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Lung, AIDS, and child abuse associations win Impact grants

Three international associations have each won US$7,500 to develop the ‘trailblazing’ legacy programmes attached to their conferences.

The European Lung Foundation, International AIDS Society and the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect were this year’s Incredible Impacts Grant winners.

The Incredible Impacts Programme, run by ICCA and BestCities Global Alliance, recognises associations who ensure their meetings have a lasting impact on their industry or wider society.

Now in its third year, the programme is judged by an independent panel of judges and aims to identify ‘trailblazing’ associations.

European Lung Foundation in conjunction with European Respiratory Society (ELF/ERS):

The ELF/ERS hosts events under it’s Healthy Lungs for Life (HLfL) campaign, including a flagship International Congress, dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of healthy lungs. Uniquely, they hold lung testing events in each of the host cities open to the public, meaning that not only those in the healthcare world, but patients and non-delegates can benefit from the conference’s presence in the city. Leaving a legacy that saves lives, the ELF/ERS aims to have an impact on societal issues such as decision making, community well-being and social progress through their events.

International AIDS Society (IAS):

The IAS hosts the world’s largest conference on HIV and AIDS. With the aim of bringing people from all walks of life together, they have a scholarship programme to help delegates who would otherwise lack the resources to attend. From young people, to activists and media, they aim to keep expanding their scholarship programme so that candidates most likely to benefit can attend.

International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN):

At its most recent congress in the Caribbean, ISPCAN focused on bridging the gap between academic research and the work of practitioners serving vulnerable children targeted by sex tourism, by adding the voice of child abuse survivors and youths within the region. The Caribbean Congress was important because Jamaica has recently developed a national action plan to address violence against children.  All ISPCAN congresses also engage youth with a forum of their own design, from which they used social media channels and media attention to tell their stories.

ICCA CEO, Senthil Gopinath said: “It is wonderful to see that all three winners have created awareness for critical issues such as child neglect, HIV and healthy lungs but also managed to develop programmes to include youth in their meetings and activities. Ensuring the education and involvement of new generations across all sectors will help to further progress human kind.”

Paul Vallee, managing director of BestCities said: “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.”

Chair of the judges Tracy Bury of the World Federation of Physical Therapists said when announcing the awards: “This is the award that keeps on giving. We get trotted out as a case studies and its gives validity to what we do. Applications are scrutinised heavily because it’s an award that is judged by previous winners. We are looking for the clarity of the objectives of the association, the measurement of success with testimonials and how they will use the US$7500 prizes. There were 26 entries and 12 were shortlisted.”