The 2013 Beyond Sport Summit was in Philadelphia, September 9-11, where hundreds of leaders from around the world in sports, government, business, development and philanthropy will discuss how sport can be better used as a tool to address social issues and trigger positive change.
Here is a look at some of the events that took place over the three days:
Tuesday, September 10th
Sport and Sustainability Panel at Lincoln Financial Field
Hosted at one of the country’s ‘greenest stadiums,’ Lincoln Financial Field, and facilitated by Green Sports Alliance, this special session took place on DAY 2 of the Beyond Sport Summit (Tuesday). The panel explored the challenges faced by and solutions available to both sports organizations and activation partners when it comes to creating actual environmental impact through sports. The group united around the issues and strategized on ways in which to collaborate to help all advance towards a more sustainable future. Eagles Vice President of Event Operations and Event Services, Leonard Bonacci, was a panelist, along with representatives from the Phillies, Global Spectrum, Aramark, and the Fairmount Park Conservancy. Bonacci stressed the important role that partnerships play in the ability to make progress in sustainability.
Sustainability Tour of Lincoln Financial Field
Following the Sport and Sustainability Panel, Eagles President Don Smolenski and NRG’s Chief Customer Officer Tom Gros led a tour of Lincoln Financial Field to highlight the recently-completed wind and solar project that allows the Eagles to generate roughly four megawatts of clean energy annually. The group consisted of roughly 100 leaders from sports teams, leagues, and organizations from around the world. They had an opportunity to learn about the process, challenges, and benefits of the 11,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines that were installed on the stadium and in the parking lot.
Mayor’s Reception at the Kimmel Center
The Mayor’s reception was an evening dedicated to showcasing Philadelphia. Michael Barkann served as emcee of the event that celebrated Philadelphia’s culture in sport – from its sports teams to the extensive programs that use sport to address social issues across the city. Roughly 500 of the Summit’s delegates were in attendance, consisting of leaders in sports, business, government and development from around the world. In addition to recognizing the efforts of Philadelphia’s sports teams, the Mayor’s Reception recognized local grassroots sports organizations making a difference in their community through the Barclays Philadelphia Impact Award. It also celebrated the city’s most outstanding young people leading through sports by announcing the Philadelphia Beyond Sport Young Ambassadors. Eagles Youth Partnership’s Korinne Dennis spoke on behalf of Eagles Youth Partnership about the role that sports have played in her development and Eagles President Don Smolenski discussed the importance the organization places on positively impacting the community.
Wednesday, September 11th
Beyond Sport Summit
On the final and most high-profile day of the Summit, attendees gathered together for a day of inspirational panels and interviews, engaging talks and the presentation of the prestigious Beyond Sport Awards.
Jeffrey Lurie’s opening remarks
The theme of the day was Courage. Whether it be a practitioner working within a community in a war-torn country or a daring CEO pushing the envelope on how business should be done, the way we make change is by leading the way, challenging the norm. Day 3 of the Summit is about how courage can create change, from the bottom up… and the top down. Lurie welcomed the guests and gave opening remarks, discussing the Eagles philosophy on positively impacting the community through Eagles Youth Partnership and sustainability programs. He also emphasized the importance of working together to achieve our collective goal of positive social change and challenged the group to continue to inspire each other and be courageous.
Daring to think outside the box: Sport & Sustainability visionaries share their insights on innovation
This panel featured leaders in the field of Sport & Sustainability, including David Crane (CEO of NRG), Scott O’Neil (CEO of the Philadelphia 76ers), Mike Richter (CEO of ECP Capital and NHL Hall of Famer), and Christina Weiss Lurie, President of Eagles Youth Partnership and Social Responsibility. The focus of the discussion centered around how the sports industry has the ability to be at the cutting edge of sustainability and environmental issues. A spotlight was shown on how these senior leaders working in sports, or businesses servicing the sports industry, are taking different actions to create sustainable solutions. A discussion on the future also explored whether the sports industry has a unique role in this space, and if that can translate to wider society in terms of behavior, actions, and forward-thinking strategy.