Lessons for Sustainable Destinations & Events from Singapore- Local Food


The concept of local food is in vogue and there’s a growing lexicon around the industry that’s mushroomed in recent years from “slow food” and “farm to fork” to the politically leaning “localism”.  Meanwhile in Europe, despite the naysayers who berate the bureaucracy of the EU, Brussels have been taking bold and important steps in protecting the origin of foods and valuable terroir in a globalized world. The expansion of the French “Appellation d’origine contrôléephilosophy across Europe is protecting everything from Cornish Pasties to Gorgonzola to Ouzo with the “Protected Geographical Indication” (PGI) status. All of this is good news for protecting heritage, promoting healthy and local food and reducing the food miles of a rapacious hospitality industry.

But what does this movement mean for sustainable events and destinations?

Guy and I have been working with a number of venues and events across Europe, Asia and the United States in the transition to more sustainable food sourcing. Particularly here in Singapore it’s thrown out some interesting questions in our work with the Tourism Board.  Just what is local to a nation only 710 kilometres square with one of the densest populations in one the smallest countries in the world?

Define your “local”

There is no agreed global definition of local and you’ll find that local food in the US might have travelled a lot further than local food in the Netherlands. Define what makes sense for your event, venue or destination. In the case of Singapore, “local” can’t be limited even just to the same country so we’re looking at Malaysia, Indonesia and even Thailand when considering that the bulk of fruit and vegetables are trucked down the 460 mile/740 kilometre Malay Peninsula, reducing carbon emissions significantly.

Set aspirations & projections early with your suppliers

Anything in life is possible with early preparation and even what once felt like a dream can become a plan with a leap of faith and commitment.  Share your aspirations early with your suppliers, your caterer or your local agricultural community and they’ll have time to work towards your goal. In Singapore, the challenge of feeding a growing population is pushing the concept of urban farming to new heights,  SkyGreen is the world’s first low carbon hydraulic water-driven, tropical vegetable urban vertical farm and 10 times more productive per square foot than conventional farming. Sounds like a dream?

Check out:

Maximise the strengths of the season

Seasons are unfortunately not one of Singapore’s many strengths but elsewhere in the world the cycles of nature can provide you with a constant source of fresh & flavourful local and sustainable food, be as flexible as possible- serve autumnal mushrooms and game in the fall and fresh berries and fruits in the summer.

 Dream big

The only barrier to “Fresh, Local, Organic, Sustainable and Seasonal” produce for the events industry is your aspiration and vision, collaborate with your supply chain and dream big. Who knows? Along the way we might discover a little more joy, to use the words of JRR Tolkien in the Hobbit “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

The Undercover Boss and the Gamification of Corporate Values

Modern television can be rather formulaic but every once in a while a new show is created that is truly original, refreshing and swiftly franchised across the globe. The Dutch hit upon a winner back in 1997 with Big Brother, although it’s now stale back then it was fresh and felt like a new frontier in TV. Whizz through the early 00’s past Pop Idol,  X factor, The Apprentice and various celebrity debacles and you’ll come to the newest and freshest format to hit your screens: “Undercover boss”. First airing in 2009 in the UK, the Emmy Award-winning television franchise follows boardroom staff working undercover in their own companies to investigate how their firms really work and to identify how they can be improved whilst often doing a bit of PR and rewarding hard-working employees.

Courtesy of CBS

Courtesy of CBS

The series is now popular across the globe from the mountains of Austria to the golden shores of Australia and is currently in production for the first time in 7 other countries including Spain, Belgium and Israel. At it’s best the series illustrates a powerful story of the white collar worker rolling up the sleeves and working alongside his or her blue collar employees for the first time.

What always strikes me about the show is how disconnected the boardroom is from the day to day business. Policies, core values, staff support schemes and standards of quality are in the daily lexicon of the boardroom but down on the shop floor staff are commonly blissfully unaware of much of it and the management look shocked when they come face to face with their employees at the coalface of the business.

Check out the CEO of “Retro Fitness” experiencing a shocking disconnection between the values and policy of his company and one frontline employee:

So here, lies the problem: How can we spread our culture deeper within the business? And how do we do that in a fun and engaging way?

The Change Challenge

MCI recently piloted a programme in Belgium and Singapore that addressed this very need. Living sustainably and healthily is part of our core values but in a busy global business it’s not always something we see staff embracing. Combining the skills of our sustainability team with our newly launched “Performance Improvement” department, we racked our brains for a solution that would meet this challenge.

