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Photo Credit: ICCA

The Incredible Impacts Programme – a joint initiative by the International Congress & Conference Association (ICCA) and BestCities Global Alliance is committed to legacy building. With this in mind, the organisations are thrilled to celebrate three outstanding Associations that set the industry standard in the last 12 months and driven real change through passion, education, creativity, and fun.


As the meetings industry moves into a post-pandemic world and rediscovers the power of what can be achieved when people come together in a shared space, this year’s Incredible Impacts winners are some of the most innovative since launching the awards 6 years ago. And what’s more, the organisers are delighted to announce the winners will be speaking about their initiatives and experiences at the ICCA 61st Congress in Krakow from November 6th – 9th 2022.

All the nominees deserve credit – and the judges faced a difficult task – but the three winners were dedicated to delivering change from the very heart of their geographical and cultural communities. From protecting our most precious natural resource to delving deep into the human brain to using the beautiful game to improve health and well-being…  these three are excellent examples of public engagement merit widespread recognition.

Senthil Gopinath

Chief Executive Officer, ICCA

“What can we say? Each year the Incredible Impacts Winners surprise, delight, and inspire. This year has been an exceptional year, especially as the Associations industry has moved out of pandemic mode and taken our first steps to be together as a collective community in a physical sense. The sheer scope of ambition, integrity and creativity displayed by our winners shows how hard one has to work to cut through and engage effectively with an audience. Our winners certainly cut through and the legacy of what they bring to their own communities and us as a wider audience will resonate for a very long time.”

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Photo Credit: ICCA

The winners are:

International Society for Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism

How do you bring the mystery and the intricacies of the human brain to life? And in doing so, remind people that good brain health equates to good health in general. You plan a series of interactive city-wide events bringing together experts, artists, students, and the general public. Glasgow went ‘brain mad’ across May and June when schools and the public discovered what makes the grey matter ticking. Kids were encouraged to build brains – “ït’s like a marshmallow”- delegates were encouraged to explore brain installations, and Glaswegians were empowered to become advocates for brain health and lead healthier smarter lives.

International Water Resources Association (IWRA)

Our most precious resource – water – is under threat and growing pressure from everywhere and anywhere around the world. IWRA’s innovative World Water Envoys Programme sought out five global ambassadors to represent their local communities operating on the front line of water security issues. From sanitation and homebuilding in the Dominican Republic to the safe access to surface and groundwater in New Delhi and Nepal. From water access rights in Zimbabwe to agrochemical pollution on The West Bank… five bold youth voices came to the fore. Five individuals stepped up and shared their stories during a major international water event – IWRA’s World Water Congress – and detailed their remarkable efforts to find adequate responses to these local challenges on a global stage.

The winners showcase how insight and imagination, cleverness and creativity can really make a difference to events of all sizes. ICCA is delighted to award each association $7500 USD for future projects.

The University of the Faroe Islands- Football is Medicine

The Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic – where 10% of the population is a registered footballer – and the perfect place to host an event showcasing the many benefits of playing soccer. Experts from all aspects of sports medicine, nutrition, and training delivered a compelling programme detailing how football can be used to enhance and enrich the lives of people everywhere. This is the world game as a societal game-changer; shaping physical and mental responses to recovery, ill-health, and well-being by using football as a way for us all to live happier and healthier lives.

Find out more about ICCA here.