CIM 2019/6 Product

Heated atmosphere

// David Friedrich-Schmidt

Climate change was a big topic at the 92nd DGN congress in Stuttgart. There was much talk of how people had travelled to the event. By train or plane or: Good versus evil?

David Friedrich-Schmidt, Head of Projects & Administration, German Neurological Society (Photo: DGN)

Buzzwords. It was the number one non-neurological topic at this year’s congress: “How did you travel to the event?” As usual in this often emotional debate, opinions differed widely. On the one hand we have the “ecofascists”, as one doctor put it sharply. On the other, the “ignoramuses” who constantly voice the same killer argument that Germany only causes two per cent of carbon emissions anyway.

In the end, it is just a matter of common sense, but also of the options. As long as flights are “dirt cheap” and rail travel usually more expensive, there’s something wrong with the system. The government has put together a package, and it remains to be seen if it will be successful.

But for us planners there is no turning back: We have to take action! We need to develop alternative travel and participation concepts, and use green materials for signage, furnishings and please also for exhibitions. Smart food concepts and waste avoidance are more or less musts – aren’t they? These are the buzzwords that we now have to deal with intensively. The trial phase is over.

I don’t mind repeating myself: It is no longer a question of whether but of how we act sustainably. The issue has now reached mainstream society and the way we plan our events. In any case, our attendees are making clear and audible demands! Hence, active climate protection also helps the congress atmosphere and keeps things chill. Two birds with one stone!