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“The Future of Stories” will be the conference's theme

Beijing, 24 May 2018 – On 31 May, this year’s StoryDrive Conference will kick off at the China National Convention Center in Beijing. The two-day event, now in its sixth year, is dedicated to exploring new forms of collaboration and business models across media boundaries. The 2018 conference will run from 31 May until 1 June and focus on the future of stories, providing information and inspiration regarding new business models, new technologies, as well as new regions and markets to be explored.

“We are pleased to bring together a strong programme again this year. Artists, writers, publishers, and those on the cutting edge of technology will share their experience in today’s publishing world and forecast what the future may hold”, said Katharina Ewald, Director Business Development at the Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Enrico Brandt, Head of Cultural Affairs at the German Embassy in Beijing, and Claudia Kaiser, Vice President Business Development at the Frankfurter Buchmesse, will jointly open the conference.

The conference's themes and speakers include:

The Future of Education
In these sessions, speakers will discuss new aspects of web programming, after school programmes that focus on creativity and collaboration, the rise of augmented reality (AR), and how to motivate children to think independently:
• Anja von Kampen, film director and author. Her independent film and TV production company visionX, a Berlin-based think tank and film production company, offers animation, consulting, and kids marketing.
• Dhawal Gusain, CEO of The Viral Fever, an online media company
• Kenta Koga, Founder and CEO of GAKKO, an education design studio based in New York City and Tokyo
• Reiri Ray Kojima, Japan Country Manager of GAKKO, where she has been overseeing the company’s development in Japan and beyond
• Gerald Cai, Business Partner and Co-Founder of MXRi, a specialist provider of AR/VR solutions in the fields of education and publishing based on patented technologies from the National University of Singapore

Focus on Book Markets
In these sessions, speakers will examine the highly diversified publishing market in Taiwan and its recent contraction, as well as the latest developments of the German book market, plus give insights into the publishing industry in Georgia, this year’s Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse:
• Chao Cheng-Min, Chairman and General Manager of China Times Publishing and Chairman of the Taipei Book Fair Foundation
• Giorgi Kekelidze, poet and Director of the National Library of Georgia
• Michael Roesler-Graichen, editor at the German trade magazine Börsenblatt and co-editor and co-author of the book Gutenberg 2.0. The Future of the Book

New Business Models
In these sessions, speakers will look at the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), the impact and changes of audio books, the future of self-publishing, the creation of learning platforms and apps, and animation books – the medium between books and cartoons, gaming and videos:
• Tuo Buhua, Co-Founder and CEO of Luogic Knowledge Group and Dedao App
• Tarek El Bolbol, CEO and Co-Founder of Booklava and an entrepreneur based in Dubai with a passion for the written and spoken word. In 2018, he was selected as an Arab Youth Pioneer by the Prime Minister’s Office of the UAE.
• Ren Hui, Founder and CEO of Ellabook, which successfully developed the world’s leading animation book development engine and interactive children’s digital reading platforms
• Matthias Röder, Managing Director of The Eliette and Herbert von Karajan Institute
• Michael Treutler, Senior Vice President International Content & Publishing at Audible
• Huang Yikun, President of Jianshu Copyright Center, the leading explorer in internet publishing in China
• Huang Yuning, Director of the literary editing office of Shanghai Translation Publishing House

Translating “the Impossible”
Anna Holmwood, Foreign Rights Manager for Diamond Kahn & Woods, will discuss translating China’s bestselling author Jin Yong’s Legends of the Condor Heroes series for Maclehose Press in the UK.

Visual Storytelling
In these sessions, speakers will delve into the impact of social media, interdisciplinary works, and how crossmedia impacts storytelling:
• Chou Yih-fen, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Heryin Books and picture book author. Yih-fen has received a Golden Tripod Award for Best Editor-in-Chief.
• Zhu Yingchun, Book Designer, Director of Nanjing Normal University Research Center of Book Culture, and Director of the Jiangsu Province Publishers Association Design and Binding Arts Committee. Yingchun has won the “Chinese Government Award for Publishing” Outstanding Editor Award and is also the recipient of the international award “The Most Beautiful Books in the World”.
• Caver Zhang, picture book author and illustrator and recipient of the Frankfurter Buchmesse Global Illustration Award

The programme will be moderated by Katharina Ewald.
Please find more information about the conference programme on the StoryDrive website:
Interviews with the conference speakers are also available on the website:

About StoryDrive
StoryDrive is an all-media platform in Asia dedicated to exploring new forms of collaboration and business models across media boundaries. In 2012 and 2013, Frankfurter Buchmesse and the German Book Information Center (Beijing) successfully organised StoryDrive China at Beijing CIFTIS Fair. In 2014, the conference was expanded and renamed to StoryDrive Asia, in order to encourage more transmedia exchange and trade in Asia. Starting in 2016, StoryDrive at CIFTIS has been the main location for StoryDrive worldwide.

About the Frankfurter Buchmesse
The Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with over 7,300 exhibitors from 102 countries, around 286,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists and bloggers in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976, the Frankfurter Buchmesse has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurter Buchmesse organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. With its Business Club, the Frankfurter Buchmesse offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries. Founded in 2016, THE ARTS+ is a business festival for creatives, investors, publishers, museums and tech companies that takes place at Frankfurter Buchmesse. The Frankfurter Buchmesse is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association.

Contact for the media:
Press & Corporate Communications, Frankfurter Buchmesse
Katja Böhne, Vice President Marketing & Communications, Phone: +49 (0) 69 2102-46 138,
Kathrin Grün, Head of Communications, Phone: +49 (0) 69 2102-46 170,
Ines Bachor, PR Manager, Phone: +49 (0) 69 2102-46 189,