AC Forum’s Learning Experience in Glasgow

July 17, 2019

AC Forum’s Learning Experience in Glasgow

A partnership between the Associations & Conference Forum (AC Forum) and the Leading Centres of Europe (LCE) delivered its inaugural Collaborative Learning Experience at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow earlier this month. Under the theme “The Language of Leadership”, the event was attended by 20 delegates from both organisations.

Glasgow-based communications consultancy, Pink Elephant, took the participants through a journey which tackled the golden rules of communication and interviewing skills. Attendees were challenged to communicate in the most effective way possible during filmed interviews which were then played back for analysis. Collaboration between groups and individuals was key throughout the event, helping to grow strong working relationships.  The SEC’s Chairman, who is the former president of Virgin Galactic and special advisor to Sir Richard Branson, delivered a session on the value and importance of brand and innovation.

Adrian Ott, President of the AC Forum, said: “Through this new partnership, the LCE and the SEC, supported by the Glasgow Convention Bureau enabled AC Forum’s educational ambitions to come a big step closer towards a natural synergy which fosters peer-to-peer education, innovation by sharing good practice, expanding thinking, and finally, neutrality by providing a forum free from commercial influence.”

More on this soon, in the September issue of Boardroom.

July 16, 2019

Toronto Talks Animals

From today til July 19, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) is hosting the leading international convention for companion animal veterinarians, the 44th World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress (WSAVA),

The WSAVA World Congress is bringing together 2,100 veterinarians from 82 countries for a scientific program of the highest standard that will leave a legacy beyond the convention. Delegates will host a clinic for homeless and vulnerably-housed pet owners at the Yonge Street Mission and participate in a run to raise funds to support the fight against rabies in Africa. Following the convention, a two-day workshop will take place with leading expert veterinarians Dr. Sheilah Robertson and Dr. Melinda Merck in collaboration with the Ontario Shelter Medicine Association and the Toronto Humane Society.

The bid to host WSAVA was won back in 2015 by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) in partnership with the MTCC, Tourism Toronto and the Leaders Circle, a noteworthy association of Canadian professionals who are experts in their respective fields.

July 15, 2019

Growing with a Global Agenda

Who doesn’t know the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the international organization working in the field of the wilderness preservation and the reduction of human impact on the environment? Just the name conjures up images of cause-driven individuals fighting against habitat loss, climate change, illegal trapping of endangered species… and the list goes on. What might be lesser known is the organization’s growth strategy, which has to take into account all kinds of local characteristics, as Sid Das, Director, Digital Engagement, WWF International, explains here.

The WWF is a global organization. How do you define ‘global’ in your case?

WWF came into existence in 1961. From its origins as a small group of committed wildlife enthusiasts, WWF has grown into one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations – supported by 5 million people and active in over 100 countries across five continents.

Over this time, WWF’s focus has evolved from localized efforts in favour of single species and individual habitats to an ambitious strategy to preserve biodiversity and achieve sustainable development across the globe.

From numerous initiatives, priority areas and priority species, the entire WWF Network focuses on six major goals – forests, oceans, wildlife, food, climate & energy, and freshwater– and three key drivers of environmental problems – markets, finance and governance. As a network, we organize ourselves around communities of practice with one for each goal and driver. We are becoming more focused and more targeted in our efforts while building on the interconnectedness of each of these issues within the global agenda. WWF aims to bring the weight of its unique local-to-global network to bear and drive these issues forward cohesively.

Can you explain your growth strategy to be even more global’ and what it implies?

Our mission is to ensure that people and nature thrive together. Our growth strategy is two-pronged. On one hand, we are looking to actively engage a billion people to care for nature. Nature not only provides us with all the things we need to live – from the air we breathe to the water we drink, and from the shelter we need, to the economy we rely on – but also makes our lives better. However, its growing loss puts this all under threat.

On the other hand, we are looking to get nature up the political agenda. The world needs to come together to set ambitious targets to reverse nature loss as it did for climate. We will have a tremendous opportunity to influence the future direction of some of the world’s most important policy instruments for sustainable development in the year 2020. We need policymakers to reset the agenda so that by 2030 the loss of nature starts to reverse.

What are your challenges as a global organization?

We are living in a time of unprecedented risk but also an unparalleled opportunity for the future of our planet and our society. A time where the world’s wildlife has halved in less than a generation; oceans, rivers and forests are struggling to cope with our growing pressure upon them; and where we are still on a path toward catastrophic climate change impacts.

As a global organization, our challenge is to balance local conservation priorities with the global agenda. We need to constantly align ourselves to the direction that is increasingly being set by governments, civil society and businesses. Additionally, the smooth flow of information between all of the offices in the world is something we put a lot of effort and emphasis toward. We choose innovative platforms like Facebook Workplace to ensure our employees and volunteers get all of the information they need.

