The Incredible Impacts Programme celebrates the “beyond tourism” value of international association meetings to create a powerful platform to advocate their positive societal impact. A panel of independent judges from the association world each year determines which meetings have proven impact to award three grants of USD 7,500 on behalf of BestCities Global Alliance and ICCA.

In 2019, the European Lung Foundation won one of the three grants.

Healthy Lungs for Life Campaign  

Healthy Lungs for Life (HLfL) is a global awareness-raising campaign, established by the European Lung Foundation and European Respiratory Society in 2014, prioritising the importance of respiratory health. The campaign runs each year, and is launched during the ERS International Congress at a host European city.

Its primary objectives are prevention and public education, with the key aim to reduce the burden of lung disease on society built around four core priorities:  the breathing of clean air (indoor and outdoor), smoking cessation, vaccination and active lifestyles.

The ERS International Congress brings together international respiratory specialists to share the latest research in the field. HLfL seeks to increase knowledge and awareness among the general public about steps that can be taken to improve respiratory health, and by encouraging healthcare professionals to convey insights directly to patients, as well as increasing the delivery of lung function testing and the interpretation of results.

Their Incredible Impact

A major public visibility project in the host city ensures that the ERS International Congress impacts not only on those in the healthcare world, but also members of the public in the local area. Lung function tests are held across each host city, offering a unique opportunity for researchers from the global lung initiative (GLI) to collect information on lung function from a huge audience.

Patients with lung conditions are also invited to participate in events, allowing them to meet with and hear first-hand from experts. 

A series of engaging activities, including air quality monitoring, distribution of “clean air route” maps, bike challenges and mass exercise classes are designed to encourage public engagement in the host city. Patients and patient groups are targeted with a variety of events – from lung testing to information evenings, and healthcare professional training events.

Patient groups, healthcare professionals and politicians are encouraged to take up the Healthy Lungs for Life mantle by holding their own local events after the Congress and throughout the year, with resources provided by ELF and ERS. Annually key messages are conveyed to the European Parliament via a HLfL event.

European Lung Foundation's Pippa Powell shares insights on the Healthy Lungs for Life (HLfL) campaign.


The aim of Healthy Lungs for Life is to ultimately improve health, and to achieve this with a focus on professional and public education, with major considerations given to the importance of inter-agency networking and a focus on environmental sustainability and regeneration.

Intentions for Grant Money

The money will be used to offer event organisers from across the globe the chance to apply for a number of grants to support Healthy Lungs for Life events in their local communities, increasing educational reach and extending knowledge and skills-transfer to disadvantaged groups.

Priority will be given to applications covering areas where there is a greater need for awareness of the importance of lung health and to low-resource settings. 

You can view their video presentation from the ICCA Congress here.