9th Round Table Asia-Pacific – 21 & 22 October 2021


Cyril Ritchie

President of UIA

Keynote: 'Associations in the World: Speaking Truth to Power'

Associations are essentially groupings of citizens who have joined together to promote a good cause (human rights, environmental protection, aid to refugees, gender equality, good health and a thousand more) or to eliminate an evil (human trafficking, recruitment of child soldiers, racism and far too many more). Many associations are academic, scientific, technical, professional or legal, setting and raising national and international standards.

Associations thus exert - increasing ? - influence in public affairs both nationally and internationally, and their voices must be heard in the corridors of power: whether in parliaments, ministries, municipal councils, corporate board rooms, or United Nations conference halls.

The UIA President's Keynote will explore the What, Why, How and When of all the above.

Workshop: 'The United Nations and Civic Associations'

The United Nations System, now in its 76th year, has achieved and made possible vastly more good in the world than its founders imagined in 1945. A few illustrations would be Rights of the Child, the Law of the Sea, International Telecommunications coordination, World Heritage protection, the advancement of women, safeguarding biodiversity, peacekeeping...

The United Nations - or rather its member governments – have also fallen short in too many areas: preventing armed conflicts and genocide, reversing climate change, short-circuiting health crises, getting all girls into primary schools...

In all the above, the role of Civic Associations (NGOs, CSOs, CBAs, PVOs, MGoS...) has been permanent but often undervalued or simply overlooked, whether in operational fieldwork or in advocacy for better solutions. The Workshop will describe these often nebulous contributions towards achieving a more just world, and examine how to enhance results-oriented participation.


President of UIA – Union of International Associations (since 2017)

First Vice-President of CoNGO – Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (since 2018), formerly President (2011-2018)

Honorary President of the Council of Europe Expert Council on NGO Law (since 2018), formerly President (2008-2018)

Senior Policy Advisor of WFC – World Future Council (since 2012)

Chair of ELCI – Environment Liaison Centre International (since 2000)

Titular of the World Order of the Smile (since 1979)

President of ICSFD – International Civil Society Forum for Democracy (2006)

Chair of WOCSOC – World Conference on Civil Society (1999)

Executive Director of ICVA – International Council of Voluntary Agencies (1964-1978 and 1990-1991)

Chris Dingcong

founder and the Managing Director of Springtime Design

Workshop: 'Building Your Brand Through Your Visual Conversation'

Most associations are faced with diverse communication needs to engage members and promote activities. Often though, coherent visual language that can strengthen communication and captivate audience is overshadowed either by the demands of running an association or lack of a corporate identity system. Critically, when associations neglect to leverage their visual conversation as part of a holistic strategy of brand communication, the outcome is likely to be generic, less effective and will fail to provide the opportunity to build brand recognition and establish a competitive advantage.

In this session, we will show what can be done to create a more effective communication system for your association. We will discuss the importance of using the branding assets of your association to establish a brand identity structure aimed at making a real connection with your members and target audience.

Keynote: 'The Role of Branding for Associations'

This is a presentation on the broader and strategic role of brand in associations’ core performance and internal role in expressing the organisation’s purposes, values and appeal. How branding gives associations a dynamic tool to excite more prospects and increase membership engagement. Also a discussion on how associations stay relevant as a brand giving leadership a clearer vision of how to focus future efforts and resources to maximise membership experience.

With much more necessity for associations to demonstrate their ongoing value to their members, there is no critical time than now for associations to embrace branding.


Chris is a seasoned speaker at international conferences and has spoken in various events in Hong Kong, Shanghai and the Philippines. As the founder and the Managing Director of Springtime Design, he has more than 20 years of industry experience on branding and marketing, from corporate identity design, retail and environmental branding and identity system creation. In the past years, Chris is at the helm of Springtime Design as brand consultants and design partner to the company’s clients such as AIA, Disney Media Distribution, FedEx, Godiva, adidas and KPMG among others.

Prior to the founding of Springtime Design, Chris has delivered momentous projects from the worldwide implementation of the retail stations of Caltex Petroleum Corporation and as the principal designer in creating the signage system maps of the Mass Transit Railway of Hong Kong.

Chris was also visiting lecturer at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and City University of Hong Kong. He has obtained a degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design from the University of the Philippines.

