18 SES 16 A, Sport and Physical Activity Behaviours
We are living in three intertwined pandemics - COVID-19, physical inactivity/sedentary behaviour, (Hall et al, 2020) and the sustainability of the planet - the face of it a hopeless situation. COVID-19 is having a transformative impact on how communities engage with sport and physical activity. Mogens Kirkeby, President of the International Sport and Culture Association, pointed out how people world-wide are fearful of contracting the virus and yet have a powerful social hunger to be with others. In many regions organised sport is at a standstill and physical activity levels decreasing. While the impact of any changes on sport participation is unlikely to be quantified for some time, efforts to embrace the views of important stakeholders should be seen as potentially rewarding initiatives (Griffin et al., 2021). In the new enlightened era – of pandemic preparedness – the relationship between sport and physical and mental health will be profoundly altered as the significance of physical well-being in mitigating the most severe effects of the virus become more evident. Just as the renewed spirit of global knowledge sharing advanced our virology and vaccine efforts, so can collaborative efforts accelerate innovations, delivering solutions, in sport and physical activity. In so doing, it can bridge the gap between international and national policies and practice, streamlining efforts and pooling shared intelligence, working together for the common good. We can no longer think in cookie-cutter ways but must embrace a human-centred approach to innovation. Our best hope for the future is to develop a new paradigm of human capacity to meet a new era of human existence (Robinson, 2009, p.xiii). This paper describes the genesis, implementation and impact of the university-led Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity (GDCSPA). Set in the policy context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Kazan Action Plan (KAP;2017), GDCSPA used design thinking to crowdsource ideas for incubation during and post pandemic. This university-led social innovation brought together all stakeholders who had a shared interest in getting sport and physical activity ‘on its feet’. These included policymakers, researchers, practitioners and industry partners drawn from across the globe. The innovation-centric methodology used was the Hasso Plattner Institute Six Step Model of Design Thinking (2018) (Understand, Observe, Point of View, Ideation, Prototype, Test) providing a handrail across data collection and analysis. Design thinking is a human centred innovation approach which has a process, growth mindset (Dweck, 2006) and use of empowering space. It is used to tackle complex or wicked problems (Rittel & Webber, 1973). Design thinking can be defined as: a systematic and collaborative approach to identifying and creatively solving problems (Luchs, Swann & Griffin, 2016, p. 2).
Data collection: In the understand and observe phase, we gathered 21 national and global partners with a vested interest in the promotion of sport and physical activity. In these phases, data collection comprised a desk study and a needs analysis. We conducted a desk study of relevant literature to understand sport and physical activity in the pandemic from (a) a research stance and (b) from a policy standpoint, which led to design nudges. The Sallis et al. (2020) paper was particularly insightful highlighting 11 key areas of concern. From a policy lens, UNESCO highlighted the importance of aligning the design challenge with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, by following the policy framework enshrined in the Kazan Action Plan (KAP) (2017). The KAP is a voluntary, overarching reference for fostering international convergence amongst policy-makers in the fields of physical education, physical activity and sport, as well as a tool for aligning international and national policy in these fields with the United Nations 2030 Agenda (2015). The data were analysed using dialogic analysis, which informed a needs analysis conducted in two national organisations (Irish) and one international organisation (spanning 90 countries). Data Analysis: The Voyant coding software revealed emergent themes: inclusion, disability, access, space, funding and well-being, which led to a Point of View or ‘How Might We statement: ‘How Might We sustainably redesign sport and physical activity for children and families, the young and the not so young for participants, spectators, fans and community groups so that it is inclusive, accessible, attainable and fun during the pandemic and afterwards?’ We ideated (i) the name of the challenge i.e., the GDCSPA and branded it; and (ii) the GDCSPA innovation engine parts – Launch, Registration, Competition, Judging, Matching and Incubation. This became the Prototype. UNESCO, the World Health Organisation and the Commonwealth Secretariat joined as international observers. In the Test phase, we launched the GDCSPA through our networks and social media. Using the Devpost platform, 187 teams registered for the challenge, across 40 countries and 12 time zones. These teams used the six-stage design thinking method to tackle the challenge. The judges selected 37 teams for the matching phase, where 19 teams are currently incubating with partners. The incubation is being tracked through an innovation funnel. We gathered data using Google forms to understand the experience of teams and partners in the GDCSPA. These were analysed using dialogic analysis and thematic analysis.
