Photo: Keksi Agency

Helsinki is transforming the way congresses are organised, setting new standards for sustainability and legacy-building. The Helsinki Event Legacy Program is designed to help develop a tailored plan that not only enriches the experiences of attendees but also leaves a meaningful mark on the city. 

Education is at the heart of Helsinki’s congress legacy. The city embraces “learning by doing”, inviting event professionals to share their expertise with students in unique and practical ways. The Helsinki Event Legacy Program encourages congress organisers to involve local students through public lectures, interactive workshops, and open days. This hands-on approach bridges the gap between academia and industry, fostering a culture of continuous learning.

The 10th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) will bring over 8000 neurologists to Helsinki from 29 June to 2 July 2024. Their Brain Health Mission – School Challenge Project is a great example of how legacy work is done in practice. The school challenge was organised in Finland in the spring of 2024. Pupils created posters, social media videos, campaigns and other creative ideas designed to inspire their peers to prioritise brain health. The best ideas were awarded and will be presented at this summer’s congress.

Helsinki takes environmental sustainability seriously, with a focus on preserving its natural beauty for future generations. Congress participants are encouraged to engage in urban preservation through volunteer work, cleaning campaigns, and removing invasive plant species. The city also donates leftover congress materials to workshops like Uusix, promoting a circular economy. Helsinki collaborates with the Baltic Sea Action Group to protect and restore the Baltic Sea, demonstrating its broader commitment to environmental stewardship.

Helsinki sustainability guidelines
Photo credits: Helsinki Marketing

Helsinki is a city that champions equality, well-being, and participation. The city’s approach to equality includes providing work opportunities for students with special needs and supporting humanitarian efforts through collaborations with the Finnish Red Cross. A recent example is the online training by the Alzheimer Society of Finland (Muistiliitto), designed to support people with dementia in customer service. This training was shared with staff at various hotels and service providers in Helsinki, reflecting the city’s commitment to inclusion and respect.

Helsinki has been named the world’s best city for establishing a healthy life-work balance (in that order). This balance is part of Helsinki’s identity, and it is reflected in the city’s congress legacy.

Charity fun runs and walking events during congresses encourage physical activity and raise funds for charitable causes. The city’s congress legacy toolkit contains ready-to-use ideas designed to create a positive impact in the short to medium term, helping congress organisers integrate health and sustainability into their events.

According to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2023, Finland ranks as the world’s 6th most innovative country. The index’s 80 indicators explore a broad vision of innovation, from infrastructure to the political environment, highlighting Finland’s commitment to forward-thinking practices. Innovation is also a key pillar of Helsinki’s congress legacy. The city collaborates with the Helsinki Education Hub to create an environment where education startups and innovative learning can thrive. Corporate decision-makers and investors are engaged through personalised fact-finding tours and round-table dinners, showcasing Helsinki’s business ecosystem and attracting investment to support sustainable growth. Read more Education Hub Helsinki’s Impact Report

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