Soroptimist International – A winner in the Incredible Impacts Programme 2020

The business events sector is one of many to be hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, however, not to be held down, The Incredible Impacts Programme, now in its fourth year, is again recognising and celebrating associations who have proved dedication in creating legacies that reach far beyond the conference or convention walls.

Run collaboratively by the International Congress and Conventions Association (ICCA) and BestCities Global Alliance, The Incredible Impacts Programme has selected three winning associations as leading examples of excellence within the global meetings industry that each display these inspiring qualities; and Soroptimist International is delighted to be named one of the winners!

The three associations: Ecocity Builders and the BCIT Ecocity Centre, Canada; the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME), Germany; and our very own Soroptimist International (SI), UK, will each receive a US $7,500 grant towards future projects, in recognition of the organisation’s hosted events which excelled in areas such as sustainability, accessibility and ecology.

“The winning associations demonstrated innovation and global thinking to create meaningful impact in their respective industries, as well as leaving a legacy for the business events industry that will go beyond their venue walls for years to come. With this year’s Incredible Impacts program, it is hoped the winners will be a reference and source of inspiration for other event planners in the future – at a moment in time when our industry should be reminded of the remarkable work it does”.

Senthil Gopinath, ICCA CEO, says: “ICCA is proud to have partnered with BestCities Global Alliance for the fourth year in a row to highlight the ‘beyond tourism’ value of international association meetings.The three winners have demonstrated their efforts and how they raised awareness of, and positively influenced their communities through education on critical issues such as safe sanitation, sustainability and recent advances in Microbial Ecology. We’re delighted to award them grants to support their endeavours as they continue important work on their legacy programmes.”

Photo: From left – Sharon Fisher, Kuala Lumpur Convention Chair Puan Sri Siew Yong Gnanalingham, Yvonne Simpson and Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, in 2019, leaving a lasting legacy and kick start the adventure prior to the 21st SI Convention, Kuala Lumpur.

Our winning Entry showcased the July 2019, Soroptimist International convention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It mapped out our vision and action in advocating for human rights and gender equality, our implementation of grassroots projects, and our permanent representation at seven United Nations Centres where we influence global policy for women and girls.

Soroptimists leave a legacy – planting trees as a gesture of SI’s commitment to a green sustainable world.

The entry detailed the lasting legacy born of our 2019 convention, and our ongoing work with local clubs and members in the underdeveloped areas of Malaysia, and the construction of water and sanitation facilities to provide clean and safe water, organic farms to establish food security, and vocational training to educate and empower villagers.

Global Executive Director Deborah Thomas says: Our entry clearly illustrated the wider and lasting impacts of SI’s quadrennial conventions not only for the host city, but for regions and the country. Our determination to educate and empower women and girls is grounded in our founding principles of advocating for gender equality and the human rights. Harnessing our local to global power the team have created opportunities for learning, whilst facilitating in this particular case, access to the fundamental human rights of water, sanitation and food security.  Following the SI 2019 Kuala Lumpur Convention SI leaves a sustainable and replicable model for women and girls in the journey to extinguish outdated norms, and alter behaviours keeping us firmly on track to deliver our mission of transforming the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities

Editors notes:

ICCA – the International Congress and Convention Association – is the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry.

More at:

BestCities Global Alliance is an international network of leading convention destinations around the globe. They are distinguished by the commitment of the members’ convention offices to offering special standards of service. Members include Berlin, Bogotá, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Dublin, Houston, Madrid, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo and Vancouver.

More at: @BestCitiesGA.



1 comment

  1. Catherine Gitonga (From SINC- Kenya) 10 months ago 4th October 2020

    This is great work to serve. We are actually called to serve. When we observe the life of Jesus for those who are Christians you realise that he served the needy despite his privileged position as the son of God. Ladies kudos and let’s continue serving.


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