Earlier this week, the Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy Edwin Moses highlighted the importance of backbone organizations to collectively impact coalitions at the Project Play Summit in Washington D.C.
The Project Play Summit brought together over 350 leaders in sport for development from around the nation. It was a call to action as a result of the Project Play Report published in January 2015.
Highlighting Laureus USA’s Model City Initiative, Edwin Moses demonstrated that the role of the backbone organization is to be a facilitator and communication hub for a coalition. In Laureus USA’s case, being the backbone organization has already resulted in many organisational lessons.
Creating the first collective impact coalition focused on sport for development in New Orleans may have been Laureus USA’s concept, but it is up to the community to come together and solve the issues. In New Orleans, a city which has obesity rates well above the national average, sports can solve many social issues.
It is therefore important to increase the physical literacy of more children around the city. The coalition determined its mission is to create universal access to sport for development programming for youth in the city. In order to do this, organizations need increased capacity, resources (including but not limited to funds), and advocacy. Being a good backbone organization means empowering and enabling organizational leaders to create change, Moses highlighted.
Moses was joined on a panel called A Call to Leadership. He was joined by Gary Bettman, Commissioner, National Hockey League; Ginny Ehrlich, Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Dean Hovey, CEO, Digifit; and Caitlin Morris, Senior Director of North America Community Impact, Nike.
On behalf of Laureus USA, Edwin Moses also announced that in May the group would have its community members of its first collective impact coalition organized.