Enter Change Challenge –a cloud based multilingual solution that makes organizational change and employee development fun by using elements of social gaming, peer pressure, and gamification to drive business change and employee satisfaction.

The technology was originally developed for fitness challenges and is designed to create positive and inspiring social pressure among participants. Example Mailer for employees The Change Challenge offers a race rule engine with flexible scoring rules, challenges, medals and multi-level team management to use for groups, departments, companies, countries, divisions and has been used by multiple organisations from Atlas Copco to Zurich since 2005 with tens of thousands of participants.

Piloting the programme in our Brussels and Singapore office led to success beyond our wildest dreams, we had 80% of employees engaging with the system, logging 15,447 activities and 1247 hours of physical activity showing a great impact on their health.  Alongside the health benefits we wanted to see staff living our commitment to sustainability with activities focused on reducing waste and resource consciousness – 91% of staff registered recycling activities and 93% used less water for an entire week.

It was such a resounding success that we are now offering the service to clients, learn more about the expertise of our Performance Improvement team on their blog “Energise, empower engage”: http://energiseempowerengage.com/2013/06/19/what-does-maslow-know-about-motivating-your-staff/ and contact matthew.smith@mci-group.com if you are interested in a cost effective solution to drive your values through your business.

Protecting Biodiversity Through Sustainable Events in India

Last year Hyderabad, India was host to the groundbreaking COP11 -Convention on Biological Diversity hosted by the Ministry of the Environment and Forests. Our industrious team in India managed the logistics of more than 11,500 participants and 900 sessions over 11 long days in hand with leading AV provider Dorier Perfectus.

What’s most impressive is not just the sheer scale and complexity of such an important international event in India but what the team managed to achieve in sustainability including a 91% waste diversion rate. We are  pleased to be able to present the legacy and achievements of that event in the our recently released event report:

Sustainable Event Management Activities

The convention aimed to be a leading sustainable event for India, leaving long term positive social and environmental legacies in Andhra Pradesh and concerns were addressed through all phases of event design and execution, including the following activities:

-       Strategic Planning:  The planning team leaders met to identify a strategy for the sustainable performance of the event and created customized targets.

-       Supplier Engagement: Through a two hour educational event and a series of interviews, 50 suppliers were educated about the objectives of the event; key suppliers were questioned about sustainable practices and offered coaching and recommendations for improved results. In particular, the MCI team worked with the Novotel, waste management company and caterer to improve waste management, catering and sustainability measurement processes.

-       Sustainable Procurement: The event management team made a series of conscious decisions in the purchasing of material and services. This includes congress bags,bamboo stage set and exhibitions stands, exhibition USB sticks, printing, catering, communications as well as the selection of logistics teams that reduced transport requirements.

-       Community Impact: Amongst other great initiatives, a truly innovative engagement project was designed with social enterprises and sustainable businesses at the heart.  In  a unique market place within the perimeter of the Novotel Complex 40 local artisans and community groups were represented at The Biodiversity Haat. Stands featured groups selling organic produce, handmade artefacts and those using responsible materials.. Examples of local producers included the “Bodhana Tiruvalla Social Science Society”  who use bee products to fund and operate a Social Rehabilitation Programme; the Uravu  Indigenous Science & Technology Study Centre, a registered, non-profit trust supporting the livelihood of rural woman through end-to-end programmes in bamboo growth, harvest and product manufacturing. Projects like these within the Biodiversity Haat supported a vast number of Indian social development objectives including training in natural resource management, improving literacy, providing employment and women’s rights through to stimulating organic farming and renewable energy sources.

Enjoy a quick run through of the highlights of the event in our video:

Bearing Responsibility – Events and the Community

ImageCommunity Projects have been a part and parcel of events for decades – that will never change. What will change is the sophistication of the various projects. Gone are the days when guests happily gather around a solitary tree planting ceremony, participating only through rapturous applause. Increasing awareness of wider sustainability issues and activism are driving bolder approaches to event community project planning and your guests want to get involved and create more of an impact.

