BestCities Global Forum Copenhagen - December 2019

Exploring the Congress of the Future – Fortifying Impact

Open to senior international association executives (or AMC on behalf of the associations), the Global Forum is the ideal opportunity for decision-makers considering hosting an event in a BestCities’ destination, to meet all the partner cities and meeting planners in one stunning location.

Reasons to Attend

Return home with tangible tools that you can use to form future strategies for your association.

Learn from your association peers and widen your network.

Meet the Danes – Explore Copenhagen as a market for future business events; learn and experience Copenhagen’s economic, social and cultural environments.

Tap into strategic opportunities and establish relationships with the network of BestCities Global Alliance partners

Programme Highlights

Scenarios for Associations of the Future

The Copenhagen Convention Bureau and BestCities Global Alliance are on a mission to infuse the industry with new long-term perspectives of the future. We are launching an initiative to explore the future of congresses in partnership with the Danish Design Centre and futurists from Public Futures. 

Participating associations will return home with a tangible tool to use in the formation of future strategies for their associations. The tool can after Global Forum be accessed digitally by everyone interested. Based on the scenarios and the discussion throughout the process, a white paper with strategic recommendations will also be written.

As Denmark’s national Design Centre, the Danish Design Centre has a deep experience in working in the cross section between futurology and design. Public Futures is a company of leading future scientists specializing in social and policy development, exploring strategic development tasks based on societal analyzes and future studies.

An example of their prior collaboration is the initiative Boxing Future Health. More than 100 experts and stakeholders across the healthcare sector, including the pharmaceutical and medical industry, the health tech industry, hospitals and researchers have contributed and been engaged in the development and creation process towards a tangible and visionary concept here.

Impact Workshop 

Many associations stand on the verge of devoting even more resources to the impact assessment of their event. This fosters discussions on key performance indicators, how we can measure the impact and whether to focus on evaluation of quantifiable output or the hardly measurable impact. The Global Forum will bring together state-of-the-art knowledge based on research projects from across Europe. The goal is sharing, evaluating and discussing best practices on:

  • Creating (long-term) alliances between stakeholders
  • Instruments for evaluating and achieving impact
  • Current issues on i.e. public engagement, evidence-based policy, interdisciplinary approaches and harmonizing definitions and assumptions.

Meet the Danes and get your “hygge” on!

Explore one of the happiest countries in the world. During this trip you will not only get to know the Danes, our culture and why we rank so high on the happiness list. You will also eat your way through the culinary scene of Copenhagen and get to experience the true sense of “hygge”, which roughly can be translated into coziness. Lastly as it is close to Christmas you will of course explore the magical Winter Wonderland at Tivoli Gardens. 

Apply for the BestCities Global Forum

Should you be interested in being hosted at the BestCities Global Forum, please click below. Please note that to be eligible for the BestCities Global Forum you must not have attended the event in the last 5 years

View information on past events:
– 2018
– 2017

7 Dec


8 Dec

11:15 - 16:15: Tour

This pre-tour will consist of two different elements in Copenhagen. First you will eat your way through Copenhagen while getting to know a bit more about the Danes. Secondly you will visit Copenhagen’s newest attraction; an urban mountain where you can ski on the top of a waste-to-energy plant.

