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Copenhagen Legacy Lab takes home Global Destination Sustainability Movement’s Innovation Award 2021

Today, October 26, Copenhagen Legacy Lab by Wonderful Copenhagen CVB was revealed as the winner of the Global Destination Sustainability Movement’s estimable Innovation Award 2021.

The announcement was made at the 60th ICCA Congress’ hub in Paris and given for the concept’s forward-looking credentials and strong efforts to accelerate the meeting industry’s focus on legacy work.

Each year, when the Global Destination Sustainability Movement’s Index results are revealed at the ICCA Congress, the movement also celebrates the efforts of three destinations with awarding of the Leadership, the Most Improved, and the Innovation Award. This year, Copenhagen CVB was shortlisted – and won the Innovation Award - with its Copenhagen Legacy Lab, an inventive and concrete strategic initiative focusing on the value of legacy and on its tangible outcomes for associations, destinations, and the world.

Receiving the GDS Innovation Award at the ICCA Congress hub in Paris, Kit Lykketoft - Director of Conventions at Wonderful Copenhagen, said:

“The concept of legacy work and on creating long-lasting positive impact has been on our agenda for some years, but the pandemic has certainly given it new dimensions. It has amplified the necessity to use a system model where associations are given the right tools to achieve their mission towards the community - and our Copenhagen Legacy Lab concept covers this need by offering a new purpose to association conferences. It is our hope that the international acknowledgment received today will serve as an inspiration for more associations and destinations to embrace legacy work and look into the huge untapped potential of impact activities as part of their strategic congress actions.”

On announcing today’s winner of the GDS innovation Award 2021, Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of the GDS-Index, said:

“We had many entries for the Innovation Award in 2021 and everyone are inspiring examples of destinations committed to transforming their approach to stakeholder engagement, product delivery, communication, and the use of technology in their collective efforts to accelerate the benefits of circular systems that benefit people and the environment. The Copenhagen Legacy Lab has been awarded the winner for its program that assists international associations to achieve long-term, positive and sustainable impacts from their global events and that have been developed for the benefit and transformation of all stakeholders involved.”

Apart from the Copenhagen Legacy Lab by Wonderful Copenhagen CVB, the Innovation Award finalists shortlisted this year included Aarhus by VisitAarhus Convention Bureau, Helsinki by Helsinki Marketing, Bordeaux by Office de Tourisme et des Congrès de Bordeaux Métropole / Bordeaux Meeting & Congress, as well as the Faroe Islands overseen by Visit Faroe Islands.


Maintaining top ranking in the GDS-Index 2021

In addition to receiving the GDS Innovation Award, Congress destination Copenhagen also managed to maintain its 2nd place in the annual GDS-Index, a world-leading sustainability benchmarking and performance improvement program for destinations and their visitor economy, originally inspired by the ICCA Scandinavian chapter and MCI.

As with the movement’s special awards, the GDS-index focuses on accelerating sustainable solutions within the business and leisure tourism industry and supports destination management organizations and convention bureaux to adopt, promote and recognize responsible practices.


Photo: James Reese, Chairman of ICCA, Kit Lykketoft,  Director of Conventions at Wonderful Copenhagenand and Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of the GDS-Index.


Fast Facts

About the Copenhagen Legacy Lab

The Copenhagen Legacy Lab (CLL) was launched by Wonderful Copenhagen CVB in late 2019 and keeps evolving to stay relevant. Its concrete tools for long-lasting impact are now more than ever necessary to: create and capture more value from the meeting, respond to the climate crisis by unfolding the full potential of business events, generate a stronger purpose for current and new members, strengthen the value of face-to-face meetings and acquire the right tools for knowledge dissemination through cross-sectorial alliances.


The CLL concept helps organisers and planners fulfil their legacy mission in four simple and concrete steps: goal setting, local stakeholder engagement, co-creation and legacy activity development & implementation.


The following major associations are already implementing the CLL-processes proactively at their upcoming congresses in Copenhagen: WindEurope Electric City 2021, the International Water Association (IWA) 2022, ESTRO 2022 and ESPGHAN 2022.


The CLL is created by Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau and funded by Wonderful Copenhagen and Copenhagen City Council. It is supported by, amongst others, MeetDenmark.


About the Global Destination Sustainability Movement

Global Destination Sustainability Movements mission is to co-create sustainable and circular strategies, mindsets and skill sets that enables destinations to thrive, and society and nature to regenerate. It aims at accelerating the transformation from destination marketing towards destination management and stewardship with shared value.

It has evolved from the Global Destination Sustainability Index initiative, originally inspired by the ICCA Scandinavian Chapter and MCI.