Northstar Meetings Group, parent of Meeting & Conventions, Successful Meetings, Incentive, M&IT, AMI, Intellectual Capitals, M&C Asia, M&C China, Meeting News and SportsTravel, has formed a content partnership with Positive Impact Events to provide actionable, socially responsible information and direction to meetings industry professionals. The partnership, known as the Better Meetings, Better Future initiative, is built on the idea that when people gather, they have the power to drive progress in sustainability and other global imperatives.
Northstar’s content team will work closely with Fiona Pelham, CEO of Positive Impact Events and chair of ISO 20121, the international organization for sustainable standardization, to lead the industry dialogue and provide critical information to ensure a socially responsible future for meetings and events.
We recently talked with Pelham to learn more about PIE and the Better Meetings, Better Future initiative.
• How would you describe Positive Impact Events?
We are a not-for-profit that exists to provide engagement, education and collaboration to create a sustainable events industry. We start conversations about our industry’s role in bringing people together, and we provide resources so meeting professionals can take action to be sustainable and meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
• Why is this so important to our industry?
The global conversation on sustainability is moving quickly. The existing culture of the events industry does not match the growing expectations of organizations and attendees to operate with little to no waste, a low carbon footprint and a positive social impact. PIE works to provide the global events supply chain with opportunities to be part of the solution, from sharing actionable ideas with the United Nations to supporting more than 400 volunteer global ambassadors to speak up for sustainability. Our role is to disrupt and empower the events industry to be sustainable.
• How do the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals relate to meetings?
There are 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, each of which has numerous targets for action. Since 2016, these goals have been a roadmap for the world to work for everyone, and they cover everything from equal opportunities, to healthy planets and oceans, to decent work and economic growth for all. To meet these goals, people need to come together to collaborate, innovate and learn. The events industry is the platform that will make this happen.
• Why did you seek a partnership with Northstar Meetings Group?
In 2019, Positive Impact Events collaborated with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Action Campaign to gather more than 7,000 commitments for action from meeting professionals around the world. In 2020, it is essential not only to increase the number of commitments made by industry professionals but also to ensure that resources, inspiration and collaboration opportunities quickly reach this audience.
Northstar not only is the most respected media and events brand in the market, but the company’s global influence — including leading brands serving China, Singapore and the U.K. — will allow us to take our message to more than 500,000 event professionals through multiple platforms, including print, digital and face-to-face events all over the world.
• What do you expect to accomplish through the Better Meetings, Better Future initiative?
The collaboration between Positive Impact Events and Northstar has the potential to provide a culture change for the events industry. Better Meetings, Better Future will provide an opportunity for a global community of event professionals to be part of an honest conversation for change. From this conversation, resources will be created with expert partners so event professionals will be able to take immediate action.
For example, Northstar readers will be invited to join the Positive Impact Events Community, access materials on human rights (supported by Unicef U.K.), learn about the circular economy (supported by GES) and much more. There are no easy solutions or quick checklists to follow, but there is a world of opportunity for creativity and raising the profile of the event industry.
• What are some of the topics to be addressed this year?
We will be following up on the Acceleration Action that Positive Impact Events submitted to the United Nations in 2019 on the role of events to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Other key topics will include carbon emissions, the circular economy, human rights, inclusivity, and methods for measuring and accelerating progress.