AmChams in Europe 2016 Best Practices Conference, October 12 – 14, 2016
For three days, Slovenia became a green heart of Europe for representatives of the member countries of the AmChams in Europe network, connecting 44 countries and 46 AmChams. In the previous week, representatives of 29 countries gathered at the conference AmChams in Europe 2016 Best Practices to share best practices. The conference was held in the spirit of networking, cooperation, and friendship.
European and Eurasian AmChams contended for the award Creative Network Award 2016 in various categories: membership and management, advocacy and impact, communication and marketing, and innovative programs. Among 10 best practices from 10 countries, the award went to AmCham Slovenia for the Partnership for Change program. We thank Steklarna Rogaška for contributing the winning cup.
At the beginning of the conference, the participants were addressed by His Excellency Brent R. Hartley, the U.S. ambassador to Slovenia, while Zoran Janković, the mayor of the Municipally of Ljubljana, welcomed them to the European Green Capital 2016. Moreover, the AmCham Business Breakfast presented a great opportunity for members of AmCham Slovenia and foreign ambassadors in Slovenia to meet their colleagues from the AmChams in Europe network.
Who were the finalists for the Creative Network Award 2016 in each category?
The finalists were AmCham Estonia, Premium Partner Program: Securing Your Sponsorship Efficiently; AmCham Slovenia, Partnership for Change; AmCham Belgium, #Yes2Belgium Campaign; AmCham Ireland, US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards.
AmCham Slovenia won with its project Partnership for Change. The project Partnership for Change strives to introduce collaborative innovation in Slovenian society by changing mentality, promoting cooperation, and strengthening the role of the individual in society. The gap between the public and private sector often appears too great – similar challenges can be found in every country. The initiators of the project, AmCham Slovenia and the Ministry of Public Administration, thus managed to achieve something almost impossible. They have connected Slovenia by setting up cooperation that already includes 75 employees, 36 companies, and six ministries. After a year and a half of operation, five challenges that were addressed by the groups of employees are now on their way of implementation. Partnership for Change was also shortlisted by OECD within their call for innovation in public administration among 150 applicants, and will be presented at the World Government Summit in Dubai next year.
What were the impressions of representatives of European and Eurasian AmChams about sLOVEnia?
Patrick Mikkelsen, Director of AmChams in Europe and CEO of AmCham in the Netherlands:
This was a week in Slovenia to remember. Ljubljana will surely remain in each one of us.
Susan Danger, CEO of AmCham EU, who has been listed among the top twenty influential women in Brussels by Politico, said she was glad to be in Slovenia, a country of love:
This was an excellent Best Practices Conference. I am impressed by the creativity, friendliness, and excellent foreign language knowledge of Slovenians as well as the greenness of the country itself.
Mark Redmond, CEO of AmCham Ireland, congratulated AmCham Slovenia on behalf of the AmChams in Europe network for organizing the conference:
We are incredibly proud that AmCham Slovenia is a part of our network, and I wish the Chamber as well as all its members best of luck in the future.
Daria Sivovol, CEO AmCham Estonia, pointed out that Slovenia surpassed her expectations and that she was very happy to have met her colleagues from other countries:
I wish to thank you for sharing love with us here in Slovenia. I will surely come back to visit Slovenia with my family.
Ajša Vodnik, MSc, Executive Director of AmCham Slovenia and a member of the Executive Board of AmChams in Europe, described the AmChams in Europe network with the following words: “Imagine a union with representatives in all European end Eurasian countries. A union that is innovative and ready to serve not only the economy but also the welfare of each country and its citizens with friendship as its core value. As I look around at us gathered here, I see that such a union already exists, and I am happy that we are all part of it. We have to nurture our relations, cooperate, spread optimism, and inspire positive changes together.”
AmCham Slovenia has the privilege to have its executive director, Ajša Vodnik serving as Member-at-large in the AmChams in Europe Executive Committee, supporting the work of AmChams across Europe. AmCham Slovenia is one of the most active members of AmChams in Europe, achieving the highest growth in membership per capita and leading by example with reference programs such as Partnership for Change and AmCham Young ProfessionalsTM.
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