Canon unleashes innovative challenge to publishers and printers to transform the book

11th November 2016, London – Canon Europe, leader in imaging solutions, has challenged printers and publishers to map an innovative approach to the future of publishing by reinventing the book. More than 300 delegates from across the world were inspired by interactive round tables and discussions at Canon’s annual Future Book Forum – “the only place where publishing meets technology” – (2-4 November) in Poing, Germany.

Starting with an original manuscript of 50 letters written by independent management gurus to the world’s CEOs, over two days the participants were tasked with developing a new book, entitled “Letters to the Future”. This will be launched at the Thinkers50 European Business Forum in Odense, Denmark, next May.

“Publishing is becoming much faster and much more diversified, individual and personalised, so there are many more opportunities to do business,” said Dr Joerg Pfuhl, CEO of Holtzbrinck Buchverlage, Germany. “I am a big fan of the Future Book Forum, having seen a growth over the past couple of years. This is the only place where technology and publishing meet. It is very special, has a global scope and we are working hands-on. All these factors make it a unique event.”

Marianne Bushell, Global Procurement Director of RELX Group, said: “I’ve come away armed with a lot of information that is going to really help me in my role. There’s a lot of networking and what’s different about this forum is the interactivity. You split into groups for discussions, come back with a lot of ideas that can then be shared with the audience together. I was impressed.”

Rupert Smith, Commercial Director of Halstan, UK, said: “This was a really good event that got all the delegates thinking way beyond how to print a book. This was an important ideas forum where expertise was shared right the way across the supply chain, as well as being a good networking experience.”

Books printed at the event included some that will be sent to refugees in Munich as part of Canon’s continued partnership with German children’s book publisher, Goloseo and Room to Read¹ – a non-profit organisation focused on literacy and girls’ education. With the ability, through digital printing, to produce short-runs of books in a number of languages, Goloseo aims to make multi-lingual training easier and help refugees to quickly learn the language of their new home.

Delegates at the Future Book Forum 2016 were provided with inspirational insights that covered case studies including Vodafone and Slyrs. In addition, presentations were given by successful print service providers focusing on how innovation in digital printing can support profitable new publishing models.

Peter Wolff, Head of Commercial Print Group, Canon Europe, said: “For this event, we wanted to get those at the heart of the publishing industry to reimagine how the written word can be delivered. This meant getting into the mindset of the reader and creating new delivery concepts to suit them. It is only by becoming more creative with both offline and online channels that publishers and print service providers alike will thrive and consumers will better engage.”

He added: “Hypothetical scenarios help to steer creative thinking. However, this innovative event was designed to transform and unleash a physical piece of content and build on our three previous events in which the vision, inspiration and roadmap for the future of book publishing were similarly developed. We look forward to showcasing what the industry has created in the coming months.”

¹ Thinkers50 produces the world’s most prestigious ranking of management thinkers. The manuscript is a compilation of 50 letters written to CEOs about the management challenges and future thinking by some of the world’s top thinkers including Tom Peters and Don Tapscott.