Can you explain how you decide to locate regional offices and why?

We decide regional offices based on conservation needs. While we have ‘Network offices’ that focus on the conservation needs of a country, the regional offices look to bring countries together to weave a cohesive conservation strategy and its implementation. We also look at other factors like access to regional talent, attitude to environmental conservation amongst numerous other criteria. Currently, we have regional offices in Singapore, Woking, Nairobi and at our headquarters in Gland, Switzerland.

You’re based in Singapore. Why is that so? How does Singapore respond to the needs of your organization?

Singapore is at the forefront of conservation in Asia Pacific. The mission of WWF across the Asia Pacific is to ensure a future for both people and nature. WWF has been working to conserve Asia Pacific’s astonishing wealth of biodiversity for over four decades and has considerable experience in engaging with partners for conservation solutions that benefit people, economies and the environment. Singapore satisfies all of the criteria for WWF’s regional hub. We are able to liaise with teams around the region easily and have access to regional media, creative agencies, fantastic corporate partners and a wide pool of talent which truly helps us build a global organization.

This article, written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé, is part of the exclusive partnership between Boardroom and the Global Association Hubs Partnership (GAHP), which comes as an innovative response to the increasing decentralisation of international associations, as they look to develop their activities globally. www.associationhubs.orgThe right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.

July 15, 2019

Esophageal Diseases to be Discussed in Tokyo

Tokyo will host the 18th World Congress for Esophageal Diseases at the Keio Plaza Hotel on September 26 – 28, 2022.

The International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus (ISDE) was founded by Dr. Kōmei Nakayama in 1979, and the first ISDE World Congress was held in Tokyo in 1980. The return of  the ISDE World Congress to Tokyo in 2022 will mark a significant milestone for Asia, providing numerous benefits for up- and-coming esophageal professionals in the region.

The ISDE 2022 World Congress will be attended by an expected 1,100 delegates from over 40 countries. The ISDE 2010 World Congress was attended by 800 people , making it the second largest conference for  ISDE at the time.

On the occasion of the event, the Japan Esophageal Society (JES) will also host its Annual Meeting. The JES currently has over 2,800 members, of which about 1,200 usually attend the Annual Meeting. ISDE 2022 World Congress will be a perfect opportunity for medical professionals in Japan to study the latest trend in the field as well as communicate with professionals from around the world.

July 13, 2019

Making Good on Green Promises

Monaco is steadfastly stepping beyond its reputation as a playground for the rich and beautiful to take its rightful position as a leader in the global fight for a more sustainable and healthy planet. There is a storied and adventurous history behind its dedication to cleaner oceans and air, which is today available for all to see who enter the pristine seaside country.

Prince Albert II founded the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation immediately upon taking his role to support public and private projects including limiting greenhouse gas emissions, developing renewable energies, protecting biodiversity, managing water resources and combating desertification.

The government is leading the way with a strong whole-of-a-city approach – that includes the entire Monegasque society and visitors in the major energy transition – which means adopting new habits and evolving as a society.

“The Grimaldi Dynasty has always been very involved in studying the environment to better understand the link between humanity and the planet. It started with Prince Albert I, who is internationally acknowledged as the father of modern oceanography, in the early 20th century. He created the Oceanographic Institute in Paris, the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco, and led many sea expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic region,” explains Olivier Wenden, managing director of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

The Foundation’s efforts stand out for their ambitious targets — the Principality will need to cut emissions four times faster than the current rate to achieve its goals — as well as a commitment to achieving them with practical initiatives. Monaco’s unique positioning is part of what makes it such a powerhouse in this area. Its sustainability efforts extend beyond the 2-km country itself; it has a global plan with a real sustainable vision.

“Monaco is one of the smallest countries in the world, but it has always been very open to the world, to the sea, to trade, and to different cultures. We are very blessed with our economic growth. The whole intention of the residents and government is to give back. It is a very natural path to follow, to give back not only for education, health, and society – but also the environment. We cover the whole scope of the environment in the [Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation] mission statement including the fight against climate change, the promotion of renewable energies, the protection of biodiversity at land and sea, and access to renewable water resources,” says Wenden.

Single-use plastic ban

Although Monaco’s efforts have a global impact, there are exacting measures being taken at home that even a first-time visitor will note.

Monaco banned the use of single-use plastic bags in 2019 and will ban the use of plastic straws, cutlery, and glasses from January 2020. It also became the first country to ban bluefin tuna from the Mediterranean after learning the species would become extinct within two years if action was not taken. Other countries involved in the International Union for Conservation of Nature refused to join, given the popularity of the rare fish.

“You have to understand the power of the market. We lost the case [to ban bluefin tuna among UN participants], but it caught the attention of media The EU started to raise quotes to better monitor fisheries and serious work was done with the fisherman in the region. The stocks are back after five years,” says Olivier.

