This online discussion forum, hosted by WFEB founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on 15 May 2020, put into perspective the current impact of the pandemic on professional and amateur sports, the lessons learned, and what really must change in the post Covid-19 world to create a more ethical, healthy and humane world of sports.

The current pandemic has turned the world of sports upside down. Competitions are cancelled, leagues are at rest or called off, training facilities are closed, there is a ban on personal contact between coaches and teammates, and athletes somehow have to keep fit at home.

The sports industry undoubtedly is facing one of their greatest existential threads. Every part of the sporting value chain has been affected, from athletes, teams and leagues, to the media that broadcast and cover games, to sports hospitality and other related goods and services.

And while the economic losses are apparent, it is not just the financial losses and the physical health that take a toll but also the psychological consequences. Athletes whose life was completely geared to the competition calendar and who have been training for years towards big competitions face greater emotional distress and lack of purpose.

In these times of uncertainty, what are the leadership styles required to navigate through this crisis? How does the future of sports in the post Covid-19 world look like and what needs to be the roadmap? What has and can the sports learn from this crisis? How can we ensure that the beauty and purity are preserved and that the excesses of competitive sports can be better managed?

Watch the recording of the entire discussion

The event welcomed following speakers:

Host: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, World Forum for Ethics in Business and Founder, The Art of Living Foundation
Inge Andersen, Senior Business Consultant and Sports Coach; Former Secretary General of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee
Christoph Daum; International Soccer Manager and TV Commentator
Tom Farrey, Executive Director, Sports & Society Program, Aspen Institute, USA
Heinz Günthardt, Coach of the Swiss Fed Cup Team; Former Coach of Steffi Graf; Wimbledon Winner
Anja Hammerseng-Edin, Former Professional Handball Player of the Norwegian National Team; Coach & Author
Jo Leinen, Former Member of European Parliament; WFEB Board Member
Sarah Lewis, General Secretary, International Ski Federation
Ernesto Lucena Barrero, Minister of Sports, Colombia
Peter Marti, CEO, Marti Communications, WFEB Advisory Board Member
Moderator: Christoph Glaser, Managing Director, World Forum for Ethics in Business


This online event was the fourth in the series of dedicated discussions on the impact of Covid-19. Earlier editions featured a focus on the overall ethical dimensions, on domestic violence and on the environmental impact of the current pandemic.


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