It’s the usual innovators who are at the forefront of this; Ovation Bear, Ovation Global DMC’s honorary CEO, conducted an informal straw poll of his global offices and identified 5 Innovative stories of sophisticated community integration at Events:

1. More often than not, the integration of the local community comprises a one-off bolt-on activity designed to tick the CSR box. Conversely, Ovation is increasingly working with clients to be more strategic in approach. This involves looking at how local communities can be deeper integrated into the event planning process. A recent example of this approach is an Ovation Canada project where social enterprise suppliers are being given preference over less socially aware suppliers. With handmade delegate bags and sustainability conscious food suppliers, this conference will have a lower carbon footprint than many comparable.

2. Another leading light in the area is “The Connection Crew”, a winner of Deloitte’s 2012 “Social Innovation Pioneers” award. 25% of this London-based crewing & AV company are ex-homeless people who have been trained up as technicians and crew for events.

3. At a 10,000 pax conference our team supported in Asia, a marketplace was constructed at the conference centre for 40 local artisans and community groups to sell organic produce, handmade artefacts and gifts made from responsible materials on site. Co-ordinated by our ground team, this powerful tool, ensured both the organisers and delegates spend was supporting long term economic prosperity in a developing nation.

4. All our Ovation offices can offer clients a selection of charities to partner with but our caring team in Barcelona chose one charity to focus their energy on over last year.  Fundación Fátima is home to 32 children aged between 0 and 12 years without families. With Spain facing its biggest economic crisis ever and public funds being slashed to an absolute minimum, the orphanage was seriously struggling. By putting the Foundation at the centre of a engagement strategy, they organised a number of creative fundraising activities, personally took the children out on day trips to the zoo and FC Barcelona and partnered with Ovation client Symantec to support the shelter through their annual conference. After pitching for an event with Supermarket chain Lidl that included a CSR activity, Lidl decided not to run the event but still wanted to help Ovation’s chosen charity and donated Christmas presents to all the children.

5. Ovation’s Strategic Partner in Greece, Kipling Events, recently organised a community event to coincide with a company training academy. Using the same trainers who were in town to train the Ovation staff, Ovation invited 85 volunteers from Greek NGOs, foundations and associations to attend special sessions delivered by the Ovation experts. The results were transformational for those in attendance; by sharing management strategies from a high-growth global business the organisers were able to spark new thinking and energy in a sector really suffering the worst of the economic downturn.

The last example is potentially a game-changing CSR opportunity. Do you have the power to transform cities and countries where you hold events by using the intellectual capital held by those in attendance?

By thinking big, events have an opportunity to generate a stronger legacy in helping communities, supporting economic prosperity and protecting the environment.

Contact Ovation to find out how you can support and activate your corporate values through live events.

Horsemeat and the events industry

There is much soul-searching in the UK and now the wider European Union after the discovery of horsemeat in a large number of beef products.  Discovered in both lower quality products and supermarket chains right up to the more costly and reputable options, the story is rapidly evolving across the F&B and retail industries. Although some of our continental cousins regular dine on “steak cheval”, this constitutes a major scandal for the public at large and the EU are scrambling to advise their national members. Read latest developments here  . More than 200 million beef burgers have been withdrawn from sale in the last month in Ireland alone and the crisis threatens to sully some very large brands, notably Findus who’s 100% beef lasagnes products, whether 320g, 360g or 500g all have horsemeat present.

So what has this got to do with the meetings industry ,or for the sake of this article -the “meatings industry”?

Price isn’t everything

The principle lesson is  that price is not everything- those among us in procurement in any sector would be wise to focus on seeking value rather than the lowest price- if you force your suppliers to make unhealthy cuts, evidence illustrates they will have less qualms about making unhealthy and in some cases immoral decisions.


Courtesy of Thinkstock

Know your Suppliers

It seems simple, but many organisations do not know where there are getting their goods from and in this case, even what those goods are. For our business we build deep relationships with our suppliers, in many countries we’ve actually organised what’s called the “MCI Pub” where we invite all our local suppliers to a social event just to get to know them better and build relationships. Senior staff become waiters for the evening and serve the suppliers in an ironic reversal. For more advanced clients, we evaluate the sustainability credentials of all the hotels for their event and produce a ranking on the event website to consider along with price and star rating- such scorecards for the supply chain are increasingly evident across a number of industries.

