The innovative online course is the first stage of the revamped IOC Young Leaders programme. On completion of the learning sprint, 25 participants will then be selected to become Young Leaders and join the new four-year Young Leaders programme, which will help them imagine, design and create their own sustainable social business that provides a sport-based solution to a pressing challenge in their local community.
The preliminary learning sprint aims to provide an introductory education for participants’ journeys to becoming social change-makers and focuses on a different topic each week.
The course, which is delivered via weekly virtual interactive sessions featuring experts and former IOC Young Leaders, began on 3 November with a session on Olympism, discussing what it means and how everyone can play an active role in bringing the Olympic values to their own communities. Participants were then asked to take part in a social media challenge by posting about what Olympism means to them.
Subsequent weeks have focused on identifying problems and how social business models and approaches can be used to solve these problems through sport, as well as exploring the necessary steps and tools for developing these solutions and effectively communicating them.
After each session, participants have been asked to submit written and/or videoed reflections on the expert presentations, which will then be assessed as part of the selection process for the IOC Young Leaders programme.
The four-year programme, for the selected 25, is due to begin in January 2021, with participants receiving expert guidance on a wide range of topics focused on the development of themselves as individuals and their social businesses. A total of CHF 10,000 in seed funding will also be available for each of the 25 Young Leaders.
Since the first iteration of the programme was launched in 2016, IOC Young Leaders have delivered 116 sport-led projects in communities across the globe, promoting themes such as education, social inclusion, sustainability and well-being, and directly benefitting more than 30,000 people.
The programme is part of the IOC’s long-term commitment to support young people through sport by empowering them to become social change-makers. It also directly contributes to the Olympic Movement’s goal to build “a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport”.
Since 2017, the programme has been supported by Worldwide Olympic Partner Panasonic, who has provided additional funding to be used as project grants as well as audio-visual equipment to capture the progress of the diverse range of projects. Panasonic’s backing has also made it possible to develop and expand the programme, with the latest cycle seeing more than 50 new and ongoing initiatives receiving support.