EICC to host the Countdown Summit, a major global climate change event

Edinburgh, 31 March 2021

The EICC will host the Countdown Summit, powered by TED and Future Stewards, 12-15 October 2021. Health and safety concerns permitting, the event will gather global leaders in Scotland’s capital to unveil imaginative and scalable solutions to turn the tide on climate change and create a healthier and more equitable world for all. TED and Future Stewards launched the Countdown initiative via a live virtual event 10 October 2020 with talks and performances by Pope Francis, Prince William, Christiana Figueres and Al Gore as well as scientists, activists, artists, schools and leaders from business and government. Learn more and check out the full event here.

Countdown aims to mobilize millions to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 through radical collaboration—convening all stakeholders to build on the critical work already underway and bringing existing, powerful solutions to an even broader audience. Countdown’s blueprint for a better future is informed by five fundamental, interconnected questions around “Energy, Transport, Materials, Food and Nature.” Visit countdown.ted.com to learn more about the initiative and get involved. 

The EICC, Scotland’s leading conference venue, has hosted TED conferences on four previous occasions, TEDSummit in 2019 and TEDGlobal in 2011-2012-2013.  

The Countdown Summit will draw together mayors and local officials, policymakers, business leaders, indigenous leaders, scientists, philanthropists, artists, youth activists, and key influencers for: “Four days of talks, collaboration and commitments to action - commitments that we can learn from, build on, and track together.  The goal is action from everyone: nations, cities, companies and citizens.”

Marshall Dallas, the EICC’s Chief Executive, said: “It is a privilege to welcome back the TED Conferences Team, together with Future Stewards and their partners, to Edinburgh later this year for the Countdown Summit. This is such an important initiative for the world, including for Scotland, in a year when COP26 is also being hosted in Glasgow, the world’s attention will be on our country.  Countdown is centred around driving global positive change, which matches up with our own vision at the EICC - to create an environment which inspires ideas that change the world.”

“We look forward to returning to Scotland and to the EICC for the fifth time, a venue that has always provided a perfect setting for impact-focused discussions,” said Bruno Giussani, the lead curator of Countdown.

Neil Brownlee, Head of Business Events at VisitScotland, commented: “For years Scotland has welcomed the world's greatest thinkers, innovators and leaders.  As we transition towards an emergence from this pandemic, there is no greater endorsement of our nation’s credentials than the return of TED and the Countdown Summit to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, just weeks before COP26 in Glasgow. In Scotland we believe Business Events are a catalyst for social and economic transformation; they are a driver to tackle climate change - with Countdown Summit and TED being true leaders in  our global Journey to Change.”

The EICC, which has been running online events since lockdown, came into 2020, the year of its 25th anniversary, on the back of a record year in 2019 and has produced economic impact of over £720 million since opening its doors in September 1995.  During that time, 3500 events have been held at the venue with total delegate numbers standing at 1,475,892.