EU conference addresses child trafficking through sport

Football star and UEFA Global Ambassador Christian Karembeu and Emanuel Medeiros of ICSS Europe

At a conference hosted by ICSS Europe and the European Commission, international experts and leading policy-makers gathered in Brussels on Tuesday to call for sports bodies and governments to act against the trafficking of young people through sport. 

The international movement of young athletes has risen dramatically in recent years. 

“According to the United Nations, human trafficking is the third largest criminal enterprise in the world. However, trafficking of young athletes through sport, particularly football, is still a taboo in the industry,” said Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of ICSS EUROPE.

“As an international organisation working to protect sport, the ICSS is committed to protecting young athletes and raising awareness about the growing issue of child trafficking in sport. Young athletes are not commodities. They are human beings and must be treated as such.

“As a week-long initiative of the European Commission that celebrates sport and physical activity and the positive role it can play in society, the EU Week of Sport was an important platform to raise awareness of the issue and place the topic in the minds of influential decision-makers.”

 “Today also reinforces the ICSS’s commitment to safeguarding young people and I would like to encourage governments, law enforcement agencies and other experts in child protection to ensure that clear, practical and effective standards on recruitment, training, education and protection of children and young people are applied across all sports.”

The conference, which took place during the EU Week of Sport, brought together leading figures from sport, child protection and youth development and education.

“There is definitely a link between mobility of young athletes and trafficking. It is important that we put the issue of the child trafficking through sport, particularly from Africa to sports clubs in Europe, on the agenda of leading organisations in government and sport,” said Pascal Reyntjens, Chief of Mission, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) – Belgium & Luxembourg.

“Despite the clear progress made in the protection of minors and young athletes recently, further discussion between sports organisations and other bodies working in this area must take place.”

The conference also highlighted several themes underling the role of sport in education and how it can enhance economic and social development.

“Sport has the aim to bring people together. It is has the power to change the world and to unite people beyond regions, beyond colours. Sport has no borders and is universal,” said football superstar and UEFA Global Ambassador, Christian Karembeu.

“Through sport, we speak the same language. In sport, we have the same rules, the same life and have the same opportunities. Sport is also a powerful tool for integration and inclusion in wider society.

“I am very proud to be here today and have a strong interest in the topics discussed. Education through sport is very important and through it, we can have balance.”

International organisations attending the conference included: the European Commission, the Council of Europe, UNESCO, United Nations, International Labour Organisation, government organisations, UEFA and other representatives from the sport and Olympic movement, as well leading NGOs.


Glasgow to host MTV Live Lockdown

Slash ignited the SSE Hydro to close the spectacular MTV EMA awards in Glasgow in November 2014

MTV is returning to Glasgow to stage MTV Live Lockdown on 30th September – the second MTV live music event to be produced in the city in less than a year. 

The news builds on the success of Glasgow’s hosting of the MTV European Music Awards (EMAs) in November 2014 and the MTV Crashes in 2010.

MTV Live Lockdown is an eight-part series in which a selection of high profile artists travel underground and emerge for a special showcase performance in front of a live audience.

MTV UK is partnering with Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) and EventScotland to deliver the event, which will be produced by JJ Stereo and filmed and broadcast as a 3 x 30-minute series set to air on 30th October on MTV Music and MV Live HD. 

Confirmed performers include English rapper and dance phenomenon, Example, two piece band, Slaves and chart topping British duo, Sigma. 

The acts will perform in a coliseum style set, providing a 360 degree view for an intimate and exclusive audience of approximately 500 fans. 

Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland:  “It’s fantastic to welcome MTV to Scotland once more and hold the first production of MTV Live Lockdown outside of London.  MTV Live Lockdown forms part of a legacy from the 2014 MTV EMA which was also hosted here; further reinforcing Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events”. 

Paul Bush is speaking at HOST CITY 2015 in Glasgow, the leading EU-based meeting of cities and sports, business and cultural events, on 9 to 10 November.

