ESOMAR Elections for Council and President

ESOMAR Council ElectionsPublished 22 February. 2023

As you may have heard, ESOMAR is re-running the elections for President and Council, following irregularities with the process last time. The voting will run from Thursday, 23 February to Friday, 10 March. The new team will take office on 1 April 2023.

The Election of President
There are three candidates for President, and in alphabetical order, they are Marcello Sasso, Nikki Lavoie & Ray Poynter. You can see their videos and read their statements on the ESOMAR Candidates page.

All three candidates have shared a statement with NewMR, which we reproduce here.

Marcello SassoMarcello Sasso
Senior Director, Integrated Intelligence, Real Chemistry, USA
Candidate for ESOMAR President (and Council)

We are living in times of change. Bill Gates said we left the Insights era and are now living in the Intelligence era. The whole industry is evolving fast, and we need to keep pace. Esomar grew a lot over the last 10 years. If we think about how we expanded to data-driven insights, AI, Emotional Intelligence and all other fascinating topics, I feel like we travelled the hyperspace.

With such evolution, I think communities should also evolve, giving a more meaningful interpretation. Most of the existing associations are structured either vertically, by geography, or horizontally by topic/specialization. This may lead to silos, where sub-communities operate in a very independent way, sometimes creating nationalisms when it comes to geographies, making the community/association an aggregation of sub-communities, rather than a Global Community.

I believe Esomar is ready for a big jump, enabling geographies to collaborate on topics/specializations. Crossing the vertical structure with and horizontal (by topic) structure will allow it to collaborate on more fronts, with my Country fellows, but also with my Global fellows, those who share my same interest, job, and aspirations.

Not only Country representatives will be empowered to create more and share more with other communities, but Esomar itself will be able to enhance its relationships and collaborations with all the other Insights associations and communities.

On this topic, having been a representative myself, I think making communities more active will also prompt a more bi-directional relationship with Esomar. As it stands, representatives are representing Esomar Vs local members, rather than representing members Vs Esomar. We are a community that represents Insights People, so my vision is more Bottom-Up, rather than Top Down.

With members at the centre, my idea is that members should also go beyond belonging. Members should rather be feeling part of, instead of just belonging. This can be achieved through more transparency, the council is an elected governing body and members should be aware of where Esomar is heading (quarterly town-hall meetings to update the community), but also through added value. Perks would add economic value, in addition to the other zillion values Esomar already offers, with the possibility for individual members to offset the membership fee.

I would like to thank all previous council members, Alain Mizrahi, Nikki Lavoie, Corrine Moy, Joy Uyanwune, Lisa Wilding-Brown, Tom De Ruyck, Umesh Kumar, Vanessa Oshima, the president Kristin Luck, and election committee for treating imprudence of people involved in the issue as such, intervening with high professionalism and getting things back on track.

My best wishes and good luck go to Nikki Lavoie and Ray Poynter, running for president together with me, and Alina Serbanica, Tom De Ruyck, Dr Liubov Ruchinskaya, Priscilla McKinney, Priya Lobo, Simon Patterson, Corrine Moy, Joy Uyanwun, Biraj Ganguly, Martin Oxley, Ankesh Saxena, Mariela Mociulsky, Alain Mizrahi, Martha Llobet, Danyo Dimitrov,
Paul Hudson, Dharmendra Jain and Jean-Marc Léger running for Council with me

Nikki LavoieNikki Lavoie
EVP, Innovation and Strategy – Savanta
Current ESOMAR Council Vice President
Candidate for ESOMAR President

As a candidate for the role of ESOMAR President, I bring with me a unique perspective to the position – one which is shaped by an understanding and appreciation of our past, an aptitude for addressing the needs of our present, as well as a vision for an inspiring future.

Right now, it is essential to ensure the continuity of leadership at ESOMAR and guarantee that the work being done behind the scenes to stabilise and reinforce our association is fully taken into consideration in any decisions we make moving forward. In order to strengthen the house, one must be intimately familiar with its current state—I am, and I believe I am best suited to take on this work.

Some examples of the key items that this council has tackled, and that the next must continue to influence, include:

  • A robust review of our governance—one that ensures the association stays relevant to the changing needs of our industry, as well as the growing membership body that we assist through our trainings, policy and standarisation work, and ethical guidelines
  • Optimisation of the structure and objectives of the ESOMAR staff—with growing demand on insights professionals comes an evolution of workstreams, and we must continue the work to empower the amazing ESOMAR team to provide value to our industry
  • Strengthening our global presence—much work has been done with local reps, and there is yet more to do. Establishing representatives in locations where our voice is currently limited, and enabling these reps to serve local members via events and professional growth opportunities is paramount

I am prepared to lead with a commitment towards building an inclusive environment: one which encourages representation and dialogue from all voices in the research community. As such, one important aspect of my vision for the presidency will include the creation of additional advisory committees—composed of groups such as research buyers, data scientists, user researchers, diversity and accessibility experts, and others. I plan to work closely with the advisory committees in my capacity as President to encourage and act upon their guidance, and to facilitate a close relationship with ESOMAR staff, allowing for a comprehensive strategy for growth and service that will meet our evolving needs.

