Page 1

No. 18 Nov 2016 €19 / SEK 165

SOFIA FALK an organisational hacker Diversity and inclusion are essential if a business is to grow INFOSTRUCTURE THE REWARD SYSTEM RECHARGE ECONOMIC IMPACT KELLERMAN


Unforgettable you can leave the islands, but never forget them

visitfaroeislands.com


visitfaroeislands.com


business

uninterrupted

everything seems simpler at a distance, like your new strategy.


How do you achieve your organizational goal of tomorrow, today?


Discover how we harness the power of community to improve your organizational results by visiting us online:

www.mci-group.com


BIG LANDSCAPES INSPIRE BIG THINKING Australia’s a country of innovative people. We’re a nation of problem solvers at heart who find solutions in our backyard and proudly share them with the world. Our convention centres are within walking distance of city attractions, offer award winning food and wine and constantly deliver outstanding meetings for event organisers. Contact our Business Events Manager for UK and Europe and find out why there's nothing like Australia for business events.

Darwin Convention Centre 22,900 sqm of total meeting space

SPRAY ON SKIN GOOGLE MAPS

INNOVATION CERVICAL CANCER VACCINE

Cairns Convention Centre 10,000 sqm of total meeting space

ULTRASOUND

Did you know that over a billion people around the world rely on Australian discoveries including:

CIVILIAN USE OF PENICILLIN

8,000 PLENARY CAPACITY 32,600 SQM OF TOTAL MEETING SPACE 44 MEETING ROOMS

BIONIC EAR

HIGH SPEED WI-FI

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

International Convention Centre Sydney

Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre 14,000 sqm of total meeting space

11,500 PLENARY CAPACITY (ACROSS THREE THEATRES)

SMART SYNTHETIC POLYMERS

86,800 SQM OF TOTAL MEETING SPACE 70 MEETING ROOMS

Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre 32,000 sqm of total meeting space

Adelaide Convention Centre 15,000 sqm of total meeting space

National Convention 8,200 sqm of total Centre Canberra meeting space

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 5,500 PLENARY CAPACITY 70,000 SQM OF TOTAL MEETING SPACE 53 MEETING ROOMS

Lene Corgan Business Events Manager, UK/ Europe T: +44 207 438 4633 E: lcorgan@tourism.australia.com


DR OXLEY IN SURGERY. CREDIT: MOUNT SINAI HEALTH SYSTEM

SEABIN CO-FOUNDERS PETE CEGLINSKI AND ANDREW TURTON

HONEY BEE WITH MICRO-SENSOR. CREDIT: CSIRO

Australia Innovates While Australia is a place of incredible beauty, it is also a place of innovation – where some of our brightest people are breaking new ground across a variety of fields. Australia’s business events industry has a close relationship with our world-class research institutions and knowledge hubs, which are fostering these innovative minds. They can assist meeting planners in expanding their networks and attracting exceptional speakers and presenters for their next event in Australia. For more stories on some of Australian’s brightest people, read the latest edition of Australia Innovates magazine at www.australia.com/businessevents and find out about; THE BIONIC SPINE POWERED BY BRAIN WAVES

The quality of headphone audio is crucial to this experience.

BEES WITH BACKPACKS: MICRO-SENSORS HELP SOLVE GLOBAL HONEY BEE DECLINE

It sounds like science fiction: a ‘bionic spine’ that enables people paralysed by spinal cord injury or stroke to walk again – by the power of thought alone. But thanks to Australian neurologist and researcher Dr Thomas Oxley, science fiction is about to become science fact.

Australian startup, Nura, has created a world first: its headphones not only let you listen to sound, they listen to how you hear. It is a ground breaking concept, and one that has the potential to be a game-changer for the audio industry.

Honey bees are dying at an unsustainable rate, intensifying food security threats. Scientists in Australia have developed a power-efficient micro-sensor platform that can be used to investigate the forces causing their decline.

A few years ago, Australian neurology resident Thomas Oxley set out to design a device that uses brain waves to power prosthetic limbs. Today, Oxley’s revolutionary invention is about to enter human trials, giving hope that millions of people paralysed by injury or stroke will soon be able to walk again.

NURA HEADPHONES: CHANGING THE WAY THE WORLD HEARS Headphones are a deeply personal item. They have the ability to transport you from your current environment – be it working, commuting or exercising – and into your own private space of music, movie, podcast or video game.

AUSTRALIAN INVENTION SEABIN TACKLES OCEAN POLLUTION On his travels around the world, surfing and building boats, Andrew Turton was shocked by the amount of rubbish he saw floating in the world’s waterways. Over a beer with his friend Pete Ceglinski, he asked: if we have rubbish bins on land, why don’t we have rubbish bins for the ocean? This simple question resulted in the Seabin, an innovative, world-first invention that is attracting global attention for its potential to help clean the ocean and revolutionise the health of marine ecosystems around the world.

For the first time, researchers can track individual bees in unprecedented detail: the duration of foraging missions, the rest periods between flights, and movement between hives. They even know the precise time of death, as the sensors last the duration of the bee’s life – between two and four months. This innovative technology will help improve honey bee health and protect agricultural industries around the world. Lene Corgan Business Events Manager, UK/ Europe T: +44 207 438 4633 E: lcorgan@tourism.australia.com Source: content first published on www.australiaunlimited.com


Open for Business Today. Reimagined for Tomorrow. The Miami Beach Convention Center.

M

eeting planners around the world are no strangers to the phenomenal sun, surf, and fine dining Miami Beach has to offer. An international and first-class destination, Miami Beach hosts world-recognized festivals such as Art Basel Miami Beach and Maison & Objet. What some might not know is that the Convention Centre is reinventing itself right before our very eyes.

The $600 Million Facelift Through municipal bonds, the Miami Beach Convention Center is amidst a magnificent $615 million transformation, being reimagined as a state-of-the-art LEED-certified facility accommodating and attracting new international and national events and conventions. The Centre is open for business and will remain open throughout the majority of the process with a brief closure from January 2017 – May 2017. Renovations will complete in 2018 and bookings for the future are already filling up. Last year alone, more 1.2 million delegates met in Greater Miami and the Beaches and as Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine says, the new facility will be a “centre for creative collaboration.” Miami Beach is not only on a path keeping up with demands of a competitive national and international convention community – its new outdoor public spaces will improve walkability for everyone, connecting the Centre and the city’s adjacent historic cultural district and resorts.

Room for Everyone and Anyone Large or small, if you can imagine it, the Centre can handle it. More than 17,650 square meters will be dedicated to 81 breakout rooms featuring flexible arrangements for attendees. Known for their grand-scale iconic

ADVERTORIAL

public spaces and leadership in sustainable design, the nationally acclaimed team at Fentress Architects is overseeing this renovation and will deliver meeting rooms with the latest in AV technology, sound proofing, and attendee comfort. This 130,064 square meter LEED-certified Convention Centre is a dream come true for industries such as medical tourism, insurance, tech, sports marketing, and pharmaceutical. Its 46,452 square meters of forward-thinking renovated and versatile exhibit space, offering four massive halls, is set against a stunning backdrop of beaches, fine dining, art, shopping, luxury rooms, and of course, sunshine. Not to mention a state-of-the-art 5,574-square-meter grand ballroom, 1,858 square meter glass rooftop junior ballroom, and the reimagined indoor/outdoor public spaces.

A Project that Inspires Creative Collaboration: • 5.8-acre public park with open lawn spaces, shaded areas, a veterans’ memorial, and a pavilion • Pedestrian-friendly with art, created by globally recognized artists, in public places • 800 covered rooftop public parking spaces available to the general public Unveiling in 2018, but taking reservations today, the Miami Beach Convention Center – It’s So Miami. Learn more and order your free Meeting Planner Guide at MiamiMeetings.com or book your event at MiamiBeachConvention.com or +1 786 276 2607. *Dimensions are subject to change based on renovation plans.


The Centre of It All.

Reimagined for 2018 Imagine a centre of creative collaboration, in the perfect location, surrounded by everything you desire – beaches, fine dining, art, luxury rooms, and ideal weather all year long. It’s real. Unveiling in 2018, but open for business now. Reserve today. ileana_garcia@miamibeachconvention.com | +1-786-276-2607 | MiamiBeachConvention.com

New 5,574 sq. m. ballroom • 81 breakout rooms with more than 17,650 sq. m. of space 46,452 sq. m. of renovated exhibit space


ADVERTORIAL


New Management Duo in Prague Envisages Prosperous Future for Czech Republic's Largest Congress Venue

A

s of this autumn, the Prague Congress Centre (PCC) is under the management of a duo with a record of success collaborating on the organisation of congresses in Prague. The venue's new CEO, Roman Ray Straub, and new Commercial Director, Lenka Zlebkova, are confident that with its advantageous fundamental attributes, the pledge of longterm support from the shareholders, and conceptual modernization, the PCC will become one of Europe's most prestigious and popular convention centres. To date Roman Ray Straub has trod an illustrious and enviably diverse career path in the hotelier and hospitality sector spanning over 30 years. He was part of the marketing team that launched Disneyland Paris, and has managed hotels in Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, USA and the Caribbean. He first came to the Czech Republic in the mid 1990's to oversee the opening and management of the four-star Don Giovanni hotel. Organisers who have planned events in Prague in recent years may well know Lenka Zlebkova. From 2010 to 2014 she was the director of the Prague Convention Bureau (PCB). Under her tenure the PCB was remarkably successful, playing a major role in Prague's prolific rise as a leading meetings and events destination, illustrated by the city's rise from 19th to 10th place in the ICCA global ranking of cities according to number of association meetings held. The new management names three major tasks to ensure the future appeal and success of the Prague Congress Centre:

improving the venue's image both domestically and internationally, the refurbishment of the building which first opened in 1981, and the construction of a new exhibition hall. “The committed and enthusiastic backing of the Mayor of Prague, City Hall and the Ministry of Finance for the modernisation of the PCC was a key reason I chose to take on the challenge of managing the venue,” Roman Straub explains, and points out that refurbishment is already well under way. “Behind the scenes” replacement and modernization of the PCC's heating and air conditioning systems is nearing completion, while refurbishment of a number of spaces has commenced and is firmly on track. Roman is confident that the PCC has core attributes that give the venue a unique advantage: “Being one of the world's most beautiful cities, Prague in itself is obviously major selling point. But the PCC is quite special in that it is located so centrally in a capital city. Also the building's architectural design is highly practical and in no way obsolete.” From her time in the PCB working with so many event organisers, Lenka Zlebkova has invaluable experience of seeing the PCC from the client's side and has a clear vision of what is required to attract more international events. “I’m very aware of the centre's shortcomings, but also its many pluses. We need more exhibition space to attract some larger events so the shareholders’ confirmation of financing for the construction of a new exhibition hall is really important,” she says, adding that planning and permitting process is now under way. ADVERTORIAL


Dubai selects the most innovative companies to reach its future vision

T

he Dubai Future Accelerators is an intensive 12-week programme hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation and the Government of Dubai. The programme is designed to identify emergent technologies and businesses with the potential to address the world's most urgent challenges and opportunities, and to support them in developing solutions and prototypes for rapid deployment across Dubai. A remarkable 2,274 applicants from 72 countries applied but only 30 companies – less than two percent of applicants – were chosen. “Through this initiative, the UAE is seeking to redefine the international role of business accelerators,” said His Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi, vice-chairman and managing director of Dubai Future Foundation. “These accelerators will now adhere to the government's agenda and strategies, and serve as a catalyst for research and development within the most strategic sectors, such as education, health, infrastructure, transportation and energy. They will provide a global platform to develop new and innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges facing society.” Some of the most innovative companies in the world have been selected to participate in Dubai Future Accelerators. ADVERTORIAL

UAE is putting major efforts towards innovation This comes at a time when the UAE is making rapid leaps up the international innovation rankings. It was ranked first among Arab countries and 41st worldwide in the Global Innovation Index – which was recently announced at the United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva. This is up from second in the Arab world and 47th globally last year. The index measured the performance of 128 countries in terms of innovation, and is based on 82 sub-indices. The UAE ranked first globally in the cost of redundancy dismissal, ease of paying taxes, tertiary inbound mobility and the state of cluster development. In terms of market sophistication, the rankings for the UAE in investment went up to 55 from 105 last year. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, said that while many countries are cutting spending on research and development, the UAE is still putting major efforts towards innovation. He estimated that the percentage contribution of knowledge and innovation to the GDP at about 3 percent, which he said was one of the highest rates worldwide.


© Dubai Future Accelerators photos

Pioneering a new generation of accelerator programmes HE Al Gergawi reiterated that the success Dubai has had in pio­ neering a new generation of business accelerator programmes and the key role the emirate is playing in shaping the future can be attributed to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the close involvement of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Dubai Future Foundation. HE Al Gergawi further stressed that the initiative seeks to achieve the targets of Dubai Future Agenda by ensuring sustainability and innovation within the strategic sectors of the UAE. Moreover, it will explore new sectors based on the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, which will create a market worth billions of dollars and revolutionise the business models that we know today. “Now that we have concluded the selection phase of the Dubai Future Accelerators programme, we can go ahead with the actual testing stage for the innovative solutions in cooperation with the relevant authorities,” explained HE Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of the Dubai Museum of The Future Foundation. “Following an in-depth study – undertaken with our partners and a group of leading experts – to test the feasibility and effectiveness of each entry's proposed solutions for the challenges facing the relevant key sectors, we can confidently say that we have selected the most innovative and promising applicants,” HE Al Gergawi added.

