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Legacy. Improving lives. Changing the world by changing the communities we live in. We can all play a part in building a fairer, healthier, and better society. 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, we are thrilled to celebrate three outstanding Associations who’ve set the industry standard in the last 12 months and driven real change through passion, education, creativity, and fun. 

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

All our nominees deserve credit – and the judges faced a difficult task – but our 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… we believe these three excellent examples of public engagement merit widespread recognition. 

Our 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 tick. Kids were encouraged to build brains – “ït’s like a marshmallow”- delegates were encouraged to explore brain installations, and Glaswegians 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 secu-rity 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 ag-rochemical pollution on The West Bank… five bold youth voices came to the fore.  Five individuals stepping up and sharing their stories during a major international water event – IWRA’s World Wa-ter Congress – and detailing their remarkable efforts to find adequate responses to these local chal-lenges on a global stage.

Our winners showcase how insight and imagination, cleverness and creativity can really make a difference to events of all sizes. We are delighted to award each association $7500 USD for future projects. We hope their case studies – and their presence in Krakow at Congress – will inspire other associations to really push their ideas as far as possible so they can make a truly lasting impression on our global communities. 

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 societal gamechanger; 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.