The World Federation of Diamond Bourses has announced the speakers list for the upcoming 37th World Diamond Congress.

The biennial meeting of the WFDB and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) will be taking place in Dubai May 16-19.

It has already been announced that the overarching theme of the congress will be transparency, responsibility and sustainability, and as such speakers and panelists have been selected to address these issues which will be discussed by the WFDB’s 30 presidents and more than 200 representatives of the global diamond industry.


The keynote speaker will be Geshe Michael Roach, an American non-traditional teacher of Buddhism and Philanthropist who wrote the best-selling book, ‘The Diamond Cutter’, on Buddhism and business.

In addition, ABN Amro Bank’s head of diamond and jewelry clients, Erik Jens, De Beers head of commercial development, Howard Davies, and Signet Jewelers vice-president of corporate affairs, David Bouffard, will also be taking part as speakers and panelists.

Diamond consultant and former De Beers executive Tim Dabson will introduce speakers and moderate the panel discussions.

“We have selected high-powered individuals from a range of fields to give real content and meaning to our discussions,” explains WFDB president, Ernie Blom. “These include representatives of producers, diamond-mining countries and a range of service organisations, such as banks and labs. It is absolutely crucial that we are able to comprehensively debate all the challenges facing our industry around the world.”

Blom continues: “In addition to speeches, we are introducing an interactive element at this Congress with the panel discussions that are going to be held. We are looking for a broad conversation and that means encouraging audience members to respond to comments from panelists. How do we take our diamond business forward and create new opportunities while working in a transparent, responsible and sustainable manner? These are the questions we will be asking.”


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Editor, Professional Jeweller