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No. 21 May 2018 €19 / SEK 165

WOMEN DELIVER Foundation Setting the Agenda



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FLANDERS: THE STATE OF THE ART ASSOCIATION HUB IMEX Frankfurt stand E120 Flanders is the unsurpassable Association Hub. With Brussels as its capital, Flanders is home to more than 2000 international associations and trade organisations. Centrally located in Europe, conference destination Flanders should not be overlooked. The north of Belgium offers: • state-of-the-art convention centres and beautiful historic city centres • unforgettable experiences in unique special meeting venues VISITFLANDERS Association Experts together with the local convention bureaus, helps associations organise their conferences in Flanders and Brussels. They are vital to identify and approach the right contacts within Flanders’ key industries and academic world and to help find the right match between associations’ demands and the conference venues on offer in Flanders.

VISITFLANDERS Convention Bureau at IMEX Frankfurt 2018 Stand E120 From 15th till 17th May, you can find VISITFLANDERS Convention Bureau at IMEX Frankfurt. Come by stand E120 to learn all about Flanders. Meet the team and be inspired by our International Association Experts to leave a legacy in Flanders. At the VISITFLANDERS stand you can chat with Flemish service suppliers and discover a selection of remarkable venues and hotels. Belgian Limburg Convention Bureau (BLCB) - Bruges Convention Bureau Meeting in Brugge - Ecco la Luna - Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp - Hilton Belgium - Holiday Inn Brussels Airport - ICC ghent - Leuven Convention Bureau - Marriott Hotels Brussels - Radisson Blu & Park Inn by Radisson Antwerp - The Swan Hotel Collection - True by Geoffrey Van Hulle - Visit Antwerpen




Fields of expertise: Healthcare, Biomedical Sciences, Pharma, Medical Technology, Digital Health & Nanotech

Fields of expertise: Innovative & Creative Industries, Material Sciences, ICT & High Tech, Chemistry, Diamonds, Ports & Logistics, Energy & Environment

Our local connection with industry stakeholders is an asset for international associations and increases knowledgesharing. Legacy is created and associations leave behind their mark in Flanders.

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GEMMEKE DE JONGH Fields of expertise: Flanders’ Assets: Arts, Culture, Cycling, Heritage & Gastronomy

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JCVB – YOUR ONE STOP SHOP The Jerusalem Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau (JCVB) tailors the perfect mix of what Jerusalem has to offer for your event or conference, while adapting to your needs, and helping to facilitate an event for all budgets, topics, and targeted audiences. Plan your next event here: For enquiries, please contact: Anat Landa | Convention Bureau Manager T 972 2 6298456 E

‫הרשות לפיתוח ירושלים‬


Jerusalem Where Inspiration Meets Innovation Imagine networking with global leaders in a 1,500 year old citadel, enjoying a gala dinner in an underground quarry dating back to King Herod's time, or grabbing a beer in the bustling Machane Yehuda market. Jerusalem is a special destination defying classification; best described as truly international. For conferences, Jerusalem offers the opportunity to blend 3,000 years of history with an incomparable ecosystem of knowledge, creativity, culture and technology. Jerusalem provides conference goers with a once-in-alifetime experience. It's diverse. It's unique. It's bold. It's truly unconventional.

Discover Jerusalem Jerusalem is the center of the world. The meeting point of east and west. The inspiration and innovation of the ancient and modern worlds. One of the oldest cities in the world, Jerusalem's story spans over 3,000 years. Its breathtaking historical sites can be transformed to amazing venues that will give your conference a unique added value. In the modern city center, Jerusalem's new neighborhoods offer visitors a vibrant nightlife and world class culture. Jerusalem offers something special for everyone. The city features myriad attractions, world class cultural institutions, 57 museums and hundreds of excellent restaurants. Participants can enjoy Jerusalem's culinary scene, a fusion of ancient and modern recipes and techniques, where ethnicities mesh together to create a unique tapestry of flavor in dishes that fuse together European, North African, and Mediterranean cuisines. From urban art, to the iconic Israel Museum, which houses diverse art collections from around the world, to annual festivals like Open Restaurants

that pays homage to the Jerusalem food scene, Mekudeshet, the four-day music festival, and the annual Open House weekend, which opens doors to some of Jerusalem's most stunning architectural public buildings and residences for public viewing, Jerusalem entertains and inspires.

Incentives in Jerusalem In addition to the city's attractions, the Jerusalem CVB offers conference organizers a financial grant as well as other incentives to help make any meeting in Jerusalem a stand-out success. Conference organizers can choose from an array of venues ranging in size and themes, including the state-of-the-art International Convention Center, five-star-hotels, or a more historical space like David's Citadel, known as the "Tower of David,� an icon of Jerusalem for generations and a historical and archaeological asset of international significance, which is just one out of many Jerusalem's unique venues for gala events or professional conferences.

High-Tech Hub Israel earned its title as the “Startup Nation� by having the greatest number of per-capita startups and venture capital investments in the world. In March 2017, Mobileye was acquired by Intel for $15 billion. A company that started as an idea in the halls of Jerusalem's Hebrew University, leveraged the city's knowledge, passion and resources to become the largest acquisition in Israel. Delegates can meet with major R&D centers and innovation hubs and benefit from access to Hebrew University and the Hadassah Medical Center, two global pioneers at the forefront of groundbreaking medical and scientific research.

Floating Island Convention  

A Guide to Korea's Trendiest Meeting Venues

South Korea offers a glorious array of special venues for events whether small and exclusive or large and spectacular.


outh Korea is currently seeing increased demand as a destination for international meetings, with the recent PyeongChang Winter Olympics doing much to further boost the nation's profile. Building on the growing interest in the country, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has rolled out a new MICE brand ‘Korea Unique Venues’ in an effort to promote premium meeting spaces which were selected for their special characteristics, usability, and willingness to host international business events. Featured right and overleaf are 20 of Korea's best venues which offer a beautiful unconventional setting to make any event, whether small gatherings or large conventions, more memorable.

Intimate and exclusive Purposely designed to promote the nation's social history, Korea House introduces visitors to the local culture by offering a venue where they can sample traditional Korean royal cuisine, make their own Korean food, or try the Korean-style clothing, hanbok. The

building, itself modelled along classical Korean lines, contains ten in and outdoor spaces for private events with a combined total capacity of 744 persons. Overlooking Seoul's forest-covered mountains, Samcheonggak is a cultural facility which offers a serene venue for private functions in quiet surroundings. This venue is popular for hosting high-level meetings such as the G20 Summit, and gala receptions or product launches of various multinational companies. Capable of accommodating up to 250 guests, Samcheonggak is a perfect venue for small and intimate gatherings. Elsewhere in Korea, groups of up to 100 can take in a birds-eye view of Daegu's glittering cityscape while enjoying a selection of fruits and cheese, fine wines, and steaks at the revolving 83 Grill restaurant in the city's iconic E-World 83 Tower. Guests can have further fun at the tower's observatory, ice rink, and ‘VRcore’ gaming centre. Located in the famous Haeundae beach district, The Bay 101 offers plenty of seaside space for small-to-mid-sized meetings and SPONSORED CONTENT

Bold and impressive Dongdaemun Design Plaza (ddp), one of Seoul's most eyecatching landmarks, encourages events with ambition. Created to showcase Korea's thriving design industry, this arts and culture complex regularly hosts shows, seminars, and exhibitions. Major event facilities include two Art Halls (total of 4,538 m²), the Design Exhibition Hall (1,216 m²) and Green Showroom with rooftop lawn (570.4 m²) among others. Venue of the annual Busan International Film Festival, Busan Cinema Center is an architectural marvel boasting of having the world's largest cantilever roof which is embellished with over 42,500 LED lights that produce astonishing visuals at night. The center's outdoor plaza can host mega-sized events for more than 4,000, making it ideal for receptions, concerts and award ceremonies. Its on-site cinemas and other multi-purpose spaces are also available for events. As Korea's largest repository of historical artifacts, the National Museum of Korea is another venue designed to impress. Notable for hosting a high-level dinner for world leaders and their partners during the Seoul G20 Summit as well as other international meetings, the museum's major event spaces include an auditorium with seating for 416, and an outdoor open yard for up to 3,000 standing. Another popular setting for galas is Floating Island Convention, a lavish party space located within an artificially-created island complex in Hangang River. Floating Island's six banquet spaces are able to accommodate from 20 to 550 persons. Guests here will enjoy the glittering nightlife panorama of the city skyline and frontrow seat views of the Guinness World Records-inscribed Moonlight Rainbow Fountain Bridge.


While The Bay 101 exemplifies Busan's fun, waterside party venues, Nurimaru is perhaps the city's most historically significant. Literally meaning ‘world summit’ in Korean, Nurimaru was created specifically to host the 2005 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting. The three-storey Korean pavilion-like structure includes a 361 m² conference room for meetings and a seaside garden space suitable for cocktail parties and other events, all secluded from the mainland via the lush, forest-filled Dongbaekseom Park.

Special themes and offbeat The Spirited Garden is a great way to take advantage of resort island Jeju's natural assets. An hour's drive from the island's main convention district, the lush garden creates an atmospheric setting for sprawling banquets held in its grounds, enhanced by neatlyarranged flora and fauna from Jeju and elsewhere plus artificial waterfalls. Spaces include a ‘Secret Garden’ for 300 persons and a two-storey event hall for up to 150. Located an hour away from Seoul, Namiseom provides a different kind of island-getaway experience. Visitors can choose to zipline or ride a ferry into the half-moon-shaped resort islet. From there, Namiseom's tree-lined walking trails, rope bridges and rental bikes can be used for team-building fun, while the Naminara Hotel provides space for small events; the Magic Hall, its largest space, accommodates banquets for up to 200. Island event space is also used to good effect at Jinhae Marine Park, a modern conference and exhibition centre just off Korea's southern coastal mainland in Changwon's historic naval district. Designed to cater to all kinds of moderate-sized business events, the centre's conference room can host banquets for up to 280 against a sea-view backdrop. Even better views can be enjoyed atop the adjacent Solar Tower, part of a major government solar energy initiative. Alternatively, groups can take their gatherings directly onto the water with a Hyundai Cruise, following a course along the

Traditional Culture Center, Gwangju  

parties of up to 500. Guests here will surely enjoy Busan's stunning night view and glittering skyscrapers, including the city's own Diamond Bridge, Gwangalli Daegyo.

Nurimaru APEC House, Busan  

Gyeongin Ara Canal between Seoul and Incheon, making it a fun addition to meetings attended in either city. Cruise ships can comfortably host banquets for up to 250 persons, and on-board entertainment can be customized to include concerts, magic shows, fireworks and more. Audio visual equipment for basic business events, such as presentations, is also available. If the above aren't what you're looking for, a Hispanic-themed gathering at the Latin American Cultural Center near Seoul may fit the bill. The brainchild of a former Korean diplomat, the centre and its grounds have been designed to raise awareness of South and Central American cultures, and specializes in events that specifically celebrate this theme. Groups of up to 50 can conduct business events over paella and tacos, while the in-house restaurant can cater for up to 50 diners. Another interesting venue is the Daegu Textile Complex which provides a colourful backdrop for classy, private events. The complex is equipped with a museum, designed to showcase past, present, and future of fashion and textile industry. Its auditorium, frequently used for fashion shows, can also be used for medium to large-scale conventions comprised of 1,000 delegates. The complex also offers exhibition spaces, seminar rooms, and classrooms for smaller gatherings.

Tradition and culture Local cultural experiences remain ever popular with international event participants. One of the longest-running venues for this is the Korean Folk Village, an authentically-recreated settlement in Yongin from the time of Joseon (1392–1910). As well as getting hands-on with Korea's past and enjoying the village's many performances and festivals, private group dining of fresh local cuisine for up to 360 people is available at the on-site ‘Korea’ restaurant. Those with events in Gyeongju can enjoy group-based activities in Gyochon Village, a district of the city whose residents still live in hanok, or traditional Korean houses. Gyochon's community is active in providing experiences for visitors with the help of

government support, such as pottery and rice-wine tasting. Groups can hold events in a hanok for 60–100 persons, and the village plaza can also be used for meeting and banquet space for up to 200 persons. Visitors to the Gwangju Cultural Foundation Traditional Culture Center, meanwhile, can get hands on with a variety of Korean activities. The centre gives groups the chance to harmonise with traditional Korean instruments such as the samulnori (four-instrument percussion) and janggu (hourglass drum), paint Korean Buddhist designs, or make their own green tea, among other activities, under the instruction of local experts in each craft. Venues offering immersive experiences of Korean belief systems are also proving popular among international business visitors. Among these is Hwangnyongwon, a Gyeongju-based corporate retreat centre in the shape of a nine-floor pagoda-style wooden temple that stood on the site in ancient times. Meeting spaces include four auditoriums with capacity for a total of 450 persons, a meditation hall for 90, VIP rooms and a ‘Sky Lounge’ for up to 50, while the temple itself occupies the top floor. The Wolbong Confucian Academy in Gwangju teaches visitors about, perhaps, the most deep-rooted ideological system in Korea, making it essential learning for those seeking to do business in the country. Here, groups can learn about its one-time famous historical resident Gi Daeseung, a model Confucian scholar, nobleman and regional representative, as well as experience first-hand his ascetic lifestyle, dress in hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) and other activities. Inspired by Korea's rich history, timeless charms, and modern creativity these venues are worth considering to make any business events more remarkable and rewarding. Find out more at


Brussels can host any type of event


vibrant city with a thriving research and innovation sector, that's Brussels. Our region is a centre of excellence in life sciences & bio-pharma, ICT, sustainability and clean technologies, creative industries and media, and business services. Brussels is a strategic centre for networking and communications, with over 1,000 international journalists, over 2,000 international associations headquarters, and close to 42 international organisations. No wonder, that the Union of International Associations (UIA) has ranked our city the number one destination for association congresses in the world thanks to 902 meetings organised in Brussels.

Dynamic ICT sector  In Brussels you can tap into a diverse and sophisticated ICT sector.

Why Brussels? Here are our top ten reasons

World city  Brussels is a cosmopolitan city (183 nationalities) and a magnetic centre for economic migration.

