Lech Walesa joins line up of keynote speakers at IBA’s Paris annual conference

Headline speakers also include former OpenAI director Zack Kass and Meta oversight board co-chair Helle Thorning Schmidt
Trento's Festival of Economy 2023. Trento, Italy on May 28, 2023. Poland's Solidarnosc Leader Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa Pierre Teyssot; Shutterstock

Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa and prominent futurologist Zack Kass, architect of ChatGPT’s go-to-market strategy, are among the headline speakers lined up for the International Bar Association’s (IBA’s) 2023 Annual Conference in Paris.

More than 6,000 delegates from across the world will assemble at the conference, which takes place from 29 October – 3 November and will mark the IBA’s 75th anniversary.

Other prominent speakers include Christopher Stephens, senior vice president and general counsel of the World Bank Group, and Helle Thorning Schmidt, co-chair of Meta’s oversight board and former prime minister of Denmark.

The conference is being billed as a forum “to discuss, support and advance legal reform and social justice” in the context of “continuing conflicts in Europe and the Middle East, disruptions to the energy market and the climate crisis”.

It also serves as a popular gathering place for the international business law community, given the continued importance of cross-border referrals for law firms.

IBA President Arpón de Mendívil said the annual meeting had a “clear purpose of gathering the profession from all over the planet, enhancing dialogue and cohesion amongst its members as well as seeking solutions to common challenges”.

Key themes to be addressed by the conference include: the impact of AI; the emergence of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) movement and its impact on diversity, equity and inclusion; the attraction and retention of talent; and promoting and defending the rule of law.

Former Poland president Wałęsa, who played a pivotal role in the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, will deliver the morning keynote address on 30 October, while Kass, a former director of OpenAI, will offer his latest thinking on the threats and opportunities posed by generative AI on the following morning.

Wednesday’s showcase session, The new female leadership of law firms: a game changer?, will feature, among others, Farmida Bi, senior partner of Norton Rose Fulbright (UK), Linklaters senior partner and chair Aedamar Comiskey, and Marie-Aimée De Dampierre, chair of Hogan Lovells (France).

Click here to read the programme.

The Global Legal Post is partnering with the IBA to publish the IBA Daily News, a news magazine that will be distributed at the conference. Click here for more details

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