I believe that impactful leadership requires visibility and transparency; therefore, I am committed to fostering these key elements across all ESOMAR decision-making processes. Here are a few ways I intend to cultivate a more open Council:

  1. Updates to be shared with members summarizing key discussions and decisions from all Council meetings
  2. Increased presence of Council members, when budget allows, at local events to allow for direct connection with the membership at large
  3. Regular interactive sessions to allow for members to share feedback, suggestions and ideas with Council

It is my sincere desire to serve as ESOMAR President, and to use my leadership skills to bring about a bright future for our association – one that honors the past, recognizes the present, and looks ahead with optimism. It is time for us to move forward together – united in vision and purpose.

I am grateful to my friend and industry colleague, Ray, for giving me the space to share my vision with the NewMR readership, and encourage all ESOMAR members to vote.

Ray PoynterRay Poynter
Founder of NewMR and Managing Director of The Future Place, UK
Candidate for ESOMAR President

I’m standing for election to the position of President of ESOMAR because I think I have the right skills and experiences to help put ESOMAR on the right track. My promise is a blend of change and continuity.

The change part of my promise relates to tackling the fallout from the recent challenges faced by ESOMAR. In mentioning these problems, I should mention that several people are working very hard to get ESOMAR on the right track, and my pledge is to work with everybody who is trying to help.

The continuity part of my promise relates to the many, many things that ESOMAR has got right over the last few years. These topics include the work done to deliver value to client-side organisations, building of bridges with other associations, expansion of our boundaries into areas such as data science, and increasing the relevance and accessibility of ESOMAR to more locations around the world.

I have a track record of commitment to market research. I’ve been a member of ESOMAR for over 30 years, I was an ESOMAR Council member from 2018 to 2021, and I am a Fellow of the MRS. I have written textbooks and worked with universities, I have run workshops on research in countries as diverse as Japan, China, The Philippines, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Russia, Egypt, India, and most countries in Europe. I created NewMR over ten years ago to promote new thinking in research.

I have an extensive knowledge of how democratic organisations work. I spent 28 years as an elected councillor in the UK (dealing with issues such as election law, declarations of interest, and devolved decision making). ESOMAR is going through a process of codifying its processes and a knowledge of how principles and regulations interact will be an asset.

I see the role of President as one of facilitator, somebody who works as a member of a team to achieve collective dreams and aspirations. I want to promote a culture of subsidiarity. This means making decisions at the most local/devolved level possible. Subsidiarity means devolving things from the President to the Council, from the Council to the National Reps, and from ESOMAR to National Associations – when practical.

In terms of the recent problems at ESOMAR, I shall start with an open mind. I will try to help discover what (if anything) could have been done better, help rectify any problems, help provide as full a report back as possible, and help ensure that we change ESOMAR in ways that go beyond dealing with problems and help create a better and stronger ESOMAR.

Finally, I should add that I am not offering ESOMAR members an easy life. If we have a more open, more devolved, more inclusive ESOMAR, you will need to play a bigger role. I will be calling on you to monitor what is being done in your name, to offer your opinions, and to help create the change ESOMAR needs.

The Election of Council
ESOMAR members will also be electing the members of a new Council. You can see the videos and statements of the 19 candidates on the ESOMAR Candidates Page.

The candidates (in alphabetical order are):
Alain Mizrahi, Alina Serbanica, Ankesh Saxena, Biraj Ganguly, Corrine Moy, Danyo Dimitrov, Dharmendra Jain, Jean-Marc Leger, Joy Uyanwune, Liubov Ruchinskaya, Marcello Sasso, Mariela Mociulsky, Martha Llobet, Martin Oxley, Paul Hudson, Priscilla McKinney, Priya Lobo, Simon Patterson, & Tom De Ruyck

Don’t worry about ‘splitting the vote’ in the Council Election 
For the Election of Council, but not for President, ESOMAR uses STV (the Single Transferrable Vote) for its elections. This means all you have to do is rank the candidates in your order of preference. If your candidate does not get enough votes, your votes are transferred to your preferred second candidate, and if he/she does not get elected, your votes are transferred to your third choice and so on. If your choice gets more votes than is needed to be elected, the surplus votes are also transferred to your next preference.

So, to maximise your influence on the result of the elections for Council, make sure you list your preferences. Please vote in the elections!