Hyperloop One Some of the most prominent names on the list of finalists include: Hyperloop One, which is developing a high-speed transportation system; Next Future Transportation, specialising in mass-transit solutions and self-driving vehicles; Concensys, the world's largest software provider for app developers and Blockchain companies; Construction Robotics, specialising in construction solutions that increase productivity five-fold; and Honeywell, the Fortune 100 company working on developing advanced digital systems for the healthcare sector.

Business development and prototyping The Dubai Future Accelerators programme comprises three rounds annually, with each round lasting three months. Throughout this time-frame, the programme works to attract the world's best emerging companies to find solutions for challenges – as well as ways to capitalise on economic opportunities – it identifies within strategic economic sectors by creating new technologies. The programme also provides training sessions for participants to learn about business development and prototyping, and to create pilot projects for the City of Dubai. Dubai Future Accelerators is an initiative of the Dubai Future Foundation and part of the Waqf's US $275-­million “Future Fund”.

ADVERTORIAL


No. 18 

Nov 2016 Frame of mind LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE EDITOR IN CHIEF Atti Soenarso

18 INTRO

Chart a New Course to a Blue Ocean Atti Soenarso: “In blue oceans competition has no meaning.”

20 BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion Sofia Falk: “Today businesses are eager to find solutions.”

atti.soenarso@meetingsinternational.com PUBLISHER Roger Kellerman

roger.kellerman@meetingsinternational.com INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF SALES Graham Jones

graham.jones@meetingsinternational.com

EDITOR Bryan Ralph

TEXT Robert Cotter, Tomas Dalström, Roger Kellerman,

Rajkumar Reghunathan, Bryan Ralph, Robin Sharma,

35 REGHUNATHAN

Recharge to Thrive Again Dr. Rajkumar Reghunathan on burnout management.

40 KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE

Meetings Are a Significant Economic Driver for Whistler Insight into the city's venue role from Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

Atti Soenarso

PHOTOS Sara Appelgren, Kerstin Holm,

Roger Kellerman, Magnus Malmberg, Chris Maluszinski ART DIRECTOR  kellermandesign.com

TRANSL ATION Dennis Brice

EDITORIAL RAYS OF SUNSHINE  Bimo + his cello +

photographer Jimmy Nelson + Mika + The Happy Reader + Laksa Kuching

SUBSCRIPTION Four issues:

Sweden €39, Europe €73, Outside Europe €77. Buy at subscription@meetingsinternational.com or

44 KNOWLEDGE HUB

Converting to Convention Abdulla Bin Souqat on designing Dubai as a destination.

48 SPORTS EVENTS

Sport and the City Barbara Martins-Nio: “Successful sports cities have a clear strategy.”

55 INTERMISSION

The Road Not Taken A poem by Robert Frost.

www.meetingsinternational.com. Single copies are €15 + postage when ordered online.

CONTACT Meetings International Publishing,

P.O. Box 224, SE-271 25 Ystad, Sweden, Editorial Office +46 8 612 42 20, Commercial Office +46 73 040 42 96, info@meetingsinternational.com, ­meetingsinternational.com PRINTED BY  Trydells Tryckeri – environmentally certified

(ISO 14001)

PAPER Arctic Paper Munken Lynx 240 g/100 g.

FSC labeled paper Cert No SGS-COC-1693

FONTS Adobe:

Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk, DS Type: Leitura Display, Hoefler & Frere-Jones: Chronicle Text, Chronicle Display, Knockout ISSN  1651-9663

60 ECONOMIC MULTIPLIER

Driving Collaboration and Innovation Through Personality Meet Gavin Poole, CEO of London's new tech campus, Here East.

69 SHARMA

How Business Titans Do It

Reproduction of articles and other material, whole or in part, is forbidden without the prior consent of the publishers. Quoting, however, is encouraged as long as the source is stated.

A Mastery Session by Robin Sharma. 76 BRAIN CHECK

Pleasurable Dopamine Rushes Tomas Dalström interviews Professor Lars Olsson.

Meetings International is supporting ICCA, MPI and Site.

86 KELLERMAN

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset Roger Kellerman: “Why limit yourself when you can keep on learning?” Meetings International Publishing uses environmentally certified printing, paper and distribution.

 instagram @meetingsinternational


Real eye-candy! The spectacular architecture reflects the importance of the financial metropolis on the Main.

Meetings in

Frankfurt are a

treat.

Like frankfurters themselves, meetings in Congress Frankfurt’s locations are something to relish. Their ingredients include a city rich in diversity, with an outstanding quality of life and an international airport, a railway station linked to the high-speed network, and a tastefully designed, flexible fairground right in the middle, easily reached by all modes of transport.

A classic: Frankfurt am Main has all the ingredients to make your convention a unique experience.

The 43,000 beds in hotels of all categories are a staple; whilst the wealth of restaurants offering a wide choice of international cuisine, the invigorating art galleries and museums, and the smorgasbord of high-quality cultural offerings provide further sustenance.

And don’t let’s forget the condiments: the city’s flourishing financial, scientific, transport, logistics and IT sectors create a vibrant atmosphere from which your big event can draw zest.

Appetizer: a journey to Frankfurt is swift and comfortable

VERSATILE AND TASTEFUL: THE FAIRGROUND ADAPTS TO YOUR NEEDS AND EXPECTATIONS.

What about afters? Would the world’s highest data throughput perhaps tickle your palate? Or the imposing cityscape, blending tradition with modernity – a historic town hall, a mouth-watering skyline, restorative parks, gardens and an extensive green belt … Frankfurt am Main provides the ingredients for an inimitable event. And Congress Frankfurt will help you with the preparation – with or without real frankfurters.

A menu nourishing enough to satisfy the most ravenous hunger for experience!

Congress Frankfurt . Messe Frankfurt Venue GmbH . www.congressfrankfurt.de

PREPARING WITH YOU THE PERFECT MEETING: THE CONGRESS FRANKFURT TEAM.


18 | INTRO

Chart a New Course TO A BLUE OCEAN If you were to ask the younger employees in your company or organisation about the things that would make them feel most wanted, the opportunity to stay and develop together with the company would probably be top of their list. Many of us are convinced that committed employees are key for companies and organisations to succeed in the long term. A few years ago we wrote about The Blue Ocean Strategy, an international bestseller in about 30 countries that presents 15 years of research on over 150 companies. The authors, W. Cham Kim and Renée ­Mauborgne, urge companies to break free from the cut-throat competition, the red ocean, by producing their own market space, a blue ocean, where ­competition is irrelevant. In the red waters, the industry boundaries are defined and accepted and the game rules are known by all. Here, companies try to be better than their rivals in order to grab a greater share of the market. The more actors there are, the more limited the opportunities for profit and growth. Cut-throat competition turns the red

ocean blood-red. New knowledge is not used. Intellectual capital, which we have talked about in Sweden over the past 20 years, is probably not assigned any value in an annual report and in all likelihood is not even listed as a topic. A blue ocean is an untapped market where you create a new demand and opportunities for highly profitable growth. Some blue oceans have been built outside existing industry boundaries, but most have been created based on red oceans by extending industry boundaries. In blue oceans, competition has no meaning, as the game rules have yet to be set. The book shows strategies and methods for finding blue oceans. It explains how to identify and look beyond your business operations at what actually creates new customer value, not just how to increase customer value. The book teaches the methods using concrete, international examples. It describes analysis tools that show how companies can act systematically to produce their own blue oceans. Like the discussion about Fixed versus Growth Mindset, it is about

daring to see development paths as opportunities, rather than obstacles – understanding that new knowledge must be constantly obtained or our company/organisation will s­ tagnate, stop developing and sink to the ­bottom of the dead red ocean.

Swedish-Indonesian Atti Soenarso has worked as a journalist for close to 40 years. She has worked for Scandinavia's largest daily newspaper, was TV4's first travel editor, has written for many Swedish travel magazines and has had several international clients. She has travelled the length and breadth of the world and written about destinations, people and meetings. photo

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

Magnus Malmberg


Run Better. In Boston.

Break Records with Two U.S. Convention Centers that

HAVE WON THE GOLD

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

Award-Winning

Boston. Where the Crowds are Always within Reach.

Two AIPC-Gold-Certified event facilities that adapt to your needs – the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center. Plus awardwinning services and technologies in a world-class destination. No wonder more event planners break attendance records in Boston. Schedule a site visit or learn more at SignatureBoston.com or +1 617.954.2800.

Hynes Convention Center


20 | COVER STORY 20 | RUNNING HEADER

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016


S

RUNNING HEADER | 21

TEXT

Atti Soenarso PHOTOS

Sara Appelgren

FA L K

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


22 | RUNNING HEADER

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016


BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE | 23

Sofia Falk's company We Are The Story Doers rewrites processes and procedures in businesses to bring them in line with modern approaches to diversity and inclusion. “This we do by exposing biased perspectives that are preventing businesses from achieving their best operative effect now and in the future. We show them how to harness the brainpower within and the positive effect diversity and inclusion has on the bottom line of their financial statement,” she explains. When The Society for Human Resource Management asked businesses and other organisations whether diversity was on their list of priorities, twenty-five per cent answered yes. Fifty-one per cent only focused on diversity because they were forced to follow the rules. Fifty-four per cent lacked a company function for diversity and inclusion, and those that did exist were run by volunteers. Nowhere was diversity a budgetary item. Despite the majority

of respondents (68 per cent) having various ways of measuring internal diversity, only ten per cent claimed to adjust their organisational strategy on the basis of the feedback it gives. Inclusion is a recurring theme in the modern world and an issue that is high on the agenda of many of today's business leaders. The business world is becoming increasingly international, meaning that more and more businesses are having to learn to embrace different cultures. Not only do businesses have to employ more people, they also have to ensure that new employees have a say in their work situation. It is all about development and growth. Diversity and inclusion are essential if a business is to grow. It needs to know its market, which can be done using improved business intelligence. 2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


24 | BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

“ How do you go about finding women to fill management positions?”

Working with people from different backgrounds also becomes a matter of course because it facilitates a broader knowledge base. If a business is to grow it has to attract people with the right skills. Race, religion, sexual orientation and gender do not really come into it. Or to put it this way: No inclusion without diversity. Gender is often associated with women, while diversity is linked with ethnicity and nationality. A lot of businesses make that mistake, and in doing so miss the obvious fact that diversity is much, much more. It embraces life experience, work experience, ability, attitude, leisure interests, socioeconomic background, personality and values. For Sofia Falk, diversity is about a broad spectrum of perspectives, experiences and preferences. With this reasoning, it is clear why we benefit from it, she says. If we have attended the same schools, have the same hobbies, are used to making decisions in the same way, have a similar view of the world, normality, the meaning of skills and good performances … “If everybody has the same vantage point it becomes very difficult to reach out and relate to a diversified customer segment, have a broad definition of the meaning of talent and to seek it out to work for you. It's MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

also difficult to put together a highperformance team that will give us time to adapt to the rapidly changing world we live in.” Today we see an excess of businesses that employ people with similar skills who have worked on similar things and produced similar products at similar prices and quality levels. And this is happening while the world we live in becomes increasingly global and diversified. “But diversity gives us nothing if we don’t include a diversity of experiences, perspectives and preferences in our agenda-setting and our decision-making processes. It's a bit like inviting people to a party, but not asking them to dance. Your guests leave well before the party ends.” Profits, sales, market shares, being an attractive employer, a more efficient decision-making process, more accurate customer analysis, more flawless innovation and product/ service development, greater commitment, greater loyalty, more cash flow per employee, better teamwork, improved wellbeing, less sickness absenteeism … Basically all the good things that a company needs to be competitive. “Businesses know and understand that. More evidence of the need for mixed teams and an inclusive culture


RUNNING HEADER | 25

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


26 | RUNNING HEADER

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016


BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE | 27

“All her high marks were put down to luck”

is not what's required. What's needed is more action to modernise business processes in order to attract a more diverse workforce and to give them the freedom to contribute with their ideas.” Sofia Falk has worked on diversity issues for ten years and says it is from this perspective that she responds. These days businesses and organisations are generally good at formulating equal opportunity and diversity policies – on paper. “There is probably no organisation that does not have a plan – a few fine words in a glitzy vision and some statistics in their annual report showing the headcount of the ‘visible’ diversity in management positions. It was certainly not like this back in 2008. Claiming to have a diversity focus is as natural today as saying you work with environmental sustainability.” She goes on to say that businesses have caught on to the fact that it is not about politically correct goals concerning networking meetings and leadership programmes for ‘underrepresented’ groups. Or to try to ‘fix’ and ‘equip’ those individuals who are not, to a sufficiently large extent, in management and decision-making positions.

