Successful Member-Driven, Knowledge-Led 2023 FIA Conference


Focusing on "Accelerating Change: Member-Driven, Knowledge-Led Transformation", the 2023 FIA Conference proved a great success. Taking place in Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain from 20-22 June, it gathered 455 Delegates from 177 FIA Member Organisations in 125 countries participating on site and online to discuss main challenges in Sport and Mobility.

Day 1 –  Royal Audience and Prestigious Start

The first day of the 2023 FIA Conference hosted by the Region of Andalusia, the City of Cordoba and the Royal Automobile Club of Spain, was marked by an audience with His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain who met with FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, RACE President and FIA Senate President Carmelo Sanz de Barros and members of the World Councils and Senate. 

Mohammed Ben Sulayem then officially inaugurated the three days of productive sessions with Carmelo Sanz de Barros, Mayor of Cordoba Jose Maria Bellido Roche and Regional Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport of Andalusia Arturo Bernal.

The first joint session of the 2023 FIA Conference highlighted the benefits of digitalisation and the growing use of Artificial Intelligence. Industry experts shared important insights and knowledge, and gave key examples of the increasing opportunities that exist through greater digitalisation and AI use, especially to improve consumer experience.

The FIA Digital Innovation Strategy was also presented and the session marked the start of the process of giving regular updates to FIA Members on how the strategy will aid business transformation and capitalise on the technological advancements that are available in the digital world.

-> Day 1 - Photo Gallery


Day 2 - Accessibility, Innovation and Active Participation

Day two featured a rich programme putting accessibility and innovation on top of the agenda. 

In Mobility, the focus was on the impact of greater personalisation in tourism and the importance of innovation for Members to stay relevant.

Chaired by FIA Secretary General for Automobile Mobility and Tourism Jacob Bangsgaard, the first Mobility session assessed current trends during a period of considerable change within the industry.

It explored the many challenges that exist and how innovation can drive increased growth, foster advances in technology and propel progress in society. Keynote address from industry-leading consulting firm Frost & Sullivan explained how innovation can ensure affordable, efficient, and safe Mobility into the future and representatives from three FIA Member Clubs presented case studies detailing how they have innovated to remain relevant now and for many years to come.

In the second Mobility session, four industry experts joined FIA Director of Tourism Services Habib Turki for an in-depth and highly informative discussion into how the desire for personalisation is transforming the tourism industry. They shared their expertise in innovation, current trends and the importance of inclusivity. They explained why customers are calling for more bespoke experiences and how FIA Member Clubs can work together to meet these demands. The rise in sustainable tourism was also discussed as well as how technology progression can help to make the industry more accessible and better for the environment. 

On the Sport side, sessions gave examples of some of the projects developed to increase participation. 

In the ASN Forum, Delegates heard from FIA Secretary General Sport Valerio Iachizzi, who underlined the key role performed by the Vice Presidents of the various regions and the importance of developing grassroots initiatives. The success of the FIA Immersion programme was highlighted and details of the Autumn Session, including the application process, were shared. The International Calendar Platform, a unified digital tool for the central management of championships and competitions, was also launched. Finally, Motorsport in a Box, a complete toolkit that will support FIA Members in engaging in safe and accessible grassroots motor sport, was presented to the Delegates.

The “Accessible Stories” session focused on examples of best practice from FIA Members from Rwanda and Belize on how to make motor sport more accessible and more affordable to increase participation.  Delegates also heard about the new Bridgestone FIA ecoRally Cup. Because events are taking place on normal roads and in normal traffic conditions, the ecoRally concept allows participants to use any production electric car without modification or the need to use any competition safety equipment.

In the afternoon, Delegates went to the Centro de Exposiciones, Ferias y Convenciones of Cordoba and had the chance to participate in a wide range of activities including a E-Karting Slalom Challenge, a Motorsport in a Box Challenge and the “Beat the Champion” Bridgestone FIA ecoRally Cup Challenge sponsored by Enel X Way and Hertz during which Delegates were able to test their skills in an all-electric Polestar car and try to beat a target score set by reigning Bridgestone FIA ecoRally Cup champion driver and co-driver Eneko Conde and Lukas Sergnese on a regularity loop around Cordoba.

The future of mobility was also on display during the activities with Delegates discovering UMILES Next groundbreaking air taxi drone and having the chance to learn how the FIA's and Touring Club Suisse's Drone & Vertical Mobility Academy can help them unlock their ‘drone potential’. 

Road Safety was also an important focus of the 2023 #FIAConference activities as Delegates could experience the feeling of suffering a rollover at low speed after a crash and improve their safe driving habits and technique thanks to state-of-the-art Real Automóvil Club de España’s simulators.

-> Day 2 - Photo Gallery


Day 3 – Reviewing Achievements and Looking Towards the Future

The final Mobility session of the FIA Conference highlighted how data is increasingly being used to move mobility issues to the top of the political agenda within an ever-changing Mobility landscape. FIA Member Clubs from around the world presented case studies where the use of data was essential in lobbying for new measures to achieve safer mobility. It was also discussed how Artificial Intelligence could be used to promote changes to government policy in the future.

Motor sport at the regional level took centre stage during the final Sport session of the Conference. Delegates heard aboutrecent actions supported by FIA Vice-Presidents for Sport to bring enhanced value to FIA Clubs, empower the regions and increase motor sport participation. Activities showcased included the Motorsport Development Plan for India, the ASN Development Series and the FIA Motorsport Engineering Scholarship. There was also a focus on the Auto Moto Park in Albania, an example of the FIA working in unison with the local ASN and government to get an important fledgling motor sport facility in the country.

The “FIA for Members” session then gave an overview of the learning opportunities for Members including the FIA University programmes for mobility, sustainability, sport and talent development, the second edition of the FIA President’s Awards and the FIA Archives Digitisation and e-Library project. 

In the closing session, FIA President Mohammen Ben Sulayem was joined by FIA Deputy President for Sport Robert Reid, FIA Deputy President for Automobile Mobility and Tourism Tim Shearman and FIA Senate President Carmelo Sanz de Barros to review the key takeaways of the Conference.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem once again underlined the Federation’s commitment to its Members. “The leadership is here to serve you, the Members. We are on a mission, a purpose and a purpose cannot be defeated. We will get to where we want but we cannot do it without you,” he said.

The FIA Conference concluded with the Extraordinary General Assemblies of the FIA (France and Switzerland). FIA Member Clubs took part in the voting process and approved several proposals, most notably the FIA’s annual audited accounts for 2022 and the reaffiliation of the Automobile Association of the United Kingdom as an FIA Member Club.

-> Day 3 - Photo Gallery