A jazz night to spark interest in ecology, a program that brought safe water
and more to a remote Malaysian village, and a 2019 event that continues to reduce the environmental
footprint of its host city: These are the inspiring association events cited
for their "Incredible Impacts" by the International
Congress and Convention Association and BestCities Global Alliance.
The four-year-old Incredible Impacts program, a collaboration between
ICCA and BestCities, recognizes association programs that are "leading examples of
excellence within the global meetings industry."
The three winning organizations — Ecocity Builders, the International Society for Microbial Ecology and Soroptimist International
— will each receive a $7,500
grant to be used for future projects, in recognition of their recent events.
Ecocity Builders was lauded for the 2019 EcoCity World Summit in Vancouver, for the tiered registration fee they
offered to attract delegates from developing economies and local students. There the
association launched Ecocity Centre, a two-year, post-summit initiative to support the Vancouver community in
reducing their environmental footprint.
To engage residents of
host city Leipzig, Germany, the International Society for Microbial Ecology
Night of the Microbes," a free public event featuring ecological TED-style talks
and live jazz, during its 17th Microbial Ecology symposium. The
association was recognized by the Incredible Impacts committee for sparking locals'
interest in ecology, both during and after the conference.
Soroptimist International, a group that advocates
for human rights and gender equality throughout the world, made an impact
during its 2019 convention — held in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia — by constructing water
facilities, starting organic farms and conducting vocational training in an undeveloped
village in the country.
"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," stated ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath. "We're delighted to award them grants to support their endeavors as they continue important work on their legacy programs."
BestCities managing director Lesley Williams emphasized the added significance of this year's recognition. "There’s never been a more important time to showcase the major milestones our industry can overcome," she said, "and we hope that this year’s winners provide inspiration on the big or small ways that impact can be made."