IOC allocates US$2m immediately to help refugees

Jacque Rogge, Special Envoy of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General for Youth Refugees and Sport, and former IOC President at the 125th IOC Session in September 2015

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has created a two million dollar fund that will be made available to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) for programmes focused on refugees.

“We have all been touched by the terrible news and the heartbreaking stories in the past few days. With this terrible crisis unfolding across the Middle East, Africa and Europe, sport and the Olympic Movement wanted to play its part in bringing humanitarian help to the refugees. We made a quick decision that we needed to take action and to make this fund available immediately,” IOC president Thomas Bach said on Friday. 

“We have a long term relationship with the United Nations and with the UNHCR and we draw on their help and expertise.  We know through experience that sport can ease the plight of refugees, many of them young people and children, be they in the Middle East, Africa, Europe or in other parts of the world. Our thoughts are with the many refugees risking their lives and the lives of their families to escape danger.”

The fund is made up of one million dollars directly from the IOC and a further one million from Olympic Solidarity, which is an IOC commission that organises assistance for NOCs, particularly those with the greatest needs, by redistributing broadcast rights through programmes offered to all NOCs.

NOCs and other interested parties will be asked to submit projects to the IOC for funding. 

“Because of the nature of the crisis the assessment of projects and the distribution of funds will be carried out extremely quickly,” said Bach. 

“We are able to work on the ground with our partners in the National Olympic Committees and the expert agencies to get help to where it is needed most urgently.”

The IOC already works with a number of United Nations agencies to help refugees around the world. In April 2014 the two organisations signed a historic agreement aimed at strengthening collaboration.

The IOC has been working with the UNHCR for two decades and has already seen thousands of refugees benefit from sports programmes and equipment donated by the IOC.  

Last year IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge completed his first mission as Special Envoy of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General for Youth Refugees and Sport.

With the goal of raising awareness on the conditions of youth refugees and the impact of sport for their well-being, Rogge visited Syrian refugees currently living in the UN camp of Azraq, located in the desert 100 kilometres east of the Jordanian capital, Amman. The camp currently hosts more than 5,000 shelters housing some 18,000 refugees.

Since 2004, the IOC and UNHCR have organised a “Giving is Winning” programme.  This global solidarity campaign allows athletes, officials and sponsors of the Olympic Games, National Olympic Committees , International and National Federations, and other Olympic Movement stakeholders to donate tens of thousands of clothing items to help refugees . The campaign has already collected over 170,000 items of clothing, which have reached refugees in 23 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

In 2013 and 2014, the IOC, Worldwide Olympic Partner Samsung and the UNHCR joined forces to distribute IOC Sports Kits to more than 180,000 internally displaced young people living in refugee camps in 20 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. 

Soccerex confirms event partnerships

Barclays and Heineken will be giving an in depth insight into their sports sponsorship strategy at this year’s Soccerex Global Convention

Ahead of the Soccerex Global Convention 2015, Soccerex has confirmed the final line up of event partners and supporters. Brands such as Qatar’s leading communications company Ooredoo, market leader in enterprise application software SAP and  leading international media like Eurosport have all signed up for the three day football business event. 

The Soccerex Football Festival – 5th - 6th September, the Old Granada Studios– will take place in partnership with Marketing Manchester and with the support of Global Games, Football Freestyle Federation, Urban Cage Soccer and UK Footgolf Association.

The Soccerex Global Convention then kicks off at Manchester Central Convention Complex on 7th September with programmes of conference content, exhibition stands and networking activities over the next three days. The Convention is held in partnership with Marketing Manchester and with the support of international event host partner The Asian Football Development Project (Asian Forum). 

Other event partners include global insurance experts, Lockton, and leading sports broadcaster talkSPORT as well as FIFA Master Alumni who will be the academic supporter to the Convention. Major Events International (MEI) will be the commercial supporter of the event.

