Who could fit better into our concept of “ecomice explorers” than Silke, a seasoned experience designer and association expert. Her focus is similar to ours: connecting the right content with the right people at the right time. She could be described best as a ‘do-it-all’ who loves to shake up traditional learning formats and approaches by empowering people and setting-up new innovative initiatives.

Silke encourages everyone involved in a business meeting – attendees and planners – to think of the local and global impact of their events. That is why she is a vivid supporter of producing sustainable, energizing and healthy meetings. For many years she serves as ambassador of Healthy Venues www.healthyvenues.org and is an honorary Boardroom magazine advisory board member. In both capacities, she has made a point of “looking beyond borders” by incorporating topics and partners outside the traditional field or by embracing a more “open” discussion.

Question 1) How open are you to consider sustainable options for programs? 

I’m a “do-it-all” who loves to empower people and set up new innovative initiatives! Therefore I will always raise the flag for more sustainable and healthier events, wherever, whenever I can!

To me personally it is an absolute “must” to creating sustainable events. One of the topics I focus on and where – very often – the sustainability aspect is overlooked is FOOD (ideally healthy, local and organic) which includes avoiding food waste at a maximum (I tabled the idea with ICCA how to tackle food waste in the meetings industry: https://www.iccaworld.org/knowledge/article.cfm?artid=621)

Question 2) What is your motivation for joining the ecomice explorers group at IMEX?

Exchange, learn and share best practices!

I grab all the opportunities to learn (my curious nature), hear about the improvements made in the meetings industry, be up to date and, more importantly, remain relevant to the initiatives, members and clients.

There is more to our work than maximizing revenue. All of our activities, especially our events, should be meaningful and make a lasting impact!

Question 3) Can you give an example of a conference, event or other program that you have organised taking sustainability aspects into account?  

Especially during my time at Euroheat & Power (as a resource-efficient association), we wanted to hold sustainable and healthy events, while ensuring minimal environmental impact. Our programmes must be energising and this not only through the content provided. The health, comfort and well-being of our delegates is incredibly important.

This materialized at the 2019 edition of the ehp congress – here is a quote from an interview with Silke in Conference Matters magazine, the full interview can be read here

This year, the Euroheat & Power Congress (EHP) took place in Nantes. Why Nantes?

“The Board members opted for Nantes because the city is strongly committed to a fair and sustainable energy transition and was named European Green Capital in 2013. Nantes conducted a major debate on the energy transition based on the principle that, in order to change the scale, projects must emerge and be sustainable at all levels of the territory and this cannot be done without District Energy.”

“The role of local and regional authorities in the fight against global warming must be strengthened and events such as the EHP congress serves as such amplifiers. Nantes is working on additional, new heating plants and sustainable heating networks. The 2019 EHP Congress was a chance for Nantes to showcase their energy policy management on a local scale.”

“Nantes is also the number 2 city in France in terms of job growth and has a booming economy. Furthermore, Nantes is a human-sized city and one of the new and upcoming European destinations.”

Also watch Silke’s chat with ICCA – on leaving an impact with the example of the Global District Energy Climate Awards: https://www.iccaworld.org/newsarchives/archivedetails.cfm?id=4864345

Profile: https://www.cinapon.com/team/silke


The case study given here is connected to SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy for All – click on the image to learn some key aspects of SDG 7