Organising an event in Brussels is all about making connections. Connecting with the right suppliers, sponsors and speakers … connecting with experts who understand your field of activity … and connecting with all the advantages that the capital of Europe can offer you. Nº 1 association city  Brussels is the natural home for international associations …

Greener and cleaner  Brussels was recently voted No. 1 sustainable city in Europe for environmental policy. Creativity  The local film industry is booming, museums and art galleries flourish, and 18,000 cultural events take place every year. Corridors of power  The city hosts all the major EU institutions and 1,700 international corporations operate Europe-wide from their base here …

Art de vivre  You will appreciate the quality of life in Brussels, not least the great food. Enjoy! Strategic location  Brussels is easy to reach by air, road and rail, but also easy to move around in … Find out more on

Specialist in life sciences  Belgium has the world's highest concentration of life science professionals … SPONSORED CONTENT

CASE STUDY Nik Claesen, Managing Director, talks about his experience of Brussels, with Earma 2018

What is EARMA? EARMA is the European Association of Research Managers & Administrators, that means the people supporting research, not doing research mainly from academia. We set up a major conference for best practices exchange and next to that, professional development is high on our agenda. We have a number of events through which we try to bring people together for networking, for the mentioned best practices exchanges and to increase their expertise.

What is the vision & the prospect? The long-term vision of EARMA is the recognition of the profession of Research Managers and Administrators in the long term. Our idea is to make sure that we in the long term, show the relevance and the importance of Research Managers and Administrators, to make sure that researchers can do research and the others task are supported as well as well as possible, for the benefit of the community.

great speakers here from the Commission, that we could not get in other countries. Beyond that international element, the excellent accessibility of the conference centre we use, in the city centre was a big added value and, linked to it, the easy connections from Brussels airport.

Experiences & feedback of Brussels? We were happy to be here when the weather was great, so the attendees were very pleased. The feedback we've gotten from our community is that Brussels obviously has excellent gastronomy. The connectivity with the airport is a great added benefit. That accessibility, coupled with the huge conference centre was very highly appreciated. Discovering Autoworld, with all its collections and good setup, was a nice experience. Our guests found it as a great conference venue. Walking around Brussels, seeing of course the Grand-Place, was also very enjoyable. Weather helped in having a good experience with that, too. So, it was a very nice summery outing with gastronomy.

Experiences with Why have you chosen Brussels rather than another city? Brussels, being the capital of Europe was an extremely important element for us, as we wanted to showcase it also to people from outside of Europe. Next to that, we are very involved with European Union Funding, and being so close to the European Commission, we thought it was great, firstly as a symbolic place, but secondly also to get

From EARMA side, we were extremely happy to work with visit. brussels and content with the support we received. The personal touch was very much appreciated, revealing the customisation and client-friendly approach towards us. The impact of in selecting a number of things for our conference and the advice we got were extremely well received within the association and is highly recommended.



TEXT Alva Appelgren,

No. 21 

May 2018 Paths of Progress


Gender Equality the New Growth Factor Atti Soenarso on the silent knowledge women have built up.

Tomas Dalström, Johan Hagegård, Kerstin Holm, Nic Lehoux, Robin Sharma, Atti Soenarso, Christine Steinmetz, Rohit Talwar

PHOTOS Cover ©,

Sara Appelgren, Cynthia Butare, Paul Clarke, Rakibul Hasan, Jeroen van Loon, Birgitta Lund, Magnus Malmberg, Atti Soenarso





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Why Is It Taken for Granted That I'm the Boss? Roger Kellerman: More Space to Women!

20 | INTRO

Gender Equality THE NEW GROWTH FACTOR Are we heading towards a world order with “Girlvilles” where women dominate and are highest earners? Are we in the midst of a quiet revolution that puts cities and women at the centre? In their book Urban Express (2015), authors, lecturers and debaters Per Schlingmann and Kjell A Nordström describe a new order that does just that. More and more people are leaving rural areas and moving to cities. They predict that in 30 years or so 75 per cent of the world's population will be living in urban areas and that cities will have an over-representation of women. Women have a tendency to move to urban centres before men, they write. And women educate themselves in the cities. This has led to women actually earning more than men in many cities where there are reliable statistics. Women already dominant education at university level. This is clear to see in the city. The silent knowledge that so many women have built up over several years is beginning to seep up through the asphalt, through the red-hot desert sand; the silent knowledge that has helped put women in the majority in the Rwandan parliament, the

silent knowledge that means that all too many people who haven't visited Dubai have preconceptions about the conditions for women there. If you can't see, you can't hear, and you can't tell. Women being allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia is hardly seen as progress by many people. But when we monitor events in several of the Arab countries we see clear and rapid progress. At Zayed University in Dubai, women make up 95 per cent of the students. The global figure for women university students is 70 per cent. Anyone who thinks this won't change the world, raise your hand. Dubai is the home of the Women Establishment, founded in 2006. Yes, you read correctly. That's 12 years ago. Have you heard the powers that be mention that women make up over half the population? But how will we be able to develop our countries unless women have the same opportunities to contribute on equal terms with men? The Women Deliver Global Conference was held for the first time in London in 2007 and gathered nearly 2,000 advocates from 115 countries. By then the maternal

mortality rate was appallingly high. World leaders needed to step up, rally around the issue and commit to action. And, they needed a place to do it, hence the birth of The Women Deliver Conference. At the time the event was described as ground-breaking and credited with igniting a movement that was desperately needed. The Women Deliver Global Conference is one of many congresses that sets the agenda, sets global progress in motion and makes a difference. But this is only the beginning. Despite everything, the world is a much better place than many of us think. We just need to keep our dramatic instincts under wraps in order to understand the world better. Source criticism and self-criticism should go hand in hand.

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


Magnus Malmberg

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Jeroen van Loon, Compass Media photo






Atti Soenarso PHOTOS

Birgitta Lund Rakibul Hasan Jeroen van Loon





Women and girls are the drivers of sustainable development and power agents of change. Evidence from around the world confirms that investing in women and girls creates many effects that yields multiple benefits. Not only for individual women, but also for families, communities, and countries.


Birgitta Lund

But decision-makers have failed to consistently make women and girls a priority. They are deprived of access to health services, confront barriers to education, are vulnerable to gender-based violence and face discrimination in economic and political areas. The Women Deliver 2019 Conference is the world's largest meeting on the health, rights, and wellbeing of women and girls. The gathering will serve as a fuelling station for spokespeople working to achieve a more equal world. In the beginning of June

over 6,000 world leaders, advocates, academics, influencers, activists and representatives from the media will gather in Vancouver Convention Centre. The choice of Canada as a location sends a signal to the world: Canada is investing in the rights, health, and wellbeing of women and girls. Or in the words of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “Prioritizing the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women is not optional, but in fact, foundational to drive change and progress for all. Canada is proud to host 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“ The world's largest meeting on the health, rights, and wellbeing of women and girls”

Birgitta Lund


When I attended the Women Deliver Conference at Bella Center in Copenhagen two years ago, I met Katja Iversen. She has been the president of the organisation since 2009. A memory that has remained from the event in Copenhagen are two sentences in my note book: “Everything is focused on solutions.”, and “This is a happy conference.” The organisation have taken a gender lens to the new sustainable development goals. It is like a development framework and identifies 12 very specific investments in women and girls that need to be made. That has driven the conference programme. The issues Women Deliver work on could pinpoint a million problems, and Katja Iversen and her team could stay immersed in the problems and be depressed by the end of the day. Instead they purposefully decided to focus on solutions because they know what works. All the 115 concurrent sessions plus 20 plenaries during the event in Copenhagen focused on solutions. Two years ago, there were more than 5,700 delegates from 169 countries. Eighty per cent of them were first time attendees. What made eighty per cent first time attendees to come to


the next Women Deliver Conference to bring us all further in advancing human rights for women.” The Women Deliver Global Conference was held for the first time in London in 2007 and gathered nearly 2,000 advocates from 115 countries. By then the maternal mortality rate was atrociously high. World leaders needed to step up, rally around the issue and commit to action. And, they needed a place to do it, hence The Women Deliver Conference was born, founded by Jill Sheffield, today President Emeritus. At the time the event was described as a ground-breaking meeting and credited with igniting a movement that was desperately needed. In 2010, in Washington DC, the organisation highlighted effective solutions to improve maternal, sexual and reproductive health on the global development agenda. Three years later in Kuala Lumpur Women Deliver proved to the world that when you invest in girls and women, it pays. More than 3,400 delegates from 149 countries participated. Today Women Deliver is recognised as a key player and advocate for gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women.






“ The gathering will serve as a fuelling station”


Rakibul Hasan

Copenhagen? The answer is that the organisation ventured out into new areas. Women Deliver came from a very strong health focus, but this time they focused more on gender equality, including health, but not only health. On the programme were women's economic empowerment, education, land rights – because the organisation also knew the investment case is more prone to the whole gender equality area. It was relevant to invite others in. If you only treat health as health, we are never going to solve the issues. We can have as many clinics in the world as we want to, but if a woman is not allowed to leave her house, or see a male doctor, it will not work. You have to look at gender norms, equality, and women's status in society. Katja Iversen says it is about politics and it is also about money. This is not a health issue alone. It is a development issue, an economic issue and a political empowerment issue. The organisation puts it a little polemically: “Women deliver, and not only babies and water. And there are lot of good men who deliver for women.” There were a diverse group of participants at the conference in Copenhagen, representing several

industries, different issues and geographical regions, and different ages. Twenty per cent of the attendees were young people. The delegates also came from various areas, for example the private sector, academia, government, health services, UN agencies, media and non-governmental associations. The number of entities surpassed 2,500. Many of us felt overwhelmed by the volume of challenges facing girls and women, and we did not agree on every question. But what we did agree on is that girls and women are the drivers for development. Investing in them not only benefits individuals but creates an effect that powers progress for all. The takeaway from some of the attendees I spoke with was that they left better informed, positive about the progress made, and inspired to take action on girls and women in future. I overheard a conversation between two young delegates from Nigeria. They were sharing their impressions during a coffee break on the last day. “I think of the conference as an onsite and online fuelling station. We learn from each other and leave with new ideas and inspiration. We are energised to push for



ambitious action and refuelled to make change for girls and women everywhere.” Women Deliver believes that young people should be included and at the centre of the development, implementation, and evaluations of programmes and policies that affect their lives. It happens through collaboration and partnerships

young leaders by identifying national and global platforms for them to contribute equally to the conversation and share their experiences and expertise. Deliver for Good is a global campaign, initiated by Women Deliver and partners that applies a gender lens to the Sustainable Development Goals. The evidence-based advocacy

“ Give women a fair opportunity to earn, and they will deliver solutions” with global influencers, multilateral organisations, and youth-led and youth-serving organisations. Women Deliver is elevating and amplifying young people's voices and perspectives and accelerating their inclusion in decision-making spaces. When young people are involved from start to finish in the decision-making processes that affect their lives, programmes and policies can reflect their needs. The award-winning Women Deliver Young Leaders Program started in 2010 and is comprised of 400 youth advocates under the age of 30. They represent more than 100 countries. In the beginning of 2018 there were 300 more young leaders scheduled to join the programme. They are supplementing and strengthening their work through, for example, online learning communities, high-level networking, speaking opportunities, and seed grants. It is interesting to see how an organisation like Women Deliver shapes the global conversation on youth engagement. And how they help increase the visibility of the MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 21 2018

campaign calls for enhanced policies, programming, and investments in girls and women. Deliver for Good, with nearly 300 supporters in over 50 countries, is mobilising followers across sectors and issue areas to redefine the narrative around women and girls. Together they are building a movement to take on concrete action and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals at the global and country levels. The campaigns' partners, allies, and supporters are focusing on action across the following 12 investment areas: ƒƒ Improve maternal and new born health and nutrition. ƒƒ Meet the demand for modern contraception and reproductive health. ƒƒ Respect, protect and fulfil sexual health and rights. ƒƒ Ensure access to comprehensive health services. ƒƒ Dramatically reduce gender-based violence and harmful practices. ƒƒ Ensure equitable and quality education at all levels.

ƒƒ Boost women's economic empowerment. ƒƒ Strengthen women's political participation and decision-making power. ƒƒ Accelerate access to resources – land, clean energy, water and sanitation. ƒƒ Invest in women to tackle climate change and conserve the environment. ƒƒ Improve data and accountability for girls and women. ƒƒ Build sustainable financing and partnerships for girls and women. Through the Deliver for Good campaign, Women Deliver is highlighting strategies and best practices that emphasise the crucial link between gender equality and broader development goals such as education, eradicating poverty, and adapting to a quickly changing climate. The campaign illustrates the social, economic, and legal injustices girls and women face. But it also recognises their vast, untapped potential, and all that families, communities, and countries stand to gain by eliminating the obstacles that prevent them from realising their potential. Let's take a closer look at how to boost women's economic empowerment according to Women Deliver. Give women a fair opportunity to earn, and they will deliver solutions. Granting them equal space in the formal economy is a victory in the battle against poverty. Women around the world are resilient and resourceful economic agents, overcoming persistent, gender-based barriers to advance the health, education, and economic survival of their families. Every day, women demonstrate they can build informal and formal businesses out of very little capital, create networks to maximise limited


“Who in their right mind would throw away fifty per cent of human potential?”

resources, and shoulder the caretaking responsibilities, which often include cooking, cleaning, and caring for children, the sick, and the elderly. Women succeed in spite of laws, policies, and institutions that hold them back. It is time to create supportive environments for women to thrive economically. To ensure equitable and quality education at all levels is another of the 12 investment areas. Give girls and women the chance to learn, and they will deliver more equitable, healthy and prosperous societies. In two-thirds of all countries, girls now enrol in primary school at the same rate as boys. Global statistics mask persistent inequalities that still exist in many parts of the world, where girls are far more likely to be out of school. Hard realities such as poverty, school fees, travel distance, and the absence of menstrual hygiene management facilities at school limit girls’ access to education, especially at the postprimary level. As the development community embraces the new Sustainable Development Goals, improving access to quality education and training opportunities for girls and women needs to be at the forefront of the movement towards gender equality.

