IGNITX hosted a 4-day summit at the end of 2023 to reflect upon the developments and changes that have characterised our world in recent years. We were honoured to welcome renowned figures and friends in the sports world to offer their invaluable insights into these very changes of paradigms and practices through the overarching theme of Innovation and adaptation. 

Niccolò Campriani, three-time Olympian and Olympic medalist in his role as Sr. Director of Sport for the LA 2028 Games, welcomed us into a rousing day one. He provided a look into the innovations of these Games through the discussion of the 5 new sports selected for LA 2028, showing how they bring relevance and revitalisation to the Games. He also offered a candid and hopeful perspective at the end of the session, sharing that his biggest challenge is also a unique opportunity to pivot. He gently reminded us that we can no longer rely on practices that perpetuate unsustainable use of resources, citing financial responsibility amongst other factors. “It is not an invite to be creative, it’s an obligation”

Continuing the topic of overcoming challenges and securing event success, day two was an interactive session hosted in collaboration with Quantum Consultancy’s Co-founder and Director, Colin Stewart; as well as their Head of Insights and Analytics, Krzysztof Kropielnicki. Colin and Krzystof offered a dive into their recently published report exploring the top global sports cities for event hosting across the Olympic ecosystem. A collaborative effort with Durham University Business School, the report details the top 60 cities for multi-sport events and world championship events between 2021 to 2028 and spans no less than 90 sports. Then, participants broke out into virtual rooms with IGNITX moderators to discuss the topics of Sustainability, Finance/Source of Revenue, Politics, Force Majeur, and Event Format. We came away with 3 major debrief points that formed a common thread through all discussions: The first was the importance of the 3Cs: collaboration, communication and compromise, the second was the building of consensus through listening, understanding, then acting, and finally, the significance of seeking out opportunities for innovation and focusing on positives resulting from the implementation of solutions to overcome challenges such as the ones discussed. 

“A sustainable organisation meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” Brundtland, 1989

Tied into one of the challenges and case studies from the day before, we were led into the topic of sustainability on day three when we were joined by our friends Geert Hendriks, Co-founder and Chief Engagement Officer; and Ingrid Beutler, Legal and Integrity Director from The SHIFT, now evolved into BloomUP. They drew on a wide portfolio of experience and depth of knowledge to offer honesty, thoughtfulness and clarity to a complex topic. They engaged us via a few quick quizzes to frame the discussion and in closing, provided us a succinct approach to potentially structure how we can transform our operations by reducing, rethinking and recovering.

We dedicated our final day to Safeguarding in Sports, a topic close to IGNITX’s heart. We were delighted to hear from Joanna Maranhao, 4 time Brazilian Olympian, chair of the Brazilian Olympic committee’s Ethics Committee, and member of the IOC safe sport working group; Prof. Dr. Nicolette Schipper-van Veldhoven, researcher at the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences and Research, Program Manager at the Dutch Olympic Committee, and member of the BESST Project with IGNITX; as well as Jonathan Hirshler, co-founder and CEO of Signify, a leading ethical data science company. Our speakers provided us with a 360 degree perspective into safeguarding by walking us through the challenges of this topic, the foundational need for common definition, providing structured insights into the transformation of advocacy over time, and finally, how data, shared learnings, and technology can contribute to safeguarding through detection, identification, and intervention. We ended the day on the strong determination that safeguarding must be a key component included in the preparation and implementation of sport events on all levels.

IGNITX sincerely thanks our speakers, friends, colleagues and all who joined us for 4 days of insights into navigating the evolving landscape of the sport events industry and tackling aspects crucial for industry growth and resilience. 

For those interested in these topics, we highly recommend watching the videos available on our YouTube channel. Do not miss out on the wealth of knowledge shared at the IGNITX Summit 2023!

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