The Convention is staged with the institutional support of LaLiga, The Football League, French Football Federation, Ligue de Football Professionnel and the European Sponsorship Association (ESA) and can count on the support of international legal experts Pinsent Masons, logistics specialists DB Schenker International, leading global hoteliers, Radisson, world’s leader in visual communications Getty Images, Sports PR, communications and sponsorship activation consultancy Macesport, production distribution company Boulder Creek International, leading international law firm Maples and Calder, LawInSport, industry’s leading international sports business and financial advisory firms APC Sports Consulting Limited , Mobile Media Content, Red Touch Media USA, UK Trade & Investment, Qatar Stars League, Qatar Football association and Football Medical Association.

The Convention will consist of a number of top companies giving in depth insights into the business  of football with the likes of Matchvision, Pro Soccer Development, Solive, Tifosy, Social Chain and Triple IT all having presentation slots for what is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading football business event.

Soccerex CEO Duncan Revie commented: “We are very proud to work with our host partners Marketing Manchester and all the different event partners and supporters of the Global Convention. We are very grateful for their immense support, without which we would not be able to deliver the events we do”.

The Soccerex Global Convention kicks off with the Football Festival on 5-6th September, with the conference starting on Monday 7th September. A packed international exhibition and a programme of networking and social events such as the half time networking lounge sponsored by bottoms up beer, social evenings sponsored by Prestige Hospitality, official sales agent for the UEFA Euro 2016 Hospitality programme and the VIP dinner sponsored by Global W Mexico. Another networking social event is “SoccerMatch” which is the platform for the football industry to share ideas, discover new contacts and do business and is sponsored by Yuuzoo. The CSO Zone is playing a bigger part in this year’s Convention and will be sponsored by Terres Des Hommes.

For full information about Soccerex please visit // call +44 (0)20 8987 5522 // email


FIFA Reform Committee discussions “intense and fruitful”

Alexander Koch, corporate communication manager at FIFA (pictured here at HOST CITY Bid to Win in October) is to speak at HOST CITY 2015 (Photo: HOST CITY)

The 2016 FIFA Reform Committee finished its first meeting today in Bern and announced that it has made good progress towards putting forward a new “framework” for football’s worldwide governing body.

“The 2016 FIFA Reform Committee has enjoyed intense and fruitful discussions over the last two days. Overall, we have made important steps towards delivering meaningful and lasting reform,” said François Carrard, the committee’s independent chairman.

“During the meeting we also heard from Domenico Scala, the Chairman of the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee. The Reform Committee discussed a number of areas of importance including overall governance, financial mechanisms and the responsibilities and scope of FIFA’s various bodies. 

“I would like to thank my Committee colleagues for their dedication and look forward to working closely with them over the coming months. I will be giving a preliminary update to the FIFA Executive Committee at the end of this month, and following a number of consultations with various stakeholders, including FIFA’s commercial partners, I will announce the make-up of an independent advisory board.”

The next meeting of the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee is scheduled to be held from 16-18 October again in the Swiss capital of Bern, which is one of HOST CITY 2015’s valued sponsors.

“At the next meeting of the Reform Committee we will consolidate these discussions into a tangible framework for future consideration by the relevant bodies,” Carrard said.

HOST CITY spoke with Alex Koch, head of corporate communications at FIFA who was unable to comment further but confirmed that he will be speaking at HOST CITY 2015, the leading EU-based meeting of cities and cross-sector rights holders, on 9th and 10th November in Glasgow.


Atos delivers IT infrastructure for PyeongChang 2018

Atos the Worldwide Information Technology Partner leads the technology effort for the Olympic Games Worldwide Olympic Partner since 2001

Atos, the Worldwide IT Partner for the Olympic Games, announced on Wednesday that it has delivered the cloud IT infrastructure that will be used for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

The system represents a significant step forward in the digitisation of the Olympic Games as it extends the use of cloud to most applications. 

