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  • That year Apollo 14 completed a third successful lunar landing mission. Humanitarian baseball player, Roberto Clemente became the first Latino to earn the World Series MVP honors. The Aswan Dam began subduing the longest river in the world. The first email was sent. Technology was advancing industry at every turn.

    It was 1971 and while Steve Wozniak sipped cream soda and worked on his computer in California, a Scottish 30 year-old businessman named Irvine Laidlaw began producing a small newsletter from his hot and humid base in Southeast Asia.

    It was the perfect stage for Laidlaw's vision of building a community. One where business executives could connect and share knowledge, not only with like-minded individuals but also with some of the world's greatest minds to drive business forward together. Singapore, you see, has always been a place where foreign cultures intersected.

    Two short years later, his newsletters turned into actual industry gatherings, large scale global conferences unlike any produced before. The young man, with an MBA from New York City's prestigious Columbia Business School, established the Institute for International Research (IIR), which become the standard for which conferences, in general are measured.

    Soon he opened an IIR office in Hong Kong, then London. By 1982, an IIR US office was headquartered in the crossroads of the world and home of media giants, New York City.

    Laidlaw, a dynamic and adventurous race car hobbyist and world-trotting mariner, set IIR on a course for progressive expansion. In 1989, his company entered the professional training market when it acquired the Council on Education Management. By the time the term "blog" was coined in 1997, it had annexed ESI International, a global training company, bearing the motto "Be Better and Different.” Growth steadily continued as companies such as the Forum Corporation, Achieve Global, Huthwaite International, and Omega Performance were amassed into the burgeoning IIR fold, cementing its stake as the intercontinental leader of improving business performance.

    By 2004, Laidlaw, inducted into the House of Lords as Baron Laidlaw of Rothiemay, had become a very wealthy man and vowed to donate most of his fortune to less fortunate. He started by helping disadvantaged youth in his homeland. The following year, IIR was amalgamated into Informa, PLC, forming the world's largest publicly-owned event, conference and training business. However, the founder's same spirit of aiding humanitarian work became an integral part of our shared corporate imperative to this very day.

    Laidlaw, the eldest son of mill owner, has won the Key West Regatta twice. He began a voyage around the world in his yacht, the Lady Christine in 2003, and survived a helicopter crash in 2009. Currently, he resides in South Africa and continues to develop philanthropic projects that aids organizations - public, private or voluntary - to work together more effectively.

    Presently, the Informa Group is made up of three branches of media: academic publishing, combined with professional and commercial information services, as well as events and training, where IIR, the company Irvine Laidlaw started in 1973, is housed. IIR has navigated a path well beyond the crossroads of Asia, with a presence spanning 22 countries around the world.

    From its inception as an industrious but simple newsletter to the giant media channel it is today, IIR's core values to provide the world with impactful, laser-focused content, unique experiences, access to people & ideas that create innovation, relevant connections, & generate business remain unchanged.
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