“They’re beginning to understand that we have to alter our business systems, upgrade our processes and procedures and revitalise our leadership skills in order to bring about the change required. They understand it because they’re beginning to realise that it does show up on the bottom line of their financial statements and that they cannot find talent to the same extent as before. Ten years ago it was just fine words on a piece of paper. Today businesses are eager to find solutions.” Basically, Sofia Falk's company works with organisational development, something she has done since 2008. Their clients include banks, law firms, heavy industry, high-tech firms and companies supplying consumer goods. We Are The Story Doers collaborates with over 50 businesses with workforces of 20,000 to 100,000 that are active in over 100 countries. They work closely with the employees of these businesses using teamwork to add more diversity to development processes and help their clients become more successful. Sofia Falk has a fascinating background. She was born in Sweden, grew up in Colombia and has studied in many parts of the world. Her

engagement in diversity, inclusion and equal opportunities stems from frustration she felt as a 20-year-old when doing her military service at the Armed Forces Intelligence and Security Centre in Stockholm. Her irritation grew during military intelligence service in Kosovo and Bogotá when she felt that she could not be herself and work to her full potential. Four years later when continuing her career in civilian life as a crisis management consultant in the hope that it would be an improvement, she discovered that things were exactly the same there. Even though there were more women than in the armed forces, the top positions were filled by men and the management role was shaped to suit them. “Before I began my military training I thought I would have the same opportunities as the young men, that I only needed to be myself.” She says that the first three months of her military training was tough. The recruits crawled in dirt and did close combat exercises. One day they ran a half-marathon while carrying a backpack with 15 kilos of equipment and holding an automatic pistol. She came tenth out of 60 runners. The man next to her said: ‘What

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


28 | BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

“You’re a young woman, what could you possibly know about risk management?”

a lucky girl you are to finish tenth like that.’ “Lucky? I’d just run 21 kilometres in one of the most gruelling exercises there is with 15 kilos of equipment on my back, and he put it down to luck!” She gives another example from the shooting range. She shot better than all the men, but was still told it was plain luck. “There were three women and 60 men. We were obviously influenced by our surroundings.” Sofia Falk changed tactics. She tried to modify her behaviour by talking and acting like the men around her. But for them she was still a young woman so all of her top marks were put down to luck. It was not until she began working as an intelligence analyst for the armed forces in Kosovo that it began to sink in what being a woman in the military actually entails. “My colleagues − all Swedish men − couldn’t relate at all to the Muslim women. Our task was to compile as much intelligence as possible for analysis. When I visited the women they spoke to me freely as another woman and gave me plenty of insights to help us in our work.” Events in Kosovo changed the Swedish military's understanding about distinctions in compiling intelligence information from a gender MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

perspective. They realised the importance of inclusion and speaking to as many people as possible to get the best perspective. After Kosovo, Sofia Falk left the military and began working as a risk and crisis management consultant, giving lectures and training courses to management teams in heavy industries. She was 24 when she was assigned to give a lecture to a management team comprising of men only, not a woman in sight. She was starting her computer to prepare her lecture when one of them looked up and asked: ‘When is the consultant coming?’ ‘I am the consultant’, she replied. ‘Surely not. You’re a young woman, what could you possibly know about risk management?’ “I told them what I’d done before, but it fell on deaf ears. In their eyes I looked nothing like a risk and crisis management consultant. They felt that I had no credibility.” Another thing that surprised her was that, in stark contrast to military life, nobody talked about operational effectiveness, “I couldn’t continue in the job because I was a woman. My expertise, however great, would never be sufficient in that business. As I couldn’t be myself, I couldn’t work to my full potential.”

She took a job in a communications company where there were more women than men. But it was still the same. All the processes and procedures were drawn up from one perspective – a man's. Or as Sofia Falk puts it: “Everything was neatly in place and I stuck out like a sore thumb. I didn’t act like a ‘normal person’ in their eyes so didn’t fit the bill. It made me angry. Would I forever be prevented from reaching my full potential because I was a woman?” Sofia Falk took stock of the situation. Perhaps recruitment was the thing for her. She set up meetings with human resources people in large Swedish companies. She asked questions like: ‘How do you go about finding women to fill management positions?’ The first answer she received was: ‘We can’t find any competent women.’ She countered this by asking: ‘How do you define competence?’ “Several of the people I met said they had an equal opportunities policy, but that nobody knew who was responsible for it or what was in it. But they did have a policy …” The second answer she received was: ‘We have an internal network for the women in our company. We bring them together to discuss important issues, outside working hours of


RUNNING HEADER | 29

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


30 | RUNNING HEADER

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016


BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE | 31

“In their eyes I looked nothing like a risk and crisis management consultant”

course, as we can’t squander valuable work time. We meet over a glass of wine and the women learn how to improve their chances in working life by lowering their voices and learning how to negotiate, how to behave and what to wear.’ Then there was the third answer, the so-called highly successful mentor programme, or, more accurately, men in leading positions who instruct women with potential in the art of climbing the career ladder. “This was, of course, done through their gender perspective, not the perspective of the people they were instructing.” It was at this point that Sofia Falk started her own company, Wiminvest, and switched from banging her head against the wall in the gender-divided business world to actually creating diversity and inclusion. “A couple of years ago it struck me that it wasn’t only about labels, but also personality. About perspective. And know-how. So we changed our name to Story Doers.” Sofia Falk doesn’t just talk about creating diversity in the business world – she gets it done. She is an organisational hacker who sees the business world as her playground. She teaches large businesses how

to find simple and applicable solutions for achieving diversity, and shows them how increased diversity improves decision-making, motivates employees and provides know-how that could help their company to thrive. She started her first company because she tired of nothing ever happening, saying there are many fantastic women's networks, great ambitions, captivating rhetoric, but no practical roadmaps and very few actual solutions. “We’ve still not managed to create conditions that enable all women to pursue a career on their own terms and fulfil their potential.” She says that women's know-how, knowledge and talent have all too often been ignored by companies. “So we put the onus on the talents of women in order to get companies to put resources into getting women to both want, and be able, to reach the stars. It's about how you select talent for your business or organisation, people who have something new to bring to the table. Also, how you interact with your customers in a way that helps you to relate and really connect with them. How you develop your products and services to capture a new market or win market shares,

and how you get your message across to those who want to buy your products or services. All this is significant for the bottom line of your financial statement. When you’ve implemented the changes that are both relevant and profitable, you need to go a step further to ensure that your smart, exciting changes become a part of the company's DNA.” The question that Sofia Falk and her team hear most is ‘Why should our operation have to embrace diversity and inclusion?’ The quick answer is: It doesn’t have to. Rather, you should care about all of your staff because it's not particularly wise or profitable to separate your company's DNA from your employees’ personal development. Sofia Falk argues that no matter how we look at it in today's business world, we are in the era of human capital, diversity and inclusion. The demand on everyone today is to be sustainable in all aspects, which only reinforces the fact that your business is about your employees. Ensuring that everyone in your team is able to perform to the best of their abilities is not just a ‘good thing to do’. “You stand or fall by the way you handle these issues. You have to

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


32 | BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

“I told them what I’d done before, but it fell on deaf ears”

develop along with your team. Once you understand the potential of diversity and inclusion, it acts as a catalyst for growth. It will most likely have a positive effect on your company's efficiency, productivity, quality, competitiveness and market share. It may be a high risk, but the rewards are worth it if you get it right.” Knowing how diversity manifests itself in the business world, it makes sense to renew the language we use when referring to it. Google ‘diversity’ and you get the definition: ‘quality or state of having many different forms, types, or ideas’. But when applied to people, the term often becomes the positioning of a group, for example: white, male, heterosexual as standard with all the others grouped under ‘others’. Is it perhaps time to apply a more holistic approach? “We’re not here to tell stories. It's a fact that our work actually makes a difference to the bottom line of your financial statement. That bears repeating.” So what approach does Sofia Falk's company use in their business collaborations? “If they’re looking for real change then we need to seek out the missing links, the narrower perspectives. Explain to them that their out-of-date autopilot is not the best option for the future, and that it MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

doesn’t always feel comfortable. We also need to assure them that working with us will not harm a single part of their business. We prepare businesses for future scenarios before they happen. As a bonus they get more empowered and satisfied employees. Therefore, we have to ensure that as a business developer they are in favour of working this way until they are actually ready to take the step.” One could say that the approach is based on self-help. It is not so much about Sofia Falk and her consultants analysing the business, more about the employees being given the right tools. “These are the experts on your organisation who know the solutions required. Before proceeding, you need to be sure that the business is ready to convert to the world of diversity and inclusion. This is an absolute necessity and starts with meeting the management team to determine whether they are keen to invest the time required to bring about change. If they don’t buy into the idea of visualising their future, if they can’t see the benefits of giving their employees the space to utilise their wealth of perspectives, preferences and experiences then we pull the plug on it, move on to the next assignment and press the start button again.”


RUNNING HEADER | 33

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


REGHUNATHAN | 35

Dr. Rajkumar Reghunathan, mbbs is a medical doctor who is interested in many aspects of life, from physics and philosophy to chronic conditions and longevity. He applies Integrated Medicine, which combines modern medicine and Siddha medicine, to difficult-to-treat conditions at the clinic he heads in Kerala, India. photo

Roger Kellerman

Recharge TO THRIVE AGAIN Siddha medicine consists of two medical systems, Siddha Vaidya and Ayurveda, which originated in South India thousands of years ago. Siddha Vaidya focuses on remedying illness, whereas the main emphasis of Ayurveda is on promoting health and wellness. Siddha Vaidya was established by the sage, Agasthya. He and his followers classified 4,448 different ailments and produced more than 200,000 herbal formulas that act as remedies or promote longevity. Ayurveda, founded by another sage, Dwanvantari, is concerned with balance within the body in terms of physical processes and energy flows. Ayurveda medicine uses herbal and herbo-mineral formulas to maintain health. Dr. Reghunathan believes that an integrated approach will become increasingly important: “The future of medicine is in preventing diseases and maintaining health and sustaining life far beyond what is possible now.” In his first article for Meetings International, he describes how ancient Siddha medicine can assist in Integrated Medicine to prevent and treat a very modern condition: burnout.

In this article I am drawing on experience I gained when I was involved in burnout management. I was inspired by Shawn Achor's and Michelle Gielan's article in the Harvard Business Review entitled Resilience Is About How You Recharge, Not How You Endure, which pointed out that the consequence of not adequately recharging the body after an episode of stress is a possible burnout. This encouraged me to write a book about my experiences in burnout management and this article contains excerpts from You Can Thrive Again. Burnout is generally perceived as a physiological response from the body to a psychological problem that the person has faced in the past or is still facing. I am exploring the idea that it is not just a psychological response from an overworked body, but the culmination of medical and psychological events, some long past, and some still persisting, set in motion at varying speeds by different factors that affect a person physically and psychologically. The active state of burnout starts underneath the surface and is usually triggered by the appearance of many

predisposing factors acting together or individually. I would like to explore all the variables that the body might be experiencing or has experienced to finally culminate in a burnout response. The psychological and psychiatric aspects are left to the respective professions in this discussion. Just after my introduction to this condition in Sweden in the early 1990s, I thought that the causes of burnout were solely psychological in nature and that I, as a medical doctor, had no role in its treatment. However, further research convinced me that burnout treatment is a multi-disciplinary endeavour and that Integrated Medicine has a certain role to play in effectively treating it. Looking at burnout from various viewpoints helps in identifying the multiple approaches necessary for addressing an individual's suffering from burnout. Stress is just the last straw that broke the camel's back. When you visit a doctor, it is important to provide a good history. This helps the doctor in determining the necessary investigations and possible strategies in treatment. Write up your medical history enumerating everything that you think 2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


36 | REGHUNATHAN

is important so that no point is lost in conversation or forgotten in haste. The doctor has to find the roots of the issue, establish a timeline of events in your life and assess the major events that might have contributed to your current condition. A blood biochemistry study is very important and imperative, along

What causes burnout? Humans are complex creatures and a factor that causes a disease in one individual may not cause a disease in another. Let us explore some common causes that are recognised in Integrated Medicine: ƒƒ Psychological/Psychiatric issues ƒƒ Nutritional issues

“Stress is just the last straw that broke the camel's back” with a complete hormone profile. Unrelated infections co-existing in a patient can be identified by an adequate microbiology workup. This will indicate the presence of immediately treatable issues such as chronic infections and can lead to dramatic changes in the patient's condition. Depending on the results of the lab workup, your doctor can determine the course of further management. Imaging studies such as an ultrasound of the abdomen, thyroid, and breast (for women) should be done along with an EKG. Regarding prevention, I agree with Shawn that working on an aircraft is doubly stressful. According to Siddha Vaidya and Ayurveda, the primary stress arises from the very high speed itself, regardless of the mode of transport that is used. The stress from working plus the primary stress of travelling could be very taxing for a person when this is the norm. Adequate nutrition, sleep and recreation are equally important. When there are stressful events in your life, in addition to work-related stress, it is good to see a doctor to obtain adequate support.

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

ƒƒ ƒƒ ƒƒ ƒƒ

Microbiological issues Hormonal issues Neural issues General contributory causes, including digestion and metabolism, resulting in chronic resource loss (according to Siddha Vaidya and Ayurveda)

Five areas for managing burnout: 1. Nutrition: Any vitamin, mineral or trace material deficiency should be corrected immediately. 2. Medicines: Medicines can induce fatigue and energy loss in some people because of unintended side effects. All medicines taken by the person should be evaluated for potential electrolyte, hormonal and neurological impact. 3. Infections: Hidden infections in the gums, paranasal sinus, reproductive tract (pelvic and prostate) and other areas should be identified and treated successfully. Chronic infections can cause a constant drain on the body's energy economy, contributing to fatigue and possibly to burnout symptoms.

