14th Round Table Europe – 18 & 19 November 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)

Nina Gabatan

Manager for Membership and Business Development, World Steel Association

Workshop: 'The road to membership retention is engagement.'

In this session, Nina will share their process in worldsteel on how they engage and retain members.

  • How well do you know your members: leaders, influencers, followers and gatekeepers?
  • Value proposition versus members’ expectations
  • Being agile
  • Membership Report Card: an annual engagement report to members


    Nina is an associations’ professional for over 15 years. She is Manager Membership and Business Development in World Steel Association (worldsteel), a not-for profit industry association based in Brussels, Belgium. It represents about 85% of global steel production and its membership has presence in all regions and in more than 50 countries around the world. In her position, her focus is membership engagement and retention.

    Nina has an Executive Master’s in international Association Management from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management in Brussels as well as an MBA degree in Strategic Management from the Maastricht School of Management (The Netherlands) in partnership with the Washington University (USA). She also has a diploma in Marketing Management (The Netherlands), and a Bachelor’s in Science degree in Commerce (Philippines).

    Her previous experience includes finance and budget management, marketing and development work for small and medium industries and NGOs, as well as customer service management and business planning.

    Nina enjoys meeting and working with people from different culture and background. The exposure helps her gain valuable perspectives and to be grounded.

  • Sara Polak


    Workshop: 'AI as the next revolution and evolution of society'

    AI as the next revolution and evolution of society. The need for a multidisciplinary approach and the importance of education around AI in order to scalably apply it in society.


    Sara is an Oxford-educated archaeologist and anthropologist, with a PhD in human cognition and music. For the last 6 years she has worked in tech companies across the UK, USA, and New Zealand. She is now spearheading the Czech artificial intelligence initiative as a part of prg.ai, bringing together industries, academics, the state, and startups to harness Czech Republic's AI talent and build it into a global AI hub. One of her main focuses has been Neuron soundware, who are revolutionising manufacturing through using audio signals to predict whether machines are going to break or not, leading industry 4.0 in predictive maintenance. Having come from archaeology, Sara’s passion is to help institutions and individuals navigate our next social evolutionary stage, which will be dominated by AI-based technologies and revolutionise the way we organise and function as an economy, state, society, and community. She is now doing that as a part of Startup Disrupt and a co-founder of Innovation Disrupt House to ensure latest innovations get adopted scalably in society.

    Gabrielle Mouterde

    International Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Workshop: 'A deep-dive into launching a virtual congress: planning, value, industry and marketing'

    Gabrielle says that the best piece of advice she was given before embarking on a virtual world congress was ensure you have a very strong launch. Using this as a basis, the workshop will go into the four key areas of planning the launch, setting a financial value to the event, on-boarding key industry partners and creating a strong marketing campaign.


    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gabrielle’s mission to deliver her usual record-breaking World Congress for the International Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG) has been obstructed. Luckily, Gabrielle has over 10 years’ experience of managing live and hybrid events and is using this knowledge to tackle the complex task of organising a global virtual conference and exhibition. Passionate about sharing her experience and solutions with fellow event professionals, Gabrielle’s workshop will focus on launching a virtual event, understanding its value, on-boarding industry and creating a strong marketing campaign.

    Remi Deve

    Chief Editor for Boardroom Magazine

    Marc Mekki

    CEO of Bond

    Workshop: 'Building Communities of Practice '

    Communities of Practice are organized groups of people who have a common interest in a specific technical or business domain. They collaborate regularly to share information, improve their skills, and actively work on advancing the general knowledge of the domain. But, wait, isn’t that the very definition of associations as well?

    In this hybrid session – the only one of this kind during the UIA Round Table – Marc Mekki, CEO of Bond, a digital innovation company, and Remi Deve, Chief Editor of Boardroom, the Best Resource for Associations, will walk first walk you through why associations should think of themselves as communities as they take ownership of their area of interest and create value for their members. Then they will put you to work, both physically and digitally.

    Remi Deve Biography

    A specialized journalist in the association management field, Remi has been working for about 15 years in the meetings industry. In 2017, together with Cecile Koch, he launched Boardroom, which has become the global reference point for the world of associations. Targeting associations based the world over, Boardroom doesn’t deal with the meetings industry per se but, instead, covers a wide spectrum of issues of interest to the associations. In 2021, Boardroom joined forces with Bond, a digital innovation company, to launch #Roadmap2030, a digital, future-driven community for associations.

    Marc Mekki Biography

    Marc honed his business skills in China where he started and later sold a tourism business before returning to Europe to start his tech company, Bond. He is passionate about innovation and believes the right use and knowledge of technology will bring more prosperity and freedom. As such, he frequently speaks about the power of digital innovation and has advised brands and organisations how to bridge the digital divide and become future-proof. Aside from the day to day management of Bond, Marc writes about technology and community for Boardroom magazine and offers digital skills and innovation training to brands and organisations.


    Questions about the Round Table, or about joining us as a partner?

    We are happy to hear from you!

    Clara Fernández López, clara@uia.org