After a highly successful partnership with Giggabox for The Resilience Hub at Glasgow’s COP26 in 2021, The Events Hub’s Karen Bennie went across to Sharm El-Sheikh to deliver their programme at COP27. In this article she shares her reflections on the global event and what this year’s talks mean for future planning.
The Resilience Hub
Following a year of implementation, The Resilience Hub delivered its COP27 programme across a 12-day period. Headed up by the Global Resilience Partnership, the 5-6 daily events focused on the following themes:
- Finance and Investment;
- Humanitarian Action and Disaster Risk Management;
- Food and Agriculture;
- Resilient Infrastructure including Energy and Transport;
- Cities and Urbanisations;
- Water and Natural Ecosystems;
- Oceans and Coasts;
- Arts, Cultures, Antiquities and Heritage;
- Health & Wellbeing
Ultimately, there were a number of wide-ranging topics in their talks, but all focused on action – and needing finance to secure action. There was also the key driver of community, and creating accessibility for diverse voices. Indeed, the fact that theirs was the ‘go to’ meeting space gave it a strong community feel: a true ‘hub’.
Ingrained in the structure of the programme was a sense of it being a safe space within what is quite an intense global event. With an inclusive mix of veteran COP attendees and new faces, the range of voices provided a number of different perspectives, experiences, and insights.
Growth and development since COP26
About a third bigger than the Glasgow summit, COP27 has been the largest of its kind. So, this year’s programme had to show growth and development. One of the ways The Resilience Hub achieved this was through its design: by using a hybrid model again, it opened the programme up to even more voices across the world, and across time zones. This enabled not only greater accessibility, but diverse inclusivity.
In turn, this contributed to the vision of building a neighbourhood together: a way of working together to bring the best for the Hub, despite challenges. The Events Hub, Giggabox, and the Global Resilience Partnership have developed their relationship over the last year to cement smooth systems and create highly impactful experiences. After all, that’s what’s crucial at an event of this kind.
Room for improvement?
One of the main frustrations causing concern is that a year on, we are still talking about the same issues. Money and action are needed. And they’re needed now.
“If there is one thing for those of you in the room that I want you to deliver to the rest of the world, it is that you cannot negotiate with Nature. There will come a time where no amount of dollars will be able to make up for what is lost and what is broken. We are in a critical time in history and we don’t have much left.”
Ayisha Siddiqa, Climate Justice Advocate
How can you be the change?
Events are a crucial part of business development for a large number of organisations. They’re also a place to begin making fundamental changes (big and small) so as to reduce your carbon footprint. Start with small steps or take the plunge – here are a few pointers to make an immediate difference:
- Consider whether you need to hold a face-to-face event. Could it be online or hybrid instead? Moving to a virtual platform would reduce travel, consumption, and waste.
- Look at your suppliers. Can you use local providers so as to minimise transportation and its effects on the environment? You’ll also be investing in the local economy at the same time.
- Think about your catering options. Choosing a predominantly vegan or vegetarian menu reduces the environmental impact caused by animal product consumption.
- Can you go paperless? Think about what printing you actually require (if any). Are there ways to get around creating unnecessary paper waste? QR codes and emailed resources in advance or post-event are easy wins.
- Location-wise, opt for somewhere with quick and accessible public transport links to avoid attendees coming by car.
One of the best ways to deliver a sustainable, climate-conscious event? Ask The Events Hub to plan it for you. Get in touch to find out how we can help.
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