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The Power of Sport - Plenary Session, Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development 2019
3 May 2019 -  The Power of Sport for Advancing on the Sustainable Development Goals
More than 70% of the world’s population follows sport with the Olympic and Paralympic Games ranking as the first and third biggest sport events on the planet, attracting millions of spectators and billions of TV viewers around the world. In contrast, only 16% of the world’s population follow science.
Although sport does not resolve any of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, it is a very powerful tool to engage a large and diverse audience in addressing some of the existential problem society is facing.

Focussing on a selection of the Sustainable Development Goals, this session will feature interaction with the audience and a moderated debate with a panel of Olympic/Paralympic athletes and experts with extensive experience in the Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as the wider sports industry.
The aim will be to tackle up to five goals individually. The moderator will start each goal by stating a “fact” on how the sport has contributed to said goal. The audience will then vote on whether the fact is true or false. After each vote, the moderator will initiate a discussion between the panellists on the concrete contribution of sport to a specific goal and how it supports other SDGs as well.

This session will showcase how sport - in particular the Paralympic Games due to the vast audiences they engage - is an extremely powerful tool to advance on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. It will provide the audience with concrete examples of how to use the cultural and market influence of sport to promote healthy, sustainable and just communities.
The panellists will use storytelling to highlight inspiring and compelling examples of best practice and engage in a debate with the audience on what more can be done. This will provide the audience with insight in applying the panellist’s experiences in their own organisation. The target of this session are athletes (retired or active), private sector, sport administrators & sports governing bodies, event organisers, charities and NGOs (programme makers) and governmental representatives (involved in staging events or public campaigns).

Before, during and after the session, people will have the opportunity to raise questions or share good practice through social media using #SDGSport. Received input will be used during the panel discussion at the festival. This hashtag will remain available post-festival to continue the discussion.
Session hosts:
International Paralympic Committee
Sport and Sustainability International (SandSI)

Hiromi Kawamura, Public Relations Secretary
Tokyo 2020

Nyasha Mharakurwa, Paralympian
London 2012

Mike Peters, Interim Chief Executive Officer
International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

Geert Hendriks, Chief Executive Officer
Sport and Sustainability International (SandSI)

The SDG Global Festival of Action (2-4 May 2019 in Bonn, Germany) is a ground-breaking event powered by the UN SDG Action Campaign with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Foreign Office and partners. The Festival is crowdsourced, designed BY the SDG Action community FOR the SDG Action Community. The Festival’s overall aim is to gather and inspire SDGs campaigners and multi-stakeholder partners to scale up and broaden the global movement to take action for the SDGs.

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