BestCities Global Forum 2019 – Exploring the Congress of the Future – Fortifying Impact

The BestCities Global Forum 2019 will be taking place in Copenhagen in December. During the event the Copenhagen Convention Bureau and BestCities Global Alliance are launching an initiative to explore the future of congresses in partnership with the Danish Design Centre and futurists from Public Futures. The vision and ambition with the initiative is to continuously be future-proofing the industry in order to advance the cause of international meetings.

In this article we interview Sara Gry Striegler, M.Sc. Engineering (Design Engineer) Programme Director, Danish Design Centre to tell us more of what is being planned for the upcoming forum.

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

Sara and the team at Danish Design Centre are currently developing an initiative which will model the scenarios congresses of the future may encounter, to be launched at the BestCities Global Forum 2019. Working in collaboration with BestCities, Copenhagen Convention Bureau, and Public Futures, the product of this will be a digital tool that associations can use to develop strategy and plan for the future.

Can you tell us what the Danish Design Centre does and your own background?

The Danish Design Centre’s vision is to empower business, people and society to shape the next. We activate designers’ methods and mindset to create value for business, people and society. The Danish Design Centre, an independent, publicly funded organization in Copenhagen with about 35 staff, has defined several strategic focus areas and offerings. 

Our key approach is systematic experimentation with design-based value creation in companies. The DDC has a vision of contributing to making design one of the most important positions of strength for Danish companies. 

I am head of the Danish Design Centre’s business and focus area, as well as the Future Health team. The team explores how design can 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 services and products as well as public-private innovation frameworks by tackling challenges through experimentation and harnessing the benefits of the developments in technology and access to new data.

Leading the design-driven strategy process, I co-created the innovation strategy alongside the Capital Region of Denmark for the management 5 major hospitals in Denmark. The work has contributed to the transformation of the organization and the strengthening and prioritization of innovation. 

The Copenhagen Convention Bureau and BestCities Global Alliance are launching an initiative to explore the future of congresses in partnership with the Danish Design Centre and futurists from Public Futures at the BestCities Global Forum taking place in Copenhagen in December. Can you tell us a bit more about how this will be structured and what participants can expect?

Through a facilitated process the participants can expect an immersive experience with inspiring exploration and discussions on the future of congresses. They will explore on their own what it feels like to be part of four alternative futures and have the opportunity to step consciously and pro-actively into the future. We will immerse in the dilemmas and conditions we should consider now to envision reality for the associations and conventions of 2040.

One of the desired outcomes of this initiative at the BestCities Global Forum is a tangible tool that associations can use to develop future strategies for their organisations. What can people expect from the tool?

The tool can be used as a framework for the industry to explore, utilize and use in their own settings: inspiring partners and colleagues to build their new strategies and adjusting and creating new products, services and concepts in the pipelines and point out new collaborations and partners.

Do you have any examples of pasts collaborations you can share? 

Boxing Future Health – a future lab for health

I lead the Boxing Future Health programme, which has created a physical manifestation of four plausible future health scenarios in the year 2050. These future scenarios frame new discussions about how we can best prepare the healthcare sector for the future and define the path that lets us trace developments from 2050 back to 2018. 

Through collaborative workshops the future lab invites leaders and innovators to experience and explore the consequences of alternative futures for their products, services, and business and governance models. Using graphic tools and interactive workshop formats, the participants are invited to investigate what different scenarios would mean for them in the future.

The Future of Business Development,Danish Business Authority

With the starting point in future scenarios, the purpose was to enable and boost two teams in the Danish Business Authority to and in an even larger extend, work with the strategies correlated to long-term in policy development and to focus on developing future tools and interventions. Together, they examined the challenges and potentials of Danish companies in the future and worked on how in an even larger extend meet the needs and trigger the potentials that arise already in the near future. 

BestCities Global Forum 2019

Interested in attending the BestCities Global Forum? More information and application details can be found here.