online conference
17 June 2021, 15:00 to 17:00

IMBA Europe 2021 Summit

IMBA Europe Summit 2021 - Mountain Biking for a Sustainable and Inclusive Europe

We are pleased to announce that IMBA Europe’s annual summit will take place on June 17th between 3pm and 5pm CET. The focal point of the summit will be on the high level objectives of IMBA Europe’s new strategy to 2025, “Improving people’s lives through mountain biking’. 

This year we have a diverse lineup of keynote speakers and panellists who will provide valuable insight into how we can make mountain biking both sustainable and inclusive throughout Europe. The first keynote speaker for the summit will be a representative from the European Commission, Peter Fischer, Policy Officer and Green Sports Expert, who will discuss the role of Green Sports in the new EU Work Plan for Sport. The second keynote presentation will be presented by IMBA Europe’s president Thomas Larsen Schdmit, consultant in DGI, who currently works with the development of outdoor life, recreational infrastructure and better access to nature. Thomas will speak in detail about IMBA Europe’s new strategy towards 2025. The second part of the summit will be divided into three interactive panel discussions covering the following topics.

  • Working towards a diverse and inclusive mountain biking community in Europe.
  • The preconditions to allow for sustainable growth in mountain biking.
  • Investing in mountain biking friendly places.

Panel one will discuss how mountain biking in Europe can work towards becoming a more inclusive and diverse environment. Sharing her expertise and wealth of knowledge on the topic will be Aneela McKenna, from ‘Mòr diversity’ Scotland. Accompanying Aneela, a representative from industry leader SRAM will discuss their action plan to “listen, learn and take action’ to support those who have been discriminated against and disenfranchised. To round out the panel we will hear from Stefan Lönngren and his work on children with ADHD & autism and the benefits of mountain biking to their health and wellness.

The year 2020 saw increased growth in mountain biking in both sales and participation. Panel two will bring together both industry leaders and experts from the environmental sector to debate the preconditions that are needed to allow for continued sustainable growth in mountain biking. Our first confirmed speaker on this panel is Morten Kamp Schubert from Mountain Bike United, a dedicated mountain bike app which allows the user direct access to strong communities and even more unique experiences. As a case study, Morten will share what happened in the Danish mountain bike community in 2020, and what his predictions will be moving forward for both the market. Our 2nd panelist is Clement Doby, Head of Mountain Biking at the Decathlon, explaining the e-MTB boom and his forecast for the upcoming years. Next on is Martin Wyttenbach - Head of Environmental Planning Research Group at ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Increased recreational pressure could have negative impacts on our environment. What kind of instruments are there to minimise our impact, what kind of mitigating measures should we consider? And our 4th panelist is Matthew Pierce, Patagonia's Sports Marketing Manager who will focus more on the behavioral side of mountain bikers. What can we learn from their approach of turning outdoor enthusiast in sport activists that drive positive social and environmental change?

Since 2020, there has been a shift in how people perceive travel, and how they choose their holiday destinations. More people are choosing to travel locally, and participate in outdoor sports like mountain biking. Panel three will look into the importance of investing in mountain bike friendly places and the positive impacts on local communities. The first confirmed speaker for panel 3, Diana Garcia, Masters Student from the Ostelea Tourism Management School and co-author of the recent report ‘When we can travel again’ will give valuable insights in to the global tourism trends over the last five years, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on society. Following on from Diana is research assistant from the University of Southern Denmark, Mathilde Skov Kristensen, who will share insights from her latest research project looking at how a MTB trail marking system can affect the availability, usability and security of the  trails and how the public sector and citizens are involved in co-production of MTB trails in Denmark. Following on from Mathilde, our third confirmed panelist Lars Wraee Jensen, driving force behind the Tråkk 'n' Roll project, a regional MTB development project in the Hallingdal region and current project leader of the DIRTT project. Lars will exchange his experience with investing in trail infrastructure and trail building education in order to become a MTB friendly community. 

To register for this year’s event, please head over to the eventbrite link.