4. Hormones: Thyroid, adrenal and pancreatic hormonal issues are easily treatable. Sometimes blood values might be within normal ranges while the symptoms persist. These cases must be considered as hormone imbalances and treated with proper protocols. 5. Vital resources: Chronic resource loss is an often-ignored factor in triggering burnout in a vulnerable person. This could involve anaemia, excessive and frequent menstrual flow, or any other illness where a particularly vital element or tissue is lost. I would add the chronic loss of sleep and chronic low concentration of oxygen in the blood due to reasons such as allergies, nasal congestion, smoking and chronic respiratory conditions. Burnout management is within your reach and is not so difficult with good medical assistance and care. You can recharge your body and mind not just with entertainment and rest, but also by fortifying your body and attending to any treatable conditions. When you focus on the five areas and take action with your medical professional, you can overcome fatigue, exhaustion and burnout – and you can thrive again.


RUNNING HEADER | 37

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


Business Events Sydney (BESydney) reports that a $360 million pipeline of meetings, conventions and incentives has been secured for the city, which is consistently ranked as the number one destination in Australia for business events. BESydney has confirmed over 82 international events for the city in the period 2017–2023 that will deliver more than $360 million in direct expenditure to New South Wales (NSW). Col Hughes, BESydney's chairman, speaking at the company's AGM, which was held as a test event at the MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

new International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), says: “The results that BESydney has secured during the construction of ICC Sydney are remarkable. This success is credit to the team's determination and the support of our stakeholders including the NSW Government, City of Sydney, our partners and members, and of course our broad network of passionate Sydney supporters who work with us to build strategic business cases to take to global clients.” In the period 1 January 2015 to 30 June 2016, the organisation brought in 120 events worth over $300

million in business for NSW. Some of these events were also delivered in this timeframe, given the short lead nature of the Asian incentive business. Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of BESydney, says: “It's always rewarding to see our city's best come together to bid and win events that will contribute to a brighter future. We know that the broader impacts of business events are positive agents of change for trade, investment, research and collaboration.”

photo

Sydney Set FOR BUSINESS EVENT BOOM

© iStock.com\structuresxx

38 | RUNNING HEADER 38 | RADAR


40 | KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016


KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE | 41

Meetings A SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC DRIVER FOR WHISTLER TEXT

photo

© Resort Municipality of Whistler

Atti Soenarso Whistler in British Columbia, Canada, is best known as a ski resort, but meetings and events have become increasingly important for the city's economy. The mayor of Whistler, Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, told Meetings International: “Meetings and group business is a significant economic driver for Whistler, traditionally representing approximately 30 per cent of summer room nights.” Room nights generated by the Whistler Conference Centre have historically been more than 50,000 annually. The highest demand is between April and October. Conference and group bookings grew significantly in 2015, accounting for one in four summer room nights. “Results from the 2016 summer season are still being formulated, but are expected to be on par,” says Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. The resort, which has a permanent population of 10,000, has become a popular destination for international meetings. “These provide a great opportunity for attendees to meet with other

experts from around the world and share their knowledge. Whistler is a great place to put on an event. We are pleased to be able to provide the space and support for such meetings to occur and we make the process simple and informative.” “The city is a leader in sustainable resort community planning and development, located in a natural mountain environment and home to a vibrant community of active, engaged and innovative residents. These attributes provide an inspirational setting for international meetings and dialogue.” The convention and tourism bureau, Tourism Whistler, is the prime mover in marketing the city and works closely with local partners such as the Whistler Blackcomb resort, a number of associations representing hotels, restaurants and retail merchants and, not least, local government, the Resort Municipality of Whistler. “Tourism Whistler is the resort lead for bringing meeting, conference and incentive travel business to our city. Their conference sales team is responsible for soliciting meetings

and incentive business and providing additional meeting space to hotels that do not have sufficient space to house under-one-roof business.” “When generating group business, the bureau believes it is critical to be aware of a group's sponsors as they develop an itinerary that not only exceeds delegates’ needs, but also work to potentially leverage relationships with sponsors.” “Hosting conferences is very important work for Whistler and our municipal government supports a strong and successful meetings program. The municipality has two representatives on Tourism Whistler's board of directors and invests in ongoing improvements to the Whistler Conference Centre, which is operated by Tourism Whistler.” The municipal government also provides support when needed in bidding processes to obtain meeting and conference business. “The convention bureau handles the bidding process for most group business, although our larger meetings hotels also secure group business on their own. The municipality is not typically involved directly 2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


42 | KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE

“Securing group business is essential for our city's ongoing success”

in the bidding process, unless it is directly related to our business function. For example, we are involved in bidding on, and securing, group business such as the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention. The municipality is pleased to get involved in supporting conference bids on behalf of the community.” “Securing group business is essential for our city's ongoing success. When we are involved in a bid we always look for ways to add value for the client. This could be in the way of financial considerations, such as the conference centre providing complimentary services like food and beverage components, Wi-Fi, transportation, or it could be through in-kind support.” The resort is continuously looking for new approaches to boost business in the low season and is planning strategically for long-term event-related growth. “Tourism Whistler and the business community prioritise goals such as increasing year-round occupancy and building business during midweek and shoulder periods in order to grow group business.” “Looking further ahead, as a resort community we are always working to further grow and develop MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

meetings and incentive business. We will continue to work with partners and our business community to foster relationships that will help us achieve these goals, to the benefit of the entire resort. For example, we will work to involve local businesses and association representatives to ensure we are leveraging all of the resources and connections within the resort for soliciting and securing group business.” Nancy Wilhelm-Morden says her role as mayor offers her an opportunity to give visitors a welcoming first impression on behalf of the Whistler community. “I am often called on to provide remarks at conferences and events. Offering a warm welcome to these gatherings is an important part of ensuring attendees have a positive experience while in our resort.”


WHERE THE NATIONS COME TO DO BUSINESS At less than four hours flying time and with direct flights from cities across Europe, Morocco is a top business and conference destination – so much that it will be hosting delegates from around the world for COP22, the UN’s Climate Change Conference. Morocco’s world-class facilities range from brand new conference centres in five-star hotels to centuries old desert camps. Whatever your business event, Morocco will allow you and your delegates to explore exciting new horizons in comfort and style.

Find out more from trade@morocco-tourism.org.uk muchmorocco visitmorocco.com

MICE


44 | KNOWLEDGE HUB

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016


KNOWLEDGE HUB | 45

Dubai CONVERTING TO CONVENTION TEXT

Bryan Ralph

photo

Kerstin Holm

Dubai is a world-leading destination for medical conferences and a growing knowledge hub for medical science. How has the emirate achieved this position? One man with an inside view on Dubai's rapid development in the medical field is Abdulla Bin Souqat, a member of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Director of the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences. “The health sector is a combination of three pillars: the public, private and academic services. These three areas are partners. They are not supposed to work individually, they are supposed to work together. But, we see in many countries throughout the world that there are no links or proper communication between the private, public and academic services. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum came up with the idea of the Award as one of many ways to connect these three pillars.” The Award was established in 1999 under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance & Industry.

“He wanted the Award to honour excellence in the medical field rather than being a competition. Honouring people focuses on the idea of connecting people internationally. It brings medical scientists around the world in contact with researchers in our country and this region. It creates bonds and promotes proper communication and the exchange of ideas and knowledge.” Over the years the Award has expanded to include a diverse array of award categories at global, regional, and local levels. The 16 winners of the ninth term of the awards (2015–2016), which mainly focuses on gastroenterology, will be honoured at a ceremony in conjunction with the 9th Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences to be held December 14–16. Another aspect of the Award is to highlight the importance of scientific research in boosting progress in the UAE. Through its Research Support Center, the Award organisation plays an active role in promoting medical research. “Funding research is another one of the tools we use to bring about

connections between the pillars of the health sector. The Award has been supporting medical research since 1999 and is recognised as the first funding of its kind in the UAE.” The emirate has continued to create connections in the health sector. It has established dedicated communities to share knowledge in the medical field such as the Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park, and Dubai Healthcare City, the world's largest healthcare free zone, which was launched in 2002. Investment in Dubai's medical facilities means that the emirate's level of healthcare is widely recognised as the best in the Middle East, attracting healthcare experts from around the world and creating the basis for a thriving medical tourism industry. Major investment in universities and research centres that are paving the way for technological and scientific advances has enhanced the emirate's standing as an international knowledge hub. It could be said that Dubai's approach follows the blueprint of the Triple Helix, a concept developed by Henry Etzkowitz and Loet Leydesdorff in the 1990s that suggested 2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


46 | KNOWLEDGE HUB

new knowledge, innovation and development in science, technology and research was best generated by dynamic relations and interactions between universities, the private sector and government. However, Dubai had adopted its approach long before the Triple Helix was conceived and medical conferences were one of the

board every day without explanation. Eventually I asked him why he did it and he said it was simply to emphasise that ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’.” That quote, often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, created a lasting impression: “It really sums up everything you need to know about the importance of planning.”

“The emirate is seen as the biggest hub for medical conferences” original cornerstones of this connective strategy. “Today Dubai is considered an important hub for conferences in many fields, but it is seen as the biggest hub for medical conferences.” Among the many major medical conferences confirmed for 2017 is the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics Conference, and 2018 will see a large number of events including the World Congress of Hernia Surgery and World Congress of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders. “But it's important to remember that we have been planning and building towards being a hub for conferences and activities since 1968, concentrating first on medical conferences and then expanding into other events in the sporting and commercial fields. What we see today is a result of the government's vision of how to create a hub.” Planning is at the heart of Dubai's drive for development in every sphere and it is something that resonates with Abdulla Bin Souqat who remembers an “Aha” moment when he was a student in Birmingham. “Our lecturer used to write the word “Plan!” on the MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

Abdulla Bin Souqat says that the drive to connect and integrate in a planned and strategic way has been crucial in the emirate's success as a conference destination. “The government started to plan and build up the infrastructure, which has made integration of services possible. You can build up systems and rules and regulations to make things work, but we see throughout the world that integration does not necessarily take place. The sense of integration is not there.” “Although the government has built up the infrastructure and services, the government just makes the playground. You can put billions of dollars into it, but you need to have people with the right attitude who know how to make it work. In Dubai everyone has been happy and willing to make the integration of services happen. So today when you talk to anybody in one of the government bodies or private bodies about any kind of event, you will find that people are ready to help and know which button to press.” “We have succeeded not only in building the right facilities, but also in combining the infrastructure and

the infostructure. And this is what really has made the country into one of the most attractive hubs. Ticketing, visas, documentation, transportation, leisure – they are all interlinked. We have learned how to built up the infrastructure for your use. We have all these things covered so visitors can get these things arranged with ease. Everything should feel like it happens with the press of a button.” “It is not just The World Trade Centre, convention centre or a particular area that hosts a convention. From the start, the government saw that success as a conference destination depended on far more than conference facilities alone. The combination of infrastructure and infostructure means that Dubai has become the convention itself. Seeing Dubai as a convention was the key factor for success. We consider ourselves as a successful convention and feel there is no limit to our ambitions in this field.”


MINDblowing Meetings If you like a relaxed atmosphere, world-class design and great food, you’ll love Denmark

Meet us at IBTM stand #E20 www.businesseventsdenmark.com


48 | SPORTS EVENTS

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016


SPORTS EVENTS | 49

Sport AND THE CITY TEXT

Bryan Ralph

photo

© MCI

The global sports industry is booming. Sports can play a key role in attracting visitors to cities, but do escalating costs and legacy anxieties mean cities are no longer big fans of hosting mega sporting events? Which cities are the most successful sports hosts and why? What are the new growth sports that cities should be focusing on? Barbara Martins-Nio, Sports Business Unit Director at the global event management company, MCI, spoke to Meetings International about current trends and challenges, and how to create a win-win situation for sport and the city. MCI has been involved in a number of mega and major sports events in 2016 including the Tour de France, the Euro 2016 football tournament (France), the UEFA Champions League Final (Milan) and the Summer Olympic Games (Rio de Janeiro). The company was also involved in many small and middle-sized events during the year, such as the Longines Masters in show jumping (Paris), the World Archery Field Championships (Dublin) and the World Handball Championship (France). Sport nowadays is more popular than ever before. The amount of sport competitions is increasing and they are grabbing the attention of audiences of all ages and backgrounds. In

a world in economic, political, environmental and identity crisis, a lot of people strongly believe that sport has the unique ability to unite people, communities and nations. Sport is a great equalizer, and political leaders have embraced it. Beyond social benefits, cities agree that hosting international sports events provides economic benefits and contributes to creating, shaping or reinforcing their branding strategy. But they are also aware of the pitfalls, such as infrastructure costs, shortterm use of their facilities, the risk of negative publicity, security costs and higher taxes to cover debts. For many decades the power relationship between bid cities and sports rights holders was not always balanced. With the global economy slowing down, and particularly with the pressure on European economies (local communities are carefully scrutinising the expenditure of public funds), the tables are turning and some cities are now withdrawing from bids or reluctant to host major international sports events. “As with any business negotiation, sports rights holders and bid cities need to shake on a deal that will satisfy both parties,” says Barbara Martins-Nio, who points to the general positive trend stimulated by the International Olympic Committee's

