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Workshop Week in Review

June 26, 2020

From June 15-18, Beyond Sport brought together more than 750 attendees from 40 countries across the worlds of professional sport, sport for social change, business, academia, development and the media for Workshop Week - a collaborative, online learning experience the likes of which these collective sectors have never seen before as society and the industry undergo seismic shifts.

During the interactive global convening, facilitated by our advisory arm, thinkBeyond, attendees spent more than 8500 hours engaging with content covering Industry Solutions, Individual Improvement, Social Impact and Organizational Development, in order to develop, grow and create solutions to current and future social and business challenges together. All with an eye towards seeking out new opportunities to create a stronger industry and communities coming out of the pandemic.

“Workshop Week has been a reminder of our global community and our beautiful, expansive group of friends, partners and colleagues working so hard to make a difference in the world,” said Beyond Sport Founder and President, Nick Keller. “As we logged on, we saw that, despite our enforced isolation, we were there with one voice from Nepal, London, Morocco, Fiji, Vietnam, South Africa, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Lebanon, Mexico, Doncaster, Nigeria…and all across the USA.”

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“During this week I have been absorbed into content of such power, power that spoke of a new opportunity for us all. It also demonstrated that we have to continue to collaborate and share the inspiration, insight and impact that our community & sport can offer in these extraordinary moments in history,” Keller continued.

Across the four days, the content, session leaders, subject matter specialists and interviewees covered many areas, with attendees dropping in on educactional sessions, live audience Q&A's, ideation and solution workshops and roundtable discussions. Participating experts were wide-ranging, with Business leaders - Procter & Gamble (Gillette), SAP, Michael Johnson Performance, IBM Business Services, Johnson & Johnson Human Performance and EVERFI; Professional sport - the IOC, NHL, ICC, NFL, WWE, Dodgers Foundation, WTA and ONE Championship; Social Change – United Nations Development Programme, Sport England, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Girl Up and the Walton Family Foundation; Sport for Development – Special Olympics International, Horn of Africa Development Initiative and the Laureus Foundation, Academia – University of Oxford and Arizona State University; and passionate Activist Athletes – Michael Johnson, Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh, Samantha Livingstone, Clarke Carlisle, Brian Dawkins, Lewis Pugh and many more sharing their expertise.

And, we were thrilled to cap off the event with an inspirational closing keynote from sport icon and social justice champion, Billie Jean King.

"Many programs world wide are facing similar challenges and it's helpful to hear we are not alone. It's good to be reminded of the purpose behind our programs and how even in today's climate, we can still have a positive impact on the communities we serve," stated a Workshop Week attendee.

The first day was devoted to areas that Beyond Sport has been focusing on across the years, including special edition forums of the Sport & STEM Alliance focused on Educating our Educators to inspire passion in STEM; Stay in the Game which addresses sport’s role in speaking out on mental health; and, Beyond Soccer which targeted the future of soccer as tool for social change, gender equality across the industry and the formation of the new Women in Soccer network.

There were many thought-provoking and inspirational sessions across the week, but here are some of the highlights:

The Power of Sport for Mental Well-being: An Athlete's Perspective with Clark Carlisle, former Professional Footballer and mental health advocate; Brian Dawkins, NFL Hall of Famer and Founder and President of the Brian Dawkins Impact Foundation; and, Helen Richardson-Walsh, Team GB Olympic Gold Medalist and mental health advocate. Moderated by Radha Balani, thinkBeyond. 

Future Looking Decision-Making: Purposeful Leadership in Action with Gary Coombe, CEO Global Grooming Business, Procter & Gamble; Mark Foster, SVP, IBM Services; and, Caryl Stern, Executive Director, Walton Family Foundation. 

Sport’s Role in Addressing Institutional Racism with Maurice Jones, President and CEO of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); Kely Nascimento-DeLuca, President of the Nascimento Foundation, Documentary Director and daughter of soccer legend Pelé; and Ken Shropshire, Author, CEO of the Global Sport Institute and adidas Distinguished Professor of Global Sport at Arizona State University. Moderated by Chris Grant, Author, Sport England Board Member and co-founder, 14A.

Addressing Climate Change in this New Landscape with Lewis Pugh, UN Patron of the Oceans and Endurance Swimmer. 


Purpose Driven Partnership: The Future of Sports Sponsorship with Vivek Bapat, SVP of Purpose and Brand Experience, SAP; Kathryn Chappetto-Reagan, VP of Partnerships, WTA; Claire Furlong, General Manager and Marketing and Communications, ICC; and Scott Over, Commercial Director, World Sailing. Moderated by Nick Keller, Beyond Sport.

Sport Industry Spotlight on Fan Engagement Post COVID with Christophe Dubi, Olympic Games Executive Director, IOC; Sanchit Garg, Global Head of Brand & Media Partnerships, ONE Championship; Laura Lefton, Senior Director of Club Business Development, NFL; and, Melissa Schiller, Director of Community Relations, NFL. Moderated by Alex Coulson, Managing Director, Sport Industry Group.

Innovative Partnerships to Leverage the UN SDGs with Mila Rosenthal, Director of Communications and Advocacy at the UNDP; and, Adam Met - Singer, AJR Brothers and Director, Sustainable Partners Inc. Moderated by Lex Chalat, Beyond Sport. 


Special Workshop Week Edition of Dan Really Likes Wine with Schalk Brits, 2019 Rugby World Cup Winner; Faf Du Plessis, Former Captain, South Africa National Cricket Team; Michael Johnson, Team USA Multi-Olympic Gold Medalist, Track & Field and Founder, MJ Performance; and, Kate Richardson-Walsh, Team GB Olympic Gold Medalist, Field Hockey. Hosted by Dan Nicholl, Executive Producer, Dan Really Likes Wine

Keeping Gender Equity and Sports on the Agenda with Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan, Founder, Horn of Africa Development Initiative; Maria Bobenrieth, Executive Director, Women Win; Kate Dale, Strategic Lead of Campaigns, Sport England; and, Melissa Kilby, Executive Director, Girl Up. Moderated by Donna Orender, former President/Commissioner, WNBA: Founder, Generation W. 

Beyond Sport is extremely appreciative of all the workshop leaders, speakers, panelists and interviewees for joining us and sharing your experiences, journeys and perspectives, and to our event host, Radha Balani, Director of Design & Facilitation at thinkBeyond. Ideas, feedback and learnings from Beyond Sport Workshop Week will be analyzed to inform Beyond Sport United which will be held in September 2020. 

Beyond Sport is committed to supporting our network and sector, We encourage you to apply to the 2020 Beyond Sport Global Awards by the June 30 deadline and to the Sport for Good Response Fund. We will also be launching to special Collective Impact initiatives on gender equality and addressing systemic racism with more information coming soon. 

Thank you to the following partners for helping to make Workshop Week possible.

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