Guy Bigwood

Managing Director, Global Destination Sustainability Index, Spain

For the last 15 years, Guy has been delivering award-winning consulting services focused on helping cities, governments, associations and the hospitality industry step up, scale up and speed up their sustainability programmes and operational practices.

He is a recognised expert on creating sustainable destinations, communities and events through multi stakeholder collaboration. Currently Guy is the Managing Director of the Global Destinations Sustainability Index (GDS-Index); a multi-stakeholder partnership to accelerate the development and performance of sustainable tourism destinations. Today the GDS-Index is benchmarking and consulting to over 60 cities.

Guy has worked for the UAE Government and the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi as an Expert consultant, assessing and consulting various government departments as part of the UAE Government Excellence Award.

From 2006 to 2018, Guy was the Sustainability Director of MCI, the world’s largest association management, communications and events agency. He launched and developed a CSR program across the corporation’s 60 offices, developing a business strategy that positioned MCI to be an award winning sustainability champion, and the organiser of over 1000 events about sustainable development, Smart Cities and energy.

Guy is a passionate and outstanding communicator, who has delivered over 350 keynote presentations and facilitated workshops engaging over 35,000 participants in more than 40 countries. Guy’s pioneering work has been recognised with 21 sustainability awards including the Events Industry Council Pacesetter Award. He has co-written 3 Sustainable Event Guidebooks for the United Nations, and helped developed over 10 sustainability standards. He was previously the President of the Green Meetings Industry Council.


Monday, 9th December, 2019

09:50  -  10:50
PLENARY: Designing the Blueprint

Pillar 2: Designing an impact management and measurement program

While impact measurement is necessary to communicate the value generated by one’s actions and justify ROI from partners (or members) investing time and money, it is mostly possible as a result of a well-planned and executed impact management strategy. But the sector of association meetings has struggled with coming up with a concerted and impactful methodology for impact assessment for several reasons:

  • It lacks knowledge in the science of impact investment
  • There are no clear indicators for the sector and virtually no benchmarks serving as reference points
  • There are no frameworks and predictive models for use by the sector to help demonstrate the cause-to-effect relationships generating change
  • There’s a lack of consensus on the merit of even tracking social impact for associations and their meetings

This session will explore what an impact management program is, what it looks like and how it can be supported through tools and techniques.


Areas of impact:

11:20  -  12:10
LEARNING LABS – Session 2:  What’s Your 2030 Strategy?

Session 2:  What’s Your 2030 Strategy?
(Expert Briefing – 2 x 15-min TED-style presentations followed by Q&A)

In 2015 the UN launched one of its most ambitious goals: a 2030 blueprint for a better world. Created with massive input from business, not for profits, governments and civil society, the 2030 Agenda identifies 17 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs). But what does this mean for associations ? In this session, speakers will explain the philosophy behind the SDGs, how the goals can be integrated into an association strategy, and the benefits that they can bring to associations and their members.

Learning Outcomes:

  • What are the SDGs and what do they mean for the association sector?
  • Learn how the Sustainable Development Goals provide a path for greater impact, imagination & collaboration
  • Understand how stakeholders in Dubai and other associations are integrating them into their strategy


Areas of impact: