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Management System

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Forum Officer

Vacancy #:   6715
Unit:   Global Convenings and Events
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Programme and Content Manager
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P1
Expected start date:   01 May 2024
Type of contract:   Max-term (24 months)
Closing date:   07 February 2024
IUCN is a membership Union composed of both government and civil society organisations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,400-member organisations and the input of some 15,000 experts. IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.

IUCN is a credible and powerful global convener. The Union’s Global Convenings and Events Unit (GCEU) is tasked with organising the quadrennial IUCN World Conservation Congress as well as annual flagship events, and supports other key events internally. These range from large-scale events, focusing on the in-person experience, to fully virtual events.

The events fall into 3 broad categories:

The IUCN World Conservation Congress:

Every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress convenes world leaders and decision makers from governments, civil society, indigenous peoples’ organisations and business together with leading scientists and thousands of experts to debate and act on the latest ways to conserve nature and harness its solutions to tackle global challenges.

The event has two primary components – the Forum and the Members’ Assembly – and is complemented by a large exhibition. The Forum is the largest knowledge marketplace for conservation and sustainable development science, practice and innovation. Over 1,000 sessions address the economic, social, scientific and technical aspects of issues ranging from wildlife to oceans, protected areas to sustainable business, and climate change to human rights.

During the Members’ Assembly, IUCN’s 1,400+ member organisations collectively decide on actions to address the most pressing and often controversial conservation and sustainable development challenges. IUCN’s membership includes some of the most influential government and civil society organisations from more than 160 countries, giving the decisions taken at the IUCN Congress a powerful mandate.

The IUCN Congress is designed as a sustainable and gender-responsive event, and is the most widely known among IUCN’s externally-facing events. The next Congress will take place in 2025 in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.

IUCN Leaders Forum:

The IUCN Leaders Forum is an annual event, designed to complement the 4-year cycle of the IUCN Congress with more regular inputs into the international agenda. The event gathers leaders and changemakers (including government, civil society, private sector, sub-national authorities and other) from around the world, in-person, to discuss innovative solutions to critical global challenges, make bold commitments, build partnerships and catalyse action for impactful change in nature conservation and sustainability.

IUCN global events:

In addition to the quadrennial IUCN Congress and the annual IUCN Leaders Forum, the Union organises numerous other events with varying frequencies and scales. In this regard, the Global Convenings and Events Unit liaises with many stakeholders, both in the Secretariat and across the Union’s components such as Commissions and Members, and is responsible for providing both content and logistical support, as well as marketing and outreach capacity to these other events, at a level of service to be agreed upon with the main organising entities.

The Forum Officer will report to the Forum Manager (currently to the Programme Officer of the Global Convenings and Events Unit) at IUCN Headquarters. S/he will support the Forum Manager in the development, management and implementation of the content and programming for the IUCN Leaders Forum 2024 and the IUCN Congress 2025 – Forum, working in close collaboration with staff members responsible for logistics, systems and communications. In addition, s/he will be responsible for developing and managing the programme of all events taking place in the Exhibition at the IUCN Congress 2025.
Design and planning phases:

• Support the Forum Manager in the design of event types and the development of the narrative for the IUCN Leaders Forum Programme and the IUCN Congress – Forum Programme;
• Conceptualise the submission form for the IUCN Congress – Forum Call for Proposals and coordinate technical development with internal and external IT partners;
• Develop guidelines for the IUCN Congress – Forum Call for Proposals and for the different event types, and ensure appropriate communication to session organisers during the entire pre-event phase;
• Organise the technical review of the IUCN Congress – Forum Call for Proposals;
• Design and curate the Programme and Speaker Management Systems for the IUCN Leaders Forum and the IUCN Congress; ensure that the programme and speakers are continually updated across internal and external IT systems and event websites;
• Support the Forum Manager in the development of the actual event programme for the IUCN Leaders Forum 2024 and the IUCN Congress 2025;
• Ensure that session organisers are working closely with facilitators in the design of their sessions to deliver interactive and outcome-oriented sessions;
• Design an innovative programme of events for the IUCN Congress – Exhibition, and work with thematic leads, the Event Partnerships Officer and IUCN Centres in the development of the sessions for the Exhibition, ensuring they are in line with the overall narratives and complement other IUCN Congress – Forum and Members Assembly events;
• Ensure overall coordination of both content and operational issues related to the programme of events for the IUCN Leaders Forum and IUCN Congress – Forum;
• Coordinate logistical needs, with the Global Convenings and Events Unit, for the implementation and smooth running of IUCN Leaders Forum and IUCN Congress – Forum and Exhibition events, as necessary;
• Support the Forum Manager in liaising with other Secretariat teams providing support to the organisation of the IUCN Leaders Forum and the IUCN Congress;
• Respond to general queries and specific questions from event organisers in relation to preparation for the IUCN Leaders Forum and the IUCN Congress – Forum and Exhibition, or ensure that any helpdesk team handling such questions has adequate information to perform such a task;
• Act as procurement focal point for all IUCN Congress – Forum-related events;
• Support the Forum Manager in his/her daily tasks.

Event delivery (On-site and hybrid):
• Support the Forum Manager in the efficient delivery of the programme of events for the IUCN Leaders Forum 2024 and the IUCN Congress 2025 – Forum;
• Coordinate the delivery of the programme for the IUCN Congress 2025 – Exhibition;
• Handle any last-minute changes to the programme and speaker line-ups, and ensure that logistics and suppliers are promptly informed of these changes;
• Ensure that the Programme and Speaker Management Systems as well as event websites reflect the latest changes to the programme and speaker line-ups and are up-to-date at all times during the events;
• Participate in programme management meetings on-site as well as other relevant meetings including daily staff meetings;
• Coordinate other aspects of the event programmes as tasked by the Forum Manager;
• Assist in the troubleshooting of any on-site problems and issues related to programme and speakers;
• Maintain effective communication with relevant organising staff in other functional areas.

Post-event phase:
• Prepare an event lessons learned report with concrete suggestions for areas of improvement in the future;
• Work with organising team and relevant staff to ensure all planned outputs and actions are completed on time;
• Contribute to IUCN Leaders Forum and IUCN Congress evaluations as necessary;
• Contribute to the Outputs publication of the IUCN Leaders Forum and the IUCN Congress as necessary;
• Contribute to the production of post-event documents for communication purposes;
• Ensure all key documentation is properly archived including templates and / or guidelines for future events.

The above job description contains the main duties and responsibilities for this position. However, in a small organisation such as IUCN, staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular job description. Where any task becomes a regular part of a staff member’s responsibilities, the job description will be changed in consultation with the manager, the staff member and the Human Resources Management Group. Anyone of the three may initiate the consultation.
  • Education:
• Bachelors’ degree in relevant field;
• Academic background and / or experience working in the fields of nature conservation, biodiversity, sustainable development, climate change, and international environmental governance highly desirable.

• Experience & Technical Skills:
• Minimum of 4 years of experience working on content and programme design, development, and management for events of a similar scale;
• Extensive experience with different abstract, programme and speaker management systems for events / conferences;
• Experience in IUCN Congresses is a plus;
• Proficiency in English at a native or near-native level is essential. Proficiency in Spanish and/or French would be advantageous;
• Tech savvy, proficient in Microsoft Office applications (critically Excel) and web-based management systems;
• Ability to conceptualise, test and handle IT systems (front- and back-end) for programme and speaker management.

• Other Skills:
• Exceptional organisational abilities, strong oral and written communication skills, and a keen attention to detail are required;
• Fast learner with ability to quickly adapt to new systems and tools;
• Team player with can-do attitude and ability to interact with people of all levels and functional areas;
• Ability to work independently and take initiative to problem-solve and trouble-shoot;
• Demonstrated ability to handle stress and work under tight deadlines with competing priorities;
• Ability to undertake occasional short-term travels and participate in various IUCN events globally, notably including the IUCN Leaders Forum 2024 and the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2025.
The gross annual salary for this position is between CHF 86'330 and CHF 107'913, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax. While this is an indicative amount effective as of the current date, changes may occur as per IUCN's compensation practices without prior notice. The same applies to other organisations hosted by IUCN.

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: https://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,400 Member organisations and around 16,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.