Mobile operators are working to support students and teachers in integrating mobile technologies into the classroom. Mobile also enables access to greater learning opportunities for youth in urban hubs and remote locations. Mobile networks are essential in the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. If another 600 million women had access to the internet, annual GDP could increase by as much as $18 billion across 144 developing countries. There are many major challenges ahead. The voices of girls and women need to resonate in societies, communities, households and halls of power. Investing in their health, rights, equality and wellbeing will create a wave of progress that will spur growth to the benefit of all. One of the biggest challenges for Women Deliver is funding. According to Katja Iversen there were more than forty funders for everything in Copenhagen: governments, foundations, private sectors, non-governmental organisations, and it ranges from $5,000 to a lot more. Forty per cent of the associations budget goes on scholarships for participants from the global south, particularly young people. Prior to the conference Women Deliver had 5,500 applications for 800

scholarships. Many of these young people had never been out of their village, let alone their country – they had to get a passport. The organiser had to tell the applicants they had to travel with $25 per day to get a sandwich and for the local transfers. For some of the delegates to get that, it was almost a month's salary. In the end they all came to Copenhagen as equals, and some of the solutions that they presented was mind-blowing. Why? They live it every single day, and who knows more about their lives than themselves? Who in their right mind would throw away fifty per cent of human potential? Give women a fair opportunity to earn, and they will deliver solutions. Granting them equal space in the formal economy is a victory in so many ways. Give girls and women the chance to learn, and they will deliver more equitable, healthy and prosperous societies. Paving the way for more women in the political, business and civic arena is an investment in more just, equitable, and peaceful societies. Girls and women are drivers of development, and critical to the success of the Global Goals. Women are at the economic heart of the developing world. And to do all this work, they need to be healthy.






Atti Soenarso


Atti Soenarso

The status of women within the UAE has flourished in parallel with the country's growth since the federation was established in 1971. This was possible because of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as he believed in women's right to work and contribute to society. And that right would be based on merit and not favouritism. He said: “Women have the right to work everywhere. Like men, women deserve the right to occupy high positions according to their capabilities and qualifications.” Four years after the establishment of the federation his wife Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, led the establishment of the UAE's Women's Federation, currently known as the General Women's Union, with an aim of creating opportunities for women so that they may achieve their full potential. The formation of the Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) in 2006 has an integral role in fulfilling the vision of the UAE leadership to encourage the sustainable integration of women in all fields and to facilitate their participation in the workforce. Three years ago, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced the

UAE Gender Balance Council as a government entity responsible for developing and implementing the gender balance agenda in the UAE. It works to reduce the gender gap across all government sectors in the country; enhance the UAE's ranking in global competitiveness reports on gender equality; and promote gender balance in decision-making positions, as well as promote the UAE's status as a benchmark for gender balance legislation. So far, UAE is the only country in the world to establish a government entity dedicated to this goal. The Constitution of the UAE guarantees equal rights for both men and women. Under the Constitution, women enjoy the same legal status, claim to titles, access to education, the right to practice professions, and the right to inherit property as men. Women are also guaranteed the same access to employment, health and family welfare facilities. Women are playing an increasingly stronger role in business, military and in the government. These are the results of the ongoing commitment of the UAE's leadership to place the Emirati women at the forefront and further their vision of a balanced and progressive society. So, how does this impact our present?

Two examples: In education there is a 95.8 per cent literacy rate. University graduates exceed 70 per cent, up from a mere 11.1 per cent in 1971. In government 29 per cent of the UAE Cabinet of Ministers are women (nine ministers), which is almost a third of the cabinet. Women also have 20 per cent representation in the UAE Federal National Council. When it comes to business over 23,000 registered women are running investments worth AED 50 billion. UAE is first in wage equality in the region, and among the top ten globally as per the World Economic Forum 2016 Gender Gap report. The UAE has no health gap which includes the death-age gap; signifying that men and women enjoy equal access to health and wellbeing services. Emirati female role models are present in many diverse fields including renewable and nuclear energy, the aviation and space sectors, the oil industry and transport and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). The Dubai Women Establishment's mission is to champion women's participation in driving the socioeconomic future of Dubai through influencing policies, sharing knowledge and leading initiatives. 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


Last year DWE announced a five-year strategy based on the following four pillars:


Catalyst for Change  providing

recommendations to shape policies and developing new initiatives to enhance the participation of Emirati women across the workforce.

capabilities of Emirati women, and foster the next generation of women leaders. DWE is continuing to proactively introduce disruptive, interactive and customised programmes to help women develop their skills across various sectors, as well as provide new platforms for female leaders through training programmes and professional development courses.

“UAE is first in wage equality in the region, and among the top ten globally”


Research and Knowledge Hub 

involving in-depth research and studies, data profiling a knowledge exchange to drive the engagement of Emirati Women across various fields and sectors. Build on DWE's position as a research and knowledge hub, locally, regionally and internationally. DWE is implementing the latest methodologies to identify, as well as analyse, the needs and barriers facing women in the workplace.


Representation and Strategic Partnerships  fostering

strategic partnerships across the public and private sectors and increasing the representation of Emirati women through integrated, highimpact initiatives. This will enhance their capabilities and strengthen their position in society.


Development and Capacity Building  developing custom-

ised, interactive programmes with leading institutions across the world to enhance the skills and MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 21 2018

Some of the achievements in the UAE over the past ten years are: DWE mobilised the Corporate Childcare Policy in 2008, introduced the first Corporate Childcare Centre in the region in 2009, 1000+ working mothers benefited from 14 centres across Dubai government entities. Dubai Women Establishment advocated the amendment of maternity policy. In 2016, the national maternity policy got revised from two to three months of paid maternity leave for Dubai Government employees. Since 2011 there have been many Women on Boards initiatives. Dubai Women Establishment became the first organisation to initiate the awareness to increase women on boards in the region. In 2012, DWE proposed the Women on Boards policy which was approved and implemented for the first time in the region. In 2016, there were 16.08 per cent of Women on Boards in Dubai, 17.23 per cent in federal and 1.08 per cent on listed companies. By 2020, Dubai Women Establishment

aim to achieve 20 per cent participation in boards. The government's entity is striving to provide new platforms for Emirati women, by offering them opportunities to upgrade their skills sets and encouraging them to take on leadership positions across economic, social and political sectors. One the initiatives: 23 Executive Development trainings and programmes, where 570 Emirati women graduated and trained. Another initiative for women in leadership is a programme created to facilitate a paradigm shift in the way leadership is perceived through a futuristic approach and an emphasis on disruptive innovation. Today, Dubai Women Establishment works to stay ahead of future trends and developments and to maintain their lead in the journey of gender equality towards stronger, more sustainable societies. DWE focus on creating the necessary paradigm shift that will trigger a leap in the role of women progressing society. They are pushing the boundaries, expanding the framework and applying disruptive innovation to their systems, education, the government and business environments. In short, Dubai Women Establishment play an active role in shaping the new ecosystem for the world of tomorrow.

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Events in all their facets are our daily business; however, they are anything but everyday. For 777 years, we have been putting our experience and passion not only into one of the world’s most popular event locations, but into the smallest event detail. Because your encounters are close to our heart.



RADAR | 37

IMEX Launch “SHE MEANS BUSINESS” EVENT A new conference taking place during Edu Monday, 14 May, at this year's IMEX in Frankfurt will celebrate the role of women in the meetings business. She Means Business will feature a programme for both women and men to learn from the experiences and opinions of inspirational and accomplished women. According to ‘Women in the Meetings and Event Industry – equal partner or assistant?’, a research survey that also led to the creation of She Means Business, only four in ten women in the events industry believes their career prospects are identical to their male colleagues. Nearly 1,000 women participated in the survey, conducted by TW Tagungswirtschaft magazine and m+a report, 70 per cent of whom are based in Europe. More than 59 per cent of respondents believe that career breaks due to maternity leave are the greatest handicap to career progress and 79 per cent of events industry women would like a

platform to meet and discuss issues such as diversity and gender equality. “If you look at the Top 10 agencies, you have 80 per cent women and 20 per cent men. Men are always in senior management,” comments one respondent. “We were overwhelmed by the participation of all the women and we felt that we had a job to do,” says Kerstin Wünsch, TW Tagungswirtschaft editor-in-chief. “Some of us talk about a movement that we started, and everybody (men and women) is welcome to join in,” Wünsch says, speaking about partnering with IMEX on the She Means Business conference. “We believe that the sharing of experiences and opinions is the most powerful way for women to talk to each other and to men, to encourage working together to achieve diversity and gender equality.” Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, says that the new conference comes “at a crucial juncture in 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“As an industry we must continue to challenge preconceptions and push forward for change”

society – we've reached a turning point where these issues have come to the fore. The next step now is to decide how to move forward. She Means Business will provide a platform for forward-thinking women – and men – to come together and take action.” During the conference's “Women in Space” opening keynote session, Major Nicola Baumann, one of Germany's only female Eurofighter pilots, and Laura Winterling, a former astronaut instructor and CEO of Space Time Concepts GmbH, will talk openly about their successes and failures and the importance of challenging yourself to achieve ambitious goals. During the day, female business leaders from tech, finance, and the United Nations will share their personal perspectives on issues including empowering women in the workplace, eradicating the gender pay gap, and increasing leadership positions held by women. Chairwoman of the UN Women National Committee, Germany, Karin Nordmeyer will explore the UN's Women's Empowerment Principles – a set of guidelines for businesses on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace, and MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 21 2018

community – in her session, part of the Women in Business strand. Reducing the gender pay gap will be covered by Dr. Mara Harvey, Head Global UHNW Germany, Austria, Italy at UBS. Encouraging women into leadership positions and counteracting gender bias are among the other topics to be addressed by speakers, including director of global employer branding at SAP, Suzanna Labonde, and European Association of Cardiology CEO Isabel Bardinet. She Means Business will be moderated by award-winning reporter, producer, and presenter, Talia Sanhewe, whose experience includes work with the World Economic Forum, CNBC, and the BBC World Service. “She Means Business is perfectly timed,” Sanhewe says. “Never before has the power, position, and purpose of women been more important than it is today.” She Means Business rounds off with “Women in the meetings industry – on eye level with men?” a panel discussion moderated by PCMA President & CEO Sherrif Karamat. In-depth roundtable discussions and networking will follow. Gender politics has hit the headlines again recently – issues affecting women at work, such as gender

equality and career advancement, are more prominent than ever. In the meetings and events sector, where women comprise the majority of the workforce, these topics are particularly pressing. Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, explains: “It has long been noticeable that whilst women are in the majority in the meetings industry, they are in the minority in leadership positions. We want to play our part in highlighting the challenges that women face, but more importantly helping to introduce solutions. The best way to do this is to bring people together for open conversation, collaboration and learning.” “As an industry we must continue to discuss, ask questions, challenge preconceptions and push forward for change. It's only by meeting and collaborating that we can make an impact for women in the industry,” says Carina Bauer.

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:

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Basis for Business




Rohit Talwar The world is becoming increasingly aware that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ any more. Some say this near immunity to large scale shocks started with the UK's decision to leave the European Union, Donald Trump's election as US President, and the revelations about fake news on social media influencing voters and elections around the world. More recently we've seen near daily announcements of the mind-blowing capabilities of artificial intelligence, wild fluctuations in the price of the digital currency Bitcoin, and the 30,000 per cent price increases on some initial coin offerings. Shocks have become something we accept as part of the mix in the modern world and – in a sense – nothing really shocks us anymore. However, preparing for shocks is important whether as individuals, society, governments, or businesses – and many can be anticipated. Indeed, this is a core part of the work that we as futurists do. Shocks can be identified through a systematic review or ‘horizon scan’ of the trends, forces, developments, ideas, and weak signals of possible future changes. We study and share these to help people make sense of the emerging future and the possible scenarios that could play out. In our forthcoming book 500 Futures, we introduce a range of these future factors and potential

disruptions which could shape the next decade and beyond. In this extract from the book, we highlight ten possible shocks that could have a truly transformative impact on life, society, government, the economy, and business. Political and Economic Shocks


Brexit Brings Down the Global Economy? A badly managed

and chaotic Brexit could drive a prolonged global recession. As the exit date of March 30th 2019 draws closer, the UK government could come to a near complete standstill, with most civil servants becoming focused on extracting Britain from the European Union (EU) and putting in place the mechanisms to provide the activities formerly undertaken by the EU. The immense costs of withdrawal, implementing new systems in areas such as customs, and of recruiting new staff into government could lead to cuts in public services and welfare payments. Foreign companies may opt to move key operations out of the UK to ensure continuity of access to European markets. The pace of automation may accelerate as firms seek to reduce their risks by cutting staff costs and replacing humans with machines. The prospects of an uncertain transition period and protracted

post-transition rebalancing of the UK economy could spook markets, driving down share prices and the value of the pound. Collectively, these measures could lead to massive job cuts in both the public and private sectors, declining spending, higher import costs, and a significant reduction in government tax revenues. The UK economy could nosedive into a prolonged recession that lasts several years with a contagion effect that sweeps across the planet and drives a global downturn.


Techlash – Global Society Rebels Against the Machine?  As the pace of

development accelerates in artificial intelligence (AI) and other disruptive technologies such as blockchain, we may see a technological backlash as those affected rage against the machine. Technologies such as AI and robotics are already beginning to replace humans in significant numbers and will undoubtedly continue to do so. The hope is that new industries and the reskilling of the workforce will mean that eventually even more jobs will be created. However, there could be a significant time lag between redundancy, retraining, and the rise of the new opportunities. At present, it seems unlikely that any government will have a guaranteed basic income scheme ready 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


in time to help those affected to feed, house, and clothe themselves and their dependents. During that period, global social unrest could rise, and be whipped into a frenzied, and social media fuelled, rage against the machines and their owners. The implications could be severe to say the least for governments, financial institutions, technology companies,

that are slightly past their ‘best by’ or expiration date. Indeed, a number of retailers are already selling the latter at a significantly lower price. Food sharing apps and community food storage might also grow to accommodate a growing subculture within the foodie movement.

“We may see a technological backlash as those affected rage against the machine” investors, the wealthy, and anyone else seen to be part of the problem.


