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Why ESOMAR Council Elections Matter To Everyone Involved In Market Research



First, just to be clear: I am not a member of any trade organization. I believe I can have far more impact by being an independent voice in the industry.  I do collaborate with just about every trade organization in the world and try to support the good work they all do for the industry.

ESOMAR is one of the organizations I work closely with due to their global reach and continual evolution to try and reflect the changing nature of the research industry. I don’t personally subscribe to the idea that ESOMAR is the de facto global trade body; the MRS and GRBN are global too (and actually larger from a membership perspective), but ESOMAR does have an integrated global event  and media program, which gives them a significant edge in influencing both local and international views on the industry. Because of that reach and influence those who serve on the ESOMAR Council are incredibly important in shaping how that influence will be exercised and the direction that the organization takes.

With that in mind, it’s now Council Election time for ESOMAR so it’s important for everyone, ESOMAR members and non-members alike, to take a look at what’s happening and who’s standing for consideration.

Ray Poynter has an excellent rundown on of his take on the election and links to statements from some of those running. I have reposted that here:


Every two years ESOMAR holds elections for its President, Vice President, and Council. The people who hold these roles have a tremendous amount of power to shape what happens to ESOMAR. A progressive group can really move ESOMAR forward, a less useful group can hold it back. Some of those elected in the past 20 years have been fantastic, some average, and some seem to have been in it for the status and the travel.

If you are an ESOMAR member, I would urge you to vote in these elections, to get the sort of ESOMAR you want. My feeling is that we need a group of people running ESOMAR who are less “white men”. The first criteria should be the best people for the job, but I think that ideally between one-third and two-thirds should be female, and that between one-third and two-thirds should come from outside Europe/North America – and I will be casting my votes accordingly.

How The Voting Works

The election is using a form of STV (standard transferable vote). This is one of the fairest methods of voting and the elector only needs to think about one thing “Put your most preferred candidate 1st, your next most preferred 2nd, etc”. Your second choice has no impact on the result for your first choice. You second choice is not used unless either A) your first choice is eliminated, or B) your first choice is elected. Your 3rd choice is not used until your second choice is elected or eliminated. If you use fewer choices you do NOT help your preferred candidate. The only way to help your most preferred candidate is to put them number 1.

The election is being run by ERS (the Electoral Reform Society) who are probably THE best people for this sort of job. The email voting links should be arriving very soon and voting closes October 20th – but don’t delay voting, voting early is the best way to remember to vote!

The Candidates

All of the candidates have their details available on the MyESOMAR website. But, since the election is of interest to a wider audience, NewMR has invited candidates to post up to 500 words about why they are standing for election. The responses are below.



And here is a complete list of everyone running along with their campaign statements in “tweet form”:



FRED JOHN:  I’d like ESOMAR to lead the shaping of our profession; to increase its global voice & presence, and to continuously grow its client-side representation.

LAURENT FLORES:  Give Back to the Industry, Extend the Value Perception, Impact and Frontiers of Market Research globally, while continuing to grow the ESOMAR Brand and Community.

PRAVIN SHEKAR: Pravin for President of #ESOMAR. A consistent & energetic leader with a vision to Engage, Energize & Elevate MR #mrx.



NIELS SCHILLEWAERT: Help me to widen our professional footprint; bring in more client-side knowledge & expertise, and ensure a continuous influx of youth and innovation!

DAVID SMITH:  I will use my energy to get things done for ESOMAR Members. I will connect us to our new future and continue to develop the industry’s talent.


DAVID BAKKEN: I would like to help ESOMAR – the most resilient advocate of our global profession – promote Professional development, foster innovation & develop new business models 

JOAQUIM BRETCHA: Bridge across continents, experienced in all stages of MR value chain, technological data collector, promoter of the MR value. From Barcelona to the world

OSCAR CARLSSON: With a focus on how we as an industry will embrace new disruptive technologies and still be able to keep high quality and guidance to our clients.

MELANIE COURTRIGHT: Setting the industry pace for online, mobile, and digital MR best practices while eating cupcakes on the beach! Vote for me for ESOMAR Council!

DANIEL CUENDE: Invest more in the relevance of our industry as a key factor for success, ESOMAR is the platform to push the up the bar.

ANNE-SOPHIE DAMELIN-COURT: LET’s KEEP MOVING FORWARD! Would love to keep serving the industry, sharing knowledge and ideas with and for our community.

SHIRLEY EADIE: A digital and mobile research expert tackling research in Africa head on, ready to challenge the status quo and help ESOMAR evolve.

CHRIS FARQUHAR: As Asia has become increasingly important in our profession, and as someone who has worked in that region for 15 years +, I would like to represent that perspective on Council.

RON PAUL GAILEY: As a client, please support me in bringing fresh, new perspectives to Council, while ensuring we do not lose perspective of what has been so successful to-date!

