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Associations win US$7,500 Incredible Impact grants for legacy projects

Three international associations have each won US$7,500 to put towards legacy projects after impressing industry judges.

Down Syndrome International, the Society for Ecological Restoration, and the Union for International Cancer Control, are the winners of this year’s Incredible Impacts Programme, run by  ICCA and BestCities Global Alliance. They were selected from a long-list of 12 by an independent panel of industry experts.

Down Syndrome International (DSI), hosted their World Down Syndrome Congress in July 2018 in Glasgow. The congress had an outstanding impact by raising public awareness for the community, attracted 1,000 delegates, of which 120 were people with Down syndrome, and recruited a team of commissioners (adults with Down syndrome) as ambassadors for the event, with one member conducting a filmed interview with Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, used to close the ceremony. DSI plan to continue their commissioner programme for future congresses in Dubai and Brisbane, utilising their experience and expertise to pass this on to the next host city.

The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) hosted an international forum to develop and advance the world’s knowledge and understanding of our ecosystems. The World Conference on Ecological Restoration held in Brazil in 2017 brought together experts in the rapidly emerging field for a week of networking and knowledge sharing on the latest scientific advances, environmental policy questions and innovative methods for returning ecosystems to health and vitality.

The week-long conference attracted 1,000 delegates from 60 countries, and gave attendees the chance to spend the day volunteering at a restoration site near the venue, planting trees and collecting native seed. The SER also made a donation on behalf of the event to support local restorative activities in the area to offset the conference’s footprint.

The Union for International Cancer Control hosted its 2017 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City. With a theme of ‘Cities Driving Change,’ they convened 350 cancer and public health leaders to discuss solutions in cancer prevention and care into further national action by 2025.

The high-level policy meeting was dedicated to furthering cancer control and encouraged timely debate on emerging issues related to cancer. Following the meeting the Mexican Government officially appointing the National Cancer Institute of Mexico to coordinate the development and implementation of a sustainable national cancer control plan in the country.

Paul Vallee, managing director of BestCities said: “This year’s Incredible Impacts Programme submissions have been shining examples of innovative thinking and global good practise in the meetings industry, demonstrating the impact and legacy we can leave behind us.

“Our winning associations should be congratulated on not only winning the grants, but also on being advocates and inspiring leaders to others in the field. We hope to see each association go on and create more inspiring events using the grants they’ve received, which will continue to shine a positive light on our industry.

“We’re also pleased to hear that two of the winning associations, Down Syndrome International and the Society for Ecological Restoration are planning a future congress in one of the BestCities partner cities, Dubai and Cape Town respectively.”

ICCA Interim CEO, Dennis Speet said: “It is heart-warming to see that these associations have gone the extra mile and have taken steps beyond the organisation of their events to make an incredible impact. We congratulate the winners and are looking forward to welcoming and awarding them at the ICCA Congress in Dubai!”