The End of World Hunger Within a Decade? A number

of critical developments are coming together, and these could literally bring about the end of world hunger. A combination of technological advances in managing the food chain coupled with tighter regulation, more effective food recirculation schemes, and a growing business commitment to be more sustainable could yield a dramatic reduction in the estimated 40 per cent of fresh food that currently goes to waste globally. The process has already started, and the members of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF ), including Nestlé and Unilever, have committed to halving food waste in the next decade. As a result, the cost of food should also decline, and the ecological impact of food supply chains would be reduced significantly. Society would need to adapt to eating “ugly” produce, as well as accepting foods MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 21 2018


Manual Cars Banned from City Centers? The days of

taking a drive into busy city centers could be numbered. With the transition from petrol and diesel cars to electric, the precedent was set to accept new technologies in personal transport. Electric cars sought to keep people safe from polluting petrol and diesel engines, and the promise of autonomous cars is to eliminate human error; the major cause of road traffic accidents and the resulting injuries and deaths. With the development of artificial intelligence in vehicles and the connectivity with traffic signals, city authorities might begin to ban manually driven cars from city centers, almost totally eliminating accidents.


Farming – No Place for Mere Humans? Within a decade,

low cost automation solutions could mean that farms of almost any scale could choose to be fully ‘human free’, operating within a web of real-time, constant monitoring from thousands of sensors. Soil sensors

would trigger automated fertilizing or watering, while aerial drones could scan for and scare away natural pests like foxes and deer. Ground level sensors could also monitor weed, insect, and fungus levels and chemically analyse produce, to schedule the perfect time for driverless harvesters to roll out. Finally drones and robots could undertake home delivery, with domestic bots then preparing and serving the food. From farm to table, the produce of tomorrow might not touch the hands of a single human until the moment it is eaten by the end consumer. Techno-Societal Shocks


A More Caring Society Courtesy of the Empathy Internet? By 2025, the internet

could evolve into a multi-sensory environment which helps bring about a shift in our behaviours because we can literally feel the impact of our words and actions on other people. Futurist Michio Kaku predicts that by 2025 “we will see the gradual transition from an Internet to a brain-net, in which thoughts, emotions, feelings, and memories might be transmitted instantly across the planet … historians and writers will be able to record events not just digitally, but also emotionally as well. Perhaps even tensions between people will diminish, as people begin to feel and experience the pain of others.” If this were to occur, it could provide the jolt of empathy needed for the human species to elect for cooperative survival. This may be a life-saving shock for the planet.


Unplugging: The Off-Grid Holiday? The rise in work-

place stress, and the pressures of 24/7 availability for the modern employee, could see employers,


doctors, and even the state mandating that people deliberately take an unplugged break to rediscover and rejuvenate themselves. The desire for privacy and the need to unplug and go ‘off grid’ are also likely to grow as we become ever-more deeply enmeshed in the matrix of always-on, everpresent digitally enabled objects and sensors that connect and monitor

travel agents provided their clients with a one stop holiday shop, they could in increasingly be joined, and even replaced, by experience agents. Equipped with a range of immersive, multi-sensory technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, customers would experience the heat, humidity, rain, and sounds of the Amazonian rain forest. For a drier

“Mixed reality could become our daily experience of life” humans virtually. Today, some retreats offer WiFi-free zones as an amenity, others promote themselves as a tech-free haven. In the near future, guaranteed off-the-grid, fully disconnected ‘sanctuaries’ may become the next hottest vacation destination to escape the fast paced, constantly observed modern lifestyle. Governments might be forced to act to mandate such breaks because of the rising costs to society of poor mental health, and the potential loss of tax revenues from people who take long-term sick leave, or simply quit their jobs due to stress.


Total Recall Lite – Experience Dangerous and Different Worlds from the Comfort of Main Street? With rapidly rising

rates of retail closures around the world, they could be replaced by technology rich experience centers offering the promise of plugging in, zoning out of daily life, and tuning in to a range of other worldly experiences. A new type of leisure agent could start appearing in shopping districts and malls around the world. Where once

experience, why not try the intense heat, blinding sun, and shifting sands of the Sahara Desert. For those seeking otherworldly experiences, why not select the haunting sounds of wind passing across the Elysium Planitia in the near vacuum of the Martian atmosphere. Building on the trend of experience gifting from the noughties, the popularity of this new retail phenomenon could grow exponentially.


Whenever certain disease starts manifesting, such as cancer, nanobots could deliver the medicine needed to fight it.


Death of the Screen and the Spoken Word A

decade from now, our children may not speak to us at all. Computers, smartphones, and tablets might be replaced by the projection of data and images directly onto our eyes. Virtual reality projections might be overlaid onto our eyeballs to influence and enrich our experience when interacting with the world. When coupled with thought transfer via our headsets, we might never need to speak to another human again. We could interact silently with a friend's avatars instead of having to type the text on a screen. Mixed reality could become our daily experience of life. Those living in this mixed reality existence might choose not to interact with humans that don't use eyeball projection and thought transfer and still require us to make the effort to speak. Rohit Talwar is a futurist with Fast Future.

The End of Aging? Manipu-

lation of our cells at the genetic level using ingestible nanobots could help reverse or retard the aging process quite dramatically. Nanobots are capable of moving through our bodies and blood stream to perform specific tasks such as removing or repositioning molecules from one place to another. The development of this technology might have dramatic effects on the future of human health. Based on the patient's health requirements and their genetic predispositions, the nanobots could be designed to fabricate required medicines autonomously. 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


A Life Remembered “One day you will leave this world behind so live a life you will remember”



Tim “Avicii” Bergling (1989–2018)




Atti Soenarso Two young future leaders – Mercy Cherono Too and Stalin Tawanda Mau Mau – are the first recipients of Gaining Edge's Scholar Programme which debuted in January this year. As part of the organisation's commitment to the industry, and as another extension of its CSR programmes, Gaining Edge has developed the Scholar programme which recognises the importance of providing meaningful work experiences to students who wish to pursue careers in the business events industry and who demonstrate outstanding potential for future industry leadership. Every year, one student will serve as the Scholar for that year, and will work with the Gaining Edge team to develop a project which will accomplish the following: ƒƒ Make a significant contribution to the industry. ƒƒ Deliver a meaningful work/learning opportunity to the student. ƒƒ Help the student to gain practical industry experience. ƒƒ Provide a strong addition to the achievements section of the student's CV. ƒƒ Connect the student to an industry network that will help them pursue a successful career.

Mercy Cherono Too

In 2018, the first year of this programme, Gaining Edge offered the internship opportunity to not one, but two, young and deserving scholars from Africa.

The first, Stalin Tawanda Mau Mau, (Master of Business Administration (General Management), Stamford International University Bangkok, Thailand) currently based in Bangkok, will work on the “Accessible Meetings” project. This research project is a joint effort by Best Cities Global Alliance, Rehabilitation International and Gaining Edge for meetings organisers and the supplier community on how to remove barriers in meetings and conventions for delegates with special needs and make these business events more inclusive. The Report will include Best Practices, Case Studies with References and Guidelines for meeting planners. 
Stalin Tawanda Mau Mau explains: “This Project aims to assist in better planning for and addressing the needs of convention visitors with disability and access issues. The research can assist policy and planning agencies in understanding the various elements that contribute to positive visitor experiences for participants with access issues and contribute to improved capacity building in the meetings industry.” 
He studied Hospitality in South Africa and Turkey, up to Diploma level, and then moved to Thailand where he pursued a Bachelor's in International Business majoring in Airline & Hospitality Management and subsequently a Masters in General Management.

And he was a winner of the IMEXMPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum University Challenge in Thailand in 2014 and credits his first-ever experience at IMEX Frankfurt in 2015 for igniting his interest in the meetings industry. “It is such a huge honor to be Gaining Edge's first Scholar, and I am very excited to be learning from and working with such industry veterans. The project is intended to be an eye opener, and indeed it has, even for me as I carry out the research.” “To date we have received a tremendous amount of support for our “Accessible Meetings for All” project from Rehabilitation International and Best Cities Global Alliance and their industry partners. My upcoming trip to IMEX will be a one stop shop, providing me with an unparalleled opportunity to meet with a myriad of key project stakeholders all under one roof.” “There are some great case studies of organisations and destinations continuing beyond where the conversation all too often ends, just at compliance. Legislation forces the hand of some, but we also see voluntary practices which are worth emulating. With this project, our goal is to expand the discussion on accessibility into the meetings industry arena so that we can keep the door to lifelong learning wide open to delegates with special needs.” “Personally, as a Gaining Edge Scholar, I have also received access 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


to a wealth of knowledge, experience and resources.” The other Scholar this year is Mercy Cherono Too, BSc. Events and Convention Management, Technical University of Kenya. Her project aims to find out the current capacity of African associations and what factors (if any) are limiting their success and make recommendations for capacity

solutions with a focus on using training as a means to enhance the growth of the associations. Mercy Tawanda Mau Mau explains: “The project's Vision is to provide African associations with a way to harness their potential and map out a channel for their evolution. The project aims to find out the current

“Our goal is to expand the discussion on accessibility into the meetings industry arena” building. This project is undertaken for the African Society of Association Executives (AfSAE), and like the earlier “Accessible Meetings” project, is offered on a pro-bono basis by Gaining Edge with the full support of Talley Management Group Inc. Mercy Tawanda Mau Mau explains: “The project's Vision is to provide African associations with a way to harness their potential and map out a channel for their evolution. Besides developing AfSAE's database of African associations, the study will focus on the current capacity of African associations while seeking to identify impactful solutions using training as a means to enhance the growth of the associations.” This project is divided into two phases which focus on: ƒƒ Phase 1 Building the current AfSAE database in terms of new membership and updating information on existing members. ƒƒ Phase 2 A research study on the current capacity of African associations and identifying impactful


capacity of African associations and what factors (if any) are limiting their success. And more importantly, what can be done to further build their capacities.” She was recently elected as the Congresswoman/School Representative for the School of Hospitality and Tourism in her school. She has diverse interests but the advancement of women in Africa is a course she is very passionate about. Last year, Mercy Tawanda Mau Mau developed a card game to be used as a facilitation tool for sexuality education in high schools across Kenya. “I am excited about the fact that I get to do a research study that could shape the association landscape in Africa, which will go a long way in impacting the professional and economic development of people in Africa. I am happy I get to work alongside a great team at Gaining Edge, in building the only current database on African associations, which makes me part of a great contribution to business events in Africa

and especially because we are connecting the African community.” “I am learning that connecting people together is not an easy job. Our first phase is building the database. I can relate more now with the struggles new organisations face in getting members to subscribe. However, I am hopeful that with time, and polite reminders, we will get the responses we need.” “I'm excited to be able to apply some of the theories I've learnt in class to a practical challenge. For example, I'm seeing how the adoption and diffusion process in communication models of marketing plays out in the real world.” Gary Grimmer, CEO of Gaining Edge, explains that their Scholar programme is as focused on the long term as it is on the shorter-term goal of conducting an important project. “We see our Scholars as a growing community. They are part of a legacy that we are seeking to deliver to the industry. That means that we provide them with ongoing mentorship and a continuing interest in their future success.” “We are really pleased with how the programme has started. These two young scholars are both very high calibre and are already making a difference. Stalin is establishing important connections and beginning to document standards of accessibility in different parts of the world. Mercy is well on the way to doubling the size of AfSAE's database and already started assessing association capacities during her visit to Meetings Africa in February.”

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Christine Steinmetz Smart cities, digital cities, virtual cities, connected cities. Are these just trendy buzzwords? Perhaps. But these types of cities are supported by the infrastructure that is more than bricks and mortar. These cities are smart (thoughtful, people-centric), digital (driven by data acquisition, measured, analysed and sometimes exchanged) and virtual (experiential). And, as a result, they are connected, creating more potential interactions between people and their place. Tel Aviv is one of these cities. Undoubtedly the 2009 book Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle contributed to its reputation as a ‘non-stop city’ with innovation clusters teeming with companies at the cutting edge of technology. However, Tel Aviv's standing is not only built on commercial success – it

has an internationally recognised local government. Winning first place in the 2014 World Smart City Awards not only boosted its profile on the international stage but Tel Avivians, well, they actually have positive things to say about their local government. This was not always the case. Municipal leaders had to do something to change how the community perceived them. In 2011, the municipality organised focus groups with residents, heard their complaints and listened to what they said they needed. The municipality realised it needed to change the way it engaged with citizens. A cultural shift was needed, an internal one, to deliver an intelligent and active municipality. Tel Aviv, like Detroit, is an urban laboratory; a test-bed for city projects that combine public and private 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


efforts, startups and university centers. As Israel's leading business center, its main priorities are supporting high-tech companies and startups. Located in a geopolitically contentious region, challenges faced by Tel Aviv residents over the years have also driven a new wave of urban administration – emphasising transparency, trust and local government

equipment, theatre and movie tickets, car-share rentals, and a variety of other services. DigiTel isn't just one-way communication. Users tell the municipality what is happening in their area. They can feedback information about, for example, broken city signage or playground fixtures needing attention. The municipality sees the community

“Municipal leaders had to do something to change how the community perceived them” led by residents. A key smart city initiative is the DigiTel Residents Club. DigiTel cardholders have access to a personalised web and mobile platform that provides residents with individually tailored, location-specific services delivered via email, text messages and personal resident accounts. It's the brainchild of Zohar Sharon, chief knowledge officer of Tel Aviv Municipality. In a recent interview, he told me: “As a result of what we learned from the focus groups and unique knowledge-management processes in the municipality, we now have over 200 municipality staff from different departments, called knowledge champions, who feed data into the DigiTel platform.” Daily updates inform residents about road closures in their area, registering for school, local events, development or heritage conservation proposals requiring feedback, community greening initiatives, recycling, and invitations to public surveys. The card also gives residents access to discounted rentals of beach MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 21 2018

members as having ‘wisdom’: they are the most informed about what is happening in their local area. Since starting as a pilot in 2013 the DigiTel Residents Club has spread citywide. It has almost 200,000 registered users (who must be aged 13 or older) – over 60 per cent of the eligible population. Zohar Sharon says: “We must understand that when we are talking about ‘smart cities’ we must think first about the city's residents and how we can use smart tools to improve their quality of life. The local municipality must adopt a citizenscentric approach and deliver by pushtailored information and services to citizens, implementing a holistic approach, breaking silos and thinking about citizens’ actual needs.” “Today, because of our practice, we can see a tremendous change in the participation of residents in various community activities, greater involvement in city life and greater satisfaction from Tel Aviv municipal services. The platform has expanded to include Digi-Dog for dog owners

and Digi-Tuf (tuf meaning young children in Hebrew) for parents of children up to the age of three.” In India, Thane – one of the cities included in the Smart City Mission announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 – has launched DigiThane, with help from Zohar Sharon. To be a smart city is to know your people, know what they want, and know what they need. And you know what they need because they told you. Many councils throughout Australia are under pressure to have a smart city strategy. Perhaps the way to become smart is to start small. This may not require reinventing the wheel, but really just sitting down and listening to what people need and figuring out how to deliver in the most economical and sustainable way. As Zohar Sharon says: “We didn't create the technology – it was already being used by the commercial sector – we just adapted the technology to make it work for the public sector.” Text written by Christine Steinmetz, Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales. Previously published by The Conversation (

