Global Sports Week Paris: Reinvention in action
Global Sports Week Paris concluded a second annual edition that brought the world of sport together following a year of unprecedented disruption, under an overarching theme of Reinvention in action.
A unique global-local event concept saw speakers gather in venues across four continents, with the action linked live to a central base at the heart of the Eiffel Tower.
More than 20,000 people from 153 countries visited the immersive digital platform, where they were able to participate virtually in more than 100 sessions.
More than 200 speakers made an appearance across six future host cities of the Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Olympic Games – Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, Milan, Dakar and Los Angeles.
Themes discussed included the rise of athlete activism; the new sport-for-health agenda; the emergence of new digital sports formats and revenue streams; women’s sport; social justice; and the climate emergency.
The main GSWArena stage incorporated broadcasts from hub venues at the French Institute Tokyo, the Embassy of France in Beijing and the Museum of Black Civilisations in Dakar, as well as from “virtual hubs” in Milan and Los Angeles.
Each of the international lives opened with a message from a local official, who each presented their vision for sport, the Games and the future of the cities.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti , Mayor of Dakar Soham El Wardini, Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala, vice-mayor of Beijing Zhang Jiandong and Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike all took part.
As in 2020, the voice of the next generation was represented throughout the week by a group of 34 Young Sports Makers, under-25s drawn from 16 nations who were charged with challenging leaders and helping to shape discussions.
Global Sports Week 2021 was also the stage for a number of significant announcements.
These included the launch of two new toolkits by Global Sports Week patron UNESCO, unveiled by assistant director general for social and human sciences Gabriela Ramos, and designed respectively to empower young people to influence physical education policy, and to support policy makers in implementing the change in national systems.
Paris 2024 and the French Development Agency (AFD) announced a new joint incubator and the 26 athlete-entrepreneurs who will receive support to champion high-impact social and environmental projects in France and across 10 countries in Africa.
The project was presented at the Eiffel Tower by Rémy Rioux, AFD chief executive, and Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet, marking the one-year anniversary of their agreement, signed at Global Sports Week in 2020.
Global Sports Week’s founding partner and the first Paris 2024 Premium Partner, Groupe BPCE, also launched its annual analysis of the French sports economy.
BPCE L’Observatoire estimates that the French sport economy experienced a decline of approximately 21 per cent in 2020 in comparison to 2019, which represents a much deeper recession than for the rest of the economy, which shrunk by 8.3 per cent.
The launch of a five-year, pan-European project by Global Sports Week founding partner Adidas, addressing the brand’s “Global Purpose” pillar of breaking barriers for girls, was another project announced during the event.
Adidas will work with 15 non-profit sport-for-good organisations across different regions of Europe across the five years, improving their capacity and capability to serve women and girls in their communities in order to empower more than 100 Breaking Barriers Champions and engage with in excess of 50,000 female participants.
The project aims to increase girls’ participation in sport by building the capacity of the sport-for-good ecosystem to better serve women and girls, as well as to provide inspiration for girls to become their best selves.
Lucien Boyer, President and co-founder of Global Sports Week, said: “At Global Sports Week’s inaugural edition at the Louvre in 2020, the big message was about the need for change.
“This year, we clearly witnessed the revolution happening across the world of sport, which reflects the fundamental links between sport, business and society.
“This remains the heart of the Global Sports Week concept, which itself has reinvented in a creative and ambitious new format fit for a future, healthier and more socially-conscious world.
“Sport belongs at the heart of this future, and we are clearly seeing how the positive pressure of young people is helping the ecosystem to change and play a bigger role across the key issues in global society.
“We look forward to welcoming the world back to Global Sports Week in 2022 to continue the journey of positive transformation together.”