The sixth International Conference on Men’s Issues (ICMI20) – a review, and plans for future ICMIs


It’s been four days since International Men’s Day and the end of the largest ICMI to date, the five-day-long ICMI20. It was a resounding success on every level, everyone seems to agree, and I thought I’d post a final blog piece on the matter.

Firstly, I’d like to thank my fellow organizers – Elizabeth Hobson (the leader of the British political party Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them), Tom Caulfield (J4MB Technical Director), Paul Elam, Robert Brockway and Tom Golden. They were all a pleasure to work with throughout the months before ICMI, and during it.

I’d like to thank everyone who provided a video, or was interviewed on Zoom for the event. The technical quality standards of the videos were generally higher than we were expecting, given that the vast majority of the speakers were not professional video makers, some had never made a video in their lives. It surely goes without saying that the quality of the content of the videos was high, and we’ve had very few negative comments.

125 videos were published in the end. A number of contributors failed to supply the videos they’d promised, for a variety of reasons. 108 of the videos were original videos recorded for ICMI, and in the final 24 hours I posted 17 previously-published videos, or “mirror” videos, selected by Elizabeth and myself, from among our favourites. The list of speakers and interviews is here. The mirror videos are numbered 109-125.

With the exception of the mirror videos, all the videos were released simultaneously on dedicated playlists on the J4MB YouTube channel – here – and on Paul Elam’s “An Ear for Men” YouTube channel – here. The mirror videos are only on the J4MB playlist. Paul’s channel has 103,000+ subscribers, more than the J4MB channel, so there are more comments there.

And what of future ICMIs? The organizers of ICMI20 have agreed that a major online ICMI will be held every year going forward, ending on 19 November, International Men’s Day, including when the Covid pandemic is behind us. There will be a higher proportion of interviews – they all went down very well at ICMI20 – and more high-profile speakers and interviewees. Attendees will find it to be a highly interactive event. We’ll be posting more details on the ICMI21 website as they become available.

I am responsible for offline ICMIs in Europe and North America. I plan to organize the next one in Canada, when Covid-related restrictions are relaxed sufficiently to make that a possibility. Contender cities include, in alphabetical order:

  • Calgary
  • Edmonton (Karen Straughan’s home city)
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver (Professor Janice Fiamengo’s home city)

I shall be devoting more of my time and energy in future organizing and running ICMIs and other offline and online events, gatherings and meetings, because I feel I can best support the fast-growing MRM that way. I worked as a business consultant for the Conservative party over 2006-8, developing and executing a new commercial model for their conferences including the main autumn conferences which have for long been the largest such events in Europe (12,000+ attendees). I’ve just established a limited company, MRA International Ltd., to support my events-related work. I shall be the Conference Director of ICMI21, and operating through that company.

Mike Buchanan