Global Congress 2023: What's on the agenda for consumer groups?
Over the past few weeks, we've been announcing headline speakers and key sessions to watch at the Consumers International Global Congress, which will take place in Nairobi, Kenya next month. As the leading global meeting for consumer advocates worldwide, experts and leaders from across industries will come together to discuss the diverse, pressing challenges facing consumers. Discussions will cover emerging concerns like AI and alternative lending schemes like Buy Now Pay Later products, as well as systemic challenges in food and energy.
In dialogue with global leaders from International Standards Organization, Visa, United Nations Development Programme and more, consumer groups will seize this moment to share solutions and secure commitments for change.
For this blog, we spoke to a selection of leaders from consumer groups in our Membership to find out what issues they want to see leaders address, and what key messages they’ll be bringing to Nairobi this December.
'We call on the Global Congress to be a platform to discuss a consumer-focussed new digital order'
Youkyung Huh, Consumers Korea
At Consumers Korea, we are concerned about the blistering speed of the digital transformation. Consumer organisations are engaging in consumer education to address gaps and to ensure digital rights of consumers. We are calling for the responsible development and use of personal information by the data industry.
The digital revolution needs to put consumers at its heart. Korea is the forefront and testbed of global digital development with widespread 5G connection, technological development and cutting edge laws and regulation of AI and cryptocurrency. Yet, an aging population leaves many consumers left behind - falling into the digital gap. The increasing internet connectivity fees that come with advanced technology and challenges in accessing mobile platforms and digital kiosks are just some of the challenges that Korean consumers face.
Consumers Korea calls on the Global Congress to be a platform to discuss a consumer-focussed new digital order, where global consumers can come together for a fairer, safer and a more equitable digital world.
Youkyung will speak at the session 'Unveiling the crypto conundrum', where leaders from business and government will dissect the challenges and complexities within the global crypto landscape. View the full programme here.
'As climate change puts citizens at risk, we can't just sit back and watch'
Ramona Pop, VZBV (Germany)
As climate change and its effects put citizens all around the world at risk, we can’t just sit back at watch, and neither can consumers.
In Germany, consumers would like to buy sustainable products and it is the task of governments to create the right framework to encourage sustainable consumption. Since sustainable consumption begins with sustainable production, producers must consider factors like resource intensity, impacts on health, and the environment and on animal welfare. Consumers must be able to easily recognise sustainable products and services and they should be easily accessible and available to consumers, no matter where they live or how much they earn.
'Give the consumer a seat at the table'
Felicia Monye, Consumer Awareness Organisation (Nigeria)
At Congress this year, Consumer Awareness Organisation will call on governments and business to give consumer voices a seat at the table. And we want to see commitments being made to ensure that quality consumer education is provided - particularly that which raises financial and digital literacy.
Felicia Monye will speak at the side-event, 'Enhancing the consumer movement with UNCTAD', to discuss how governments can support consumer associations. Explore the programme.
'We will emphasise the need for collaboration, innovation and the power of informed consumers'
Seema Nareeta Shandil, Consumer Council of Fiji
As the only consumer advocacy organisation in the south pacific region, the Consumer Council of Fiji will reiterate that building resilience for consumers is a shared responsibility.
We believe that by joining forces, consumer organisations can drive transformative change that enhances consumer well-being, safeguards their rights and promotes ethical business practices. We will emphasise the need for collaboration, innovation, and the power of informed consumers in shaping a fair, sustainable, and inclusive global marketplace.
Seema will speak at the session 'Channels of change towards fair digital finance', which will hear from key financial ecosystem players on what they are doing to create a safe, inclusive and date-protected financial marketplace. Explore the programme.
'We hope that this Congress will be a meeting space to define the urgent steps that must be taken regarding climate change'
María José Troya, Tribuna (Ecuador)
The biggest problem facing humanity, and consequently consumers, is climate change. Consumption habits could well determine the future of humanity, and we see consumers as a powerful engine of change towards an environmentally sustainable world. Their efforts should be matched by environmentally responsible production and a fairer market that allows the participation of consumers whose rights are guaranteed.
At Tribuna, we hope that this Congress will be a meeting space to define the urgent steps that must be taken to address climate change. We'll also be discussing consumer protection in the post-pandemic crisis and the effects of Artificial Intelligence on consumers.
María José will speak at the session 'Serving up a food system that works for people and planet’, exploring how the consumer movement can accelerate better food systems. Explore the programme.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT THIS DECEMBER
From 6-8 December 2023, the Consumers International Global Congress will bring together the consumer movement with leading influencers from across business, civil society and academia to tackle pressing global issues and protect consumers worldwide.
Held every four years, the Global Congress is a pivotal event for those committed to improving the lives of consumers. In 2023, marketplace actors will come together to understand the lived experience of consumers in and outside of crises and build a resilient future for people and planet.
In the meantime, if you have questions about our Global Congress event, or would like to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please visit our dedicated Global Congress page here.