Toni Brearley

CEO of Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)

Workshop: 'Leading the Uncertain Association'

The year of 2020 was indeed remarkable. The environments in which we operated were unpredictable, uncertain and there was no safety net of drawing from the past to predict the future. It also seems that in any given week we are reminded that as leaders we cannot control the degree of change, uncertainty and complexity we face.

So how as Association leaders do we navigate this environment to ensure that our associations are relevant and are delivering true value for members in such uncertain times?

This session will explore case studies of Association Leaders and their leadership styles as they guided their organisation through the crisis of 2020 without losing site of the future. The session will also uncover leadership lessons learned and unveil some distinct traits of successful leaders that have led their associations to not only survive but thrive into the future.


Toni Brearley is the CEO of the Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE), the peak professional membership body for individuals working in the Association sector in Australia and New Zealand. Having spent over 16 years in the association and not-for-profit sector Toni has developed a unique understanding of both the challenges and rewards of working “for purpose”.

Belinda Moore

Director of Strategic Membership Solutions (SMS)

Workshop: 'Using Your Strategic Plan to Maximise Positive Impact'

A great strategic plan conveys a compelling shared vision of the future of your association – as well as a clear roadmap to get there. In this session, Belinda will discuss current trends and success factors in association strategic planning practices. She will share practical insights you can use to ensure your strategic planning process creates a tangible and long-lasting positive impact for your association and its members.


Belinda Moore is speaker, author, researcher, consultant, & facilitator specialising in associations. Known for her enthusiastic and engaging style, Belinda is frequently engaged by associations to facilitate organisational and membership strategy development. Belinda is a skilled facilitator who ensures the desired outcomes from planning sessions are achieved both within time and exceeding expectations. Using insights from her personal and professional experiences over more than 25 years working with associations, she ensures participants walk away with practical ideas and insights they can immediately apply. Belinda has written four books: The Membership Machine, Membership Fundamentals, The Membership Managers’ Handbook, and Association Annie: Herding Cats. She authored the white papers Associations Evolve, Association Apocalypse, Membership is Dead?, COVID & Beyond Research Paper, and writes the popular Association Annie comic strips.

Julian Moore

Director of Strategic Membership Solutions (SMS)

Workshop: 'Sponsorship in Post COVID World – How to maximise your revenue'

COVID has impacted everything including sponsorship. What sponsors want, and how we approach them, has changed since the COVID crisis began. In this session, Julian will outline how associations around the world have adapted and the key things you should be doing to secure long term, high value sponsors in a post COVID world.


Julian specialises in training, motivating and up-skilling boards and staff to improve sponsorship performance. His work predominately includes sponsorship coaching, sponsorship seeking, in-house training and facilitation, and keynote speaking. He draws on his extensive experience in Australia and the United Kingdom to deliver sponsorship outcomes for clients. Julian is also an entertaining speaker who regularly presents at events around the world. Throughout his presentations he gives real world examples and case studies that inspire and motivate attendees. He focuses on providing practical and useful ideas that can be implemented immediately to start benefiting your organisation.

Chris Christophers

Founder and CEO, iPresence

Workshop: 'How Telepresence Avatar Robots and Digital Twin can enhance everyday communication'

Combining the latest technologies, such as robotics and digital twins, we are able to create a new remote communications experience. I will illustrate how a combination of digital twin (a virtual copy of real space or buildings) and telepresence avatar robots can enhance events and networking, providing more complete interactivity to remote participants, creating truly hybrid experiences. Our technology helps hospitalized children attend school remotely, enhance a national heritage space and how a father can stay in touch remotely with his distant family. I will also be discussing how this concept can be utilized by participants in everyday business scenarios.


Born in Kobe, Japan, in 1980 to a Japanese mother and English father. Moved to England at the age of 14. After graduating with a B.A. in architecture at the University of Sheffield, returned to Japan to work as a designer and architect for five years and then moved into the world of IT and communications. Established iPresence Ltd. after discovering the concept of Remote Presence Robot and seeing the future potential of how such communication technology and robotics can enhance people’s everyday lives. Currently working on a wide range of projects, from service design to robot design and communication design. Striving to spread new styles of communication using cutting-edge technologies such as avatar robots and digital twins.


Questions about the Round Table?

We are happy to hear from you!

Clara Fernández López, clara@uia.org