On my panel on street culture and the role of art and sport in rendering the invisible visible, it became clearer than ever to me that we suffer from a major disconnection. Street culture may make outsiders more aware of the issues faced by underserved communities, but that awareness alone is not enough to help them change their circumstances, even when ideas already exist.
One can think of Davos in a similar way. The right people are there – not just heads of state and CEOS, but also social entrepreneurs, artists, activists and young leaders – and they are aware of the problems that require urgent solutions. They are, for the most part, ready, with promising ideas around creating shared value, finding common solutions, and putting the local aspect back into the centre of global approaches.
And yet, there remains a disconnect – one I hope will not bring the momentum shuddering to a stop.
The disconnect, quite simply, is between our current state and our proposed solutions. While leaders outlined new solutions to new problems and innovative new visions for the future, what was lacking was an understanding of how to actually reach our lofty but achievable goals. It is not enough to point to a distant horizon and sit back, satisfied for the time being with our new view; we must draw a map to get there and then, collectively, get on our way.
I believe that the key to bridging the gap between the inspiring ideas of passionate, intelligent leaders and actual social change is someone who will build the game plan. We need a team manager.
This was, for me, a strong affirmation of streetfootballworld’s mission. We strive to connect every facet of the football sector and build a game plan for achieving social change together. Now imagine if every sector had a team manager: someone to convene each relevant stakeholder and lead them in creating a practicable strategy for achieving a common goal. Someone to ensure that each player was in the right position. Someone to transform an idea for the future into tangible steps. Someone to be responsible for maintaining focus, motivation, and momentum. All of a sudden our soaring ideas would be more than ideas: they could actually become reality.
There is a tension between the urgency of our global issues and the time such a process would take. But without investing wisely now in the right mindset and course of action, we risk holding the same conversations all over again a year from now; and if we can all agree on one thing, it’s that our problems can wait no longer.