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Innovation with purpose: THE SPOT 2023 gets underway

The fourth edition of THE SPOT, taking place on 8 and 9 May in Lausanne, Switzerland, opened last night with a networking event and high energy levels at the Olympic Museum. This year, innovation in action for sustainable futures takes centre stage at ThinkSport’s international sport and innovation flagship event, which has once again attracted many sport organisations, major companies, startups, academic experts, NGOs and other stakeholders from Switzerland and internationally.

During one and a half days of unparalleled discovery, learning and network acceleration, participants can explore and understand the latest approaches, perspectives, and solutions for sustainable transformation from different sectors and industries. The aim: to inspire, accelerate progress, and empower everyone in sport to take forward new, promising, and practical ideas for profound change.

ThinkSport President Andrea Traverso said: “THE SPOT is not an event like many others. THE SPOT is about interconnecting people who work within or interact with the world of sport, around the theme of innovation. In simple terms, it is about uniting the dots of a highly valuable ecosystem that too often operates in silos. Sharing different ideas, problems and visions allows to tackle issues from different perspectives, overcome challenges and anticipate changes.”

During last night’s networking event, Charles Frémont from UEFA and Davide Coppola from the European Space Agency (ESA) got the conversation started on the value of cross-sector collaboration. They shared how meeting at THE SPOT 2022 led to an innovative partnership between their two organisations, which was officially announced yesterday. This first ever agreement between a sport organisation and a space agency will allow UEFA to leverage the space technologies developed by ESA in fields like pitch mapping, crowd management and sustainability.

Cody Burkhart from NASA then discussed how innovative technologies developed for space can serve to tackle challenges on earth and vice versa. During a thought-provoking talk, he invited participants to widen their horizons and perspectives for effective problem-solving.

In this spirit, the official conference programme resumes today at the SwissTech Convention Center on the EPFL Campus. Several keynote speakers will set the tone for deeper discussions on innovating for sustainable futures, structured around the following interconnected pillars:

  • Mindset and future consumer behaviour
  • Human capital and the future success of sport
  • Innovation and best practice in sustainability
  • Sustainability and innovation – insights in times of uncertainty

Consult here the full programme and discover the speakers.

In addition, participants can discover new products and solutions at the Marketplace; follow the final of the Sports for Nature Challenge; observe tests for the Innovation Booster on Data for Sustainability; and listen to one-minute sales pitches by delegates about the products or services of their company during the first-ever “Open Mic” session.

The SPOT 2023 is co-organised by ThinkSport, the SwissTech Convention Center, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the Canton of Vaud.

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