“The delivery of the secure cloud, IT infrastructure to support all Olympic Games from 2018 is a major milestone in our digital transformation,” said Jean-Benoît Gauthier, Technology Director at the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“Cloud is a perfect fit for the Olympic Games and we are delighted to be working with our long-term Worldwide IT Partner on this important project that will benefit all those who participate in the Games – media, athletes and spectators.”

The new secure cloud IT infrastructure, powered by Atos’ strategic partner EMC, will be used to test and run IT applications used to distribute results to the media worldwide.

The solution will also support the core planning systems used to recruit volunteers, support workforce management, manage the competition schedule and process accreditations for athletes, media and the wider Olympic Family.

The converged infrastructure solution, which uses Atos’ Canopy Enterprise Private Cloud and VCE’s Vblock System, can support other businesses on their journey to cloud. 

The system will be first to test the competition schedule and the workforce management systems that will be used by the Pyeongchang 2018 Organising Committee from the end of 2015. 

The capacity of the cloud solution can be increased and decreased according to the demands of the different stages of event delivery. 

In September 2015, cloud capacity will increase to perform technical testing proving the solution can support the expected demand through the project, and then decrease to support the limited production needs at the early stages of the project. 

Around two years before the Games, capacity and bandwidth will be increased again to cover the high level of demand for thousands of volunteer requests as the volunteer portal goes operational.

“The move to the cloud brings many benefits for the Olympic Games. It takes away the need to rebuild an entire infrastructure for each of the Games, which is both timely and costly,” said Patrick Adiba, group chief commercial officer, CEO of major events at Atos.

“It also helps the IT team to react faster and to anticipate new needs and perhaps most importantly, it provides flexibility. As the Olympics does not need to operate at full capacity all the time, a cloud infrastructure will enable computing power to be scaled up and down to meet demand and ensure the best experience for users.”


Louise Martin elected Commonwealth Games Federation president

Louise Martin speaking during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (Photo: HOST CITY)

Louise Martin has been elected president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, unseating Prince Imran of Malaysia to become the first woman to hold the position. 

As revealed by HOST CITY in March, Martin built her successful campaign on deepening the CGF’s engagement with member associations and potential host cities

Her manifesto, launched in August, also pledged to increase CGF revenues with the signing of at least four headline sponsors. The CGF had reported a loss of more than GB£3 million in the financial year ending 31st March 2015. 

The outcome of the election was far from predictable, although Martin’s pivotal role in bidding for and delivering the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games was a major advantage. 

Martin served as CGF honorary secretary for four terms and is also chair of Sportscotland.

Martin is to speak at HOST CITY 2015, the leading meeting of cities and sports, business and cultural events, in Glasgow on 9th and 10th November.

Prince Imran served one term as CGF president and many onlookers expected him to remain in post, despite his controversial attempt to move the organisation’s headquarters to Kuala Lumpur.

“Now is the time to ensure progress is delivered in an open and transparent way and that the views of the CGAs are fully reflected in the running of the CGF,” Martin said. 

“I believe that the time is right for a new style of leadership to ensure that together we can fully unlock our potential and deliver on the needs of CGAs and our wider partners, especially in terms of maximising commercial opportunities.  If we get this right, we can deliver enhanced revenues to support every CGA as well as Commonwealth sports development through greater investment. 

“There is also much more we can do to grow the profile of our great sporting Movement across the world to ensure that its unique identity is valued and our Games attract the best Commonwealth athletes, sponsors and, critically, future host cities.  As someone with a proven track record of collaboration and delivery, as well as dedication and passion for our Movement, I believe I am the right person to guide the CGF through the next stage of its Commonwealth journey and unlock the immense potential of our unique sporting Movement.”

The election took place at the CGF General Assembly, where Durban was confirmed as the host city of the 2022 Commonwealth Games


World Expo exclusive: A stage for all the world

Exhibiting nations, like Ecuador at Milan 2015, have the opportunity to market themselves to an international audience at a World Expo (Photo Credit: Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock)

To say that hosting a World or International Expo is a major undertaking would be an understatement of the biggest order. 