VANELLA JACKSON: I want to champion visibility of what we do at board level, more rapid innovation and experimentation and finding new ways to attract the best talent into our world of data and insight. 

FRED JOHN:  I’d like ESOMAR to lead the shaping of our profession; to increase its global voice & presence, and to continuously grow its client-side representation.

UMESH KUMAR: I’ll help ESOMAR work closely with local associations to create awareness and a stronger platform for members learning, sharing and bringing the industry to a global level.

KRISTIN LUCK: Honored to be running for ESOMAR Council. I look forward to promoting technology innovation, global collaboration & diversity if elected. Don’t forget to vote!

DONALD MAREK: With 41 years of business experience and a worldwide outlook, I will concentrate on ESOMAR’s educational and best practices initiatives, as well as events, having attended 120 conferences on 4 continents.

PERVIN OLGUN: I will actively work on a mission of underlining ESOMAR membership as a seal of top quality research meeting the needs of our clients in this demanding and changing industry.

ELENA ONBRIGHT: If elected for Council, I will work on continuing the acceleration of ESOMAR becoming much more open, democratic and closer to the ordinary member.

PATRICIO PAGANI: #Mrx has a significant role in what it can do in society, but I also think we can do better than we currently are. I want us as an industry to embrace initiatives of using data in collaboration with governments and NGOS.

BV PRADEEP: The current industry meta-morphosis also includes paradigm shift in terms of value migration. I will leverage my experience in shaping this industry to make it more agile and innovative.

PHIL RANCE: I stand for a dynamic, diverse and digital future for market research, and for the sharing of best practice between countries and cultures.

LUISA M RAVELO: I pledge to work to make decision-making through Market Research a more common happening in emerging economies.

JOACHIM RITTCHEN: I want to fight together with ESOMAR to promote the value of our industry and to further develop our framework of rules. Please back me up with you vote!

LUIS SA LUCAS: I would really like to continue giving my contribution to ESOMAR’s successful career, helping to expand the scope of MR activities, beyond the traditional ones: distribution and trade analysis, Point of Sales segmentation & others.

NIELS SCHILLEWAERT: Help me to widen our professional footprint; bring in more client-side knowledge & expertise, and ensure a continuous influx of youth and innovation!

ALINA SERBANICA: My motivation to run for ESOMAR Council member is my commitment to actively continuing to contribute to the organisation’s initiatives.

ALEXANDER SHASHKIN: Vote for open ESOMAR data warehouse, regular technology reviews, more research-on-research and the best case studies!

DANIELLE TODD: Fresh young researcher determined to engage future talent, drive new ideas & thinking as well as ensure ESOMAR reflect our diverse & creative market research world!

DAVID SMITH: I will use my energy to get things done for ESOMAR Members I will connect us to our new future and continue to develop the industry’s talent.

PETER PAUL VERHEGGEN: I look forward to contributing to ESOMAR directing MR developments & bringing together ideas. With 12 years as chairman of the Dutch Market Research Association (MOA), it’ll be a great challenge to continue that on a more international level.

MATTHEW WANG: Dr. Matthew Wang has 20 years MR experience, co-founding research house MAP in Greater China in 2001. He will bring the local insights to our global association.

CHRISTOPH WELTER: My agenda for a high impact research culture: Fusing in unconventional ideas, e.g. from design and tech worlds, and supporting Gen Y to shine.

NAVIN WILLIAMS: By being in the Council I hope to promote both our association and research enabled by technology!


I know many of these folks personally (some are authors right here on GBB or on my short list of speakers at IIeX events)  and am familiar with the rest through various channels. Every single one deserves kudos for putting themselves out there and getting involved to help shape the industry.  It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to “endorse” anyone, so to learn more about the candidates, their statements and the election procedures, you can watch their official election videos or log in to MyESOMAR.

Happy voting!

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5 responses to “Why ESOMAR Council Elections Matter To Everyone Involved In Market Research

  1. Thank you Lenny.

    We are delighted that we have such a positive mix of clients, different supplier groups, several countries represented and a range of experience.

    This mix of candidates will ensure a very strong Council for the next term; I look forward to working with them in the Past President capacity.

  2. Thanks Lenny. It is important for all of us (individuals, corporates and association/trade-bodies) to work together to elevate the status of market research.

    It is great to see such a massive interest in members wishing to contribute to ESOMAR and therefore to the world of research. Kudos to all involved.

    Thanks also to you, Ray, Dan, Finn and all tireless souls working towards the same quest.

    Bigger, Better, Stronger: TOGETHER!

  3. Thx a ton Lenny, for getting the word out! I hope we can have a record turnout of voting by members. And a peak at this post inspires others to join ESOMAR to take our industry further ahead!

  4. May not be the biggest but as you say Lenny the most global and inclusive. What I find exciting is the global nature of the candidate list. Sure I’m biased but seeing so many Asia based people getting involved is a great thing.

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