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Alva Appelgren An alarm clock going off tells us it is time to get up. An odour from a lunchbox in the fridge tells us that the food has gone off so we throw it away. Our language works in much the same way, but it is not always as clear as a bad odour how words actually affect us. An encouraging word from a colleague could put us in a good mood for the rest of the day, while a similar comment phrased somewhat differently may have us wanting to leave work at the earliest opportunity. Teachers, managers and parents have the task of giving feedback by explaining, encouraging and informing of what has gone well and what needs to change. In the long run, feedback also seems to affect our perseverance and motivation. The question of how it works and how we can improve our feedback has given rise to a growing research field known as Mind, Brain and Education Science (MBE), which integrates neuroscience, psychology and pedagogy to better understand the processes of learning and to develop better educational models. At the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, my colleagues and I have studied learning processes with the help of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a technique used to study the differences in brain activity by analysing and comparing the

blood flow to different parts of the brain. In one of our studies the test subjects performed an exercise in learning a task when various symbol combinations were shown on a computer screen while they lay in an MRI-scanner. The subjects received two sorts of positive feedback when they replied correctly. On one occasion they learned a task with the help of what I call character feedback: “You're clever.” The second time they were given feedback confirming that they chose correctly: “Your choice was correct.” We compared the brain activity in the two conditions to determine the differences in how the subjects reacted to these two different types of feedback. It showed that when they received praise for their intelligence activity in the caudate nucleus was increased compared to when they received feedback about making the correct choice. Previous studies have shown increases in activity in the caudate nucleus, when people were uncertain as to whether they were reacting correctly and if it would lead to a reward. We interpret our findings that the subjects became more uncertain of their ability when praised for their intelligence. This could be because praise for being clever triggers thoughts about one's traits and moves the focus from

the task to the ego. When the subjects were praised for their intelligence, we observed an increase in activity in the part of the brain involved in selfreflection processing. This indicates that praise focusing on character or personality traits can shift focus from the task to self-reflection, which in turn could make the subject more uncertain. When we studied the participants’ subjective experiences we found that they felt more stressed when praised for their intelligence compared to when praised for making the correct choice. This could be because being called clever may provoke more cognitive recourses than those provoked by concrete feedback on the task. With concrete praise, the subjects learned the task somewhat better and became more motivated to continue. The results indicate that different types of praise have direct effects on our learning. However, further research is needed to determine whether these effects are stable. But, if it is so that we are affected the moment after we have received different types of praise, what could this lead to? And how are we affected by praise in the longer perspective? Carol Dweck is a psychology professor at Stanford University in California who is widely acclaimed for her studies into children's views 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


on learning, traits and intelligence. In one study they looked at the longterm effects of parental praise. Their results showed that the different ways in which children handle setbacks and their will to learn could be linked to the type of praise they receive in early childhood. Dweck's research team examined the longterm effects of praise relating to a child's intelligence, for example, “You are so smart,” and praise that relates to a child's actions, for example, “Well done for trying to piece things together.” The study showed that over time, the children praised for their actions developed a mindset where they felt they could become smarter with practice. This growth mindset is characterised by the notion that it is possible to become smarter by practicing. Carol Dweck has previously shown that this way of thinking may be beneficial in daring to take on challenges and not losing motivation for demanding tasks. Her team suggests that parents who praise a child's actions and efforts contribute to a progressive mindset later in life. This has been known in the research since the early 20th century as the Law of Effect – we act in the way we understand as good. If we are praised for doing something well, this praise acts as a reinforcer and we carry on doing it in order to hear that praise again. If the praise is specific, like “Thanks for wiping that up,” then we know what to do to be praised again. Children who have heard much praise for their traits, like how clever and smart they are, want to hear this praise again. But when we give praise for traits in this way it could be sending a message that the ability lies in an innate talent and the child may think that effort is not required on their part. When people who think in this way encounter setbacks or MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 21 2018

try something they cannot handle at once, they give up much quicker because they assume they lack the talent. They might think something along the lines of: “If I have to make an effort, that means I'm not good enough.” If something that is normally easy suddenly becomes difficult, the person's self-image could take a battering. They may well think they have lost their talent. But with a fixed mindset like this it could be easy to forget the amount of effort and practice they needed to put into it in the first place to make them that good. When something goes wrong or they cannot complete a whole task at once, it actually means they have been given a task that is suited to their level of experience, something that will help them progress. People who are not used to taking on challenges often keep to what they are already good at. This way they avoid setbacks and criticism. They want to maintain the image of themselves as being clever and will avoid trying something new in case they do not manage it with flying colours immediately. Usually this is because they would lose face and their self-image would fall apart if they failed to do well. They measure their value by their achievements, which, in a study from 2007, scientists at the Karolinska Institute describe as performancebased self-esteem. Maintaining a self-image of being clever and smart could lead to significant performance anxiety, especially when they demand learning something new without making mistakes. Giving praise for being clever could therefore give rise to negative effects if you fail to link the praise with the effort involved. Praise for intelligence or cleverness is also a rather unspecific form of praise. It makes it difficult to know what to

do more of in order to hear it again. Had the praise instead been aimed at how and what had been done, it would be easier to understand it and know what to continue doing. One criticism here is that the focus on process rather than traits may be very result-oriented. But that is our fixed mindset that fools us, because we can be specific without focusing on the end result. For example, we can praise somebody for persevering, putting a lot of time into something and not giving up. A teacher can say: “Well done, you worked hard today! You've shown that you understand several of the methods we took up last week and you've used them to try to solve the problem. This shows your ability to cooperate.” Here the focus is on what the pupil has done, how they have approached the task and that effort pays off, without putting emphasise on the end result. Also, if we give pupils suggestions of things for the student to try to improve, followed by the opportunity to show that they have understood, we have reached even further increasing the knowledge of the pupil. Praise and ideas both focus on how to get there and sends a message that effort pays off and practice makes perfect. This way failure and mistakes are not as painful because failure could in itself generate praise for the effort and perseverance to keep working hard. So, our approach to learning can be linked to the way we have previously received feedback, which would partly explain why people relate to learning in so many different ways. Some set up goals that make them appear clever. These goals are linked to the reward of being highly respected. Others are driven by the fun in learning a new skill, a language for example, with the aim of progressing and becoming better


at it. How we relate to different tasks depends on our goals and expectations of the task and on ourselves. In one of my studies at the Karolinska Institute, we looked at the attitudes of 13-year-olds before starting a memory-training program and how these attitudes affected their perseverance. The pupils would do 20 separate memory exercises of roughly 50 minutes each. It was up to them to decide if they wanted to do all training exercises or quit at any point during the training program. The exercises were adapted to suit each individual's level to ensure they would all be at working at their most difficult level and making a lot of mistakes. This meant they all had to work equally hard to level up in the training. Before the pupils began, we asked them what they felt about the exercises they were about to undergo. We asked if they thought it would be fun, useful and if they thought it would require a lot of their energy. We also asked if they thought they would complete all the exercises. The questions were designed to measure the pupils’ intrinsic motivation, their drive to do this because they wanted to and not because they felt they were forced to do it. Roughly half of the pupils completed all 20 exercises and the others dropped out. We found that the higher the motivation of the pupils before they began, the more exercises they completed. We had also asked questions about how they viewed intelligence. The more the pupils thought about being clever as something changeable (growth mindset), the more memory exercises they completed. These results indicate that both expectations prior to the task and their mindset relating to intelligence affected the pupils’ will to complete the memory exercises. Those who believed in

their own ability to complete all the exercises and who expected it to be fun and rewarding, completed more exercises. If research shows that intrinsic motivation and prior expectations have an effect on pupils’ willingness to complete tasks, then we should create opportunities that develop this way of thinking. How do we create conditions where we can focus completely on a task at hand, where we know what we need to develop and where we feel that we want to complete the task? What we can do is try to provide feedback on what has been done and describe learning in a way so that the pupil understands that making mistakes is part of the learning process. It is all about explaining that we can do things better and smarter when practicing. If we want to improve our maths skills, then we practice them. If we want to learn a language, then we have to practice it. When you are learning something that is difficult it requires effort and so we encourage effort. But to do this, we must be given the opportunity to concentrate on the task. John Hattie is a well-known education researcher at the University of Melbourne. When he studied factors that influence a student's learning. He found that feedback was not always beneficial. In two of my studies we analysed the effect of a simple type of feedback, given when our test subjects were highly concentrated on a task. We used sound as feedback, to inform our subjects of their progress while they were completing a task. The sound indicated whether they were right or wrong. To be able to concentrate you have to focus on the task and not let your thoughts wander. Our studies indicate that the sounds we played at some time points appeared to make

it more difficult for the subjects to concentrate on the test. The sounds were aimed to help but when given in large amounts, indicating both right and wrong answers, they had a negative effect on the subjects’ learning. One theory of why that is, is explained by large amount of feedback given during a task, can shift attention to the feedback rather than to the task. Thus, concentration suffers. This is just one example that feedback is not necessarily good for our performance. From these results we suggest that we can easily be disturbed by sounds that grab our attention or praise directed at our intelligence. The studies even show the beneficial effects of expectations and intrinsic motivation. I want to highlight the importance of giving instructions and feedback in a way that provokes curiosity and the will to try again. Praising character can in the long run, make us forget the amount of work we have put in. The studies I have described here suggest that we ought to give more praise and encouragement for effort rather than focusing on character traits which may shift our attention from the task at hand towards thinking about what and who we are. Alva Appelgren has a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. In 2015 she defended her doctoral thesis Error, Praise, Action and Trait. Effects of Feedback on Cognitive Performance and Motivation. This article has been translated from the original article that was previously published in Modern Psykologi (Modern Psychology).








Atti Soenarso


Cynthia Butare





Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills, as it's called is rapidly gaining a reputation for being one of the first countries in the world with more women than men in its parliament. Rwanda is also shaping up as one of East Africa's premier business events destinations, following efforts by the government and its partners to help strengthen and grow the private sector in the meetings industry. Having climbed from 7th to 3rd in the International Congress and Convention Associations' (ICCA's) 2016 latest ranking of business events in Africa, Rwanda is becoming a destination of choice for association planners. The east African country invested in a new convention center adjoining the Radisson Blu Hotel in Kigali, Marriott Hotel Kigali with major meeting spaces available in the hotel plus added new hotels. There is also the investment in the national airline Rwandair, which is now serving 21 destinations in Africa, the Middle

East and India while adding London at the end of May to their network too. Kigali, Rwanda's capital, boasts international events under its belt, including high-level forums such as the World Economic Forum on Africa in May 2016, 27th African Union Summit in July 2016, the Global African Investment Summit in September 2016, Africa Hotel Investment Forum in October 2016 and the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in October 2016. The University of Kigali in collaboration with Shri Ram College of 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


Commerce, University of Delhi and Namibia University of Science and Technology organised an international conference on advances in Business and Information Technology and a doctoral colloquium on March 1–2, 2017. Up to the latest Transform Africa Summit which is the Smart Africa flagship event. Following three successful editions, the fourth Trans-

driving the sector's growth through generating income, employment and investment. Currently, the segment is contributing 15 per cent of the direct tourism revenues and it continues to play an integral part in the economic development of the country. In 2016, the sector contributed USD 47 million. Beyond the direct revenues, there is a multiplier effect

“Rwanda is also shaping up as one of East Africa's premier business events destinations”

form Africa 2018 Summit took place at the Kigali Convention Center from 7–10 May. Under the theme ‘Accelerating Africa's Single Digital Market’, the summit is expected to attract over 4,000 participants, including Heads of State and government, First Ladies, UN Broadband Commissioners, ministers, representatives from the public and private sector, international organisations, industry leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, young innovators, civil society and academia. And this is mentioning only one of the conferences during 2018. According to the events calendar for the rest of this year it's around 40 more events coming up. According to the latest biennial Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF ), Rwanda is ranked the ninth safest country globally for tourists. And the meeting industry in Rwanda is at the center of tourism,


to other economic sectors such as agriculture, transport, and visible growth of infrastructure, such as meeting venues – notably the Kigali Convention Centre and international hotel brands like the Kigali Marriott Hotel and Radisson Blu. In addition, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions have contributed to closing the trough caused by leisure tourists in hotels and restaurants. Denise Omany is the CEO of Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB), and we asked her some questions about their work. How important are international meetings and events for Rwanda in terms of the development of knowledge?

International events usually attract leaders, policy makers and specialists in specific sectors who harness the art of knowledge-sharing through meetings and conferences hosted by Rwanda. This, in turn, is a learning opportunity for local participants representing their sectors – both public and private.

More importantly, hosting events has become a learning experience for Rwanda's private sector because with more events you want to do better, you have to align to the latest technology, ensure the standards of hospitality are upgraded to match the expectations of delegates. How does the convention bureau work together with the universities and other education institutions?

Rwanda Convention Bureau is the National Convention Bureau that works with Government institutions across the entire country. The bureau works with both public and private universities to identify potential conferences, bidding preparation and presentations through rectors and professors who are members of international academic associations and we support each other in the execution of those conferences. Specifically, the bureau works closely with the University of Rwanda in terms of outreach and conducting training for students in line with meeting industry tourism promotion. The University of Rwanda has been a reliable source of academic and research events. RCB, in partnership with various higher institutions of learning, attracts and bids for academic conferences – for example, the recent Next Einstein Forum, in partnership with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences which attracted 1,200 delegates from all over the world.

How important is it for you to be familiar with sponsors of the conventions and events? How do you cooperate?