“Whether we are talking about an International Expo or a World Expo, these are three to six month events. They are not the three weeks of the Olympic Games or the four weeks of the World Cup,” Dimitri Kerkentzes, chief of staff at the International Expositions Bureau (BIE) told HOST CITY.

The World Expo Milan 2015, which is running from 1 May through to the end of October, covers a site of 100 hectares with 145 countries participating.

Exhibiting nations install themselves on an Expo site up to a year in advance to build their pavilions, which can take up to a year after the Expo to dismantle.

“Even in the case of a smaller International Expo, we are talking about hosting people for a minimum of six to eight months. So this is quite a feat.”


Emerging destinations

Undeterred by the scale of the project, cities from all over the world continue to vie for the hosting rights. The Kazakh capital Astana is hosting the 2017 International Expo, for which the Belgian city of Liege also applied. 

Hosting an event on this scale is a rare opportunity to reaching the global public.

“Whatever the major event is, whether it be cultural or sporting, it’s for them an opening up to the world.

“It’s the president’s point of view that Kazakhstan should be one of the world’s top 30 developed countries within the coming years. And this is an opportunity for them to show what they can accomplish and what they have accomplished.

“You’ve seen a lot of developing countries deciding that they want to invite the world to be present in their cities and it’s one of the best ways for them to achieve this.”

Dubai won the right to host the 2020 World Expo, rising above competition from Izmir in Turkey, Yekaterinburg in Russia and Sao Paulo in Brazil. 

Already an international city renowned for as a hub for business, Dubai sees the World Expo as an opportunity to project a new image to the world.

“They are a very particular case where a country, which is basically a desert country, has to be able to deal with modern infrastructure and living requirements – and this is one of the key points where they are trying to brand themselves with the Expo; it’s how not only are they a hub, but they are a sustainable hub.”

Dubai is aiming to attract at least 20 million visitors in 2020 but, says Kerkentzes, achieving this will requires about 70 per cent of visitors to come from overseas.

By way of contrast, the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai attracted 73 million visitors in six months, just seven to eight per cent of whom were overseas visitors. 

“The true meaning of an Expo is that the messages and the education is for the global public, not limited to one subsection of global citizens.

“And then you have to be realistic – there are certain Expos where you may have more foreign visitors than you do locals.”

Astana has less than a million inhabitants in a country with a population of around 18 million. “What we expect to see there is – apart from the usual Expo lovers that travel from all over the world – citizens of Kazakhstan and also the neighbouring countries.”


Who’s bidding for Expo 2025?

Milan is on course to hit its target of 20 million visitors and the event is attracting other global cities to bid for future Expos, Kerkentzes says.

“Proof of the fact that the World Expo is useful even in an economic powerhouse of a city like Milan is the fact that for 2025 we already have interest from Paris, from London, from Rotterdam, from Osaka and Johannesburg – so it shows that the case that Milan has been looked at by major European and world cities and they want to perhaps try and do the same themselves in 2025.”

The UK government has said that it will bid but has not yet said which city it will put forward to bid in 2016. The BIE has been contacted by several UK cities.

“The UK showed how good an Olympic Games could be for a city. London is one of the most famous capitals in the world, so why not try and brand other UK cities as well and use an Expo to do it? It’s very logical and it’s something the government will have to take into close consideration and make a final decision on next year.”

Similarly, other cities in France are interested in getting involved in an Expo bid. “It would have to be the government that would decide which would be the bidding cities.”

US cities such as Houston and Silicon Valley have also expressed an interest in hosting an Expo, but as the national government has not paid its BIE membership since 2001 it would need to be successfully lobbied before any bid could be lodged. 

“There is a very strong pressure from Minnesota to bid for Expo 2023 and they are working on trying to get the government to re-join the BIE,” says Kerkentzes.