The Search for Authentic Brands

In dark times such as these, customers are looking for brands they can trust- open, honest transparent and engaging brands. Think of all the authentic brands over the years that have been bought out by the larger corporations; Body Shop by L’Oreal, Innocent Smoothies by Coca Cola and Ben and Jerrys by Unilever just to name a few. People buy from brands they trust and we’ve helped a number of leading brands demonstrate their sustainability principles, really bringing their values alive through live events- the key touch point for your customer and suppliers to engage with the brand. For those among us who say “who cares about CSR?”.  Here’s the evidence- responsible business matters and if you aren’t taking responsibility seriously with your supply chain it might come back to haunt you, lets ask Findus in a few months time.

Local Sourcing

The good news to come out of this crisis is that the local town butcher across Europe will benefit greatly from the failure of companies to take responsibility seriously. When people ask us “how do we green our event?” . We answer simply, when it comes to F&B- FLOSS! Floss is the abbreviation for Fresh, Local, Organic, Sustainable and Seasonal and there’s a growing movement around the world promoting local suppliers to homes and industry- go check them out!


A Good Day for Sustainable Hotels

We all have good days and bad days, it’s a fact of life- Friday last week, fortunately was a great day, a re-invigorating day that reassured me that Singapore has some superb examples of a solid approach to sustainability in the hotel sector . At the frontline of meeting and events Guy and I work with a lot of venues, suppliers and hotels on their commitment to the environment and society and boy does their sophistication differ a lot- from the very basic to the leaders in our space. Working internationally, we come across hotels in some pockets of the globe that don’t know their armpit from their elbow when it comes to sustainable practice and it can be disheartening when they wheel out their finest sales person to take us round the hotel, highlighting their “green” golf course or talking about corporate HQ’s policies with no practice on the ground.

Integrated Tree

Integrated Tree

An “ECO Hotel” with substance

Fortunately, Friday was not one of those days. I had the pleasure of a site inspection at the Siloso beach resort . This resort, located close to convention facilities on Singapore’s Sentosa island has really demonstrated what can be done if you build and operate with sustainability in mind, but they’ve really gone beyond the everyday and thought about how they can do it radically differently. The most striking example being the integration of trees. Normally at the onset of a hotel development space will be cleared to build a hotel and perhaps if you are lucky, ornamental shrubs re-introduced once construction is over amongst the paving and water features. Not here, the Ng family wanted to integrate nature, build around it and include it within the structure- this means the existing trees stayed and the hotel and villas were built around them. This actually provided a threat to worker safety during  construction due to the common electrical storms in this part of the world- each  tree could be a lightning  conductor so every one was individually earthed with a copper wire to ensure safety first. The villas around the property have the existing trees either encased in glass (if they are fast growing) or included in the structure with rain umbrellas (if slow growers). 1 Villa has an amazing 17 trees within the structure and in most cases, the design and layout of the rooms was totally dictated by the position of trees meaning that no villa is the same. Upon questioning, the Manager of the hotel revealed that construction costs were 30% higher due to responsible sourcing & planning  and although the hotel took 18 months to build, the villas required 30 months.


The hotels impressive Roofgarden

What else left me impressed and excited? The 95 metre swimming pool, who’s shape was also dictated by trees but most interestingly avoids the more common heavily chlorinated type , using salt ionised spring water-I didn’t take a dip to test out the salt levels but there’s always next time. When it comes to food they’ve created a closed loop organic food cycle using 1 million Malaysian blue worms. Equipped with a fabulous roof garden, they grow 100% of their herb requirement for the restaurant and 10% of their vegetable needs but most impressively  everything stays within the system.  Fruit and vegetable wste from the kitchen gets mashed, then molasses and bacteria are added to promote decomposition. The friendly Malaysian blue worms then feast on the decomposed waste and create “worm castings” (which is worm excrement to you and me). These castings go back into the cycle as fertiliser for the plants and hence the nutrients are constantly recycled, again and again.  Likewise, other types of food waste are broken down with a sophisticated mulcher which even has a capacity to break bones.  Apparently a human body could be mulched in 12 hours with no remnants remaining, there’s a crime drama storyline in there somewhere.

Elsewhere the hotel source unwanted wood from property renovations to build furniture using their own on site carpentry workshop and house a sophisticated third generation modular heat exchange system that collects heat dispersed in air conditioning and uses it to heat water.  When you’ve got initiatives like this, towel and sheet re-changing programmes are somewhat less exciting so we’ll leave it there- if you are looking for a visionary eco-hotel with a conscious in Singapore, look no further.

