Sports and Development Connected

This Sports Section is about connecting sports and its related enterprises to the real world of global development and progress for purposes of helping people in the broader spectrum of human development.  However, the commercialization of sports as games have been brought live for a long time already to every household and individual follower via radio, television, and newsfeeds has been so dominant. The worth of sport for connecting people is less appreciated. We forget to pay attention to what sports could still do in making the world better because people from all walks of life in any country could be certainly connected by sports. What if we use sports to bring people together for global peace and human development?  While at the same time could sports still continuously inspire young talents to excel, and the industry that stage sporting events could maintain in supporting the livelihood of people who depend on the sports-related enterprises for a living?

In this first article about Sports and Development Connected,  I wish to share my own experience when I got involved in the preparation of a proposal on how to introduce modern clean energy and wastewater management technologies in the context of the motto of the Pyeong Chang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sports is a passion and the motto of the event was “Passion Connected,” which is for all people in the world.  As a concluding note of this article, I have the feeling that Cooperstown, a village in Central New York that is the home of Baseball Hall of Fame, is another venue that applies the “Passion Connected” motto.

In January 2017, about a year and a half before the 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics, a client in Korea asked me to package their proposal to showcase their clean energy and wastewater engineering technologies during the staging of the event. They asked me to prepare the proposal in  the context of  “Passion Connected,” the motto of the sporting event.  I was able to conceptualize the proposal and outlined the project for presentation to the committee. However, the team in Korea was not able to negotiate because it was already late as everything had been contracted out by the organizing committee. Nonetheless, it introduced me to a vital lesson, that passion is a spirit that can connect sports with addressing the real development problems in our world.  I presume the proposal is worth sharing.

The proposal that I prepared  was not only about establishing the  Technology Village, but it must also be sustained because there are many  Olympic venues that just became white elephants. We just saw the present state of the 1976 Montreal Olympics Games.  Our idea for Pyeong Chang, focuses also on sustainability as the  spirit of the winter games  goes on.

Passion Connected

On May 16, 2015, the Organizing Committee for the 2018 POCOG unveiled its new signature slogan, “Passion. Connected,” which in just two simple words expresses the objectives and legacies of the PyeongChang 2018 Games. According to the committee, “Passion.” symbolizes PyeongChang2018 as the stage of a global festival where people will exchange inspirations, share the Koreans’ warm unique hospitality, and experience the excitement of the Olympic Spirit. “Connected.” signifies the openness of PyeongChang where all generations can participate anytime and anywhere through Korea’s cutting-edge technology and cultural convergence. 

Furthermore, the committee explained that the two capital letters “P” and “C” are PyeongChang’s initials, and can be utilized in variations to promote PyeongChang’s key messages, for example; “People. Connected.” is engaging people from around the world, “Possibility. Connected.” is offering winter sports opportunities to more regions, and  “Peace. Connected” Is spreading peace through sports. The host city name of PyeongChang” is comprised of two Chinese letters, and the letter “P” can also represent the meaning of each letter: Peace (Pyeong) and Prosperity. 

The Shift  to Passion

“Passion Connected” may be also a place for the higher spiritual dimension. The binding force of attraction in this place is strong enough to inspire people of the world to be connected. While the reward gained in the traditional competition inspires every competitor to excel, but when the competition is first given importance over passion, there is a lower spiritual dimension. On the other hand, passion has a love of the craft resulting in excellence in performance. As a love of the craft, the competitor gives respect and love to his fellow participants. Furthermore, the passion starts in the heart and if love exists in any undertaking, the result will be beneficial to all mankind.

Technological advancement in the world must also shift from competition to passion. While competition ensures the development of the best technology, it involves also a high social cost. In spite of great advancement in science and technologies, there are still people without access to basic necessities like drinking water, electricity, and communications facilities. What has competition able to attain then? However, when passion becomes the inspiration, the spirit of “Passion Connected” adopted in the POCOG will cut across national boundaries,  that will cross oceans connecting continents and islands for the benefit of humanity.

Korea has also its own story to share and the country’s current status as a nation with superior science and technology developed over a span of a few decades from its humble beginning is a global inspiration. “Passion Connected” also signifies that Korea must share to the whole world the road map to progress that the country follows. On this basis, we proposed the establishment of a Passion Connected Technology Village that would showcase advancement in science and technology during the staging of the 2018 POCOG.

The 2018 Dream Program for Equal Access to Opportunities

The committee further discloses that an important component of the winter games was the “so-called 2018 Dream Program, a legacy of the 2010 bid. It has mounted its fifth sports and cultural program, involving 123 participants from 31 countries, who were invited because they live where there is no snowfall and have no opportunity to participate in winter sports. The 2018 Dream Program is also an inspiration for countries with fewer resources than they can play in a level playing field. New horizons will be likewise opened to the least developed countries through connection. We wanted the spirit of Passion Connected from winter sports festival to human development and progress will serve as a model in any country.”

The Passion Connected Technology Village

As we proposed, a month prior to the holding of the winter games, there would be activities lined up. These would include a business meeting and investment forum, scientific conferences, and product launching.

These technologies in clean energy, food processing, communications, health science, housing, construction, and telecommunications would be showcased. Business conferences and meetings would be held.

The objectives of the technology village project are: 1) to create a model technology village in Pyeong Chang that will use the venue of the  2018 Winter Games slogan in promoting technologies and business models, 2) to serve as a venue in promoting global peace and understanding through technological advancement and sound business practices,  3) to establish the Pyeong Chang fund for international cooperation that will sustain the operations of the Passion Connected Technology Village after the holding of the games, and 4) to demonstrate other relevant research, products, and services that are in line with global human development as envisioned in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change ratified on November 4, 2016.

The principal technology is a  waste to energy technology that makes use of wastewater by electrolyzing food wastewater to produce green gas.  The gas will be used for a boiler system that will contribute to supplying the heating and hot water requirement of the village. The other system is an incinerator that has low maintenance and operation costs, and very low initial investment. The system removes the pollutants,  which include carbon monoxide, dioxin, phenol, and dust. The field of CO2 is then removed and reduced. These technologies are the centerpiece of the technology village that demonstrate the practical applications of the technologies in greenhouse food production system, food processing and storage systems, heating and cooling system for residential housing and building that are designed for energy use efficiency, electric bus using hydrogen fuel, medical application, which include medical waste treatment and other related medical equipment use and practices, and other practical applications of clean energy. 

The said uses of the energy would be demonstrated in the technology village by locators and partners. There would be sponsors that include private firms, international development organizations, sovereign nations, and other individual donors that will contribute.

The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change. The technology village must have special arrangements for technological cooperation,  funding assistance, and sponsorship with the UN Conference on Climate Change. An investment fund would be established to commemorate the game, particularly its significance in global humanitarian development. The investment fund will then be used to finance technological innovation projects for global development in the future.

My Cooperstown Experience

While the Korean group pushed the project vigorously, there was no time anymore. The initiative should have been started right after Pyeong Chang won in the bidding to hold the winter games. At that time, however, the technologies were still under further development.

As a couple who have been watching baseball way back when we were in the Philippines, we spent two nights at Cooperstown with the whole family on April 6, 2019. The “Passion Connected” motto reminded me immediately. What I saw are just a small number of people at that time with a real passion for baseball because Cooperstown is a tiny village located in Central New York for the two biggest cities of New York, which are New York City and Buffalo.  My wild imagination was again activated. What if  Cooperstown becomes a center of international development funding as the passion for baseball can get people connected?

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