2020 Agenda, which was adopted in 2014. The agenda, a strategic roadmap for the Olympic Movement to reform the bidding process for the Olympic Games, is laying the foundations for a better balance of power between cities and rights holders. “Although the agenda wasn’t devised to prevent the problem, but rather as a reaction to it, it has opened the way for more sustainable expectations from sports rights holders.” These expectations now need to fit the sporting, economic, social and environmental long-term planning needs of bidders, reduce bidding costs, exercise good governance and ethics, include sustainability in all aspects of the event, collaborate closely with bid/host cities and ensure a lasting legacy. “While these changes are clearly a positive step in influencing rights holders from other major sports events around the world, cities still have a major role to play in building public support for bids,” emphasises Barbara Martins-Nio. “Successful bidders rely on the support of their local/national government and sports institutions; they get public opinion mobilised; they create official entities dedicated to major sports events; they articulate 2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


50 | SPORTS EVENTS

a clear, robust but humble strategy (a strategy designed according to their own capabilities); and they demonstrate credible returns on investment from hosting an international sports event.” “We are witnessing a progressive rebalancing, where cities no longer want ‘White Elephants’ with postevent financial abysses, and sports rights holders need cities that plan,

Football's European governing body, UEFA, has led the way with its bold decision to host its Euro 2020 tournament in 13 cities across the continent, and the International Olympic Committee has opened the door to future joint city or country bids for the Olympic Games. “Only time will tell if this experimental multi-city/country format will have been a one-off initiative or

“Cities that succeed are the ones that have a clear strategy” mobilise, finance and operate carefully all the way through, while leaving great legacy.” Barbara Martins-Nio says there is a need to explore new cooperative models and cross-border collaboration if mega events such as the Olympic Games, and football's World Cup and European Championship are to continue to prosper. “Single host nations find themselves under tremendous pressure when wanting to host a mega event, as the requirements are becoming bigger and more difficult to meet. It comes as no surprise that some nations have been put off by the expenses and excessive demands of sports rights holders.” “With an unsteady economic situation, sports rights holders cannot expect countries to invest in facilities in the way their events require them to. The fact that fewer and fewer countries are financially capable of hosting mega events has sent a strong message to sports rights holders, who in response have suggested hosting those mega events across different countries.” MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

if it will leave a long-term footprint. Changing the hosting model can relieve some of the burdens, but it cannot be the only answer brought to the table. I deeply believe that this is a symptom of the problem, rather than the solution.” “After having worked 15 years for mega event organising committees and bid committees before joining the MCI Group, I would say that the solution could be in a better partnership model between host cities and sports rights holders, a collaboration where economic and social benefits are created together and spread more fairly between stakeholders, where the scale of the event is fit for purpose and therefore more cost-effective, where athletes and spectators are at the centre of our concerns.” There is tough competition between cities to land sporting events. So who is winning most battles? According to Sport Business, the Ultimate Sports City of 2016 is New York City, which won the annual award ahead of former winners London and Melbourne.

The category winners based on their major event portfolios were: ƒƒ Ultimate Sports City: New York City, USA ƒƒ Best XS Sports City (up to 600,000 inhabitants): Manchester, England. ƒƒ Best S Sports City (0.6–1.3 million): Glasgow, Scotland. ƒƒ Best M Sports City (1.3–3 million): Auckland, New Zealand ƒƒ Best L Sports City (3–8 million): Melbourne, Australia. ƒƒ Best XL Sports City (over 8 million): London, England. But what makes a winning sports city? “In my opinion, cities or countries that succeed are the ones that have a clear strategy, a strategy they have designed according to their own capabilities, and that they follow closely over the years. These cities don’t necessarily need to bid for mega sports events, have gigantic stadiums or even invest in huge infrastructures in order to excel as a sports destination. Many cities have found their niche hosting smaller-sized events.” She says that Ireland offers an excellent example. “Over the past few years, it has become an international sports events destination, attracting and supporting small and mid-size international events.” Hosted events in 2016 include the Cadets & Juniors World Kickboxing Championships (Dublin), the Laser Radial World Championships in sailing (Dun Laoghaire), the Youth A World Pentathlon Championships (Limerick) and the JKA European Karate Championships (Dublin). And events for 2017 such as
the ITF World Championships in taekwondo and the Women's Rugby World Cup have already been already announced. “Sometimes, in order to be a successful sports city, what matters most


52 | SPORTS EVENTS

isn’t the size of the event, but rather hosting the right event with the right partners and offering that little extra bit of soul to the destination.” When it comes to emerging sports, Barbara Martins-Nio mentions two with great potential for cities, e-sports and Formula E – street racing for electric-powered cars. “Whether or not e-sports is classified as a sport is clearly no longer

e-sports completely redefining the way that real sports play the game.” MCI has already moved into this area by partnering with Germanbased ESL, the world's largest e-sports company, to create ESL Brazil an e-sports network focusing on the Brazilian market. One fast-growing event that is of great interest to MCI is the FIA Formula E Championship, which ran its

“The lifecycle of a major sports event is far from being a long, quiet cruise” the main debate. Huge online communities have sprung up worldwide, which are now being taken offline with a momentum that can no longer be ignored – with small-scale studio events, large festivals and capacityfilling stadium events springing up in every country.” “E-sports has completely redefined the way people communicate, play with one another and engage with content around their chosen ‘discipline’. E-sports fans create their own communities, their own tournaments, their own events: they have democratised their sport entirely. “The ease of access via streaming has also allowed for an interactive, unregulated and unified audience. Instead of e-sports fighting to be accepted as a sport, the sports industry should in fact start looking at e-sport's best-practices – the incredible power of its online communities, the democratic creation of content and events, driven by the fans, for the fans – to evolve to the next level. Over the next few years, I strongly believe that we’ll see

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

first season of races in 2014. “We would like to be involved because Formula E is at the crossroads of the industries MCI serves, it's a fantastic platform for social, economic and environmental innovations, and it provides an amazing opportunity to promote e-mobility worldwide.” “Beyond being a sports event, the race is a platform where cities/countries can champion e-mobility and have a positive impact on their own territory and consumers. It would make a lot of sense for MCI to develop side-events attached to the Formula E Championship. For example, creating an e-mobility week with a mix of demonstration and advocacy events that would run prior to the race.” “But honestly, do you know what I love the most about Formula E? Their strategy of holding the races in downtown areas, in the city streets, which provides much more compelling images for TV audiences and better access for spectators. What a powerful accelerator of promotion for a city!”

Barbara feels that the popularity of sports such as Formula E can be used to achieve a range of positive changes far beyond racing circuits and sports arenas. “Sport presents broad opportunities to promote environmental awareness, capacity building and far-reaching actions for environmental, social and economic development across society.” MCI was the first agency in the meeting and events industry to become a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact in 2007 and has developed its sustainability policies in accordance with the Compact. The company follows the ISO20121 Sustainability Event Standard and is externally certified. “For sports rights holders, we optimise the event's environmental footprint, innovate to improve the attendee experience, engage attendees to leave a strong social legacy and showcase to increase reputation and knowledge transfer. In order to achieve that, we offer to evaluate over 150 event criteria in 10 categories to ensure the overall sustainability performance of the event, to measure its performance and to transparently disclose results using the GRI G4 Standard.” “It's also relevant to sports cities that MCI was also involved in the creation of the Global Destination Sustainability Index, a bench-marking system that allows destinations to compare their environmental and social performance, and then share best practice and performance. The program aims to drive responsible business within the meeting and events industry, and to support the brand positioning of destinations in the hosting of meetings, incentives, conferences or expositions … and why not international sports events!”


SPORTS EVENTS | 53

“Major international sports events bring together millions of people, regardless of their colour, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality or religion, and have thus the potential to play an important role in creating an inclusive society. They are an ideal platform to harness the power of a community by bringing people together working towards common goals.” Globalisation is a relentless trend in the world of sport, and Barbara Martins-Nio considers that as a global company with a presence in 31 countries, MCI is well-placed to benefit from developments. “Major international sports events are becoming increasingly global and complex. Different stakeholders with different interests from different countries, targeting different audiences and different objectives.

All these differences have to be harmonised and consolidated for the success of events.” “MCI is used to working and communicating in complex and international environments, with multi-stakeholders, multi-interests, multi-sites, multi-time zones and with a lot of flexibility. The rise in globalisation and complexity that could handicap any organisation is making us stronger and more agile than ever.” With a number of agencies active in the major international sports event industry, MCI aims to stand out from the crowd in a number of ways, such as generating additional ­revenues for clients. “This important differentiating factor drives and determines every event management strategy we devise for each of our clients. There are many ways to achieve this goal such

as searching for sponsors and exhibitors in our existing portfolio, selling corporate hospitality, co-creating events, implementing new business models, growing on-line and off-line communities, measuring ROI/ROE and developing new solutions and services.” Barbara Martins-Nio describes 2016 as “A very positive year for the MCI Sports Business Unit” that marks MCI's “take-off phase” in the sports industry, and looks forward to future challenges in a fast-changing sector. “Wherever the road will take us, the lifecycle of a major sports event is far from being a long, quiet cruise. That's why we remain flexible in our thinking, hard workers in our actions, and able to adapt our strategy as we move along.”

When heart meets business. It seems possible to enfold the whole world in an embrace. Your ideas start to feel at home expressed in 305,407 m2 of space. 19 trade fair halls swell with all the new opportunities you can envisage. Somehow you know you’ve reached the right destination: www.messe-duesseldorf.com 2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

P.O. Box 10 10 06 – 40001 Düsseldorf – Germany Tel. + 49 (0)2 11/45 60-01 – Fax + 49 (0)2 11/45 60-6 68

www.messe-duesseldorf.de

Basis for Business


photo

© iStock.com/zmeel, Zmeel Photography

RUNNING INTERMISSION | 55 HEADER | 55

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference” Robert Frost The Road Not Taken 2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


Nice to see you! Belgium

Dinnerinthesky.com

Château Jemeppe Tijs Blom

www.meetinbelgium.com


photo

© iStock.com\PeopleImages

RADAR | 57

CWT Foresees EVENT GROWTH IN 2017 The forecast for 2017 from Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) Meetings & Events predicts growth and expects safety, security and technology to be among the major trends. The annual forecast brings together data and insights on all aspects of the industry with an aim to help meeting planners to budget and plan for the coming year. Analysts predict that GDP growth globally will be slightly lower in 2017, indicating that getting the best value for money and reducing the cost per attendee will be higher priorities for planners. Despite an expected decrease in client meeting spend in some regions, the forecast still predicts overall growth for the industry. Expected developments highlighted by the forecast include: a move to a buyer’s market in North America, with hotel supply expected to surpass demand for the first time since 2009; a decrease in hotel rates in Brazil due to the solid infrastructure and supply surplus created by the recent World Cup and Olympic Games; a rise in costs per attendee

and group size in Asia Pacific and a 25 per cent increase in the number of meetings; more meetings and event bookings for midscale hotels in Europe due to factors such as strict company guidelines, reduced budgets, savings targets and increasing industry regulations for buyers. Three major trends are identified in the global meeting and events industry. Food and beverage prices are expected to rise as a result of increased production costs, changes in imports and exports, and the surge in special dietary requests from attendees. Concerning safety and security, traditional tracking of air travellers will expand to include manifests of all meeting attendees in order to facilitate emergency planning. Virtual attendance will increase across the industry using technology that provides remote attendees with two-way interaction capabilities. The forecast also provides tips on improvements within the industry in 2017. In the case of advance strategic meetings management programs, it states: “Focus on the strategy, not the

tactics and big impact areas. Consider outsourcing components of your program to accelerate development and add outside expertise, especially venue sourcing.” There is a call to optimise technology: “Re-examine your technology use to ensure support and value for your organisation and objectives” and implement a small meetings strategy: “Using transient spend with your small m ­ eetings program can maximise program benefits and cost.” Summing up the coming year for the industry, Cindy Fisher, vice president and global head, CWT Meetings & Events, says “Heading into 2017, our forecast predicts significant growth in meetings and events for regions around the world. By being flexible with timing and destinations, planners can take full advantage of the current market to optimise their meetings and events, and produce better results.”

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


58 | RADAR

IBTM World Unveils

ULTRA-RELEVANT CONTENT FOR MEETING PLANNERS The knowledge programme at IBTM World promises three days of sessions on the topics that “keep meeting planners awake at night.” The seven themes for the World Knowledge Programme 2016 will be: Industry Trends; Engagement & Experiences; Safety, Security and Risk Management; Innovation, Disruption and Technology; Sustainability and CSR, Professional & Staff Development, and Business ­Development and Strategy. “We introduced the new themes and this has given us a clear structure of content that will be relevant to all those at this year’s show,” comments Graeme Barnett, Senior Exhibition Director, IBTM World. “We have always worked hard to produce relevant, on-topic themes and insightful content for the education programme and this year we decided to research our audience in far more detail to ask what they wanted to hear about, what was ‘keeping them awake at night’ and where we could help in terms of delivering really useful content. This research was then aggregated, with the result being an innovative, MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

immersive conference programme inspired by those who will be attending IBTM World 2016.” Programme highlights include: ƒƒ The Impact of Brexit, a very topical Industry Trends session featuring James Heappey, MP and Chair of the All-party Parliamentary Group for Events at the UK Parliament. The session will discuss and debate the possible impacts of Brexit on the global meetings industry. ƒƒ Jurriean Sleijster, President and COO of MCI discussing the latest trends in the association industry, providing an insight into developments in membership, engagement and activation, and strategies. ƒƒ Fresh Tech for your Event, Dr. James Morgan’s look at the changing landscape of event technology and the exciting new products being offered to event planners in a multi-media session that explores new logistics and production management technology for better work efficiency.

