The VIII International GR Forum, held on March 14th, brought together leading experts and practitioners in Government Relations (GR) from around the globe. Hosted by the International GR Professionals Association (IGAPA), in collaboration with esteemed partners: SIC Group USA LLC, Institute for Democracy and Development “PolitA,” Bay Atlantic University, and the Global Policy Institute (GPI), the event aimed to foster knowledge exchange and collaboration within the GR and political campaign management spheres.

The forum commenced with an enlightening address by Kateryna Odarchenko, a board member of IGAPA, who highlighted the forum’s pivotal role as a platform for sharing practical insights and fostering dialogue in lobbying, advocacy, and government relations.

“IGAPA has served as the beacon of professional excellence in the realm of government relations. Our mission is to facilitate transparent dialogue between the state, businesses, and society, transcending borders and fostering collaboration. This international platform has successfully united IGAPA members from over 16 countries and forged partnerships worldwide,” remarked Odarchenko.

Paolo von Schirach, President of the Global Policy Institute and Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Bay Atlantic University, skillfully moderated the first panel, delving into emerging trends in lobbying and government relations.
“These dialogues not only shed light on the challenges we face but also offer glimpses into the future. For instance, with the advent of artificial intelligence, we are compelled to explore its potential applications in lobbying and advocacy. Such discussions are pivotal in shaping the future landscape of lobbying,” emphasized von Schirach.

Distinguished participants engaged in discussions on nuanced differences in lobbying practices across various regions, including Latin America, the European Union, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the United States. The forum’s concluding session focused on the forthcoming elections in the United States.

The VIII International GR Forum served as a global platform, attracting participants from 9 countries, including Mariam Razi (Canada), principal partner at Homeward Public Affairs, Soeren Haar (Belgium) a managing partner of the European Affairs Consulting Group. Distinguished speakers and guests included Stephen Blank, an internationally recognized expert on European and Asian security, Peter Huessy a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, Kendall Coffey, former U.S Attorney, Southern District of Florida, Jason Shelton, a regional administrator for a Biden-Harris Presidential Appointee, Vitalii Hersak, head of the NGO “Free and Faithful,” Maryna Ovtsynova, advocate and participant of Creative Society, and Olga Schmidt, the climate change advocate.