Istanbul sits beautifully perched between two continents. It is undoubtedly one of the great cities of the world. Whilst the old section of the city still retains its medieval charm, the modern heart of Istanbul has become increasingly international and cosmopolitan. It has become a major centre for commerce and ever more attractive to Western businesses. It has also become, we were told, the “conference capital of the world”. It is no surprise that the city hopes to attract the Olympic Games in 2020.
Within this climate the demand for English skills, the language of global business, has become increasingly strong. Istanbul was therefore a fitting location for the English-Speaking Union’s 2012 World Members’ Conference from 18-21 September 2012.
Representatives from over 20 countries descended on the World Members’ Conference for more than two days of discussion and debate with a bit of fun thrown in. This gathering of the international family of the ESU offered the chance to form new and lasting relationships, and renew old friendships. The conference showed the continuing desire and appetite of ESU members from across the world for co-operation and the exchange of ideas.
After a warm welcome from Dr Riza Kadilar, Chairman of ESU Turkey and President of the ESU International Council, the opening address was given by the British Ambassador to Turkey David Reddaway who talked eloquently about the use of English as a language for global understanding. Other stimulating presentations included the future shape of Europe, tomorrow’s leaders, the use of English and technology to achieve a global dialogue, and the challenges facing international diplomacy. Below you can view some of the presentations which were delivered as part of the conference programme.
Our thanks go to all our speakers and to all of our members who took part and were able to join us in Istanbul.