In the flurry of events around IMEX America this week in Las Vegas, perhaps the most inspiring news release came from the International Congress and Convention Association and BestCities Global Alliance, which announced the three winners of their third-annual Incredible Impacts grants. The program honors associations that are making a lasting impact on their host communities or working toward societal change through their meetings.
Tracy Bury, director of professional policy at World Confederation of Physical Therapy, who served as a judge for the program (and whose organization is a past Incredible Impacts award winner) outlined what the judges looked for as they narrowed down this year’s 26 entries. The top applications, she said, had stated impact objectives, a clear description of their approach, information on how their success was measured, evidence of success, and ideas for how the prize money would be used. Each winning association receives $7,500 towards future impact projects.
This year’s winners were the International AIDS Society, the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, and the European Lung Foundation in conjunction with the European Respiratory Society:
European Lung Foundation in conjunction with the European Respiratory Society: ELF and ERS established the Healthy Lungs for Life program in 2014 to help reduce lung disease through public education about breathing clean air, active lifestyles, and more. Each year, the program kicks off at the ERS International Congress at a host European city, bringing with it benefits to the destination such as air-quality monitoring, mass exercise classes, lung testing, and healthcare professional training events. Patients with lung conditions are also invited to participate in events.
International AIDS Society: The IAS’s International AIDS Conference is the world’s largest conference on HIV and AIDS. It delivers impact through a scholarship program that fosters a more global and diverse attendee base, bringing in people from all levels of HIV response. About 15 percent of the scholarships go to participants who are 26 or younger.
IAS says the grant money will fund the translation of video tutorials on how to apply for scholarships into Spanish and Russian, helping overcome a language barrier among potential scholarship applicants.
International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect: ISPCAN brings together professionals from the areas of psychiatry, psychology, medicine, social work, education, law, and public health for three annual conferences to report research from the frontlines of child abuse. The 2018 Caribbean Congress in Jamaica delivered a powerful program that resulted in over 100 individuals from the region joined ISPCAN and a push for governmental policy action. At upcoming congresses, Oman 2019 Congress and Qatar 2020 Congress, ISPCAN plans to use the grant to introduce training for allied professionals (teachers and police, etc.) who are a critical part of the child protection network and livestream the events to bring them to a wider audience.