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Session 5: Overcoming barriers to innovation & change: lessons from the Pandemic

This interactive session is designed to provide practical, ready-to-apply solutions for delegates who are facing tough barriers in trying to drive positive change in their association.  Delegates are invited to bring their most intractable, complicated, most-difficult-to-solve challenge, whether it relates to their Board, members or other stakeholders, whether it concerns events, education programmes or business models, or anticipated future needs for technology or talent, and we will apply the “wisdom of crowds” from around the world to find the right solutions.



Martin Sirk, Owner, Sirk Serendipity



21 February 2022


2:15 pm - 3:15 pm




  • Alaa Al Boali
    Alaa Al Boali
    Director, MEFMA – the Middle East Facility Management Association

    Alaa is the Director of the Middle East Facilities Management Association, a nonprofit organization that aims to unify the Facility Management Industry. As a MEFMA Director, Alaa led the successful journey of the association by her visionary leadership and strategic orientation. Her dedication to serve the FM industry was noticeably demonstrated through committing to provide highly professional courses and running up multiple industry events across the Middle East. Her passion and experience in the associations industry led MEFMA to be one of the most active ones in the region.
    Alaa holds a BS in Business Administration with concentration in Accounting and Finance from the American University of Sharjah, UAE. She started her career with KPMG to be the first Saudi female to work in tax in Saudi Arabia. After four years of dealing with clients, she has found her passion in communications and clients’ relations. This led her to begin her career in the associations industry starting with MEFMA in 2012 as the Relationship Manager. In between, she managed memberships and marketing at the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association before she was appointed as the director of MEFMA in 2016.

  • Bo Kruger
    Bo Kruger
    Owner, Moving Minds

    Bo Kruger is a prize-winning and internationally renowned Managment Consultant, Meeting Designer and speaker. Bo is the owner of Moving Minds, a consultancy that helps clients succeed with change and innovation projects, with a primary focus on how organisations and associations can renew themselves and become fit for the future and fit for humans. Bo has previously served as an innovation consultant
    at the Danish Institute of Technology and as a Senior Management Consultant in Implement Consulting Group. He has worked in and with a range of associations and has experience with corporate clients in more than 25 countries, has written books on facilitation, gamification and creativity and won the
    Outstanding Achievement Award at the Danish Meeting and Events Awards. Bo lives in Copenhagen, likes winter bathing and bikes every day to work.

  • 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.

  • Marjorie Anderson
    Marjorie Anderson
    Founder, Community By Association

    Marjorie Anderson is an experienced community management professional with expertise in building a large global community for associations, and plays a leading role in developing Digital Communities at Project Management Institute. She is the Founder of Community by Association, L.L.C., an organization that dually supports community management practitioners in associations and nonprofits and that provides information and resources to these organizations enabling them to build a solid foundation for their community programs. She is skilled at developing cohesive community strategies that connect to organizational goals and consider the full user experience across an organization’s digital ecosystem. Marjorie has successfully led efforts to obtain buy-in across the business to highlight the value of the online community program, enabling the creation of holistic programs that connect community members to each other and the products/services within the organization. She also has experience transforming and revitalizing existing community programs to meet the needs of members and the business.

  • 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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