16:30 - 18:00: Free Time

18:00 - 21:30: Welcome Reception at Copenhagen Marriott Hotel

The welcome reception will be held at the Marriott Copenhagen Hotel

9 Dec

08:40: Transfer to Bella Center

09:10: Welcome to the Programme

09:30: Setting the Scene and Introduction to the Future Scenarios

Christian Bason, Danish Design Center

10:40: Break

10:55: Introduction to Guided Tours of the Scenarios

Sara Gry Siegler and Anne Danielsen, Danish Design Center

11:10: Scenario 1: Accelerated Adaption

Sara Gry Siegler, Danish Design Center

11:30: Scenario 2: Catalyst for Change

Sara Gry Siegler, Danish Design Center

11:50: Scenario 3: Go Regional

Sara Gry Siegler, Danish Design Center

12:10: Scenario 4: Into the Wild

Sara Gry Siegler, Danish Design Center

12:30 - 13:30: Lunch

13:30 : Exit Poll

Sara Gry Siegler and Anne Danielsen, Danish Design Center

14:00: Introduction to Group Exercise

Anne Danielsen, Danish Design Center

14:10: Group Exercise: The Future is Now

15:10: Break

15:25: Ideation Session and Discussion

15:50: Closing and Wrap-up

16:15: Transfer to Marriott Hotel

16:35: Free Time

19:00: Transfer to Øksnehallen

19:30: Dinner at Øksnehallen

22:00: Transfer to Marriott Hotel

10 Dec

08:45: Transfer on foot to Tivoli Hotel & Congress Center

09:00: Morning Inspiration at Tivoli Hotel and Congress Center

David Meade

Conclusions from yesterday and setting the scene for today

09:20: Open Space Session

David Meade

You create the sessions covering topics you want to cover

10:15: Break

10:30: Keynote Speaker: Impact in 100 days? Really?

Nadim Matta

Nadim has led teams that introduced RRI’s 100-Day Challenges in Nicaragua, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Sudan, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe. The work involved using 100-Day Challenges to nudge community stakeholders towards much higher levels of collaboration, innovation, and execution.

12:00: Lunch

13:00: Transfer to Carlsberg

13:30: City Café

Get to know the 11 BestCities partner destinations

15:35: Break

15:50: Cultural Activity

17:00: Transfer to Marriott Hotel

17:30: Free Time

18:30: Transfer to City Hall

19:00: Ambassador Dinner at the Festivities Hall at Copenhagen City Hall

21:30: Transfer to Marriott Hotel

11 Dec

09:00: Energiser

David Meade

09:15: Legacy Workshop

Thomas Trøst Hansen and Alessandro Cortese

Fortifying Impact from a scientific perspective. During this workshop you will gain: A clear and applicable terminology on the key concepts, including outreach, legacy and impact. An account of the global state-of-affairs on legacy.

Moreover, we will work with cases provided by some of you. Thank you very much for this contribution. We will develop the cases using a brand-new toolkit developed here in Copenhagen, which is called the Copenhagen Legacy Toolkit. This is a world-first presentation of the toolkit.

10:15: Break

10:30: Legacy Workshop Continued

Thomas Trøst Hansen and Alessandro Cortese

11:40: Wrap-up

11:55: Transfer to Canal Boat

12:00: Canal Boat Tour Christmas Style

13:00 : Danish Christmas Lunch at Almanak

14:45: The Importance of Unconventional Thinking

Claus Meyer

Claus Meyer will talk to us about the importance of unconventional thinking and naïve ambition, how to create avalanche like cultural movement rather than a traditional business plan and why we and our teams need to remain in close contact with our values and passions if we are to be truly successful and create impact.

15:35: Handover to Next Year's Hosts

15:50: Wrap-up and Closing

16:05: Transfer to Marriott or walk on foot

For those who want to go back to the hotel directly a coach is available. Those who want to explore the city on their own can get a city map to help you find your way. The bus will make a stop at Tivoli Gardens on the way back to the Marriott.

16:05: Free Time

Time on your own to explore the city or explore Tivoli Gardens. Make your own way to Nimb Bar at 18:30 for welcome drinks.

18:30: Welcome Drinks at Nimb Bar

19:00: Dinner at Rotunden Restaurant

21:00 : Winter Wonderland Exploration at Tivoli Gardens

Bus transport arranged at the Tivoli Castle/ Rasmus Klump ride exit.. You can also opt to walk back to the hotel (10 minutes walk). Tivoli Gardens closes at 23:00.

12 Dec



David Meade profile image

David Meade

Global Forum Facilitator

David Meade is a 1st-class honours graduate from Ulster Business School, and his work as a lecturer and researcher in International Business and Strategy with the University of Ulster, has built his reputation as one of Europe’s most sought after motivational and organisational speakers, trainers, and facilitators. He’s worked with organisations such as: Apple, PwC, BT, Saba, Harvard in Boston, the Cabinet Of ce in Westminster, Bombardier, and the Bank of America.

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Claus Meyer profile image

Claus Meyer

Co-founder noma

From writing the manifesto for the Nordic food revolution and co-founding noma, a perennial “World’s Best Restaurant”, to launching an indigenous food movement in Bolivia that has trained thousands of young people and is unlocking a new sense of national pride, Claus Meyer has always been motivated by goals that stretch far beyond the profit-motive. Addressing issues such as the importance of unconventional thinking and naïve ambition, how to create an avalanche-like cultural movement rather than a traditional business plan, and why we - and our teams - need to remain in close touch with our values and passions if we are to be truly successful, this “son of the microwave oven” will share insights from his gastronomic, business and philanthropic journey.