The Canadian government also withdrew from the BIE in 2012. “Canada hosted many Expos in the past and has always participated in Expos. I know that there is very keen interest from the new Mayor to maybe bid for 2025, but he has to work on the internal politics on bringing Canada back.” 

The cities expressing an interest in hosting the 2025 World Expo are largely developed, western world cities.

“If you were to receive only developing cities or developing countries, people could criticise, saying Expos are no longer for developed countries and global cities like New York, London and Paris. There are always improvements that can be made in a city and I think an Expo can always help in that.”

Cities can submit a bid for a world Expo nine years before the proposed opening date of the next Expo. The BIE expects bids for 2025 to start arriving in the first and second quarter of 2016, with the voting for the event set to take place either at the end of 2017 or mid-2018. 

The bids will be judged on a number of criteria – not just the theme. 

“From the BIE, to ensure that Expos remain very high value for the candidates and the hosts, we have to make sure that there are positive impacts from all sides. 

“Theme is of course primordial in an Expo; it has to be something of global interest, but we have to make sure all the other points are properly looked at and taken care of.”

“The location is key as well, to make sure that people can get there, that it’s an interesting place to visit and that it can attract tourism that it requires.”

But just as the International Olympic Committee has increased its emphasis on the sustainability and legacy benefit of hosting the Games through its Agenda 2020 programme of reform, the BIE places great emphasis on how hosting an Expo can boost a city’s development plans.

“We have to make sure that the Expo can be of benefit to the host city, that it can help with its branding, it can help with its development – and that what will be left behind after the Expo will be of use to the city and to its citizens.

“I think it’s important to remember that the infrastructure that’s built around these events is not purely for the event itself; it’s infrastructure that's already foreseen in the development of the city and the country. And whether it’s an Expo, an Olympics or the World Cup, this is just a catalyst to get it done quicker. 

“Lessons have been learned. All the organisations responsible for these different mega events are putting them into action now and making sure that, no matter which type of event a city goes for, it will be of benefit to the world but also to the country and the city that’s hosting it.”

With this in mind, the potential rewards of hosting an Expo are great, Kerkentzes says.

“Usually you see from reports after an Expo that the participating countries found the investment has been well spent; that the amount of communication and branding for their own country abroad has helped growth in tourism and in sales.”


Dimitri Kerkentzes is to speak at HOST CITY 2015 on 9th and 10th November on the subject of “How Cities and Events Innovate to Thrive”. 

David Grevemberg shares thoughts pre-CGF General Assembly

David Grevemberg is speaking at HOST CITY 2015, which takes place on 9th and 10th November

Around one third of the world’s population live in the Commonwealth. Many of these people live in some of the world’s biggest cities, which include emerging mega cities such as Delhi and Lagos, as well as established host cities like London, Sydney, Toronto and Glasgow. 

The Commonwealth also encompasses two thirds of the world’s small states and island states, embracing the widest range of cultures of any international association of nations.

The Commonwealth is, in short, incredibly diverse. “Each city, each location is different; it has different strengths and it has different challenges,” David Grevemberg, CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) tells HOST CITY. 


Attainable Games

The CGF’s aim, declared on its website, is “uniting the world through sport”, which it achieves through the Commonwealth Games. While all 71 Commonwealth nations take part, the majority do not have the scale or technical capability to host the Commonwealth Games.

The smaller Commonwealth Youth Games presents a more attainable proposition for cities that want to benefit from hosting a CGF event.

“The structure and approach that the Federation is taking can appeal to emerging markets, to more regenerative markets and sustained markets. We have different cities, all within different phases of their development,” says Grevemberg.

“I think the Games, whether it’s the Youth Games, a Commonwealth Championship event or a multi-sport event, can play a part in contributing to that journey for cities when approached right.

“The Commonwealth Youth Games have great agility for local hosts to make of them what they will. Events like this are fantastic opportunities to create opportunities for those smaller states to showcase what’s on offer, and what their challenges, ambitions and aspirations are.”

