Leaving Legacies: BestCities Global Recognition Awards

Author: Jasmine Zhu       

BestCities Global Alliance’s first Global Recognition Awards went this summer to the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). (Photo Credit Adobe Stock)

BestCities Global Alliance’s first Global Recognition Awards went this summer to the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). BestCities, a global network of 12 convention bureaus, gave each winner a $500 grant to donate to a charity or initiative of their choice. The winners, it said, helped deliver positive change or left a lasting impact in a BestCities partner destination. Under the award program, grants can be used to support activities an association is working on to advance its mission or to benefit a city where an association held a meeting.

Award winner ISN, an international group of specialists in nephrology, used its  grant to support its continuing medical education program, covering travel costs for Professor Kriang Tungsanga, a nephrologist based in Thailand, to speak at the Laos Society of Nephrology’s annual meeting.

Matthieu van der Straten, ISN’s meetings and events director, said in a statement that the donation will benefit not only the Laos Society of Nephrology, but ISN as well, by providing insight into end-stage kidney disease and kidney injury treatment.

“Currently, there are no more than 10 physicians in Laos with formal training in clinical nephrology, who are taking care of patients with kidney diseases in the major cities of Laos,” van der Straten said. “Professor Tungsanga spoke about ISN activities that could be of benefit to the Laos Society of Nephrology, and about how to utilize World Kidney Day to raise public awareness around acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease.”

YPO — the second award winner — is a network of young chief executives with approximately 27,000 members in more than 130 countries. It gave its grant to Bridges for Music, a British nonprofit organization that seeks to raise global awareness about local issues through the power of electronic music. The money will go toward the purchase of music equipment for a Bridges for Music school in Langa, a suburb of Cape Town, BestCities said in a statement, adding that  YPO was also donating furniture to the school.  The Bridges for Music school counts Grammy-award-winning artist Skrillex as one of its music ambassadors and he has visited South Africa to work with artists in disadvantaged communities.

To qualify for the award, associations had to have held meetings in five BestCities partner cities since 2000 and had to host a meeting in a partner city this year. BestCities’ partner cities are Berlin, Bogota, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Madrid, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo, and Vancouver.

Another consideration BestCities took into account was how the grant contribution will help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which, the UN says, provide “a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet.”