In this post I am very happy to share with you the highlight of our #BeeSustain Tweet Tour but before I have a very exciting announcement: this week Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau has won the 2014 ICCA Best PR Award at the ICCA Congress in Antalya for their #BeeSustain campaign! The award was based on different criteria, including strong story-telling, high-visibility coverage, brand consistency, PR reaction to a crisis, and PR that showcases success, covering both traditional print and web/social media channels.
That announcement sets the theme for what I want to share with you now, as our #BeeSustain Tweet Tour also had a wonderful story over the three days. I couldn’t think about better title for this post as the one given by ICCA for thier press release: “Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau Tells its Story Best”.
Good Things Await
On our first day in Copenhagen we watched the Danish documentary Good Things Await which was released on 3rd of September 2014 and since gained national and international recognition. The movie is about an 80 years old farmer, Niels Stokholm, at the biodynamic Thorshøjgaard farm north of Copenhagen which is owned by a foundation, the Thorshøjgaard Fonden (biodynamic refers to a method of organic farming).
While I don’t want to reveal too much from the movie because I highly recommend you to watch it, the storyline is about sustainable thinking and the importance of being in harmony with the nature. Niels follows his farming principles while the authorities threaten to withdraw his licence over the farm because his way of farming does not comply with their regulations.
The movie was very emotional and educating and we continued discussing it over dinner, before visiting the farm on the following day.
Thorshøjgaard biodynamic farm
Early morning on the following day we drove to Thorshøjgaard farm to meet Niels. We were hosted at his home, where the movie was also filmed. Niels is now 80 years old, before becoming a farmer in the age of 42, he worked as an engineer, job that brought him to travel the world and he speaks English fluently. He also told us that he became a farmer because of this strong believe to connect the nature and humanity in a sustainable and harmonic way and that he sees himself as one of the few who can really represent and support the farmers in front of governments and authorities.
Later we continued to see his cattle, pigs and sheeps living in their natural environment. The animal herd consists of the original red Danish dairy breed and this breed has a strong immune system and has never been mixed with industrial breeding. It has been appointed for conservation by the National Genetic Resources Committee.
I was very impressed by his energy and enthusiasm and his friendliness to welcome us in his home.
Copenhagen Street Food
On the third day we visited and had lunch at the Copenhagen Street Food and met with Jesper Møller, the founder. Copenhagen Street Food is a social enterprise and supports the original Danish dairy breed and the Thorshøjgaard farm by donating 5 DKK from every bottle of water sold at the Copenhagen Street Food. In September this year Jesper also donated 400,000 DKK to the Thorshøjgaard foundation to help out to restore damage caused by adverse weather.
The Copenhagen Street Food can be also used as a venue for meetings and events and offers a variety of international food with over 30 food trucks.
While there are many ways to incorporate sustainability and CSR into events, I have learned the following from Niels and Copenhagen Street Food:
- Choose carefully your supply chain and try to source local produce for the event. Give back to local communities or the cause you support.
- Look for ways of cooperation and sharing instead of owning. Look for opportunities to create strong and lasting partnerships.
- Integrate storytelling into the event concept and take the attendees on a journey by educating them and raising awareness of an important cause.
I am still thinking about this powerful message and will watch the movie again.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic and how you incorporate sustainability and responsible thinking into your events?
All photos © The MICE Blog