Events require financial resources to be successfully organised; yet some of the conferences are non-profit making and are non-paid events. Therefore, they require sponsorship to be able to execute such events. Rwanda Convention Bureau is


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Frankfurt 15–17 May 2018

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expected to facilitate event planners in identifying and recommending both local and international sponsors. Thus, it is important for the bureau to cultivate a good relationship, especially with well-known sponsors with interest to specific sectors – also knowing that sponsorships promotes a win-win business model, and provides an opportunity for sponsoring

the country which are: agriculture, health, tourism, energy, manufacturing, investment and trade, mining, among others. Which are the most important sustainability issues from a five-year and ten-year perspective in Rwanda's meeting industry?

Understanding the changing needs of the meetings industry market;

to all delegates to even paying for the dry venue. As a destination, RCB has always had such requests and it is part of our investment to support international events planners in order to show some commitment and partnership in their events. This is done after carrying out a Cost Benefit Analysis in order to advise on the best investment. Is RCB working with a long-term meetings and events strategy?

“Rwanda is ranked the ninth safest country globally for tourists” companies to showcase their products during meeting periods. Are you and your office involved in the bidding process or is this up to the cities’ CBs?

Rwanda Convention Bureau bids on behalf of the government of Rwanda. Hence, we work with other stakeholders like government institutions, associations, and corporate companies to prepare an appealing bid. It is entirely the mandate of RCB to empower the private sector through capacity building and business exposures to the best international practices in the meetings and events industry so that they can proactively identify and attract business events to Rwanda.

Which are the most important knowledge clusters, leading innovative companies and organisations in Rwanda?

ICT is at the center of driving Rwanda's economy and so meetings aligned to ICT are prioritised. Meetings around governance are also important given the recent developments in Rwanda. With that said, we are open to hosting different meetings affiliated to key sectors of

more research needs to be done to identify event needs in the next few years and to be able to establish ways of satisfying them. The private sector needs to be proactive and begin sourcing for businesses to support Rwanda Convention Bureau if we are to maintain the momentum and improve our business pool. Meetings infrastructure: More international hotel brands and exhibition venues are needed if we are to cope with competition. More tourism activities especially in Kigali need to be developed for delegates if the destination is to be as attractive as our close competitors. Rwanda needs to create its own events, based on homegrown initiatives and success stories. This will minimise dependence on imported events. When it comes to budget? Giving a free dinner to the client's board, or to the full convention – are these important questions for your office?

The government of Rwanda offers incentives to international events planners through Rwanda Convention Bureau that range from offering a welcome reception or a free dinner

RCB has a National Meetings Industry Strategy that was adopted at the national level. The strategy focuses on establishing Rwanda as a preferred meetings destination in Africa. The core focus of this strategy is to ensure that it contributes to the economic development of the country through increased foreign exchange inflows, job creation and investment. The strategy focuses mainly on: ƒƒ Targeting conferences that are not one-off conferences, those that are willing to go into long term partnerships (2–5 years) or even permanent. ƒƒ Establishing and grooming homegrown conferences that would, in the long run, attract international participation. Which are the three main challenges for Rwanda Convention Bureau? How do you deal with these challenges?

Brand and image – Rwanda is yet to be recognised globally as a top meetings destination. RCB is working on strengthening the brand through attending international meetings trade shows together with top meetings destinations. An ambassadorship campaign is another strategy yet to be launched to market Rwanda as a remarkable destination through reputable stakeholders in the global meetings sector. Rwanda is still short in exhibition space and much larger meeting venues for big events. We are 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“The bureau works with both public and private universities to identify potential conferences”

currently targeting events that fit into our facilities. Nevertheless, the investment authority is aware of the challenge and is working towards attracting investments in all areas. Connectivity: Rwanda still has limitations in terms of air connectivity to key source markets but this is being addressed by the expansion of Rwandair, the national airline. A new airport, to be built with bigger capacity, will almost triple the existing facility that currently handles 1.5 million passengers annually. You are working in international networks – why is that important?

Currently, Rwanda CB is working with international networks such as the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), the Association of African Exhibitions Organisers (AAXO), and the African Society of Association Executives (ASAE). These networks are potential sources of business in addition to being marketing and networking platforms. How are meetings and events contributing to your country when it comes to legacy?

Very important! Rwanda is getting globally recognised as a preferred


meetings destination. Rwanda has recently been chosen to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2020 (CHOGM). This is, undoubtedly, due to the tremendous strides exhibited in the meetings industry's capabilities to host major events like the World Economic Forum, Transform Africa Summit, Africa Union Summit and the International Meeting on Family Planning, a global event, that Rwanda will be hosting this year in November. What's more, next year Rwanda will host the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) conference, which is also a big conference bringing over 5,000 international delegates from the health sector. All these are good exposure for our country but, more importantly, Rwanda will be known as a remarkable meetings destination at a global level. Do politicians understand the role of Rwanda CB? Is it easy to get the support of parliament persons or from the government to meet the congresses or conventions delegates and give welcome or opening speeches?

There is utmost political will/ support towards meetings industry activities. Rwanda CB was established and approved by the Rwandan

government, which is an indication that they understand the value and the role that RCB is expected to play in the economy of Rwanda. Government officials have been supporting the bureau in the bidding process and always provide all the required technical support during conferences. On a number of occasions his Excellence President Paul Kagame has officiated various conferences along with ministers and other high-ranking officials.


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RADAR | 71

IMEX: INNOVATION AND INSPIRATION “There are new initiatives every year at IMEX in Frankfurt because we continually monitor the coming trends, research what our audiences want and then create ways – or find new partners – to fulfill them. This year buyers will both see and experience some truly awe-inspiring new products, people and spaces throughout the show – more than we've ever showcased before,” says Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group. Carina Bauer is reflecting on the exciting experiences and opportunities that this year's innovations will offer to buyers. The most remarkable sensation will be in the Dark Room where participants will taste the extra sensory experience of an educational session in pitch black total darkness. This ‘Learning Lab’ will feature at IMEX as a result of the new IMEX Group partnership with C2 International, the ground-breaking leader in innovative business conferences. As well as the Dark Room, also in Hall 9 will be the G-Tainer, a multimedia encased two-storey stack of meeting rooms which will feature a new ground floor ‘Chat Bar’. This casual space has been designed for people to meet and make new contacts by holding ‘curiosity conversations’ with each other. In the new Live Zone, a number of experiential suppliers will bring a touch of magic to the show, demonstrating the power of how thinking

and acting more creatively can engage attendees in a variety of ways. They range from Mr Piano – a giant, walking piano ideal for team building events and the funky Fotobus to a puppeteer, a caricaturist, musicians and improvisational street theatre. ‘Floating high and catching the eye’ will be Uber Spheres and Thought Bubbles – striking new ways to catch attention and to brand overhead areas. These are supported by warm air jetted from below, so they float totally free – and are completely wireless. The new ZEUS Coworking Campus will not only provide opportunities to check emails and to network but also to try out gadgets and games and to take part in pop-up events including Speed Networking. Another change is the show's continued expansion into Hall 9 (exhibitors are in Hall 8). The Inspiration Hub, the centre and venue for most educational sessions during the three days of the show, moves to a new home in Hall 9. Relocating it here creates more space for workshops, campfires, research pods and hot topic tables – all the different formats and areas in which 180-plus sessions will be presented. Moving into the main exhibition hall (Hall 8), most notable is the new Tech Café close to all the event technology providers. This is not just a café, it will also showcase event technology providers with a presentation

area and space for three new participants. This area will enable exhibitors and IMEX to deliver stand presentations about technology, to show what's new and help buyers appreciate what technology can do for them and how the tech landscape has moved on from last year. Edu Monday, 14 May, continues to grow and provide further innovation and choice for attendees. New events include an Agency Directors Forum, a facilitated forum by invitation only for the directors and senior planners of agencies. Also new is Rising Talent, an afternoon of actionable learning and career development for meeting professionals under 35. Throughout the show, including the educational programme, there will be activities designed to highlight a new IMEX partnership with Live Com Alliance, a European umbrella organisation for national live event associations. Finally, as a way to bring this year's IMEX Talking Point of ‘Legacy’ to life, attendees can visit a Legacy Wall in Hall 9. Sustainably crafted from reused pallets, the wall will display exhibitors’ own legacy stories together with short stories about IMEX CSR and Sustainability projects, including a spotlight on future leaders.






Kerstin Holm

Paul Clarke

The marketing landscape is changing. An increasing amount of corporate marketing budgets now appears to be moving to experience marketing as marketers recognise the power of brand experiences to cut through the digital clutter, engage customers and build stronger more valuable customer relationships. Well-designed brand experiences can enable marketers to achieve new levels of affinity, trust, loyalty and advocacy. But whilst this may be good news for the events and experience marketing sector it's definitely not business as usual. Today's digitally connected consumers are much more demanding, more impatient and have high expectations for events to be more engaging, personalised and participatory. The traditional event agency focus on logistics and production, whilst still important, is just not enough to create the next generation of brand experiences. In response, in November MCI announced that it was launching a new kind of brand experience agency that integrates a range of creative and strategic marketing disciplines. MCI Experience is created to serve as an incubator of new, innovative marketing capabilities to design and deliver more strategic, creative, personalised and memorable marketing campaigns.

“We aspire to help brands realise their marketing objectives and ambitions through meaningful and memorable live, digital and virtual experiences. Our interdisciplinary design thinking strategic approach to brand storytelling is imaginative, immersive and emotive. We partner with our clients to create breakthrough marketing experiences that achieve measurable business results,” says Kim Myhre, Managing Director at MCI Experience based in London. “Since that announcement we have made great progress. We've been busy building our proposition, recruiting great people, launching our website, opening our new London office, getting to know some of our 2,400+ colleagues in the MCI Group, and we have won some exciting new client projects.” Kim Myhre is also keen to talk about the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the business at the moment. “New breakthroughs in experience design and technology have now empowered brands to create much more personalised and more integrated live and online experiences. But in order to take full advantage of these opportunities we are going to have to master some new skills. “Clearly experience marketers are going to have to take a much more

strategic and multi-channel approach to experience design. Brand experience will transcend the boundaries and time and place that we have relied on in the events business. Yes, events are an experience, but they are only one component of the overall brand experience. Thinking about experience design through an ‘event’ lens will limit the potential to create engaging and continuous brand experiences that connect attendees in much more meaningful, memorable and shareable ways. “Understanding how to measure and demonstrate the commercial value of experience marketing will also be critical. Traditional event metrics have often been more useful to event planners than to sales management. As experience marketing continues to evolve as a more mainstream brand marketing investment, experience agencies will need to learn to speak the language of business not logistics. “Another opportunity will be in the appropriate integration of technology with the purpose to enhance not distract from the experience. With so many new ‘experience’ technologies emerging like Event Apps, AI, VR and even Drones there has been a tendency to throw technology at an event experience as a feature rather than an enhancement. Better 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


integrating the best of digital with the best of live experience will be critical. “Finally, recruiting and retaining talent with the diverse range of skills and experience required to support the interdisciplinary nature of brand experiences will be a huge challenge and also an amazing opportunity. As the experience marketing discipline grows, so will the number of types of

event logistics but will instead look to all relevant touch points both live and online to create client success and this will require an agency with an increasingly diverse range of skills. “The convergence of emerging technologies, more demanding digital native consumers, and a growing and increasingly complex choice of content and media options means we will

“MCI announced that it was launching a new kind of brand experience agency” competitors vying for a piece of the brand experience pie, talent will be a critical competitive requirement and differentiator. “The talent that we've been able to bring together in the six months since we officially launched has been remarkable, and the work that we're producing is great. We have three agency principles, the business needs to be financially successful, we want to do great work, work that we're enormously proud of and that our clients value, and lastly it should be fun and personally rewarding. Because it's a fun business, and it should be. And, it's exciting to be a driving force of innovation and transformation in the brand experience business.” Kim Myhre also delves into the longer perspective and how this market will develop in the next five to ten years. “As demand for brand experiences grow, brands will require more from their agency than ever before. Experience marketing agencies will need to recognise that there is more to delivering a brand experience than MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 21 2018

need to rethink our more traditional views of brand experience.” “First, the tables have turned. Consumers are now in control of what marketing experiences they will accept and engage with. They have moved from passive observers to active participants and their attention is at a premium. We may be able to get them to attend an experience, but for them to put down their device and actually participate in the experience means that we will need to make sure that the experience is relevant, personalised and delivering real value. Gone are the days when attendees will sit through irrelevant, boring, uninspiring experiences that are designed around the brand's needs not theirs. This will require experience marketers to have an in-depth and empathetic understating of their target audience's needs, preferences and desired outcomes and applying this insight to experience design. “One of the things that is becoming increasingly important, particularly to Millennials, is the clear articulation of brand purpose. This

was a very important theme of last year's IMEX event. Many of the world's most respected brands are becoming active at promoting how they are helping to make the world a better place. The trend is also influencing how brands are incorporating these values into the design of their event experiences. “One of the most important feature of future brand experiences is the trend towards the multi-sensory. One of the latest ways to stand out from the visual and auditory barrage that dominates most marketing is the use of multi-sensory experiences that use techniques like haptic and scent. Haptic for example, explores the possibilities of communications through the art and science of touch. While scent marketing techniques leveraging smell can be transformative to the live experience. Scent marketing has been used frequently in retail environments to evoke emotions and is being applied in the experience marketing world to bring branded environments to life. “Finally, brand marketers are beginning to realise that live experiences are an amazing source of sharable social content. Increasingly live experiences will be designed to reach both the audience that is actually physically present as well as the potentially much larger audience that's not even there. “The changing nature of brand experience will reach well beyond what we today think of as an event and will require a new approach to design and delivery. And this is a good thing.”



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AR/VR | 77

The American baseball player and Yankees legend Yogi Berra had a very rare condition called malapropism. A person with malapropism makes sentences that sound good but makes no sense. For example, he said that “you can observe a lot by just watching”, “that you should go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours” and that “if you come to a fork in the road – take it.” TEXT

Johan Hagegård And who knew that later on it would make sense. At least some of them. The future isn't, for example, at all what it used to be. A couple of years ago the future consisted of more and more advanced mobile devices. Better screens, bendable screens, watches and wearables. The future was also orchestrated by the big corporations dominating the market, setting the rules. Corporations buying up land far up in the north to build megacities of data centers handling all the world's information in one or two single spots. All of it relying on governments and banks keeping the players within the field.


