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Session 3: Falling in love with the problem (Expert briefing + group work)

Digital transformation has been identified as a central requirement for association reinvention, but this isn’t simply a matter of choosing the right software!  Instead, it requires a new, design-thinking approach that marries theory and hands-on collaboration, to unlock your team’s latent innovative capacity for finding (tech and non-tech) solutions to clearly-identified challenges and problems.  Crucially, success depends on instilling a genuine enthusiasm for this process throughout your association.  Technology entrepreneur, innovator and strategic advisor Marc Mekki will provide theoretical insights and practical advice on how this ambitious goal can be achieved.

Moderator: Martin Sirk, Owner, Sirk Serendipity


21 February 2022


11:30 am - 12:30 pm




  • Marc Mekki
    Marc Mekki
    Digital Innovator and UX & Design Thinking Expert

    Marc is a speaker, author, coach and advisor on digital innovation, creativity and design thinking. Having spent the last 20 years taking up entrepreneurship challenges in China, Europe and the Middle East, Marc is well placed to offer actionable advice and to co-strategise on innovation, change management and creative thinking. Since 2009 Marc has been invited to speak, train and coach in Europe, Asia, Middle East, and South America for organisations like Amadeus, Dorchester Collection, Meet in Flanders, Intelak, UIA and many more. He is a contributing author for Boardroom Magazine, Arabian Business and Association Meetings International on innovation and futurism. Marc holds a Design Thinking certification from MIT Sloan School of Management.

  • Martin Sirk
    Martin Sirk
    International Advisor, Global Association Hubs Partnership

    Martin Sirk runs the strategic consultancy Sirk Serendipity. Major clients include Global Association Hubs Partnership, advising Brussels, Dubai, Singapore and Washington DC how to assist international associations in achieving their strategic goals, as well as tech start-ups, international associations and meetings industry companies, including the International Association for the Study of Pain, SITE, UFI, IMEX, and AI-driven interpretation company Wordly.

    From 2002 to 2018, Martin was CEO of ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association, and prior to that, he held senior positions with Hilton International, Brighton and Hove City Council, and the British Tourist Authority.

    His areas of expertise and interest include meeting design, association strategy and development, social and economic impact of meetings, destination marketing, networking theory, and the future evolution of the meetings industry.

    Martin divides his time between Amsterdam and California, when not travelling on projects.

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