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Nadim Matta profile image

Nadim Matta

President and founding Board member of the RRI Rapid Results Institute

Nadim is President and founding Board member of the RRI (Rapid Results Institute). He has led teams that introduced RRI’s 100-Day Challenges in Nicaragua, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Sudan, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe.

More recently, Nadim's work focused on veteran, chronic and youth homelessness in the US, and on the integration of social and health care in the UK. The work involved using 100-Day Challenges to nudge community stakeholders towards much higher levels of collaboration, innovation, and execution. Most recently, he helped introduce RRI’s 100-Day Challenges in the UAE, as part of a Government Accelerator program sponsored by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Nadim’s work has been featured in the New York Times, the Harvard Business Review, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. He was named by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the 100 Top Global Thinkers in 2012, and he served as a Yale School of Management Donaldson Fellow in 2012 and 2013.

Nadim was born and raised in Lebanon. He worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Beirut, where he oversaw the implementation of USAID’s relief and rehabilitation program during the Lebanese civil war. He also worked for Save the Children Federation, where he led the design and implementation of a food assistance program serving 100,000 families that were displaced during the civil war. After leaving Lebanon, he worked at Schaffer Consulting, a Connecticut based change advisory firm, where he served as managing partner from 2009 to 2012.

Nadim has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the American University of Beirut. He also has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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Christian Bason

Chief Executive of the Danish Design Centre

While setting the strategic direction for the Danish Design Centre and governing the most demanding initiatives and activities, Christian is also CEO of Design Society, a foundation which is the parent company of the Danish Design Center, INDEX: Design to improve life, Global Fashion Agenda and Copenhagen Fashion Week.
He is also a prolific contributor to blogs and magazines, including Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review and the Danish weekly business and political magazine Mandag Morgen. He is the author of seven books on design, innovation and management, most recently Leading Public Design (2017), Form Fremtiden (Shape the future; 2016), Design for Policy (2014) and Leading Public Sector Innovation (2010). Christian is a visiting associate professor at several executive educations, including Oxford Saïd Business School, the European School of Administration, Copenhagen Business School and Aarhus University.
Christian is a member of the board for the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation (KADK), a member of The Rockwool Foundation’s Research Programme Committee, and also member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future on Agile Governance Council. He is a former Chair of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Public Sector Innovation and a former member of the European Design Leadership Board.
Currently, he is a member of the SIRI Commission and the Danish government's challenge panel on public innovation and digitization. Christian holds an M.Sc. in Political Science from Aarhus University and a Ph.D. from Copenhagen Business School, CBS.
Christian is in high demand as a speaker and inspires and advises business leaders and governments in Denmark and abroad.

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Sara Gry Striegler profile image

Sara Gry Striegler

Programme Director, Danish Design Centre

Sara has been working within the field of design, innovation and healthcare for more than 10 years, developing products and services for the healthcare sector, advising policy level, and implementing innovation policy and strategy.

Sara is head of the Danish Design Centre’s business and focus area and the team Future Health. The team explores how designcan radically improve healthcare services and solutions across the public and private sector and, while elevating advanced technology, is fully centered around the patient experience. The goal is to facilitate the creation of ground-breaking new servicesand products as well as public-private innovation frameworks bytackling challenges through experimentation and harnessing thebenefits of the developments in technology and access to new data.

Sara led the design-driven strategy process, co-creating the innovation strategy with and for the Capital Region of Denmark managing 5 big hospitals in Denmark. The work has contributed to the transformation of the organization and the strengthening and prioritization of innovation and has provided management decision-making basis for concrete implementation plans that can support innovation efforts among employees and businesses.

Sara also leads the programme Boxing Future Health – a future lab for health. Boxing Future Health consists of physical manifestations of future health in 2050 - four plausible scenarios. She leads the team running collaborative workshops with both private and public leaders and innovators to explore the consequences of alternative futures for their products, services, and business and governance models. The lab was created through a comprehensive co-creation process with more than 100 experts and with five close partners: two major hospitals, two educational institutions and the industry association, the Medico Industry.

Sara is an experienced keynoter and leads the collaboration withOxford Business School and HEC on the executive master programme Consulting and Coaching for Change.

Previously Sara has been serving as an internal consultant and advisor for the Capital Region of Denmark, managing more than 40.000 healthcare professionals, where she amongst others, was responsible for implementing the innovation policy from thepolicy level to operation management, teaching innovation methods and tools. Sara holds a Master of Science degree in engineering, Design & Innovation from the Technical University of Denmark.

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Anne Danielsen

Senior Service Designer, Danish Design Centre

Anne Danielsen is senior service designer of the development platform DesignHealth, where she focuses on the ways in which design can create health effect and services that places the patient in the center.

Based on her practical experience as a service designer, she is in possession of a great deal of optimism regarding design thinking. Simultaneously, she has a curious and accommodating attitude towards the complexities of reality, particularly within the health industry.

With a background in industrial design, Anne has a keen eye for the interaction between the user and the product. Her strength lies in exploring human behaviour and human needs, as both are crucial in the development of sustainable changes – whether these are concerning products, services or strategies. Apart from a master’s degree in Industrial Design, Anne has practical experience with service design within the field of energy, transportation, education, foodstuffs, tourism and telecoms.

Currently, Anne is heading two major projects. One is the Danish Design Center's contribution to The Capital Region of Denmarks's innovation strategy in 2017. The second is Boxing Future Health - a scenario and design project that explores possible futures for the health sector in the year 2050.

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Thomas Trøst Hanse

Industrial PhD Fellow at Wonderful Copenhagen

Thomas Trøst Hansen is an industrial PhD Fellow at Wonderful Copenhagen and an affiliated researcher at the Humanomics Research Centre, Aalborg University Copenhagen. His academic work focuses on how scientific conferences underpin the knowledge economy and is particularly interested in effects related to networks and recognition exchanges. He has also published on international mobility.

He has previously worked in the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science and in the Danish National Research Foundation as a senior advisor on national and international science policy. Furthermore, he was the Head of Media and Marketing at the EuroScience Open Forum 2014 Copenhagen – the largest European science policy conference, which had an ambitious outreach programme with more than 40.000 participants.

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Alessandro Jacques Cortese

Chief Executive Officer of ESTRO

Alessandro Jacques Cortese is since 2009 the Chief Executive Officer of ESTRO, the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology and Chairman of the ESTRO Cancer Foundation, and was, until June 2015, President of ESAE, the European Society of Association Executives.

Founded in 1980, ESTRO is a non-profit and scientific organization that fosters the role of Radiation Oncology to improve patients’ care in the multimodality treatment of cancer. With over 6,500 members in and outside Europe, ESTRO’s mission is to promote innovation, research, and dissemination of science through its congresses, special meetings, educational courses and publications.

Previously, Alessandro was Director of the Association Management practice at MCI, based in Brussels. In this capacity he was responsible for consulting clients on strategy and products offering, and for the maintenance and development of the competency of the MCI Brussels office in the AM practice.

Alessandro has gained significant experience working with international associations, particularly heading up the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) office of the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Within the scope of the collaboration with MCI, Alessandro served in key management and consulting roles for several international associations such as IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events), DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International), CIC (Convention Industry Council) and APICS (The Association for Operations Management).
Before working in the association domain, Alessandro worked as a marketing and communications specialist for AT Kearney and for McCann-Erickson, based in Milan, Italy.

Alessandro Cortese is a graduate from the University Statale degli Studi di Milano, with a degree in political sciences and an MBA from the same institution. He is also a PhD candidate in Management Sciences at the University of Antwerp.
Other academic accomplishments include serving on the Faculty of Economics, Department of Political Economics at the University Statale di Milano as a lecturer of economics of culture.

In 2015, Alessandro co-founded the Executive Master in International Association Management at the Solvay Business School in Brussels, where he also serves as a Lecturer in Strategy.

Alessandro is regularly invited to give talks to industry events and congresses, focusing in particular on strategy for International Associations. He is also a member of the International Advisory Boards for Destination DC, MyCEB Malaysia, PCMA (EMEA) and BestCities.

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“I was debating whether or not to go due to busy times in the office. OMG! I made the best decision ever. This educational event was a very productive use of my time. Thank you BestCities!”

Anne Lamarche
Meeting Manager
International Actuarial Association

“As a new attendee to the global forum I was deeply impressed by the organisation of the event, it’s relevance to my networking, development and education needs, and the sense of community and connection that it fostered among attendees. I would strongly recommend this event to other associations looking for ways to expand their networks and their responsiveness to changing environments.”

Wesley Benn
Executive Chairman
Digital Built Environment Institute