News: May 2018

Sport comprises a unique tool to positively address societal challenges

Michael Pedersen spoke at the 2018 Horasis Global Meeting in Cascais, Portugal on 8 May 2018. The four-day meeting, themed “Inspiring Our Future”, brought together approx. 600 leaders from business, government and civil society from 70 countries around the world for discussions on pressing societal challenges.

In the context of the session titled “Bridging the Cultural Divide”, Michael shared perspectives on the unique power of sport in promoting deeper cultural awareness and harmony and in generating inspiration between people of different upbringings. While sharing insights from his work with disadvantaged children and youth around the world with sport as the enabling tool, he encouraged everyone to think about how sport could positively address the societal challenges that (s)he cares about the most. With a reference to the wisdom of Nelson Mandela (see quote below), Michael Pedersen specifically stressed that current priorities and actions of business and government to address societal challenges often fail to acknowledge the unique potential contribution of sport:

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope, where there was once only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination. Sport is the game of lovers.

Other speakers in the session were as follows:

  • Doris Albisser, Vice Chairman, EurAsia Competence, Switzerland
  • Steven Braekeveldt, Chief Executive Officer, Continental Europe, Ageas, Belgium
  • Metin Guvener, Chairman, Triangle Group, United Kingdom
  • Nshuti Rugerinyange, Founder and Executive Chairman, Excel Security, Rwanda
  • Diana Skelton, Deputy Director General, ATD Fourth World, France
  • Wang Jincheng, Director, Confucuis Institute of University of Lisbon, Portugal

Horasis is a global visions community, committed to inspiring the future. Launched in 2016, the annual Horasis Global Meeting is one of the world's foremost gatherings of business leaders, who interact with key government officials and eminent thought leaders. The meetings are held to advance solutions to the most critical challenges facing business today. This year, discussions focused on novel ideas to help sustain and nurture development in the future. Topics included sustainable development, modelling sustainable migration, blockchain, closing the gender gap, the digital future, youth employment, business as an agent of change and religion's role in business.

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