Applied Sciences Europe) showed how German omnichannel consumer brand Tchibo puts the customer at the heart of product and service innovation. Production expert Michaela Philipzen (Ullstein Verlag) and digitisation specialist Alexander Markowetz articulated their vision of greater integration and standardisation of the publishing environment as the foundation for positive digital transformation. Kirsti Lonka (University of Helsinki) shared the latest academic thinking on Education 4.0, while Peter Revsbech and Whitney Jorgenson (Ordsbogen) described how their innovative, data-led content platforms are revolutionising education in Denmark.

Delegates also heard success stories from Meteksan and Teknolist (Turkey) and Livonia Print (Latvia), both illustrating the importance of the ‘triangle of expertise’ between publisher, printer and solutions provider in developing new publishing business models, enabled by digital print and workflow technologies. Through a series of collaborative workshops, ‘action labs’ and moderated round table discussions, attendees had further opportunities to dive deeper into these topics, prioritising the attributes of the ‘smart book’ and debating the role of enriched and personalised content formats in effective learning.

Peter Wolff concludes: “Future Book Forum emphasises that digitisation is one of many strategies which the publishing industry is adopting to respond to change. A digital mind-set enables publishers to embrace a future in which short runs and on-demand delivery are the reality, and in which more proactive lifecycle management of publishing assets enables them to maximise the commercial value of their content.

“‘Smart books’ will take this to another level, integrating physical and digital media in completely new ways that balance the value of the content with the needs of the user. Future Book Forum 2017 shared a vision of a future in which digital technology will transform ‘books’ into multi-layered products and services that create new levels of engagement between consumers and the content they choose.”

Canon plans to host the sixth Future Book Forum in November 2018.