Sara Appelgren The revenge of the nerds The heroes

of our time are sure enough the ‘nerds.’ Naturally we don't call ourselves that, but the elite and the ruling class calls us that. And sure. I am proud to be a nerd. Because that puts me in the same cluster as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Vitalik Buterin and Gordon Moore. The last gentleman, Gordon, was a son of the county sheriff in Pescadero, California. He grew up in the 40s and 50s – the age of the semiconductors. When asked by the Electronics Magazine to make a prediction of the future he formulated the well-known Moore's Law – stating 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL

78 | AR/VR

“The future isn't, for example, at all what it used to be”

the number of components in a dense integrated circuit would double every year. In the 70s he revised the forecast to every two years. And for sure, he was one of the main reasons the predictions still hold as he founded Intel Corporation. To be able to understand why the future isn't what it used to be, we have to understand Moore's law. Nowadays, the law more or less states that technology itself will double over the next two years. The law is an exponential curve. It has been ‘slow’ the last couple of decades, but as years go by it gets steeper and steeper. Right now, we have an almost vertical curve, meaning giant leaps every year. Enter the dragon As Bill and (late)

Steve, Jeff and Jack storm ahead building the worlds massive corporations there is also an anti-movement. A movement trying to take back the power. To take back the control of our assets. The anarchists of the 2010s are a lot different than the traditional ones with mohawks, leather jackets and Dr. Martens listening to punk music. The anarchists of today pack a lot of power. Enter Satoshi Nakamoto. The father of Bitcoin, the founder of blockchain and the advocate of power


to the people of the twenty first century. The blockchain is too advanced to explain in an article like this, but the implications is far easier. Blockchain is a technology that can keep records completely safe from hacking. The records are open for anyone to read, but still can't be hacked. Therefore, it is ideal to use for keeping a ledger over transactions for example and thus the crypto currency is born. When it is completely safe and unhackable there is no need for a bank or government to guarantee your money's safety. Bye bye banks. Hello crypto currency. The other day someone moved 100 million dollars worth of crypto currency from one account to another. The transaction took two minutes and had a fee of 50 cents. Compete with that banks! A giant leap for mankind The fourth

technology leap is now here. The first was the pc, the second was internet, the third the mobile phone and now we are just entering the fourth – immersive technologies or simply AR/ VR. What is the difference you might ask? Well – place your palms over your eyes so they completely cover them and prevent you from seeing the real world. Say ‘VR.’ Now open your

hands to see the world and say ‘AR.’ Now you know the difference. As big of an influencer of the future that Satoshi Nakamoto was, Mark Zuckerberg was too when buying the virtual reality startup Occulus. The whole world went bananas. That one event put VR on everybody's lips. It forced all major players to quickly launch, to have the first mover advantage. But VR wasn't enough to drive value. We all craved more. More interaction. More flexibility. More freedom. We all craved that one gram of augmented reality. The power to enhance our everyday life. The power to add digital content to our analogue life. Once again, our favorite nerd Bill stepped up to the challenge introducing the world's first augmented reality headset Holo Lens. The race is on. Bill, Mark and Steve's successors are now combating each other trying to gain ground. Bill does what he always does – giving the technology away to others and Mark and Steve's successors keep them securely hidden. I remember the good old days. Dialing up my internet provider on my 28.8 modem listening to the typical sounds of the computers talking to each other. It is 1994 and the graphical interface of the internet, called

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AR/VR | 81

“Nowadays, the law more or less states that technology itself will double over the next two years”

the world wide web, is emerging. I remember the sensation when the <img> tag was introduced to HTML. The tag made it possible to insert images into the web pages. Wow! And soon the big corporations launched their web pages and we had hundreds of pages talking about corporate bullshit. We do this. We do that. Give us your money! That was fun?! The first month. So, we went back to what we used our computers for – chatting in IRC-channels. The visionaries saw this and started talking about building communities – connecting people all over the world. A place we all could hang out, share, talk, inspire and influence. It took some ten more years before this vision really broke surface, when Mark and his (twin?) buddies started The Facebook at their university. No one can be told what a metaverse is – you have to see it for yourself. And now we are there again. AR/ VR is produced by the big companies ranting about the same old thing. We do this. We do that. The difference today is that we have 20 more years of Moore's law. The curve is steeper, giving us better technology in half the time. We don't have to wait ten

years for a community in AR, it is soon here – and it is called a Metaverse. The metaverse is essential when it comes to connecting people in alternate realities. A metaverse is a new universe, a new reality where we all can co-exist. In AR it is an overlay on top of the real world. A kind of skin on top of everything. You decide how this skin would appear. What it looks like. What it sounds like. And whom should access it. In VR it is a complete digital world enjoyed in the comfort of your sofa. Regulators! Mount up! A new and

better world is ideal on paper, but how would it work in practice. The bad part about this new world, the metaverse, is that is inhabited by real human beings, with our flaws. And history shows us that we, behind the protection of our desks, tend to bend the laws, ethics and values. And of course, this will happen in the metaverse. Maybe more in VR, where you could be completely anonymous, than in AR where you actually meet other people. We need regulation. But by whom? A metaverse is not bound to borders and governments. What if we had a technology that could guarantee the safety of the

inhabitants? That is fully democratised. Fully decentralised. Completely detached from the governments. It sounds an awful lot like blockchain technology, doesn't it? Yogi also said that “if you don't know where you are going, you might wind up somewhere else.” Fortunately, I know where we are going. And “where we're going we don't need roads!” Johan Hagegård is a visionary speaker, futurist and entrepreneur in the fields of blockchain and augmented reality. His passion lies in building the world's first metaverse laying the grounds for all interactions in augmented reality – My Verse.


Barcelona, Spain 27-29 novemBer 2018

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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 photo

Sara Appelgren

Habits TO BUILD YOUR EMPIRE I'm getting a lot of people coming to my events, driven to do gargantuan things in the world. Many want to build business empires. A lot want to scale creative empires. And quite a number are obsessed with building humanitarian empires. I've been in the productive pocket these past weeks, in seclusion finishing my new book The 5 AM Club so I've had time to reflect on some of the best protocols I run to get massive projects done. I'll share seven of them below.


Get Away From Your World

You can't do the finest work of your career staying in your city. I've found I get big things done when I'm on airplanes or in hotel rooms. It's a total needle-mover to book a fantastic room in a place you adore and then put the “do not disturb” on the phone and door for a week. Yes, take it off so your room gets cleaned ;) And put your devices in a plastic bag with a label on it that says “My Masterpiece is more important than my email!” Just think about it: in a hotel room, no one can distract you, you can order room service when you

need to, sleep when you need to, you can work out when you need to work out and you can isolate yourself so that Transient Hypofrontality (the neurobiological state of genius that we all have but so few know how to access) just shows up; you can't miss Personal Mastery Academy if what I'm writing is speaking to you deeply. Some people say “but a great room costs too much”. I think of what I've learned from Warren Buffett: Focus on value versus cost. If you do work that wows a whole industry and makes you a legend in your field, was the investment returned 1,000 times over? You can't become a history-maker stuck in tiny thinking. You just can't.


Fight to Be Dark

I know you're important. I know you're a busy producer. I get that people need your attention and your decisions. Go to war. Fight to go dark and be completely unavailable. Distractions are costing you your genius. The business won't burn down, and your team will figure it out. You doing masterful work is all that matters here. Trust me on this. Be nearly totally unavailable. Just

watch what ideas start downloading and just see the quality of your output.


Become a Spartan

Don't fill your room with shiny toys. Have the goodies in the mini-bar taken out before you arrive. Give the magazines and newspapers and welcome basket to housekeeping with a radiant smile and a big tip. You're like a Spartan soldier now. Leave as little in your personal monastery that the world calls a hotel room as possible. You're Edison and this is now your Menlo Park. The place where you breed the ideas and execute on the concepts, so you raise the entire world. Keep it pure. Keep it lean.


Find a Rhythm

As I finished The 5 AM Club, I found a profoundly awesome daily pattern in a small town in Europe that worked beautifully for me. I'd rise, have coffee and then write. No food. Just writing. After three good hours, I run along the lake and watch the snow-capped mountains. Then I do some drills in



“Fight to go dark and be completely unavailable – distractions are costing you your genius”

the gym. Then, after a light meal, I go back to the craft. After another few hours, I'll do a 60-minute walk to decompress. Evenings are reserved for a lovely meal with loved ones. I do this almost every day. All I care about is sharing what works for me, so it works for you. And this all works. Period.


Seek Inspiration

When I need to complete a project of primary importance, I'm around nature a lot. Today, after seven days at the table, I closed my iPad Pro (a shiny toy worth having) and took the day off. I shot pictures of Spring flowers, basked in the sun, ate lunch outside at a very cool Bohemian shack in the edgy part of town and found a women's art exhibition in a hidden warehouse. My game's refueled. I'll be back at the writing, re-created, tomorrow.


Resist the Saboteur

Here's the thing about doing your greatest work: as you get closer to what you're truly capable of producing, your ego will subconsciously seduce you to stop making.


You'll feel like Skyping the office or checking your Instagram feed or taking a nap. Don't let your lower self cause you to betray the gifts embedded in you. Your loved ones need you to fly. And our world will be a whole lot better off when the brilliance of your light shines.


Reward Your Wins

In over 25 years as a Creative, I've hardly watched television. I haven't known the hip shows nor watched the hot programmes. It's been mostly family, fitness, my personal development and my craft. Very minimalist. Highly unorthodox. You have a different way of conducting your life? Beautiful. This is how I've lived mine. I don't really do it for the fame or the money. I do it because I need to. Because my heart makes me do it. Because it's what I've signed up for. Because I know no other way. Hope you feel the passion which I feel as I write this. You are built to do epic work. You are constructed to make a gorgeous impact. Step up. Show up. Make history.

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Atti Soenarso

Nic Lehoux

Iceland is a country of fairy tales, breathtaking scenery, world famous music, impressive food and they are also number one in the world in organising international meetings – if we count meetings per capita. Iceland is number 55 in the world according ICCA statistics, with 40 international meetings – so that gives them one meeting per 8,500 inhabitants. 37 of the 40 meetings were held in Reykjavík. Reykjavík was named the Best MICE Destination in Europe 2017 by Business Destinations Magazine. The Business Destinations Travel Awards, now in its sixth year, rewards businesses in a variety of categories for their exceptional contribution and excellence in services in the world of business and travel. “It has been our goal since 2012 when Meet in Reykjavík was founded to become one of the leading meetings and event destinations in Europe,” says Thorsteinn Örn Gudmundsson, Managing Director of Meet in Reykjavík, Reykjavík Convention Bureau. Reykjavík has a high-tech infrastructure, security, short and frequent access by air from over 80 cities across Europe and North America. All this combined make Reykjavík one of the top destinations for international conferences worldwide.

In the beginning of April an agreement was signed between Meet in Reykjavík and the University of Iceland (HÍ), Reykjavík University (HR) and the Iceland University of the Arts (LHÍ). The object of the agreement is to increase the number of international academic meetings and conferences held by universities in Iceland. The rectors of the three universities signed the agreement together with Thorsteinn Örn Gunnarsson, the Managing Director of Meet in Reykjavík and Dagur B Eggertsson, the Mayor of Reykjavík. It means that Meet in Reykjavík will assist the staff of the universities and their collaborators in preparations, information collection and contract preparations for international meetings and conferences, involving the universities in some respect. In addition, the convention bureau will provide information and hold presentations on the meeting and conference facilities of the universities for international associations and organisers of meetings and conferences. Thorsteinn Örn Gudmundsson says that the agreement is an important step in strengthening Reykjavík as an international conference destination. “We have had good relations with the universities in recent years

and are interested in expanding on our collaboration and making greater efforts to seek suitable projects for the destination and the university community here in Iceland.” Dagur B Eggertsson, the Mayor, says that a dynamic meeting and conference service supports the goals of the city to provide a diverse and vibrant trade sector. “We wish to develop the city as a higher education city and as a knowledge-based community. An environment where enterprises are given excellent opportunities to grow and prosper. One can say, therefore, that many objectives coalesce in the agreement that has now been signed.” Discussions following the signing of the agreement revealed that Iceland has been focusing on formulating policies on issues pertaining to equal rights, geothermal energy and the Arctic region. This, for example, has resulted in increased interest in holding meetings and conferences on these matters in Iceland. The country is fully able to play an important part in a range of other issues and the agreement is a step toward such a role. Academic conferences are a significant way to attract attention to the research work carried out by the universities, to strengthen their reputation and to form relationships with overseas academics. In 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


addition, academic conferences play an important part in determining the order in which universities are placed in international comparison lists. The International Geothermal Association (IGA) has signed a contract with the three leading geothermal energy companies in Iceland: HS Orka, Landsvirkjun and Reykjavík Energy (OR). The agreement secures

sustainability among key destinations for conferences and meetings. The number of cities evaluated increases each year. This year, there were 38 cities from five continents. Reykjavík shared third place on the list with Copenhagen, as it did last year. The objective of the index, the only one of its kind in the world, is to show potential customers the impor-