Lessons for Sustainable Destinations & Events from Singapore- Water and Land

Once a River, now a Reservoir- Courtesy of 50MM Photography

Having lived in Singapore for most of the last 2 months I’ve still much to learn about this fascinating island state but in this relatively short time have already been left impressed by how the government has used sustainability as a catalyst for innovation- providing lessons for any events business.  The conundrum is why has Singapore come on leaps and bounds in some areas of sustainability where other countries are lagging behind?  The answer is fairly simple, resource scarcity is a very real and tangible challenge in Singapore, albeit due to the quirks of international boundaries.  Take water- 50% of Singapore’s water is imported from outside the country so they’ve invested in correcting this imbalance. Water management has had clear support and funding with the result that two thirds of Singapore’s land surface is now a water catchment area with water stored in 17 reservoirs. One of the most impressive is of course, the old Singapore river which used to be tidal. Although instrumental in creating much of the initial fortune of Singapore, shipping here  has long since moved to a larger scale and what was once a muddy and reeking place each day when the tide went out has now been dammed to create Marina Basin, right in the heart of the city. Other great initiatives include NEWater-  wastewater is collected from toilets, sinks and daily use and treated using micro-filtration, reverse-osmosis and UV technology to recycle it into water that’s good enough to drink. This meets 30% of the city’s water needs, a target that will be increased to 50% of future needs by 2060.

Looking at the population of the city, it’s simply boomed over last 25 years, nearly doubling to over five million. Over the same period, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Environment and Water Resources proudly stated at the recent launch official launch of the new TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) for Business Coalition Headquarters  on the 6th November  that when you arrive by plane- Singapore is visibly 50% green. This has increased from a little more than a third of the city-state’s area to this impressive percentage. Why? Because the Singapore Government has designated it a high priority- and that’s all part of Singapore’s next “green road map,” its 10-year development plan, the country aims to go from being “a garden city” to “a city in a garden.”

Singapore has built it’s success over the years from attracting the best traders, from spices, to opium to the trading of today- stocks, technology and services and Singapore wants to stay at the top of the places people will want to work, play, live, and raise a family. The government intends to increase the country’s National Park space from from about 3,300 hectares today to 4,200 hectares in the next 10-15 years and I’ve had the pleasure of visiting 3 such parks on my free weekends already and witnessing live the success of this project relating to biodiversity. One such example for the “twitchers” out there is the reintroduction of the Oriental pied hornbill — the bird’s population has increased from just a pair 16 years ago to about 160 today and here’s one of that small number photographed 2 weeks ago on a simple Iphone.

Oriental Pied Hornbill In Singapore Park- Photo R.Simons

So what are the valuable lessons from Singapore’s national approach for the events business?

  1. Designate sustainability a priority at the very top of the business or organisation and fund appropriately
  2. Understand your supply chain and focus on resource challenges
  3. Recycle whatever you can (including sewage)
  4. Treat your event attendees or employees like you would yourself, provide them with healthy environments, sustenance and lifestyles
  5. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly don’t be afraid to innovate!

The death of Sustainability Reporting?

Many newspapers and business commentators have  recently dedicated column space to ethics and  Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – specifically to the gap between what many organisations have declared in  comprehensive polished reports and their  later actions. The economic crisis and the causes of it have provided much opportunity to reflect on the way modern business operates. The pariah of the corporate world this time last year was BP following one of the greatest environmental disasters in US history in the Gulf of Mexico .  While many factors were no doubt involved,   it is undeniable that deep sea oil drilling is a risky business and the most well intentioned companies will struggle to successfully manage every risk, everywhere.  Closer to home, this year’s pariah of the CSR reporting world are Barclays, see the news here.

Having issued sustainability reports for 12 years and been very committed to a responsible business culture, Barclays had become one of the darlings of the industry but with the Libor rate scandal and subsequent 290 million British Pounds fine it’s not only Barclay’s staff that are wringing their hands. Many commentators are questioning whether Barclays have lowered the value of sustainability reporting all together. Their latest document, the Barclays Citizenship Report and 2015 strategy now lacks any credibility because statements like the opening paragraph suggesting  that Barclays have a “clear sense of its business purpose – to help individuals, communities, businesses and economies progress and grow” ring entirely hollow.