Findings Using the lens of a hybrid architecture (Savarimuthu, Le & Ghose al, 2012), there are a number of key findings under (i) policy and (ii) practice. In relation to policy: (a) the three main policy areas of the KAP within the GDCSPA framework, bridging policy and practice were important handrails and (b) the developed a KAP (2017) SDG mapping tool for impact is a first step toward evaluating projects and initiatives in relation to how they may support the implementation of the KAP and aligned SDGs. With regard to practice, the following emerged: (a) the potency of design thinking as a social innovation tool; (b) the effectiveness of the GDCSPA as an innovation engine to accelerate solutions for key sectoral challenges; and (c) the GDCSPA is a vehicle for socialising policy objectives among sector stakeholders. Conclusions We are living in turbulent times. In order to embrace ambiguity, we turn to design thinking (Brown, 2008). The GDCSPA, which used design thinking, presents a powerful human-centred innovation engine. The GDCSPA can: (a) harness the power of global partners; (b) crowdsource prototypes for incubation from diverse teams; (c) build design thinking capability; (d) act as a global maven connecting organisations, people, ideas, funding and expertise; and (e) bridge the policy-practice conundrum. The GDCSPA as an educational research driven innovation, leveraged design thinking to create a framework for uniting sector stakeholders, GDCSPA creators, advisors and applicants, to co-create social innovations for the betterment of us all. Our vision aligns with that of Griffin et al.’s (2021), in that the future involves governing bodies and federations focusing on overcoming some of the key concerns relating to accessibility, flexibility and risk to sport and physical activity participation. In this way, the GDCSPA clearly encapulates the conference theme of ECER 2021.
Brown, T. (2008). Design Thinking. Harvard Business Review, 86, 84. Dweck, C. S. (2006) (6th Edition). Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success. New York, Random House. Hasso Plattner Institute (2018). HPI Academy. [Online] Available At: Https://Hpi.De/En/Index.Html [Accessed 14 05 2018]. Luchs, M. G., Scott Swan, K. & Griffin, A. 2016. Design Thinking: New Product Development Essentials From The Pdma, London, Wiley. Nordic Council Of Ministers (2015). Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Initiatives to Promote Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation in The Nordic Countriesdenmark: Rosendahls-Schultz Grafisk Rittel, H. W. J. & Webber, M. M. (1973). Dilemmas In A General Theory Of Planning. Policy Sciences, 4, 155-169. Robinson, K. (2009). The Element. How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. Ny: Penguin Group. Sallis JF, Adlakha D, Oyeyemi A, Salvo D. (2020) An International Physical Activity And Public Health Research Agenda To Inform Coronavirus Disease 2019 Policies And Practices. Journal Of Sport Health Science 9: 328:34. Savarimuthu, B. T. R., Le, L. S. & Ghose, A. 2012. From Green Norms To Policies - Combining Bottom-Up And Top-Down Approaches. In: Rahwan, I., Wobcke, W., Sen, S. & Sugawara, T. (Eds.) Prima 2012: Principles And Practice Of Multi-Agent Systems. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. Scharmer, C. O. (2016) (2nd Edition). Theory U: Learning From The Future As It Emerges. Berret-Koehler: Oakland, Ca Schon, D. (1987). Educating The Reflective Practitioner: Toward A New Design For Teaching And Learning In The Professions, San Francisco, Ca, Jossey-Bass. United Nations General Assembly (2015) Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development. United Nations: Geneva
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