Representatives from NGOs, clean energy businesses, academia and government spent two hours rotating through 12 seven-minute “speed dating” style interviews with new business contacts at REEEP's tenth anniversary event in Rio. The seven minutes ticked off with a clock on the screen, and music with a heavy beat signalled time to change.
The event, which marked REEEP’s tenth anniversary, was moderated by DG Martin Hiller, who gave a quick overview of the session and explained how it all would work. He also noted the strong role of co-host UN DESA who were instrumental in organising the event.
Participants were also honoured with an opening address by Thomas Stelzer, UN Assistant Secretary General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs. In his statement, Stelzer underlined the importance of Partnerships and praised REEEP as an effective example of the collaborative approach that sustainable development requires.
Against a background of panel discussion side events, the session stood out as innovative. “This is such a refreshing change from the usual Powerpoint-driven side event,” said one participant, “it is so interesting to see what others are doing in the sustainable development space, and it was just plain fun.” Participants rated the event very highly. Verbatim comments on feedback forms included “the concept was amazing” and “had some very useful discussions,” and “I’ve made some great new business contacts, and two or three of them have serious potential.”
“This was REEEP’s first Speed Brokering,” said Martin Hiller, “but it certainly won’t be our last. This is exactly the type of session we intend to hold alongside other major clean energy-related events. It plays to the REEEP strength in bringing diverse players together.”