December 2018


Registrations swell in Rio

by Chris Rodd, AIDA Presidential Council member and AIDA Vice President

The AIDA XV World Congress – Rio 2018
was an exceptional meeting and, despite late planning and the late establishment of a website, was very popular with the Latin Americans.

Registrations were initially slow but, by the time the conference started, had climbed to about 380, largely through last-minute registrations by many Brazilians.

Presidential Council meeting

The congress started with a Presidential Council (PC) meeting, chaired for the last time by then-president Jerome Kullman, from France.

At the meeting, AIDA's first female president, Peggy Sharon, from Israel, was appointed.

It was the first meeting for the newest PC member Jonathan Scragg, from New Zealand. It was great to have Jonathan there for his first PC meeting and his first World Congress.

Several significant decisions were taken at the Rio meeting:

• PC meetings proceedings will be conducted in English only (largely because of translations costs and only one PC member doesn’t speak English).

• English will be the official language at all future AIDA conferences (not CILA events). Organising chapters will no longer have to bear the high cost of simultaneous translations, which will assist AILA for the Melbourne 2022 World Congress. The bylaws were altered to reflect the decision, which understandably met some opposition from Latin America.

• Five vice presidents were appointed to support president Peggy Sharon and represent the five member continents. They are Sergio Mello (Brazil), representing South America; Prof Birgit Kuschke (South Africa), representing Africa; Assoc Prof Kyriaki Noussia (Greece), representing Europe; Rich Traub (USA), representing North America; and me to represent the Asia-Pacific region. We also have responsibilities to support development of chapters within our regions and AIDA global initiatives.

• Several new working party (WP) heads were appointed and others re-appointed. They are:
- Tim Hardy – Climate and catastrophic events
- Kyriaki Noussia – General principles of insurance law
- Pierpaolo Marano – Distribution of insurance
- Sara Landini – Motor
- Louis Habib-Deloncle – Credit insurance and surety
- Joacquin Alarcon Fidalgo – New technologies, prevention and insurance
- Jorge Angell – Reinsurance
- Robert Koch – Financial lines
- Chris Rodd – Dispute resolution
- Satoshi Nakaide - Marine
- Yannis Samothrakis - State supervision

• I tabled a report on planning for the next World Congress in Melbourne in October 2022.

AIDA World Congress

The World Congress was exceptional on every measure, from the program to facilities, presenters, social events, IT, accommodation, the venue and the quality of translation services.

Apart from the WPs' activities, the congress explored four themes which had been the subject of pre-congress questionnaires sent to all AIDA chapters. They were:

• Disclosure
• New technologies, including autonomous vehicles, robots, cyber risks
• Corporate governance of insurers
• Pollution insurance – methods, coverage and beneficiaries.

I did two presentations, one each for the climate change and catastrophe WP and the dispute resolution WP. Fellow Australian Ray Giblett also presented for his WP.

The conference organisers set up a popular conference app that provided daily updates on events and the program.

The seminar and plenary lecture spaces were excellent, well lit and professionally appointed with AIDA Brazil logos and badging. Audio visuals were first class. The exhibitors' hall was huge and an ideal venue for morning and afternoon teas, enabling sponsors and exhibitors to mix with delegates.

The booths were spacious and well appointed and wisely the organisers allowed plenty of opportunities for networking.

All the conference papers will be available on the AIDA website soon.

To promote Melbourne 2022, we were given an area outside the entrance to the exhibitors' hall alongside promoters of the next CILA event in Lima, Peru, in 2019.

A free-standing AILA sign was much appreciated. We handed out more than 350 toy koalas with Victorian Tourism "save the date" cards. We plugged into a laptop to run promotional videos for those who came to the booth to collect their koalas.

The organisers were hugely supportive of Melbourne 2022 and, at the closing ceremony dinner, we had seven minutes to show two videos, bringing the Aussies and Jonathan Scragg on stage to promote Melbourne.

Australians supporting our stand were Bill Smith, Rob Crittenden, Ray Giblett and my wife Sue, together with kiwi Jonathan who, despite the stress of having to endorse an Aussie meeting, did a superb job promoting Melbourne.

While the number of Australian delegates was disappointingly low for a World Congress, those who attended much enjoyed the event and what ultimately was an exceptionally good meeting, in terms of professional content and the social program.

Entertainment at the closing formal dinner was spectacular, essentially a small scale Rio Carnivale. Noise, colour, light, dancing, spectacular costumes, and extremely professional staging made for a memorable event.

Clearly the challenge has been thrown down for Melbourne but I doubt we are likely to produce a closing extravaganza that could match a Rio Carnivale.

But, as Sydney demonstrated in 1994, we do things differently "down under" and I think we can confidently predict a superb and memorable closing dinner.

The presentation for Melbourne 2022 was very well received and included an invitation from past AIDA president Michael Gill. It resulted in numerous South Americans saying they will definitely come to Melbourne for the next World Congress and many have already locked in the date.

The popularity of the toy koalas was a big bonus and, with ample opportunities to promote Melbourne throughout the event, we are off to good start.

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