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Keynote Speaker Named for GMIC Conference


PORTLAND, ORE.—It’s Game On! as the sixth annual Sustainable Meetings Conference convenes senior level meeting and hospitality professionals from Fortune 500 companies, destinations, hotels and leading green industry associations into an immersive and innovative conference design in Portland, Ore., February 20 to 23, 2011. The international delegates, challenged to solve event case studies in a sustainability context, are now able to take their experience one step further with the announcement of GMIC’s keynote speaker of Dr. Karl-Henrik Robèrt of The Natural Step International.

“The question of reaching sustainability is not about if we will have enough energy, enough food, or other tangible resources…The question is: will there be enough leaders in time?” says Dr. Robèrt, Founder of The Natural Step.

The Natural Step (TNS) was founded in Sweden by Dr. Robèrt as a scientific and collaborative decision-making framework for leaders to be equipped to solve complex business, environmental and social challenges. The Natural Step is known to be a globally relevant definition of sustainability for organizations and is adopted by companies including: Nike, Scandic Hotels, Interface, and IKEA. The Green Meetings Industry Council recently signed a strategic partnership with The Natural Step to use their sustainability framework, developing and providing sustainability education and research for the meetings and events industry.

“The meeting and event professionals charged to implement sustainability are dealing with business challenges that are not easily solved by past methods,” says Guy Bigwood, GMIC president. “Our goal is to help leaders at every level by providing then with systems, resources and a network. Our partnership with the Natural Step is an important and critical step to bringing needed rigor and integrity to our industry’s sustainability initiatives.”

The Sustainable Meetings Conference provides an opportunity for meeting professionals to test out their leadership skills in peer supported learning teams and apply the principles of TNS in context of pending event standards to their own organizations and events. For conference registration and full conference details, visit www.sustainablemeetingsconference.com.