Client Case Study

World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates

Public Affairs, Events, Digital

THE CHALLENGE

Organizations from around the globe – The Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, The Chicago Community Trust, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and World Business Chicago – partnered to host the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, held in Chicago April 23-25, 2012. This marked the first time that the event had been held in North America, and all partners involved were challenged with increasing the global reach and ensuring the messages of peace resonated with more people than any other Summit. Twenty-one Nobel Peace Laureate individuals and organizational representatives participated in the Summit, including the Dalai Lama, President Mikhail Gorbachev, President Lech Walesa, President F.W. de Klerk, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Jody Williams, Dr. Shirin Ebadi and representatives from organizations such as Amnesty International, United Nations Children’s Fund, International Labour Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross and more. In addition to the Summit sessions, Laureates and guests were also invited to two formal dinners, one featuring President Bill Clinton, and three lunches, one of which featured President Jimmy Carter.

THE APPROACH

JT served as executive producer of the entire Summit, with responsibilities including: serving as liaison to program partners; event management; program development and support; social media; local, national and international media relations; registration; volunteer coordination; transportation support; and management of design and online services. In this role, we helped brainstorm ways to make this Summit stand apart, making it more accessible and appealing to the masses. Through ongoing strategy sessions, the central topics of the Chicago Summit were finalized – a focus on peace, human rights and, for the first time in Summit history, youth engagement to ensure the message reached leaders of tomorrow. To carry out the youth focus, JT employed a number of tactics to ensure that the event would be attended by youth, and that the program content would be of interest as well. The Summit officially opened with each Nobel Peace Laureate visiting a different Chicago Public Schools before the first day’s sessions began, providing an opportunity for the Nobel Peace Laureates to interact with students who had studied their work and achievements. We also teamed up with Scholastic, the largest educational curriculum and content provider in the US, to ensure classrooms around the country would have access to the Summit sessions through a dedicated microsite where teachers and students could download related materials and view the Summit via live stream. Youth involvement continued throughout the Summit activities, with hundreds of students attending each day’s panel discussions. In addition to the focus on youth, JT also developed a targeted strategic media relations and social media plan to ensure that the messages reached beyond the audience present for the panel discussions and ancillary other events.

THE RESULTS

  • More than 6,000 elected officials, international dignitaries, celebrities, and countless members of the Chicago business and civic community attended the Summit.
  • To support the event’s focus on youth engagement, this group also included more than 700 college students and 3,500 high school students from 78 Chicago-area universities and high schools attended the Summit.
  • Approximately 200 journalists attended and covered the Summit. Stories about the Summit ran in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Hollywood Reporter and on NBC Nightly News, MSNBC’s “Jansing and Co.,” “Amanpour” on CNN International, C-SPAN and more.
  • On Twitter, the #Nobel hashtag was used close to 70,000 times over the course of the Summit by fans and followers that included 34 international embassies

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