The small island states of Samoa and St. Lucia are hosting the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

“For Samoa and St. Lucia, these are accessible and inclusive events; they will be taking in the local context. They are taking a very agile approach, in terms of providing not only a great competitive experience for the athletes and citizens, but also using the event to have a cultural immersion experience.”

While sports events do present fantastic opportunities for hosts to showcase their qualities to the world, the question of to what extent they can bring wider benefits to society is becoming ever more pertinent – particularly when it comes to mega events like the Commonwealth Games, which require major investment to deliver.

“These events, when used with the right time and place and purpose, have the power to be transformational – not just in terms of infrastructure, but also can have economic and social benefits and changes that can build more peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities,” says Grevemberg. 

“I think there’s demand now that sport delivers on that proposition and that it claims an order as part of a justification of running these events.”

“It’s as much about the journey as it is about the destination of hosting these events. It’s about – what are your ambitions, what are your anxieties and how does this event match up with that – and ultimately is it a good business and social proposition?”


Transformation 2022

Earlier in 2015, the Commonwealth Games Federation suffered from the loss of Edmonton as a candidate city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games during the height of the oil price crisis in February 2015. The CGF, with Grevemberg appointed as CEO following his leadership of Glasgow 2014, embarked on its “Transformation 2022” programme of reform.

Central to Transformation 2022 is a review of the sports programme. 

“Are we being inspiring and innovative in our decisions on the sports we have on the programme? Are we driving efficiency and effectiveness to the delivery of this event? Are we looking at affordability and appeal in getting those balances right?

“Those are the three elements we’re looking at in terms of driving our overall Games proposition to have more inspiring and innovative Games, so the sports on the programme are starting to reflect that,” says Grevemberg.

In making the Games more appealing to potential hosts, the CGF is setting out to communicate more widely and deeply with its network of cities. 

“It’s quite important that we remain agile and listen to what our cities and countries are looking for. We have a responsibility now to work with people and the various partners in cities to ensure that we are accountable, that our events are delivering the benefits that they claim they do.”

The goal is not ultimately to stage sports events, but to use them as a means to improve quality of life.

“Part of this notion, in terms of the proposition to deliver inspirational Games, is to engage and embrace with the cities; and how to work with cities and use major sports events within the Commonwealth to share and exchange best practice for using sports as a tool to drive prosperity. 

“That is what drives sustainability, and obviously that nurtures future hosts and the power of sport within the Commonwealth.”


Commonwealth Cities Exchange

When it comes to best practice, the Commonwealth is blessed with a large number of some of the world’s most successful host cities. 

“If you look at the cities of the Commonwealth that have hosted major sporting events – not just the Commonwealth Games – and the way that they’ve used sport to hold themselves to account, but also to drive some of those sustainable development agendas, there’s no question that the Commonwealth has a strong pedigree of cities that have lived and learned how to do it: the Manchesters, the Glasgows, the Londons, the Sydneys, the Vancouvers, the Edmontons, the Torontos, the Jo’burgs, the Durbans, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore… the list goes on.

“You’ve got a lot of really powerful examples of cities – so how do we create Commonwealth exchange with common purpose, not just to celebrate legacy but also to celebrate ambition?

“The concept is ultimately to share best practice and to help people recognise the power of sport to develop their societies.”

Fully engaging the CGF’s 71 members, the Commonwealth Games Associations – 54 of which perform a dual role as National Olympic Committees – will be crucial to communicate the benefits of hosting CGF events.

“There’s a really strong emphasis on working with the CGAs to build their relationships with private, public and third sector – because you really can’t do anything without that alliance. We need to work with them and their local communities to showcase and drive the value of the events. You also have to look at cities as partners.”

Partnerships with sport’s international federations (IFs) will also be essential for developing sport within the Commonwealth.

“With each of the IFs we are looking at the technical relationship, the developmental relationship; where can we be innovative and have enhancement on our promotional opportunities; promote that sport and its values within the Commonwealth; and finally other opportunities for us as a trailblazing movement to enhance the reputational prominence of that sport.”

