“Our 1.5C target is on life support and the machines are rattling… We are in the fight of our lives – and we are losing”. The words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the urgency of the climate emergency at COP27 this week perfectly captures the raison d’etre for micebook Ventures at Spaces at The Spine, northern headquarters flagship of Royal College of Physicians, Knowledge Quarter Liverpool last week.
As Eurovision 2023 host city on behalf of Ukraine, Liverpool was precisely the right time and place for this ‘Sustainability & Social Impact catapult’, designed to help the biggest MICE changemakers come together, face and debate what is an existential industry challenge, further complicated by the spectre of global recession and slow growth over years, not months ahead.
“How can we possibly do any sort of business on a planet that is dying?” may not sound too optimistic, but after 75 minutes of Inspiration with experts from outside the Meetings & Events ‘echo chamber’ (you can read highlights from our opening debate here), we moved onto 1:1 Education – connecting buyers and suppliers carefully assessed for new solutions, offers and policies that help solve some of the world’s problems, rather than continuing to contribute to them.
Ventures’ practical purpose was to enable event procurers start the process shift “from carbon footprint to carbon fingerprint”, illustrating through live Activation with experiential options in collaborative Digital Engineering, ‘virtuous circle’ hydroponic vertical farming at Farm Urban and a small slice of kitchen creativity at mice2chef – involving catering students from the Liverpool City College, launching a legacy project that will generate cashflow, open up new work opportunities and provide yet another delivery option for corporate event planners selecting Liverpool for their clients.
After an ingenious, plant-based, fine-dining finale by Horseradish Catering in the soaring Liverpool Cathedral, Ventures was wound-up on the morning of day 3 in the Maritime & Slavery Museum at the famous Albert Dock waterfront, telling the story of the evils of empire and showing why we need to help Level Up the developing world through all we touch, in this ever-dynamic, creative and compassionate sector.
Ventures creator, Chris McQue said: “Our world must now change with real pace and scale unless senior MICE professionals and their businesses are not to become dinosaurs by 2030. We must assume the responsibility of purposeful self-education, innovative design and decarbonised delivery processes; harnessing emerging technologies fit for the 21st century and learning how to give more than we take – for our employees, all stakeholders, future generations and, not least of all, the planet. As John Lennon once said: ‘A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together, is a reality’.”
Lene Corgan, head of Business Development – Business Events at Wonderful Copenhagen said: “A great event with lots of fantastic conversations around some of the most important topics of our time. A lot of work lies ahead for our industry, but one thing is clear, we can only succeed if we all work together and help drive change.”
Anna Green, Broadsword MD said: “Ventures was wonderful – an inspiring experience that got the best out of me. The setting, the conversations and experiences all contributed to creating a safe space to challenge my thinking and focus my energy on the areas of development for Broadsword that matter the most to me.”
Nicola Alexander, Business Development Manager at Explore Edmonton Corporation, added: “Well done micebook for creating this event. Important conversations but what is clear is that our industry needs to speed up the pace in all these areas. I’m optimistic this can happen, but we all need to drive the conversation forward, we all have an obligation to transform our industry and at a much faster speed. Let’s keep up the momentum!”
In addition to our fantastic host city and partner venues throughout the three-days, we would like to thank event partners including Open Audience, isla, and event:decision, and sponsor Visit Monaco.