International collaboration was in the spotlight as Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, former United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General to Kofi Annan, presented at the annual International Sydney Speaker Series in London.
Speaking at Australia House on 24 November, Lord Malloch-Brown addressed an audience of leading international association CEOs, committee members and key decision makers on the topic of Collaborating Locally, Delivering Internationally – a perspective from within the United Nations and World Bank.
Lord Malloch-Brown drew on his broad experience in Asia at the UN and with the World Bank on delivering projects in areas where there was a strong need for local engagement and partnerships. He also addressed the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the benefits of organisations collaborating at local levels to provide solutions that meet their own goals as well as UN SDGs internationally.
“To generate economic growth, environmental sustainability and social equity we need to recognise the importance of stakeholder engagement and collaboration on a fundamental level,” he said.
The International Sydney Speaker Series, a joint initiative of Business Events Sydney (BESydney) and International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), aims to help associations meet the challenges in the rapidly changing global environment.
Lord Malloch-Brown is currently the Co-Chair of the Global Commission on Business and Sustainable Development, the Commission conducts foundational research, and engages in fact-finding dialogue with a diverse cross-section of key stakeholders including business leaders, investors, civil society representatives, social entrepreneurs and academic experts.
The Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mr Andrew Todd, welcomed the high-profile audience to Australia House and emphasised the importance of collaboration in innovation. “I’m constantly impressed by Australia’s technological advances in medicine and digital technology – these innovations all stemmed from successful research and development initiatives generated through partnerships – collaboration between education institutions, industry, private sector and our government bodies.”
Co-host of the event, Ms Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of BESydney, said, “We know that international relationships are key to successful collaboration and innovation. On a daily basis, we see the outcomes of people coming together to tackle global issues and create a brighter future: business events drive economic and social outcomes for the global community.”
“If there is one thing I hope participants share in their conversations and strategies today, tomorrow and the day after, it’s that together we can have a lasting impact on society. My team can help bring thought leaders to Sydney to meet to help shape our future.”
Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney, said a key role of an international convention centre is to connect its visitors to host communities.
“Ahead of our opening in December, we’ve been building ties with local academics, corporate leaders and young innovators to open doors for clients whilst they’re in town. As part of our Feeding your Performance philosophy that aims to energise bodies and minds through seasonal, nutritional menus, we’ve even established a research project, in partnership with the University of Technology, Sydney, that measures the economic and social impact of supporting local farmers and emerging ethical businesses,” he said.
“Lord Malloch-Brown added a very unique twist to the event, and the group seemed fascinated by his insights and vision,” said Paul Hawes, guest and Regional Manager, UK & Germany at Destination NSW. “I was pleased to talk with a number of the guests, many whom are interested in coming to Sydney, and showed positive intent to bring their conventions to the new ICC Sydney. Well done to you all for the great afternoon.”
The 2015 International Sydney Speaker Series event in London featured Lord Sebastian Coe, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) discussing Legacy and Innovation. The International Sydney Speaker Series is also held in the United States and in 2015 featured innovation expert, Frans Johansson. This year the event aligned with the Washington IDEAS Forum and guests heard from Australian Ambassador to the United States, The Hon. Mr Joe Hockey.