ƒƒ Bo Krüger, meeting designer, speaker and writer from Moving Minds, demystifying effective work strategies and providing ideas on how and when to use creativity to think outside the box, reduce costs and become more effective. ƒƒ The insights of Pelligrino Riccardi, cross-cultural expert at Pelligrino Consulting, on how to conduct successful negotiations with different cultures and countries. ƒƒ An instructive session by Annamaria Ruffini, President and CEO, Events In & Out S.R.L. on selling incentive travel to business leaders, using incentive travel as a strategic tool to drive business goals, determining performance gaps and quantifying the programme results. ƒƒ Event industry speaker and author, Julius Solaris, will be joined by a panel of top experts within the industry to deliver the latest research results and provide an insight into what the industry will look like in 2017.


60 | ECONOMIC MULTIPLIER

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016


G

POOL E

RUNNING HEADER | 61

TEXT

Robert Cotter PHOTOS

Chris Maluszinski

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016


ECONOMIC MULTIPLIER | 63

Driving Collaboration AND INNOVATION THROUGH PERSONALITY Set to be officially unveiled in summer 2018, Here East is London's new tech campus with meeting facilities occupying the London 2012 Olympics press and broadcast centres. By cultivating an environment of creative and innovative talent in both big and small business, education and retail, as well as fostering new ways of constructive collaboration, it is already receiving global recognition. Meetings International met with the driving force and CEO of Here East, Gavin Poole, on site in London. The leading figures of the European Enlightenment would often seek inspiration for their work by turning to the wisdom of the East. A similar eastward gaze in pursuit of wisdom is currently in vogue in London too, more specifically towards the site of its 2012 Olympic Games on the eastern fringes of the city and its legacy facilities, where the transformation of both buildings and park has been slowly creating a modern-day urban environment fit for the demands of 21st century globalised society.

Within this once heavily deprived and run-down area of east London nowhere will the transformation of the Olympic legacy buildings have such a lasting regenerative impact as that of Here East, the press and broadcast buildings used for the games and currently undergoing conversion to a 1.2 million square feet (120,000 m²) hub for creative businesses with significant meeting and conferencing facilities at its core. All this is in a setting that is bringing people together for creative cooperation and promoting trailblazing new concepts on how collaboration can be maximised. The catalyst for the project has been Here East's charismatic and indefatigable CEO, Gavin Poole, who, remarkably, has been able to achieve all of this in his maiden foray into development. “I got involved in the project back in 2011. A friend who founded and ran a data centre company told me about the potential of the buildings in the Olympic Park to house a data 2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


64 | ECONOMIC MULTIPLIER

centre. However, we needed a vision to deliver that, because the data centre is just one small part. I left what I was doing at that time, which was running a social policy think tank in Westminster, and came and gave a stamp of authority to social regeneration, but could then also help craft a really powerful vision around education, employment, enterprise and environment.”

surrounding area, Here East gained the edge with the London Legacy Development Corporation. To then make it a more tangible prospect, he had to formulate a strategy to put the right skill sets in place to make it deliverable. “The Legacy Corporation recognised that we didn’t have the development skills, so we partnered with an asset management company called

“People can see that this is bringing life and vibrancy into the area” The strategic prowess to be able to deliver on the potential of such capacious buildings and understand how they would need to functionally weld together whilst embracing and integrating the local community stems not just from Poole's Westminster think tank role, but from a much broader personal history of strategic decision-making and leadership that has fully equipped him for the demands of such a project. “I’m an ex-military officer, so I’m a generalist in leadership and being able to work across teams, which I did for more than 20 years in the military. What that has enabled me to contribute to this project is system leadership, team building, vision and a focus on regeneration. Also, as an aerospace engineer, I am able to focus very specifically on a technology bias, which in east London is really important.” There were more than 300 expressions of interest for the post-Games use of the press and broadcast buildings. By stressing the importance of technology to east London and the socially regenerative potential of Poole's vision for the buildings and MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

Delancey, which develops fantastic large-scale buildings across London. They also owned the athlete's village in the park, so we saw that politically as a good thing, but moreover the chemistry was right.” With the Legacy Corporation's nod of approval securing their preferred bidder status, Poole's next strategic step was to understand how similar facilities around the world operated successfully and use these insights to improve the London concept. “There's a whole range of spaces over a million square feet, but they’re all so different in terms of legacy background and history. We went to the RDM Campus in Rotterdam and Eura Technologies in Lille, which is re-purposed textile factories, and to an old Phillips Centre in Eindhoven. We’ve also made visits to America, where we’ve looked at different places that have come out of tower blocks or dockyard facilities. You start to see they’re all different in how they’re being re-purposed and their design.” With the professional team in place and the vision further crystallising from a better understanding

of these facilities, Poole wasted little time in getting on site to refurbish the buildings, which was when the full extent of support for the wider positive impacts of his vision was really becoming palpable. “As soon as we got through planning we were getting the contractors on site and getting into the refurbishment of the buildings, and the support was phenomenal. There's no ‘not in my backyard’ mentality, mainly because people can see that this is bringing life and vibrancy into the area.” “We had a huge amount of support from all quarters when we became preferred bidder for the buildings and negotiated the lease. In fact, we’ve had huge support all the way through. We’re based in Hackney and that's really important to us, as the council's executive team and local councillors have been really supportive about what we do here. The Legacy Corporation executive board is also very supportive. Whilst the other venues were sporting, apart from the homes in the athlete's village, we deliver the economic multiplier they hadn’t got and also we were here building fast as well.” The economic multiplier effects of Here East have quickly become apparent with a number of highprofile tenants occupying completed space on the campus. However, the depth of support for their ambitions is also fuelled by the numerous examples of how it is engendering a strong sense of community both within the buildings it is directly responsible for and via its engagement with the surrounding local communities in how it will achieve its economic aspirations. “Here East is not just about ‘work’ – we’ve got the education aspect here as well. The universities and projects are here to give local


RUNNING HEADER | 65

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


66 | ECONOMIC MULTIPLIER

“There are a lot of countries out there that are really looking at this”

students opportunities to get free, funded Masters programmes.” “We’ve got our restaurant offer by the canal. We have built it and curated the type of operators in such a way that it's become a place for the community. It's now a destination people travel to from all over London, because it's had such fantastic reviews. There's a night-time economy, as people are coming from all over to eat and drink here. So we’ve created a community down there that isn’t dependant fully on the footfall of Here East and it will be able to grow further as we take on more and more lettings.” “At the same time we link back strongly to the original vision and make sure we’ve also got programmes for schools, apprenticeship programmes, academic bursaries and grants. We’ve also got employment here and we make sure when jobs come up that we put those into the local community as much as we possibly can. Our ethos here is to support local employment, so my own team, which is now over 50 people here on site, is almost 50 per cent local employees all the way through the hierarchy of jobs. Where appropriate, we use local suppliers as well, because I want to make sure it's not just about MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

what goes on at Here East, but how we can also support GDP growth in the local community by supporting local contractors.” With a supporting ethos at its core, Here East offers a strong platform for interaction in its community by providing meeting facilities in both the theatre building and a conferencing area currently under refurbishment. These spaces, which are split between two buildings connected by a link bridge, can be used by both the businesses on the campus and external companies. “The theatre space has a 950-capacity event space and the conferencing facility can take the same number in a break-out area and refreshment area. At the moment it's a very raw and temporary set up. We are starting to divide and sub-divide areas in the conferencing area. The theatre space offers a lot of different configurations: from round tables of ten for gala dinners up to 950-person theatre style, or a mixture of both.” “There's the ability to run two events in the two locations, and we’ve also got a huge 60m-deep, 100m-long balcony, which is available for breaking out and fresh air breaks. Also, beneath the theatre, which is elevated by 10m, is a covered exhibition space,

which you can use outdoors. For an upcoming event, the motor industry will be putting Formula 1 cars, highend sports cars and new development vehicles in that space. It's a very flexible space and we’ll reconfigure it over time.” “We’ve done a lot of research into where we fit into the sector, because we really needed to understand that. If you just walked blindly into the meetings and events sector you’re going to get hurt and we know that we’re niche. All of this is the last piece of the jigsaw, which will finally be made over in about 18 month's time. In the interim, we’re running it as a sort of a pop-up space – a pop-up with over one million pounds’ worth of equipment in it – to enable us to run proper high-end events.” When the final pieces of the jigsaw come together, Here East will not only be offering high-end events, it will be hosting them in a collaborative environment that will be entirely avant-garde, as under Poole's guidance the campus has been completely redefining how people come together and interact. “There's a group of us with a very similar vision about what we’re trying to achieve, how we’re trying to bring people together, the value of


ECONOMIC MULTIPLIER | 67

“Here East is not just about ‘work’ we’ve got the education aspect here as well”

education, the value of curating the right environment and our role as managers of the site. We are almost like ‘custodians’ of the environment, making sure we get people to meet and collaborate. It's different to just having a skyscraper where you have a facilities management team at the bottom and you speak to them when something has gone wrong. In our case, we meet everybody, we know everybody and we make sure that they’re introduced to the right people.” “If someone new brings their company here we’ll say ‘actually, you should go and meet these guys, they’re doing something you could be interested in’ – we facilitate all of that. It's about driving collaboration and innovation through personality. The theatre space and the conferencing facility plays into that, because it's a place where we can bring people together, as opposed to the informal ‘bump and mingle’ as people call it, across the site.” “What's really important to us is that it's not just about tenants – the ‘tenant’ is the institutional body that takes space at Here East, but every single individual is a ‘citizen’ of Here East. We value every single person, because each person is working for an

institution or company that may have a great idea and may just be looking for the opportunity to think about how to unleash it. With research facilities, innovation centres and lecture series all here, it might be the catalyst to get that idea out and turn it into business, support business growth and create job opportunities. That's what we believe and that's how we address the citizens of Here East. It may sound very grandiose, but that's our value set.” Such grand ambitions with equally grand regenerative and socially inclusive consequences have naturally drawn attention from an international audience. With more than 18 months to go before the official unveiling – scheduled for summer 2018 – Here East is already proving to be a benchmark for similar projects getting off the ground around the globe. “There has been a lot of interest. We’ve had people visit us from the Baltic states, Norway, Finland, Paris and America. So we’ve had quite a few asking what we are doing, how we are doing it and what they can learn from it.” “The Olympic broadcast service and the International Olympic Committee asked to use some of our

material for attracting bids from other nations when they wanted to announce the games. It was to show what they could do and that this is a model for best practice, so that helped as well. There are a lot of countries out there that are really looking at this.” Having delivered such a complex and forward-thinking facility that has the eyes of international tech and meeting communities trained on the wisdom of London's east end, what challenges might lie ahead for its enlightened engineer-in-chief? “Someone once said to me that if I could tell you now what you’d be doing in five years time you wouldn’t believe me, and I think that's as valid today as it was when it was said to me almost 20 years ago. I hold that whilst you plan your life and your career, you never know what's around the corner.”

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


Meeting planners are the real stars in Berlin. We know all there is to know about arranging meetings.

convention.visitBerlin.com

Visit us at IBTM world, booth F50-20

Do you need to arrange a meeting, convention or any other type of event at short notice? If so, the Berlin Convention Office is on hand 24/7 to give you all the support you need. We work closely with local partners across the city and can quickly provide you with relevant advice, help and information. With the Berlin Convention Office, you can rest assured that your event is in good hands. convention.visitBerlin.com


SHARMA | 69

In a survey of 22,000 business people ranking top leadership gurus, Robin Sharma was #2, with Jack Welch. Sharma's books have sold millions of copies in over 60 countries. His new book is “The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life” (Simon & Schuster). Robin Sharma founded the Titan Academy and his blog is at robinsharma.com. photo

Sara Appelgren

How Business Titans DO IT This is a Mastery Session that I call How Business Titans Do It. Nelson Mandela is a titan of humanity. Mozart is a titan of music. Edison and Einstein are titans of invention and science. What I really want to dial into is: How do the best of the best in business achieve their staggeringly noticeable results? The seven points that follow apply to titans of business whether it's Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, the great celebrity CEOs or massively successful entrepreneurs.

1

Titans bulletproof their interior life

Almost every one of the best of the best in business has bulletproofed their interior life. By that I mean you can change the world by being a business titan or you can get knocked down. You don’t get to do both. The starting point for being a titan in business is developing an interior core. This means that you have such a strong interior core that you can stay true to your ambition, even when people laugh at you and dismiss your impossible dream. You stay focused and dismiss the naysayers. That is interior bulletproofing. How do you do that? It's about reading the autobiographies of people who’ve done it. It's about listening to the right podcasts that fuel your

positivity. It's about protecting your mindset, heartset and energy. It's about taking the time to work on yourself and also noticing the things that activate your fear. Rather than running away from the things that activate your fear, go into them. When you notice the fear, it no longer has any power over you. The more time you can spend on your interior life, bulletproofing your mindset and your emotions, taking care of your physical life through fitness, proper nutrition and getting enough rest, the more you can strengthen your spiritual core, so you’re living for a cause larger than yourself. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If you have not discovered something you are willing to die for, then you’re not fit to live.” If you want to be a titan in business, just imagine developing a compelling cause that is so much larger than your own ego, something that is so massively attractive to you as a human being, that you would take a bullet for it – you will be undefeatable.