Sustainability, reporting and the events industry

So what does this have to do with the events industry I hear you ask? Actually- everything.  Live events are the major touchpoint between an audience and corporations, associations, governments, even musicians and sports professionals arguably.  It’s one of the only times a customer, client or staff member can live and breathe the brand in the flesh and we know that every detail is important, from the venue, the sound and visuals, to content and catering. Increasingly live events drive the core marketing of new products, think IPOD unveilings in the era of Steve Jobs or even Barack Obama’s inauguration- marking the commencement of his 4 year term as president of the US.  MCI helps some of the worlds biggest brands and associations create that “magic” at their live events and is increasingly helping leaders of their respective industries bring sustainability strategies to life at their events.  Smart companies, most notably today in the IT industry are developing sophisticated sustainable event strategies, setting smart and measurable goals and evaluating from day one of their event planning where they can have a positive impact both on the locations where they hold events whilst taking progressive steps to reduce their negative impact through the careful monitoring and reduction of resource use and reporting honestly and clearly following the event.  Arguably, I’d suggest if a company wants to create a “clear sense of its business purpose” with it’s staff, customers and stakeholders it needs to be weaving it’s corporate values into its live events. By demonstrating that sustainability is important in a tangible manner – customers and staff will understand that language turns into action. If we are to progress from abstract policies and vague statements totally disconnected from true organisational culture, mature organisations would be smart to “walk the talk” across the full spectrum of their business, from their HQs to their field of operations and most importantly whenever they gather as a group- at events.


Image Courtesy of Graphic Stream

A new era for live events

Luckily 2012 is the dawn of a new era for the sustainable event industry with the launch of the APEX ASTM Green Meeting standards, the ISO20121 Event Sustainability Management system and the GRI Event Organisers Sector Supplement planners have never before had such sophisticated tools to guide the planning, managing and final reporting  on sustainable events. This year doesn’t mark the death of sustainability reporting, it merely marks the year that companies will have to face the music and really bring their promises to life. At the same time the live events industry has matured significantly and together major progress is possible.  The leading companies of the world will realise that in order to turn words to actions, live events are a significant weapon in their armoury and sustainability has the power to bring brands alive, motivate and guide staff,  engage customers and act more responsibly from the bottom of the organisations to the very top. If you need help bringing your sustainability commitment to life at your live events, let us know and check out our case studies here.

PCMA: Partners in sustainable event education

Dateline San Diego, PCMA Convening Leaders conference

The cup runneth over. Not since GMICs Sustainable Events conference has so much high quality, relevant educational content been available to the events professional. The Professional Conference Managers Association (PCMA) has worked hard to feature relevant and timely sessions to help planners understand sustainability as smart business.

Education Needed
Loved and respected educator and expert Sue Tinnish quoted a recent survey which revealed that 4 in 10 planners are unfamiliar with the topic of sustainability. If the industry is to stay viable and if planners and suppliers are to meet business objectives, professional education is going to be the key. PCMA sessions included topics on writing policy (MeetGreen’s Amy Spatrisano), marketing and communication (the aforementioned Sue Tinnish) and engaging stakeholders (Wonderful Copenhagen’s Steen Jakobsen and I), among others all offered example and ‘get started’ tips as well as deeper thinking on more advanced application of sustainable event management.

The strong turnout (4000 attendees) at Convening Leaders has much to do with the quality of the educational content. PCMA, like Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC), are important partners in the transition to creating a sustainable meetings industry. Smarter, more profitable, more innovative, more effective meetings require different thinking, concrete examples and a sharing of best practices. Industry events like these may represent the best method to improve skills and gain access to education and collaborations.

Partners are more than providers of services. Partners share in our concerns and our successes. They understand out needs and feel compelled to support us. Partners are integral to our success. In providing great, timely, practical educational content, PCMA earns the ‘partner’ title.

Giving Back: MCI’s Power of Action 2011, Montreux

Here at MCI, we’ve been actively engaged in creating a community service action for our annual business meeting which this year will bring over 600 MCI staff and business partners to beautiful Montreux, Switzerland. Our approach, now a standard practice called The Power of Action, was first explained here.

How to integrate a social responsibility project in a wealthy community? As we learned with our 2010 event in Istanbul, partner with local leaders to increase the possibility of finding a great NGO. Collaborate with the NGO to understand their needs. Educate, then activate, the participants. Track and communicate learnings and successes.

So we decided to record for charity and convince Phil Collins production team to lend us a hand. Have a look at the results and let us know what you think.

May your own end of year efforts to give back to industry or community be well received and a springboard to a prosperous 2012! And please return to provide us your examples/photos/inspiring ideas to share for better events and a better 2012!


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