“We wish to develop the city as a higher education city and as a knowledgebased community” financial support for the World Geothermal Congress (WGC) in Reykjavík in 2020, which will be held in April that year in Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre. The Iceland Geothermal Cluster will host the Congress in 2020. The WGC is held every five years and will finally come to Reykjavík. Iceland has, for the past decades, been a strong example of how renewable energy can power a modern economy, and the Icelandic energy companies have played a vital role in the technological development of geothermal – concerning power generation, district heating, and other direct usages. About 3,500 delegates are expected to come to Iceland for the congress and have the opportunity to see firsthand in some field trips how Iceland has become a leader in geothermal utilisation. Hopefully, the visit will help other countries take the next step towards implementing sustainable energy solutions based on their geothermal resources. The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS) 2017 measures MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 21 2018

tance of sustainability at conferences and meetings held at the respective cities. The index explores the environmental policy of the cities themselves, as well as the environmental initiatives of companies that provide conference and meeting services. Reykjavík has been moving up the list year by year since 2013 and now fulfills 82 per cent of the set targets for a sustainable conference city. Hildur Björg Bæringsdottir, director of Research and Lead Generation at Meet in Reykjavík, talks about the challenges the convention bureau must overcome to perform even better in the ICCA statistics. “The challenge has two sides of the coin. On one hand it is data collection and getting the information about what conferences are being hosted in Iceland. On the other hand, the challenge is convincing the right people to show their interest in offering to host the meeting in their area of expertise. We have an ambassador programme and that helps with spreading the word about our service to local academics and practitioners that are involved

in international associations. With Nordic meetings, most of them have a rotation pattern including Iceland, so that every five years or every ten years the conference is in Iceland, and usually Reykjavík. With European and international meetings, the challenge is to convince the “few“ locals that work within a specific field (and usually host Nordic meetings) to also take on applying to host for the international meeting. According to an annual survey among Meet in Reykjavík associated partners, there were 218 meetings and 353 incentives (corporate events) in 2017.” Hildur Björg Bæringsdottir also discusses how she expects the new agreement with universities will change the number of meetings in Reykjavík in the coming five to ten years. “The agreement gives us (Meet in Reykjavík) better access to the universities' faculty. We will be available to them on their turf with regular meetings, presentations, and interviews. It allows us to present to key personnel the benefits of hosting an international meeting, conference or event and we hope that by explaining how Meet in Reykjavík and our associated partners can assist them if they want to pursue such opportunities, it will encourage them to do so. “Collaboration is key in winning international association meetings. We have learned that in our work with bidding for conferences. We expect that we will have more local champions in our ambassador programme and together we will bid to host more meetings in the fields where Iceland has an advantage, e.g. gender equality, geothermal energy, genetic research, matters of the arctic region, to name a few.”

launch launch







Tomas Dalström PHOTOS

Atti Soenarso





Cecilia Björkén-Nyberg is Senior Lecturer in English, specialising in Literature, at Halmstad University, but is presently working at Malmö University. Her research field is the convergence point of literature, sound and music, the subject of her novel The Player Piano and the Edwardian Novel (Routledge 2015). Cecilia Björkén-Nyberg is interested in the difference between reading printed books and listening to audiobooks. Do you listen to audiobooks? What are the positives and negatives compared to reading printed text? Is there a difference between fiction and non-fiction? Futurists believe that audio services can be the most revolutionary thing to have happened in the media industry. What will this entail? Do we say reading or listening to an audiobook?

“Most say they're reading a book, but as a researcher I take my starting point in the music and sound studies, so I willingly say listening. One

explanation for saying ‘I've read a book’ could be cultural status. The difference between entertainment and art; one shouldn't have to apologise. But there are those who say that this is all changing.” What difference does it make to me whether I read or listen to a text?

“One difference is that it's easier to lose your way in an audiobook. You also miss out on how words are spelt. Such details become more diffuse. One thing often felt by audio listeners is that they don't ‘own’ the experience in the same way as when reading, 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“I truly believe that audiobooks could entice young people to read more”

despite the research saying the opposite. The biggest benefit as a listener is the holistic experience. Many I've spoken to say that when they listen, the experience leaves a feeling that could last for some time. “Research shows that if you listen in a particular place that you return to, the narrative and feeling are resurrected, they become personified. This is something I can really relate to. Certain books that I listen to in the garden have a strong connection with soil and everything organic. I've heard a lot of people say this, especially in therapeutic contexts. If you listen through loudspeakers instead of ear pods, it becomes almost tactile. It feels as perceptible as touch, as though the voice is caressing your skin like a soft breeze. It's fascinating how the senses interplay.” Aren't the memories in some way more fleeting when we listen?

“That's correct. Reading a printed text will give you a more detailed account. You remember details, but listening gives you an emotional, holistic perspective. If you take reading comprehension in the traditional sense, like we measure it in schools, for example, then the printed book gives us the advantage of remembering certain parameters. At the same MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 21 2018

time, the emotional part is very important in helping us to understand a text. If you don't understand how somebody feels, then you've missed something.” Has anything ever surprised you in your own or in somebody else's research?

“If anything, the persistence of the myth that we are less attentive when listening. There is research that shows there is no great difference. This also applies to something known as Phenomenal Consciousness. For example, when you're sitting on a bus listening to a book, it's not necessarily annoying to hear people's voices around you, especially not if the theme of the book and your surroundings interplay with each other. It can be enriching.” Is it easier to identify with something written from a first person perspective?

“When you read a first person narrative you are usually closer to the actual experience compared to a third person narrative. But despite the loss of intimacy, you can still go into some characters and see it from their perspective. We can experience things from the perspectives of many people in this way. Virginia Woolf used this technique. She seemed to enter a

person's mind and follow all their thoughts, and she shifted between different people without warning. “I am currently looking at research that shows that reading a book where the perspective is constantly changing is a much more cognitively demanding process compared to a first person narrative, and I am investigating how this relates to listening to literature. “For example, if you're listening to Virginia Woolf and shifting between the various streams of consciousness, the narrator will change their tone to let you know which character you are going in or out of. I think this makes the story much more intricate. They will also use dialects, which are a great help in understanding the various hierarchical roles and positions in the story. When reading with your own inner voice there is a tendency to miss this aspect.” Everything you learn, read and experience in a day is stored in a temporary memory. During REM sleep, the memories that are important to you are transferred to a long-term memory. New memories from Virginia Woolf's book are stored together with the memories that are already programmed there. To each memory is added an emotion, and the stronger



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“The persistence of the myth that we are less attentive when listening”

it is the more important it is to us. So, emotions are an important part of remembering something.

“The interesting thing about Virginia Woolf and modernist prose is that it urges us to enter somebody's consciousness because that's where interesting things take place. It's as though the circle ends when you listen, and it generates the same process for the listener as for the person writing. Absorbing her prose ought to be very difficult actually because of the many levels in the text. Research into Theory of Mind has shown that the more complex the prose the more difficult it is to remember it without looking at the text. A narrator could facilitate that process, but it requires an exceptionally skilled narrator. “We think in mental images when both reading and listening. A good example of this is the bestseller The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. The book is about a woman who, due to personal problems, becomes addicted to alcohol and we follow her in her daily life. Readers who discussed the audio version in a blog describe it as perilously enjoyable when she pours herself a gin and tonic and takes the first gulp. The voice describes it so well. I can't imagine it being the same experience

when reading the printed version. The narrator communicates that moment with their voice in a fantastic way. It is very emotive. It shows the emotional potential of the voice – for better or for worse.” Anne Mangen, professor at the Reading Centre, University of Stavanger, writes that those who read a novel on paper find it easier to reproduce the chronological order compared to those who read it in an e-book. Does this also apply to listening to an audiobook?

“Yes, it does. This is in line with what I said earlier about a holistic perspective. In a text it is easier to remember the order in which the plot plays out.” How good is reading comprehension when comparing fiction with non-fiction?

“From a learning perspective, the best way is to read the printed text while listening to the audio version. This gives the optimum reading comprehension. This is especially important for people with a functional impairment such as dyslexia. They find it difficult to only read or only listen. Being able to hear the prosody, or rhythm, is vital for them. It could affect their own speech because when

they hear a sound image pronounced it fastens easier.” Read to learn. Is there any difference?

“That somewhat depends on what you're learning. I consider the experience to be an important part, especially in today's society where young people are used to experiencing things. I truly believe that audiobooks could entice young people to read more and enter a fictional world where they become receptive to the classics and an increased cultural capital. You utilise their culture: YouTube, music, computer games, etcetera. The audiobook slots in nicely here I'd say. It's about narrative in general. “But the printed book is better for improving reading speed.” But what if I'm studying history or chemistry?

“Chemistry wouldn't work as an audiobook …” Why is that?

“Because chemistry consists of visual elements like tables and illustrations that facilitate learning. But when it comes to bringing history to life you can use a voice and sound effects to create a virtual reality. If you have to learn dates and other facts, then a printed book is better.”



“The biggest benefit as a listener is the holistic experience”

Is natural science at all better on paper?

“Yes, I'd say so, especially if it's factual knowledge.” Is there any difference between reading speed generally between reading from paper and listening?

“Yes, reading speed is slower for audiobooks. When we read text, we tend to skip words and meanings, something we're not always aware of, and it irritates a lot of people that they can't do that when listening to audiobooks. I have students who say that were forced to listen for twelve hours. You have to put it in relation to the advantage of being ‘forced’ to listen to parts that you can't skip.”

How are we affected by listening to a message that somebody has written?

“When something is read out loud the voice is vitally important in how we receive the message. Different voices can have an enormously different effect on us. Do we need one voice for a negative message and one for a positive, for example? And what would be the effect of the same voice for all messages?” If I were to write something for somebody to listen to, should I think differently?

“These days people press ‘Send’ without even considering how MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 21 2018

they've expressed themselves. If their messages were to be read out loud it would be pretty shocking. How should we handle messages that are corny, threatening or patronising? What happens to us? According to research, teachers should be careful when using recorded audio files with a lot of negative feedback to students.” Amy Webb, futurist and expert in technology changes, says that audio services could be one of the most revolutionary things to have ever happened in the media industry. What does that mean?

“That's a very interesting and complex question. I think we'll become more attentive to the various voice shifts. We'll put much greater demands on how a voice sounds and perhaps become better listeners generally.” Today's speech synthesisers would need improving in that case …

“Yes, we can hear straight away when there's a person behind the voice. A robot voice has much less pitch variation. The small details are what we react to. Speech synthesisers pronounce names, for example, according to strange pronunciation rules and we react, just as we react when somebody uses the wrong

stress or mispronounces something. And many people dislike the lack of human contact. People dependent on speech synthesisers due to a disability such as a visual impairment, for example, have asked me ‘Are we supposed to be content with this’ on hearing the same message being read by an actor. “When listening to audiobooks we notice phrasing or breaks that we otherwise wouldn't have considered. This happens spontaneously during the reading and nothing you can programme in. It's the spontaneous things that we appreciate. It's the same when performing music. It's not just playing according to notes, but the small things like phrasing that separates a great musician from an average one.” It must be more difficult to get emotionally attached to a synthesiser?

“It's very difficult to get emotionally attached to a synthesiser. On the other hand, we can form a relationship with a human voice in a television series, we are part of that person's life without knowing them. People who live alone can experience great companionship with a voice, they know it's always there. You can switch it on when you like and listen to it. It becomes a companion. Not

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“These days people press ‘Send’ without even considering how they've expressed themselves”

being able to talk to the voice is I think of less significance. Just having a human voice that speaks and which I can relate to can be quite liberating.” I interviewed Anders Sigrell, professor of rhetoric at Lund University. He said we're not taught to listen.

“There's some truth in that. Many people today only talk and never listen. I believe that audiobooks can train us to listen – and stay listening despite maybe thinking we have something else to do. A good intrigue in a crime novel could make us listen, and a good narrator of a less eventful story could help us to hear something else behind the words.”

I've wondered why I've never fallen for audiobooks. Grandad always said ‘patience, my son’. I think I give up because I'm not allowed to do it at my own pace.

“We don't have control that's for sure, but we have to let others narrate to us at their pace. That's the very

essence of what I'm dealing with. The meeting with the other voice through literature and differences.” Some people like to do things while they're listening; cleaning, working out …

“Yes, that's quite common. Maybe more so among the younger generation.”

Do you have any advice for audiobook beginners?

“Create a special listening place, with dimmed lighting perhaps. That's just as important as when watching a film. The ritual. I make listening an activity. I decide to listen for two hours without interruption, and when the two hours are up, so is the activity. Then it's a different thing entirely. You can of course make food at the same time, many find that of benefit, but if you want the same feeling as at a cinema then you have to take your time.”

The voice. Why does the voice fascinate you so much?

“There are many reasons, one is that I find the transient nature of the voice to be magical. There is only a brief moment – if we're not recording the voice that is. We first got that opportunity 140 years ago when Thomas Edison invented the phonograph to create an album, like a photo album but to immortalise the voices of the dead.”

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 and blogs about the brain and communication at photo

Sara Appelgren 2018 No. 21 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


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

Sara Appelgren

Why Is It Taken for Granted THAT I'M THE BOSS? I have been the Publisher of Meetings International since the launch of the magazine in 2003. Before that, 1989–2001, I was Editor in Chief of the Swedish Konferensvärlden (The Conference World) magazine. I have been working in the meetings and events industry since 1984 so I have plenty of experience. But still, 15 years after the launch of Meetings International, almost everybody, or at least too many, believe I am the Editor in Chief of the magazine. I'm not. The legally responsible Editor in Chief is Mrs Atti Soenarso, who also happens to be my wife. Why is it that I'm so often referred to as Editor in Chief of the magazine? I write a column for each edition that is placed right at the back of the magazine. A text that is edited by, guess who? Exactly, Mrs Atti Soenarso. Of course, there are plenty of people who know that Atti is the Editor in Chief and who also understand how a magazine is put together. But oddly enough, they still turn to me and all too often I receive mail addressed to Editor in Chief Roger Kellerman. Are we still so stuck in our gender rut? Why is it taken for granted that I'm the boss of Atti, the woman? Not unexpectedly, we are treated in much the same way during


a trade show: I'm always the first they ask because I'm a man. This is why initiatives like “She Means Business” at IMEX Frankfurt are so important. Norwegian Petter Stordalen was first out of the blocks when he changed the Scandinavian hotel industry by employing an equal number of women and men hotel managers in his Nordic Choice Hotels Group. What happened to the rest of the Scandinavian hotel industry? They were simply forced to follow suit because any employer would look a fool to think that half of humanity in the shape of women were not as capable of running a hotel operation as proficiently as the other half of humanity. Do I see any light at the end of the tunnel with regard to these issues? Of course, I do. “She Means Business is” one open window. In this issue we write about the Women Deliver foundation, who are making us more aware of the potential for half of humanity to create a better, if not much better, world. Another example is the Women Establishment in Dubai, and other exciting development projects in the Arab world that are creating hope for the whole of humanity.

Because it's obvious to men who have both a heart and a brain: Without half of humanity we'll never create a better world. This is, despite everything, what most people want. We're giving more space to women in our magazine because they contribute to a broader, deeper and more diverse development also in the meetings and events industry. Petter Stordalen was first and more people are coming to the same conclusion: Women Deliver.

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Presenting innovations. In the most representing way

Profile for Meetings International

Meetings International #21, May 2018 (English)  

Meetings International #21, May 2018 (English)  

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