Meetings No 28
The Metaverse: A Digital Reality
Atti Soenarso ponders the emergence of ‘metapresence.’
Cover Story
Carina Bauer
The IMEX Group will enter 2030 much more sustainable and regenerative.
Psychological Meetings
Tears in the Fabric: About Popular Culture and Morality
Hans Gordon on one’s liberties ending only where someone else’s liberties begin.
Hybrid+: A New Approach to Meeting Experiences
The project aims to build a strong position in hybrid experiences.
White Paper
The Future Role and Purpose of Convention Bureaux
Aims to shape a future vision for national CBs globally, including a visionary roadmap.
New Arena in Copenhagen for 7,000 Seated Guests
Providing new opportunities to host global events.
The Untact Mode
Korean Cases: Utilising Meeting Technology
The marriage between Korea’s ICT technology and meeting business appears in various forms.
Untact services
Untact: South Korea’s Plan for a Contact-Free Society
There will be an investment in technologies that enable untact services, such as robotics, drones and high-speed internet.
Green Ideas
Over the past 75 years, a new environmental canon has emerged.
Gothenburg Wins International Award for Sustainability Work
Global Destination Sustainability Movement winner for the fifth time in a row.
Three Trends Bound to Stay Beyond the Pandemic
Opinion: Three interesting trends that we need to capitalise on.
Glasgow’s Go Greener Toolkit Implements More Sustainable Practices
Aligning conference planning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Structural Change
Berlin Questions: Africa as the Laboratory of the Future
Best-selling novelist Lesley Lokko on architecture, ‘race’ and culture.
Regaining the Confidence of Associa­tions Key Elements Destinations Cannot Afford to Miss
Opinion: Three key criteria for seducing organisations.
New Business Unit Strengthens Business Events in Bogota
Consolidates investment and events attraction strategy in a single entity.
Why I Write
The titular George Orwell essay makes Robin Sharma examine his own motivations.
Meeting Design
Humanity’s Problem Is a Meeting Problem
Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology.
Villa Copenhagen: A New Hub for Business Events
Honouring the ethos of charming old Europe expressed in Danish architectural heritage.
Regenerative Revolution
Hannuwa: A New Paradigm for Event Management
Supporting the business events industry on a transformative journey.
I Have a Feeling We’re Not in Kansas Anymore
Roger Kellerman on facing a world where old rules no longer apply.
next-gen platform
mci group
opens a creative technology studio in Brazil.
23,000 participants
Eighteen International Conferences
Selected Seoul to be the Destination.
over 300 programmes
Helsingborg, southern Sweden
invites the world to a 35-day innovation fest with H22 City Expo.
hotel news
Scandic to open
climate-neutral hotel in Sundsvall, Sweden, in 2024.
airline news
China blocks some flights from the U.S. as Covid precautions rise
United canceled flights from San Francisco to Shanghai on six days in late January.
could be 8,000 delegates
The World’s Largest Congress on Allergy
Heads to Prague, Czech Republic.
hotel news
Germany’s first Radisson Collection hotel
opens in the heart of Berlin.
business & meetings
Beijing North Star Convention and Exhibition
and GainingEdge Enter into Strategic Partnership.
flight industry
New “boarding tax” in Belgium
to make tickets up to 10 euros more expensive.
new job
Destinations International
Announces Director of European Engagement.
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Gothenburg Wins International Award for Sustainability Work

At the ICCA Congress in Paris, Gothenburg was awarded the first prize from the Global Destination Sustainability Movement for the fifth year in a row. It would probably have been for the sixth year in a row, but there was no award ceremony in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“Gothenburg is not a global metropolis. It is not even a capital city. Even so, we are a Swedish destination that makes an impact on big issues,” says Annika Hallman, Director of Gothenburg Convention Bureau.

“We know that investing in sustainability is wise and aim to be a strong force for positive change. However, we want nothing more than to be challenged. We want other destinations to succeed, and we share our best practices and knowledge freely.”

The city has a holistic perspective for the urban environment with a policy and programmes concerning its design. The subject of accessibility is central, and there is broad cooperation between administrations and companies.

Another vital ingredient for success is meeting legacy incorporated in the Gothenburg Strategic Plan for Meetings. Gothenburg’s approach to sustainability has gained international recognition.

Gothenburg is now a five-year consecutive leader in the Global Destination Sustainability Index (2016–2019, 2021) and was the European Capital of Smart Tourism in 2020. It is also named the world’s Best Sustainable City Stay 2021 by Lonely Planet.

Gothenburg is one of the most progressive cities worldwide when it comes to addressing climate and environmental issues. Gothenburg issued green bonds to accelerate investments in climate-oriented solutions, including waste management to renewable energy, as the first city in the world. It has resulted in structures beneficial to everyone.

The city keeps pushing for change and has set out to become fossil-independent by 2030. The local meetings industry is a pioneer in ecological sustainability, inclusion and accessibility, and sees sustainability as part of their DNA.

Eco-certified suppliers, venues run on renewables, the environmental diploma system, and the proximity in the city are crucial elements in achieving ecological sustainability. Gothenburg has a low emission zone in place, and the airport is certified to the highest level of the Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme.

The Win Win Gothenburg Sustainability Award, founded by the city, is an international prize awarded to a person or organisation for outstanding contributions towards a more sustainable future.

By awarding this international prize, the city gets to celebrate success and learn from the best.

Former winners are, for example, Kofi Annan, UN secretary, and the intergovernmental body IPBES Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

In Gothenburg, world-class sustainable solutions are used, and large-scale events are made sustainable and accessible with extensive experience.

The fact that Gothenburg has made sustainable a standard makes it easy to organise events and to visit. The city strives to minimise any negative impact on people and the environment, and the city serves as a testbed for sustainable innovations and creative solutions.

“We aim to make a positive contribution to society, stakeholders, and the local economy; and to create lasting positive effects locally and regionally,” says Annika Hallman.

Authorities, academia and industry work together in the Gothenburg Way to Legacy programme, which stems from the Gothenburg Strategic Plan for Meetings developed in broad stakeholder collaboration 2018.

Events like European Championships, Way Out West and the Gothenburg Culture Festival are living-lab platforms showing how to develop a sustainable meetings and events destination where inclusion and accessibility are key features.

All leading venues are eco-certified, and almost 100 per cent of the hotel rooms hold an official eco-certification making Gothenburg one of the greenest hotel cities in the world. Likewise, the Opera House, Concert Hall and the amusement park are eco-certified, and restaurants have easy access to local and organic produce.

International exchange and cultural diversity have always been a part of the Gothenburg DNA. Significant aspects are social sustainability and inclusion, and the city government has established an ambitious programme to fight segregation and close inequality gaps.

Team Gothenburg is a project to engage young adults representing all districts in city events to help break down prejudices relating to gender, ethnicity, background, etcetera.

The city has received the European Access City Award for the strategic and structured work towards a city accessible for all. Sweden’s first municipal LGBT advisory board was established in Gothenburg in 2013, and hosting Euro Pride in 2018 was also an acknowledgement of their efforts.

Sweden leads the Sustainable Competitiveness Index and the Good Country Index. Also, Sweden holds top positions in Global Gender Gap Report and Corruption Perceptions Index.

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