2

Titans stay in their own lane

When you stay in your own lane, you have no competition. When you stay true to your own vision for your future and your business, you have no industry peers. We get trapped a lot of the time

because we measure our success by what our industry peers are doing. We get knocked off our focus by thinking about the competition. You want to stay true to your vision. You want to stay in your own lane. We live in a world where we are afflicted by interruption and addicted to distraction. If you want to be a titan in business, you need to wire in a monomaniacal fidelity to your loftiest vision. You need to create a tight bubble of total focus around your thinking and energy, so that none of the shiny toys of the moment get through that porous bubble. You want to stay focused on your dream and goals – you want to protect your mindset. That's what business titans do. They stay in their own lane. They’re not always distracted. They don’t always chase the opportunity of the moment. They say, “Here is my vision. Here is my priority,” and they build a monomaniacal focus around that.

3

Understand that income earned is a result of value delivered

Business titans understand that income earned is a result of value delivered. The marketplace rewards contribution. What the average performer does in business just concerns the cash grab – “how can I deliver the least amount of value and get 2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


70 | SHARMA

the most amount of cash?” That is a recipe for a very short career. Do you want to rise to iconic and be a business titan? Do you want to own your industry? Here's what you do. You run the philosophy I call the 10× value obsession. It has allowed my clients to build fortunes in business. The 10× value obsession is this: relentlessly coach your team to think about one key idea. How can

great company is not so much about revolution or one big project or innovation that allows you to own the game. If you look at the best companies on the planet today, they’re all about incremental improvements done consistently every single moment. Building a great organisation is not so much about revolution, it's much more about evolution. Small, daily optimisations and itera-

“When you stay in your own lane, you have no competition” we deliver 10 times the value that our clients expect for what we give them? Most business people are stuck in scarcity – they think there's not a lot of money or resources, and they’re all about the competition. They’re really coming from a place of great fear. Titans are fundamentally different. They’re not about scarcity. They’re about generosity. They run the 10× value obsession – it's their dominant philosophy. The way titans do business is really their mindset – how can I give my customer 10 times the value that they’re paying for? If you do that consistently, what happens? You don’t just have customers, you have fanatical followers. You don’t just have a business, you create a movement. Don’t be about building a business, that's what the average business person does. Be a titan. Be all about creating a movement.

4

Install the NSI mentality

Business titans install the NSI mentality, which stands for Never Stop Improving. Building a MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

tions done consistently over time lead to a world-class company. NSI: Never Stop Improving. If you look at titans, everything they do is about improving. They want to improve their mentality and their health. They want to improve the way that they work in terms of their craft. They’re always trying to coach and mentor their teams, because the job of a leader is to create more leaders. They’re always improving the business – Michael Gerber's idea of not just working it, but working on it. If you want to be a titan, it's all about NSI. Think about relentless optimisation of the most important elements of your organisation

5

Learned Relentlessness

I hear a lot of entrepreneurs and business builders say, “When I encounter a roadblock in business, I get knocked off my game. I get discouraged. I want to throw in the towel.” Martin Seligman, one of the preeminent researchers and thinkers in positive psychology, has a term called “learned optimism”. I’m

putting a little spin on it – relentlessness is a muscle. What I teach people right now is simply this: being a titan is a lot about building the right muscles for relentlessness and persistence. Grit is a muscle. How do you become great at lifting weights? You practice and you build a muscle. We now know from neuroplasticity that the brain is very much like a muscle. If you want to build a better brain, you flex the muscle by doing the right things. How do you become absolutely relentless, unstoppable and undefeatable as you make the ascent to your loftiest ambitions as a business person? You practice it every day. That's the opportunity to be a titan. You get knocked down – the victim sees it as failure. You see it as fuel to get stronger, braver and unstoppable. Learn how to be relentless through daily practice so the muscle of relentlessness and undefeatability gets stronger and stronger.

6

Titans never stop learning

NSL – Never Stop Learning – is the sixth way that business titans own their game. One of the best things in my life, and I am absolutely no guru, is that I adore learning. I understand that education is inoculation against disruption. We live in a very volatile time in terms of the global economy and society at large. How can you bulletproof your mindset, heartset and organisation? How can you protect your assets of energy, focus and self-discipline? It's about learning – this is one thing I have realised while advising and coaching the people who come to my Titan Summit every year and helping them build their fortunes and world-class companies. These billionaires, business builders, innovators, industry leaders and humanitarians – some of the most successful people


Experience Extraordinary There is a place where conferences are transformed from ordinary gatherings into extraordinary experiences. A destination, at the tip of the mighty African continent, where two oceans meet in the shadow of one of earth's seven natural wonders. Here, creativity comes to life, today's ideas and visions become tomorrow's reality, and impressions and bonds are created that last forever. This place is Cape Town International Convention Centre. And to experience it is to experience extraordinary.

To transform your special event into an extraordinary experience contact CTICC: +27 21 410 5000 sales@cticc.co.za www.cticc.co.za


Free Free Free Free to Free to Free to Free to Free to Free to Free to Free totototo 33Days 3Days 3Days 3Days 3Days 3Days 3 •Days 3 •8Days 3 •8Days 3 •Streams 8Days •Streams 8Days •Streams 8•Streams 8•Streams 8•Streams 8•Streams 8•Streams 8Streams 8•Streams •80+ Streams •80+ 3 •80+ •80+ •80+ Education •80+ Education •80+ Education •80+ Education •80+ Education •80+ Education 80+ Education Education Education Education Education sessions sessions sessions sessions sessions sessions D sessions sessions sessions sessions sessions a attend attend attend attend attend attend attend attend attend attend attend

Feed Feed Feed Feed Feed Feed Feed Feed Feed Feed Feed your your your your your your your your your your your mind mind mind mind mind mind mind mind mind mind mind F 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION SPECIAL SPECIAL SPECIAL SPECIAL SPECIAL FOCUS SPECIAL FOCUS SPECIAL FOCUS SPECIAL FOCUS SPECIAL FOCUS SPECIAL FOCUS SPECIAL FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS

07 07 07 07 07 07 07 07 07 07 07

AGENCY AGENCY AGENCY AGENCY AGENCY AGENCY AGENCY AGENCY AGENCY AGENCY AGENCY

06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06

SP 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 HEALTHCARE HEALTHCARE HEALTHCARE HEALTHCARE HEALTHCARE HEALTHCARE HEALTHCARE HEALTHCARE HEALTHCARE HEALTHCARE HEALTHCARE

AG E

02 02 02 02 02 02 02 02 02 02 02 PAPAPAPAPAPAPAPAPAPAPA

0

03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 CORPORATE CORPORATE CORPORATE CORPORATE CORPORATE CORPORATE CORPORATE CORPORATE CORPORATE CORPORATE CORPORATE

05 05 05 05 05 05 05 05 05 05 05 MEETING MEETING MEETING MEETING MEETING MEETING MEETING MEETING MEETING MEETING MEETING DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN

04 04 04 04 04 04 04 04 04 04 04 TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY

Feed Feed Feed Feed your Feed your Feed your Feed mind your Feed mind your Feed mind your Feed mind your by Feed mind your by mind your choosing by mind your choosing by mind your choosing by mind choosing by mind choosing by mind choosing by from choosing by from choosing by from choosing by from over choosing from over choosing from over from 80 over from 80 over from 80 over free-to-attend from 80 free-to-attend over from 80 free-to-attend over 80 free-to-attend over 80 free-to-attend over 80 free-to-attend over 80 free-to-attend 80 free-to-attend 80 free-to-attend free-to-attend education free-to-attend education education education education education education sessions education sessions education sessions education sessions education sessions sessions sessions sessions sessions sessions sessions F across across across across across three across three three across three across days, three across days, three across days, three across days, all three days, all three days, delivered all three days, delivered all three days, delivered all days, delivered all days, delivered all days, delivered all delivered by all delivered by all leading delivered by all leading delivered by leading delivered by leading by leading by industry leading by industry leading by industry leading by industry leading by industry leading industry leading experts. industry experts. industry experts. industry experts. industry experts. industry experts. experts. experts. experts. experts. experts.

Global Global Global Global Global Suppliers Global Suppliers Suppliers Global Suppliers Global Suppliers Global Suppliers Global • Suppliers Global Unrivalled • Suppliers Unrivalled • Suppliers Unrivalled • Suppliers Unrivalled • Suppliers Unrivalled • Unrivalled • Unrivalled Education • Unrivalled Education • Unrivalled Education • Unrivalled Education • Unrivalled Education Education Education • Extensive Education • Extensive Education • Extensive Education • Extensive Education • Extensive • Extensive • Networking Extensive • Networking Extensive • Networking Extensive • Networking Extensive • Networking Extensive Networking Networking Networking Networking Networking Networking

www.themeetingsshow.com www.themeetingsshow.com www.themeetingsshow.com www.themeetingsshow.com www.themeetingsshow.com www.themeetingsshow.com www.themeetingsshow.com www.themeetingsshow.com www.themeetingsshow.com www.themeetingsshow.com www.themeetingsshow.com


SHARMA | 73

on the planet – all understand the value of learning. They understand the value of investing in themselves. Ultimately, you can never rise higher or achieve any more than the level of your self-identity. You see yourself deep within – sometimes unconsciously – in terms of your interior story. If your story is – “Well, you know what? I’m average. I can’t be one of the great ones in business. The

at what you do that you become the undisputed heavyweight champion of your craft.

7

Know your mighty mission

You really want to dial into a purpose that not only touches you intellectually, but also touches you emotionally and even spiritually. Like humanitarians such as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Jonas

“You don’t just have a business, you create a movement” people I admire are cut from a different cloth.” – then obviously your daily behaviour will reflect your deepest beliefs. The real work to be done is on your interior story – your self-identity. One of the best ways to work on that is through learning. How do you learn how to build a great company? You learn how other people did it. You learn the strategy, how they hired the right people, developed world-class products and disrupted their field. When you have looked at that, you realise that these people are actually not that different than you are. You can learn their strategy and tactics, but there are few things as valuable as seeing someone else's example. NSL is really about the 2× 3× mindset. To double your income and impact, triple your investment in two core areas: your personal mastery and your professional capacity. Double your investment in becoming stronger, braver, wiser and more confident, fearless and loving. And in your professional education, double your investment in becoming so good

Salk and Mother Teresa, all of the great business builders are not motivated by income. They’re not driven by ego. The true titans were driven by a mighty mission, something deep within themselves. They had developed and locked into some kind of idea or concept. Maybe it was a business idea that would help billions of people or an app that would allow people to do something a lot easier or a product with the utility to change the way people did business. I don’t know what your disruptive product or big idea is. Here's the key idea: you don’t lock into it from the intellectual part of your brain, you go deeper. You lock into it emotionally, viscerally and spiritually. If it becomes a cause that touches your core, something deep within you will shift. It's like a switch will go on. You will tap into something far bigger than making money and becoming famous – something far bigger than those tiny ego pursuits that keep you small. You start to lock into your heroic ambition. That's when you wake up at four in the morning

while your peers are asleep. That's when you’ll develop a fire in your belly that allows you to run through walls. Where other people see problems, you see possibilities. Your fire becomes so contagious that everyone around you gets enrolled in that vision. That's when you tap into your interior greatness, which makes you truly unstoppable. The seventh thing that business titans do is discover a mighty mission. Don’t just pursue an idea because it will make you money. That is a recipe for failure. At my Titan Summit last year, I interviewed the iconic NBA superstar, basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, who is also an entrepreneur. He said, “When I did things for money, they never worked out. When I did things because they were fun, which is really about passion and doing things that fuel your joy, that's when I made the fortune and became really successful.” I hope I’ve shared some real insights that will allow you to dial into owning your game within your industry. Ultimately, to be a titan is to work with love, to develop the talents of your people with love, to serve your marketplace with love, to create products and a level of craft, which is really about love, and to bring such great value to the world that the entire world feels your love. If you do that, you really do build a movement rather than just a business. Go out and rock your craft. Own your game. This article is an edited version of the ­Mastery Session at: goo.gl/fXbXQY

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


74 | RADAR

IBTM World ANNOUNCES AWARD SHORTLIST Ten finalists will compete for the 2016 IBTM World Technology and Innovation Watch Award with Event MB. The award recognises innovators and talented entrepreneurs who could revolutionise the meetings and events sector. This year the award attracted the highest number of entries to date, resulting in ten shortlisted entries that will form part of the Innovation Zone at IBTM World, to be held in B ­ arcelona, 29 November–1 December. The finalists are: Aloompa, Event Collab, Event Geek, Fly Another Day,

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

Grip, Groupize, Gruup Meet, Meeting Evolution, Shoflo and Visionteractive. Corbin Ball, chair of the judging panel says: “The 60 entries in this year’s awards represent a wide range of novel and useful applications. The ten finalists in particular have a very interesting diversity of ways to improve the business process of events and highlight new tech trends in event management, social media, attendee engagement, artificial intelligence, sourcing and destination management.” The award winner will be announced at the show on 30 November.