Monaco also has one of the few marine-protected areas within its perimeter, which was formed in the 1970s. Only 3 percent of the Mediterranean is protected and 1.6 percent of that is due to principality’s efforts.

The Principality has also been actively engaged in the fight against climate change through the ratification of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and more recently the Paris agreement.   Its efforts have shown considerable results: It is on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of 50 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Monaco has become a pioneer in the ‘ecological transition’ necessary for creating a world that people can live in and enjoy for generations to come. It is vital to note how the country’s efforts go far beyond the marketing initiatives and “greenwashing” that other destinations often prescribe to. It instead looks to involve every level of government, business, the local community and even visitors in reaching its ambitious but attainable goals through consistent change.

Across the whole supply chain

To further this deep commitment, the Monaco Convention Bureau launched a digital campaign this year to elevate awareness of its environmentally-conscious approach. The campaign’s tagline “Business is Green” helps to highlight the very tangible efforts happening across the principality and the environment that associations and business travelers can learn and interact with while there. There is a clear shift among business seeking cleaner and more responsible events that match their concerns around the environment, our planet’s sustainability, and their role within that transition.

The sustainability of Monaco and commitment to its efforts is one of the most important factors in drawing associations to its shores today.

The attraction to Monaco’s congress centre, the Grimaldi Forum, goes beyond the history, quality, affordability, stability and beauty of the destination. The venue has a strong sustainability policy where visitors seen the use of eco-friendly materials, photovoltaic panels on the rooftop, and sustainably-powered air conditioning at work. The majority of its 2,500 hotel rooms are certified by Green Globe, Green Key and Planet 21 by Accor, all while maintaining four and five-star quality of service.-

Visitors can dine at the first 100-percent organic Michelin star restaurant Elsa, enjoy a tour of the organic urban gardens run by Terre de Monaco, or take a tour of the green efforts taking place throughout Monaco. “As sustainability becomes more and more important to company’s strategies, either to their shareholders or customers, they make the move to Monaco,” concludes Wenden.

Contact: This article was written by Boardroom editor Samantha Shankman. The right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.

July 12, 2019

Speedcubers to Invade Melbourne’s Gaming Scene

Melbourne anticipates new world records to be set as over 1,600 delegates from around the globe gather in the city for an extended weekend of puzzle solving and intense competition during the 10th World Cube Association (WCA) Speedcubing World Championship presented by Rubik’s.

Taking place from July 11 to July 14, 2019 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), the WCA Speedcubing World Championship 2019 sees competitors solve the Rubik’s cube and other cube-based games or ‘twisty puzzles’ with one hand, while blindfolded and even with their feet, amongst the many other spectacular categories all under timed conditions.

The biennial event with World Championship titles in the 18 WCA disciplines will be hotly contested amongst the 52 countries represented and highly entertaining for the many cult-like following spectators.

July 11, 2019

Sustainability Conference in Glasgow Makes a Difference

The 27th International Input-Output Association Conference (IIOA) draw to a close at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre (pictured)  last week in Glasgow. The meeting – which took place in the UK for the first time – attracted a record number of delegates from nearly 50 countries.

The IIOA conference is focused on the advancement of knowledge in the field of data compilation and economic statistics and its use across a wide variety of sectors. A key theme of this year’s meeting is sustainability and minimising the environmental impact of conferences on their host destination.

Glasgow has aspirations to become one of Europe’s most sustainable business tourism cities and is currently the only UK city to be included in the Global Destination Sustainability Index.

Gordon Hodge, Head of Conferencing and Events at the University of Strathclyde added: “Our sustainability team has worked hard to identify ways that we can support clients like the IIOA to minimise the environmental impact of their meetings. Even simple gestures like encouraging delegates to bring their own water bottles to fill up for free; smart menu choices which include more vegetarian or vegan options; or making the most of our city-centre location and connectivity with public transport, can make a difference.”

July 10, 2019

Australia Unites to Win Math Congress


With the full support of Australia’s scientific best – such as Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO; one of Australia’s leading mathematicians, Professor Nalini Joshi; and the 2018 Top 10 Global Teacher Prize Winner and YouTube sensation, Eddie Woo – Sydney will host the International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME15) for 2024.

It will be the largest international conference on mathematics education attended by some 2,800 mathematics educators, mathematicians, researchers, teachers and resource producers over eight days.

ICME15 was won by a consortium of eight peak Australian bodies in mathematics education, comprising of Australia’s leading STEM societies endorsed by the Australian Academy of Science, and supported by strategic bidding organisation, BESydney, together with the NSW Government and Tourism Australia.

