The Incredible Impacts Programme, an annual initiative run collaboratively by ICCA and BestCities Global Alliance, has announced the three winning associations whose events are “leading examples of excellence within the global meetings industry.”
The three associations — Ecocity Builders and the BCIT Ecocity Centre, the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME), and Soroptimist International (SI) — each will receive a $7,500 grant toward future projects.
According to Senthil Gopinath, CEO at ICCA, said in a press release: “The three winners have demonstrated their efforts and how they raised awareness of, and positively influenced their communities through education on critical issues such as safe sanitation, sustainability and recent advances in Microbial Ecology.”
The three winning association events obviously took place before COVID-19, which Lesley Williams, managing director of BestCities, alluded to in the release: “There’s never been a more important time to showcase … major milestones our industry can [make], and we hope that this year’s winners provide inspiration on the big or small ways that impact can be made.”
Here’s more about each event:
International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME)
Event: 17th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Date: August 2018
Working in partnership with its host city, ISME created “The Night of the Microbes,” a complimentary public event running in tandem with the symposium. Ecologists gave TED Talk–style presentations to ecology novices, and live entertainment, including an orchestra performance. The event was livestreamed and made available on Youtube for those who could not attend in person and to further education after the symposium ended.
Ecocity Builders and BCIT Ecocity Centre
Event: EcoCity World Summit
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Date: October 2019
The Ecocity Builders introduced a tiered registration fee for delegates from developing economies and students, who paid one-third of the full registration fee. The Ecocity Builders also worked with local financial institutions to provide 20 fully paid registrations for youth, social enterprise entrepreneurs, and people of indigenous heritage. Looking to the future, the organization launched the first Ecocity Centre in Vancouver — a two-year funding/training initiative that supports the community as its members work to reduce their environmental footprint.
Soroptimist International (SI)
Event: 21st Soroptimist International Convention
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: July 2019
To ensure a lasting legacy from the 2019 convention, members set out to support an underdeveloped village in a remote part of Malaysia. They partnered with local members to construct safe water facilities, start organic farms, and conduct vocational training with the villagers. The women learned about personal hygiene, sanitation, water conservation, and the importance of using clean water for drinking and cooking — as well as learning how to maintain the water systems and about organic farming. Separately, five girls achieved diplomas in welding and were offered jobs as a result.
Curt Wagner is digital editor at Convene.