RUNNING HEADER | 75

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


76 | HJÄRNKOLL 76 | RUNNING HEADER

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016


L

RUNNING HEADER | 77

OLSON

TEXT

Tomas Dalström PHOTOS

Sara Appelgren

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


78 | HJÄRNKOLL

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016


BRAIN CHECK | 79

Lars Olson is Senior Professor of Neurobiology at the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. He co-edited a book called Hjärnan, 500 pages of brain research he compiled together with his colleagues, and is a former member of the Nobel Assembly, a committee that selects the Nobel laureates in Physiology and Medicine. What is a reward system and why do we have it?

“It's a system that lies quite deep in the brain. It rewards us for the things that enable us to survive as individuals and a species. When we eat, drink, exercise and have sex, it feels enjoyable. The reward system is actually very complex. It connects with other parts of the brain like the cerebral cortex and involves several types of neurotransmitters. We tend to simplify things by referring to dopamine, which is the single most important neurotransmitter in the reward system.” What is dopamine?

“A Swede, Arvid Carlsson, discovered dopamine as a neurotransmitter in the brain and it won him the Nobel Prize in 2000. He's now in his nineties and is still active. Dopamine

is of vital importance. It's released whenever we feel something pleasurable and it makes us want more of the same. The reward system keeps rebuilding itself to make us crave more enjoyment.” Will the reward system change over the next hundred years or so?

“No, a hundred years is nothing from an evolutionary point of view. The amazing thing is that this very old invention works so well and that we work so well considering how much our living conditions have changed.” In your book Hjärnan you wrote: “When specific behaviour has been learned, the memory of that rewarding action remains in the brain and causes cravings for a similar experience.”

“The reward system alters itself so that we enjoy more and more of

2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


80 | BRAIN CHECK

whatever it is that's giving us pleasure. For example, amphetamine and cocaine are common in drug abuse and scientists know they cause the release of more dopamine than natural enjoyment does. This is why they’re so dangerous. The experience is so amazing the first time that the reward system thinks it's what's

due to premature death or illness, first on the list is depression followed by alcoholism, which is also an acquired brain disease. We’re talking about huge social problems.” Is it possible to rebuild the reward system to be free from addiction?

“Yes, there are two classic ways to escape addiction: have an experi-

“When specific behaviour has been learned, the memory of that rewarding action remains in the brain and causes cravings for a similar experience” needed for survival and rebuilds itself. You become less and less interested in other types of enjoyment and more and more interested in the drug.” How does the drug become the priority?

“The drug kidnaps the reward system. You also get strong recollections of the pleasurable event from the cerebral cortex. You have to sleep a few nights while the brain processes what has happened and decides what to save, after which the memories are stored. We remember things that are linked to the strongest emotions; positive or negative. With drugs it's usually a positive memory and memories like that never disappear if they’re sufficiently strong. Ex-heroin addicts only need to pass by a place where they usually bought heroin or see somebody using it to want to start taking it again. Addiction should be seen as an acquired brain disease. If we rank the most common reasons for lost healthy years; which may be

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

ence that's even stronger than the booze, or find a new love or salvation; a strong enough experience to help you put up a wall of resistance. There are also several medical treatments that are not used nearly enough, if I may say so. Then we should remember that if an alcoholic has been on the wagon for six months and falls off it for a weekend, all is not lost. It's called a relapse and even people with high blood pressure and diabetes get them. The alcoholic knows they held out for six months and that experience should help them to remain sober. One common misconception is that it shows poor character and you should pull yourself together. However, there are very strong genetic factors that put certain people more at risk to become addicted to just about anything.” Smoking is another common addiction.

“Nicotine is highly addictive. This is because it has an immediate effect. It reaches the brain at lightning

speed. The shorter the time lapse between taking a drug and the positive kick it gives, the greater the risk of becoming addicted.” Somebody once said that we don’t do much unless the reward system is involved. Is that right?

“Yes, for example, dopamine is important for walking. If you remove the dopamine from the brain, which you can do to a rat, it will always stay on the same spot. Parkinson's disease eventually leads to immobility, and that's because the dopamine neurons die. Generally speaking, you could say that if you turn down the neurotransmitters in the reward system then life would become very dull and grey. Eating would be no fun at all, in fact it would be difficult to enjoy anything.” It's not only enjoyment like winning that triggers the system, but also near wins.

“One-armed bandits are the work of the devil. When you win, the whole machine blinks, rattles and rings. It's a very intense experience. The reward system goes into overdrive and activates different parts of the cerebral cortex. Near wins have been examined using a computer model of slot machines and functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. During the study, carried out in an MRI scanner, the test subjects sat in a reclining position playing on a screen. When three of the same symbol come up in a row, you win. A cherry comes up followed by one more. A third rolls slowly into view. If this last one gets slower and slower but stops just short, it's called a near win. Addicts think they’re winning even when they’re losing. That's the way the machines are designed. It turns out that near wins activate the reward system in exactly the same places as the wins, but not as much. Near wins are part of the strategy for getting


We also export knowledge

RUNNING HEADER | 81

Visit our new brainport for your international conference! conventions.holland.com 2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


Frankfurt Make a date with IMEX 2017

16–18 May 2017

Next year IMEX returns to its usual slot.

The worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events.

This not-to-be-missed annual event for meeting planners is back in May. Whether you plan events in or outside Germany, IMEX in Frankfurt is the place to make those important business connections in person. If you organise events, you belong at IMEX!

Join us at IMEX 2017 and be part of the scene.

Register your interest today at imex-frankfurt.com/register

imex-frankfurt.com


BRAIN CHECK | 83

“When chocolate addicts see a picture of a chocolate bar, the reward system activates more for them”

people to continue playing, but there shouldn’t be too many near wins or the players will see through it.” Does it activate the same parts as when taking drugs?

“Yes, the reward system activates and changes when gambling in the same way as when becoming addicted to drugs. There are studies from the USA based on the MRI brain scanning of cocaine addicts and non-addicts. Both groups were shown two videos: one with adult content and one with an addict fumbling with his cocaine and injecting himself. When the non-addicts saw the adult video their reward systems naturally activated, which is the purpose of it. They found it boring to watch the cocaine video, so the reward system didn’t activate. The result from the cocaine addicts was the other way around. They don’t get turned on by adult content anymore, but when they see a video about cocaine their reward systems activate. This clearly shows how cocaine has kidnapped the reward system.” The reward system can also activate at the very sight of chocolate.

“The reward system activates even more for those who say they are addicted to chocolate and eat much more chocolate than others, compared with respondents who eat less

chocolate and don’t see themselves as being addicted. When chocolate addicts see a picture of a chocolate bar, the reward system activates more for them.”

had to contact social services to drag their sons (most of them are young men) away from their computers and convince them that they need to eat and sleep.”

You write that computer games and virtual currency work in the same way.

I’ve read that it's more difficult to get rid of digital dependency because it's easier to get likes on Facebook than in real life.

“When you’re playing a computer game and are awarded virtual currency that you can use in the game, the reward system activates in the same way as it does for real money. The activation really steps up when you are a group playing an online game because you can show how clever you are, which is rewarding in itself.” Does digital addiction develop in the same way as you described previously?

“Yes, and you can apply roughly the same criteria. You become more and more addicted to it and need an increasingly higher dose to get a kick. Everything else falls by the wayside; work, studies and close family. It's the classic measure of dependence. Sometimes game dependency goes over the top. Men take out loans and falsify their wife's signature to get money to feed their dependency. Computer game dependency can take on quite scary proportions. There are cases where despairing parents have

“I’ve not studied that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case.” A survey into the amount of time second and third-year law students in the USA spent on websites that were not relevant for their education showed that 58 per cent spent more than half their time on such websites.

“As a teacher I think I’d be somewhat disappointed.”

In his world-famous marshmallow tests, Walter Mischel shows that it's not easy to delay rewards. In one of the tests, children are offered a marshmallow immediately, or two if they wait a while as the researchers left the room. In a new book he describes how children, who couldn’t resist the temptation, had to learn new strategies to delay the reward. One was to say quietly to themselves: “No, I’m not going to take it, I’m doing something else.” This would activate the child's prefrontal cortex* first 2016 No. 18 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


84 | BRAIN CHECK

“Near wins are part of the strategy for getting people to continue playing … Addicts think they’re winning even when they’re losing”

instead of the limbic system* and by repeating it enough times it would finally become automatic. The reward system is rebuilt and the child learns to delay the reward.

“I think there's something in that. Parents and teachers have to lead by example in that case and stop checking their mobiles and chatting on Facebook all the time.” What are the challenges faced by society, companies and organisations?

“That was not an easy question. Let me put it this way: I’ve come to the conclusion that anything you do or hear at a lecture has to be fun. If it's fun then it takes off by itself; you want to hear it, you want to do the job. As a manager, you can provide both positive and negative experiences. But it's so much better if they’re positive.”

front of you. Sometimes a person may come up to me and say they need to write a doctoral thesis as part of their career. I show them the door because it’ll never work out. You do it because you want to and because it's fun.” I interviewed Gunnar Bjursell, a colleague of yours at Karolinska Institutet. He said that motivation will be a vital issue in the future. How do you motivate people to carpool as an environmental consideration instead of driving by themselves? The reward system could play an important role here too, couldn’t it?

* The limbic system is responsible for rapid decisions and is designed for fight-or-flight situations. The reptilian brain is part of the limbic system. As the prefrontal cortex takes more time and gives a broader and deeper picture, the child has time to learn from past experience and to consider future consequences. When the prefrontal cortex activates first, it is easier for the child to resist temptation.

“The reward system is quite egoistic. You would have to be very educational in your approach to get people to enjoy using less fossil fuel and to recycle their waste better.”

What do you mean by fun? Should it be interesting or humorous?

“You have to be able to project your engagement to those sitting in

Tomas Dalström is an author, journalist, lecturer and innovator with a passion for the brain. Author of the book “Bäst i text · Läseboken/Skrivboken” (Best in Text · The Reading Book/The Writing Book) about writing texts that communicate on the terms of the brain, he also runs veryimportantbrains.se and blogs about the brain and communication at bastitext.se. photo

Sara Appelgren

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016


Incentives, business travel & meetings expo

Connect with the global meetings, events and incentives industry

15,500

3,000

100

No.1

from across the globe, ready to connect with you

to help you plan your future meetings & events

with industry friends & colleagues

to do business, network, learn & be inspired

international industry professionals

exhibitors representing over 150 countries

networking events to connect and engage

global market place for you

Connections mean everything. Connect with us at www.ibtmworld.com

Organised by

ibtm and the ibtm events symbol are trade marks of RELX Intellectual Properties SA, used under license. Hosted Buyer is a trademark of Reed Exhibitions Limited. Reed Travel Exhibitions is a registered trade mark of RELX Group plc.


86 | KELLERMAN

Roger Kellerman Publisher, business intelligence analyst, trend creator, educator and networker. Has over 30 years’ experience of the global meeting industry. Founder of Mötesindustriveckan. twitter.com/thekellerman photo

Sara Appelgren

Fixed vs. Growth MINDSET When you fail, what goes through your mind? Do you feel you have let yourself down because you lack an innate ability to cope with everything that is put before you? Or do you realise that you cannot know everything and that even as an adult you can still learn things? Based on your answers, you should already be able to easily distinguish if you have a predetermined way of thinking or a mindset that is open to development and growth. This is an important question for anyone who wants to understand how they learn or how they allow themselves to be taught. I know plenty of people who basically refuse to learn new things. They either don’t want to, or find it difficult to absorb new knowledge. They give the impression of already knowing everything they need to know, and it is enough to last the rest of their lives. Full stop. This is a static mindset that means these people do not want to develop. Fortunately, I also know a lot of people who are aware that all challenges can be met by learning new things and that this process continues throughout our lives. These people solve problems by learning something new, form a better understanding of their surroundings and find new sources of learning. They also

MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 18 2016

realise that sometimes it is necessary simply to think the opposite of yesterday because new times require new skills. This is what the research calls a growth mindset, meaning we are always challenged to progress, develop and grow ­– hence the name. This knowledge comes from psychologist, scientist and author, Carol Dweck, of Stanford University, who, in her research, discusses the difference between a fixed and growth mindset. “In a fixed mindset, students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look clever all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset, students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.” Carol Dweck’s research focuses on education and how the brains of pupils can be formed over time. In the research it is clear that the growth mindset approach is preferable when it comes to teaching pupils. Her research shows that if you learn this

approach, you will keep using it in adulthood. Is it possible for adults to change from a static to a more growth-based attitude? Yes, it must be possible. If you want to change, want to learn new things, want to push the limits and have a fundamentally positive attitude towards the brain developing throughout your life, then it should work, shouldn’t it? So with this said, why not use this column as an opportunity to reflect on how you think and learn? Do you have the attitude that you constantly want to learn new things? Or are you content with the knowledge you already have?


8-9 FEBRUARY 2017 | VILNIUS, LITHUANIA Baltic Sea Region Exhibition for Meetings, Events and Incentives

Emerging Baltic Sea Region market Most desirable suppliers throughout the region Fully hosted buyer programme 3700+ pre-scheduled appointments Strong focus on education and knowledge Unrivalled networking opportunities

5

YEARS

TOGETHER

www.convene.lt


At this very moment a group of scientists is falling under a cat’s spell: Schrödinger’s. Time to give your participants a similar treat? ACV.AT MESSECONGRESS.AT VIENNA.CONVENTION.AT

Erwin Schrödinger, Austrian physicist, Nobel Prize winner © Bildarchiv/ÖNB

Meetings International #18, Nov 2016 (English)