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A Strategic Approach to creating a Legacy: the Copenhagen Legacy Lab

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

Hosting international congresses and events goes beyond economic benefits. It entails justifying the carbon footprint while capitalizing on opportunities for positive change. In 2019, our partner, the Copenhagen Convention Bureau, introduced the Copenhagen Legacy Lab—an initiative focused on developing methodology, tools, and processes for events. This strategic co-creation approach aims to create a lasting positive impact on society. The report, 'Copenhagen Legacy Lab: A Strategic Approach to Creating a Positive Long-Term Impact from Congresses and Events,' underscores the importance of legacy considerations in event planning.

Legacy is not random; it's the result of careful planning

Legacy, as per Copenhagen Legacy Lab, involves deliberate and strategic processes. It's about using congresses and events to achieve the societal impact that aligns with the Association or local capacities' overall purpose and strategic objectives.

Graphic by rhe Copenhaguen Legacy Lab 2.0

To achieve positive change both locally and globally, Associations and Destinations need to work together and prioritize legacy in their strategic planning. Congresses unite some of the brightest minds from diverse sectors, creating an outstanding platform for sharing insights and solutions to global challenges.

'As an Association, it is necessary that we are able to address legacy for all of our events. We are more conscious than ever that it is becoming more and more important that we are able to justify why events take place and what effect they have on the local destination and our membership.' - Iain Bitran, Executive Director, ISPIM

The Copenhagen Together For Positive Impact strategy comprises three focus areas: transforming to meet changing client needs, sharing communities, and creating broader sustainable impacts. These areas align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the six main economic and societal transformation drivers.

The 7-Steps Model

The backbone of Copenhagen Legacy Lab's work is a 7-step legacy model inspired by the 'Theory of Change'. This model values co-creation and inclusiveness and blends 'Design Thinking' principles. It entails both divergent phases (open thinking) and convergent phases (focused thinking). It involves identifying relevant congresses or events, considering SDGs and transformation drivers, and customizing legacy projects.

The 7-Step Legacy Approach

Case Studies: Shaping Legacies

The report showcases three compelling case studies that exemplify how legacy considerations can make a significant impact:

1. ESPGHAN 54th Annual Meeting: Nurturing Education and Research

The ESPGHAN 54th Annual Meeting focused on pediatric treatment for gastrointestinal, liver, and nutritional diseases. Beyond knowledge dissemination, it set a remarkable legacy by organizing a "Family Education Day" that fostered dialogue between experts, children, and families. This initiative aimed to provide a holistic understanding of patient challenges and strengthen patient Associations.

The event also initiated a Talent Workshop for young researchers and established a fund for PhD researchers studying childhood diseases. These actions demonstrate how a conference can nurture education and research while contributing to a lasting societal impact.

2. 2022 ISPIM Innovation Conference: Sustainable Digital Innovation

The 2022 ISPIM Innovation Conference tackled digital innovation and sustainability, sparking a dialogue about a certified standard for sustainable digital impact. This conversation found strong support among participants, signifying a commitment to align innovation with sustainability.

A dedicated group of Danish innovation companies and networks pledged to fund preparatory work for a certified standard referencing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ESGs. This case illustrates how conferences can influence global discussions on sustainability and digital innovation.

3. 8th Global DIY-Summit 2022: Responsibility and Sustainability

The 8th Global DIY Summit gathered industry leaders to emphasize responsibility and sustainability in the DIY sector. Beyond raising awareness, the conference initiated the 'DIY LEGACY PROJECT', which included diverse activities like legacy introductions, sustainability exhibitions, trend reports, and sustainable tours.

While these activities may not instantly transform the industry, they begin a journey toward a more responsible and sustainable DIY sector. This case demonstrates how conferences can drive industry-wide changes by promoting responsible practices and inspiring innovation.

In summary, these case studies underscore the profound impact that conferences and events can have when they prioritize legacies that extend beyond their immediate scope.

Your Roadmap for Your Legacy Journey

The Copenhaguen Legacy Lab report illustrates the power of legacy in reshaping the events industry. It emphasises that congresses and events can be instruments for positive societal change, provided they prioritize legacy considerations. It presents a 10-step journey, customizing legacy projects based on unique event characteristics and objectives. By following the outlined strategies, organisations can unlock the full potential of their gatherings, leaving a lasting impact that extends well beyond the event itself.

Click on the link below to download the full version.

Copenhagen Legacy Lab Folder 2.0
Download PDF • 4.86MB


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