July 9, 2019

Associations Are Welcome to Kent

Kent Event Centre has diversified its offering to attract more association events. The new association event programme follows the success of the recent International Society of Equine Locomotor Pathology (ISELP) conference for equine vets which took place at the venue in April. The event attracted 90 vets from across the world who experienced practical ‘hands-on’ ultrasound sessions using a horse which was brought inside the venue and learnt more about the pioneering work being done by ISELP.

Kent Event Centre is the commercial arm of the Kent County Agricultural Society, an agricultural charity established in 1923 based at the Kent Showground near Maidstone in Kent. The Kent Event Centre was formed in 1991 as the commercial arm of the charity as a dedicated conference and events venue. Because the venue is a charity it understands the challenges charities and associations are facing today, particularly when it comes to funding and diversifying income, therefore the new offering includes dedicated, discounted rates exclusively for associations and charities.

The venue benefits from 7,000sqm of indoor space along with 200 acres of outdoor space, which proved a great asset to ISELP who needed space to transform into a working veterinary surgery for the duration of the event. The venue also benefits from 1,000 bedrooms at hotels within a 5-10 mile radius.

July 8, 2019

AIPC Conference Rejuvenated Thanks to New Format

There were a lot of expectations in Antwerp at the AIPC Annual Conference this year. Hosted by the Flanders Meeting and Convention Center – the ‘Room with a ZOO’ which played a key role in providing a wide range of distinctively different spaces, the event kept delegates engaged in new and varied environments and experiences – something that had not necessarily been the case in previous years.

AIPC, the international association of congress centres, represents a global network of over 190 centres in 64 countries with the active involvement of more than 1,000 management-level professionals worldwide. It encourages excellence in convention centre management, based on the diverse experience and expertise of its international representation. To do so, it is engaging in a variety of educational, research, networking and standards programs.

Its Annual Conference is part of those efforts to bring excellence in all areas of centre management: 2019 saw more than 150 delegates converge to Antwerp and its one-of-kind convention centre – it sits next to the city zoo, and is literally a stone’s throw from the train station – to tackle the overall theme of “Practical Strategies to Meet Changing Expectations”.

As usual, the Conference started by a keynote speech which put things into perspective. In that regard, Dr. Linda Yueh, a globally recognized economist and authority on trade issues, delivered a realistic picture of how current economic and geopolitical issues are re-shaping the business environment of centres. At the end, technology futurist Sophie Hackford shared her insights about the future implications of rapidly changing tech capabilities – and how these will accept meetings in general.

Innovative this year

What was really new this year is how the programme had delegates get to work. In that regard, the “BrainShare” session was developed as a unique opportunity for participants to address the challenges associated with growth, from scalability to resourcing and from accessing talent to resulting adaptations to business models and ecosystems. Developed Oscar Cerezales, it asked key questions in the context of immersion-scale orientation, with dedicated topic stations and discussion labs used to arrive at conclusions that were then merged to create an overall change strategy.

Of course, I, like the rest of the audience, was particularly interested in a session called ‘Insights from Key Clients’. After all, how associations and congress venues can work better together? What’s the overall experience of clients when it comes to convention centres around the world? Chantal Van Es, Head of Sibos, Isabelle Bardinet, CEO of the European Society of Cardiology, Kai Hattendorf, CEO of UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, and Jurriaen Sleijster, representing IAPCO, the international association of PCOs, all  shared their perspectives on change and evolution in the industry.

Chantal, for instance, explained that “our last conference took place at ICC Sydney, and they understood our needs like maybe no other venue before. Sibos is all about financial compliance, all about anti-money laundering, and all about cybersecurity, amongst other things. The goal is to bring people together and make them think about how to solve common challenges and that is what we’ve always tried to do with an event like ours. If convention centres understand what we want to achieve and they can be part of it, then it’s win-win situation. At Sibos, we see meetings as a premium service that’s becoming more and more rare: that’s why we have to provide one-of-a-kind experiences.”

More generally, Isabelle Bardinet pointed out that if we all must demonstrate our open-mindedness, flexibility and forward-thinkingness, by experimenting with meeting environments for instance, we must not forget the basics of conferences. “If the basics are taken care of – and believe me this is not always the case – we’ll be eager to do more and be open to new ideas and formats,” she said. “One thing is certain, tough: meeting and planning are fundamental pieces of what we do at the ESC. The more problems the world will unfortunately have, the more people will need to meet. Simply put: we’re going to keep meeting. Even if there is an economic downturn, we’re just going to adapt.”

Concluding on an event that delegates enjoyed, from the informal survey I made, AIPC President Aloysius Arlando said “This year’s Annual Conference was a significant departure from previous events – but that reflected the kinds of big industry changes we see happening around us. By using our own interactions at the conference to learn and grow as managers we are continuing a great AIPC tradition of sharing for mutual benefit – something we will only intensify as we grow into the future”. 

This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé The right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.