Grevemberg cites the Glasgow 2014 athletics track at Hampden Park for as a good example of working in partnership with the IAAF. By raising the ground level, the field of play was widened and the existing national stadium was able to house an athletics track for the Commonwealth Games.

“That created a sustainable solution for athletics in an existing stadium. It minimised cost but created an appealing world class event that wouldn’t leave a white elephant. That was an innovative solution that had enormous reputational benefit.”


Good Governance

Reputation is crucial for rights holders and the popularity of sports should not be taken for granted. 

“We, as sports managers and sports administrators and our leadership, need to be conscious that there are lots of competing forces out there and we do live in turbulent times.

“We need to be agile and respectful, conscious and definitive in the approaches that we are taking to really uphold the values that we promote. That’s ultimately, without being overly evangelical, what we have to lead with. 

“Otherwise we get overtaken – something else will fill the gap. We need to certainly take the necessary steps to ensure our success in the future.”

The values of the CGF are “Humanity, Equality and Destiny”, which Grevemberg describes as referring to “people, how we treat people and how we give people the opportunity to realise their full potential.”

The CGF uses the “medium” of sport to achieve this. 

“The Transformation 2022 starts to put a narrative around those values, which people can really own and understand how we can put those words on the ground. They line up very effectively with the Commonwealth Charter and the principles of peace, prosperity and human rights.

“I believe that sport and the work that we do can play a part in building awareness, advocating or taking tangible action to address those pieces. We are exploring ways with the Commonwealth Secretariat and many sport development bodies to see how we can play a big part. 

“So it’s just having those bold, frank, idealistic, but not naïve, conversations about what can we do with the power of sport to be a force for good.”



David Grevemberg spoke at HOST CITY’s first conference in October 2014, on the subject of “Beyond the Bid: Winning for the Future” and HOST CITY is very pleased to welcome him back in November 2015 speaking on the subject of “How Cities and Events Innovate to Thrive”. 

On HOST CITY’s launch event last year, Grevemberg says: “Enlightening. I think the calibre of people that attended and spoke was excellent; it was excellent to meet so many experts with a shared perspective and shared passion and belief that the hosting of major events is a force for good.

“I think it’s a great forum to discuss the fact that we are at this crossroads where the integrity of sport, in terms of how sport is managed and run, and what it delivers, is in question right now – that’s the reality. 

“I think forums like that are important for us as the industry and those that may be interested in becoming part of the industry, to be able to come and exchange views, to debate, deliberate and ultimately design some innovative thoughts about where to we go from here.

“Every city, every event is different with different opportunities. At the same time, there is best practice out there that can be transferrable.”


Dublin wins bid to host ICIS 2016

Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) was designed by the American-Irish architect Kevin Roche opened in September 2010 and won silver in 'Best Overseas Conference Centre' at the M&IT Industry Awards 2011

Dublin has been selected ahead of a number of European cities to host a major international technology conference next year. 

The 37th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) will take place at the Convention Centre Dublin in December 2016, bringing up to 1,500 delegates to the city.

Dublin was announced as the host city at a meeting in Florida, beating rival bids from Istanbul, Munich and Vienna.  

Hosting the conference will add millions of Euros to Dublin’s economy.

According to Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre, the Dublin bid team has been awarded a grant of EUR 50,000 from Science Foundation Ireland to the host the Conference.

Other organisations backing the conference include destination marketing agency Fáilte Ireland as well as Google, Intel, Microsoft, Realex Payments and SOS Ventures.

The theme of the 2016 conference is “digital innovation at the crossroads”.

ICIS, the international conference of the Association for Information Systems (AIS) was founded in 1980 at UCLA. The first conference was held at the University of Pennsylvania as the "Conference on Information Systems". 

The conference became known as “International” in 1986, through Canadian and European attendance and participation. ICIS was first held outside North America in 1990 when Copenhagen hosted the event.