• CAC, Hofstra, Soccer, and Pelé

    IMG_9421April 13, 2014. Another weekend, another speaking event for CAC Chief Executive Strategist, Brian Suskiewicz. A return home of sorts, Brian spoke at the “Soccer As The Beautiful Game” conference at Hofstra University in New York. Before CAC Brian was Associate Head Coach for the Hofstra Men’s Soccer Team from 2004 to 2009, winning three CAA titles during those five years. To say Brian was happy to return is an understatement, but throw a football legend into the mix and words fall short of expressing our delight in participating in this event.

    Brian has a chance to share a few words with Pele

    Brian has a chance to share a few words with legendary footballer and global icon Pele

    One of the big activities of the weekend, aside from gathering the all-stars of the sport for development field, was to give Pelé, THE Pelé, an honorary degree from Hofstra. His ties to the university go back to his days as a player as the NY Cosmos used to train at Hofstra in the 1970s.  Pelé also spoke at the conference, noting that coming to play for the NY Cosmos “was the best thing in my life.  It was the best decision to come to play in the United States.”  He also noted that soccer is “the biggest family in the world.”  Brian was honored to have a few moments to speak with Pelé and thank him for inspiring generations of footballers all over the world.  A full video of his 5-minute speech on Friday evening can be found here.

    Besides his brief meeting with the global icon, Brian spoke on two panels during this first ever event at his old stomping ground. The first focused on “Football, Pedagogy, and Integration,” and Brian capitalized on this opportunity to detail our philosophy of self-directed learning. Brian partook in this panel with other academics in the field, sharing ideas on how soccer can change the world, creating self-directed learners based on Dr. Judith Gates’ Chance to Choice educational theory.

    The second panel shifted attentions to “Empowerment, Social Integration, and Soccer”, moving from the theoretical to the practical. Many familiar faces joined Brian as he spoke about our work on the field in more than twenty-five countries around the world. Friends and partners of CAC who also participated include Mary McVeigh from Soccer Without Borders – who we are working with in Uganda this month! – as well as representatives from streetfootballworld, Love Futbol, and America Scores.  The interested crowd asked dozens of questions varying from implementation practices to supporting global charities.

    We are proud to be part of events like this, honored to be among such stellar figures in our field of not only international development but also international football – nice to meet you Pelé! Moreover, we are proud because we are the global leaders in sport for social impact and these platforms allow us to spread awareness for what we do with the incredible local organizations we are so grateful to call our partners.

  • Suskiewicz Speaks in India

    IMG_9067February 11, 2014.  Chief Executive Strategist Brian Suskiewicz spoke yesterday at the Next Step 2014 Conference, hosted by Magic Bus in New Delhi, India.  The plenary was titled Sport for Development – Focusing on Youth Development.  Brian brought a practical aspect to the conference, focusing on developing self-directed learners through the implementation of CAC’s award-winning-Hat Trick Initiative.  Joining him on the plenary were Matthew Spacie (Founder and Executive Chairman, Magic Bus), Stephen Flemming (Chief Executive, Kick4Life), Avinash Vashistha (Chairman and Managing Director, Accenture), Ranjan Choudhary (Principle Program Development, NSDC), and Ravi Pratap Singh (Regional Director – South Asia, Aide et Action International).  The moderator for this esteemed panel was Dr. Deepa Narayan, who has been named one of the most 100 influential global thinkers by the US based Foreign Policy magazine as well as one of one hundred disruptive heroes by Hacking Work in 2013.

    The Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group (SDP IWG) Secretariat, hosted by the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), nominated Magic Bus to host the Next Step 2014 Conference. Next Step Conference is an international event that brings together a range of stakeholders who can promote the global Sport for Development agenda. Previous Next Step Conferences have been held in Holland, Zambia, Namibia, and Trinidad & Tobago and have led to a growth of the sector in the region they have been held in. This one, the fifth in the series, will be situated strategically in India to promote this concept in the Asia region.

    CAC meeting up with our partner, One World Futbol

    CAC meeting up with our partner, One World Futbol

    The Next Step 2014 Conference is planned as a forum for exchanges of ideas and concrete ways in which to make effective Sport for Development programmes. It will provide a platform that can bring together the perspectives of sports for development that stretch beyond the sports field. The 5-day conference will further advance global partnerships for development.

    The emphasis will be on creating a web of linkages to foster the Sport for Development space and enable practitioners, academicians, donor agencies and Corporate Houses to learn about and implement effective Sport for Development programmes.

    You can follow the conference online through a live stream provided by www.sportanddev.org.