Author Archives: Sam Fiske

Banning Donald Sterling


Accordingly, effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA.”

The moment you heard NBA commissioner Adam Silver utter those words, you felt the  power and the gravitas with which he said them. Silver has been the commissioner since February, but his “welcome to the NBA” moment came on April 29th, 2014, a day he would make a giant splash in sports history.  Silver announced that Donald Sterling, an NBA franchise owner, was banned from the league and from his team for a lifetime after a recording of his voice became public revealing racist comments and his racial attitude towards African-Americans, including his own players.

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In Case You Missed it: 2014 Lego Ideas Conference

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Makers of one of the most universally beloved toys, LEGO Group, is expanding its influence through the Lego Foundation to promote the transformative power of play. At the 2014 Lego Ideas Conference, which was held on April 9-10, the Lego Foundation “assembled some of the world’s most important voices on play and learning to define a shared mission to re-define play and re-imagine learning.”

While the conference itself was created to provide a platform for discussion of play and gather a network of leading social entrepreneurs, the biggest takeaway from the event may have been the discovery of a play advocacy movement eager for action. In addressing the agenda of learning through play, Dr. Randa Grob-Zachary, CEO of the Lego Foundation, stated, “We are facing a complex, global, systemic challenge and that we will have the greatest impact if we build on existing efforts and catalyze change through coalitions that can advance this agenda together.”

Many of the leading play advocates participated in the conference as speakers. Some of these names include Jonathan Koss, President and CEO of Right to Play , Founder of KaBOOM! Darrell Hammond, and Mitch Resnick, the Director of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. Our own founder, Dina Buchbinder Auron was a participant in the Idea Lab and Strategy Lab Speakers portion of the conference. These speakers were given the opportunity to discuss their perspective on the power of play on the world’s youth, and how their organization is making an impact.

There were admitted differences in opinion on how to best advance learning through play, but lack of consensus only served to spur on greater ideas and discussion. The Re-imagine Learning Challenge was launched at the conclusion of the 2014 Lego Ideas Conference, in part to help identify, collaborate and and fuel these separate organizations and leading social enterprises to attain their goals. Additionally, the Lego Foundation spurred support to sign a petition to have UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN Member states place early childhood development at the the core of the post-2015 development agenda, which you can sign here.

The conference may be over, movement for play advocacy is just getting started. As said by the Lego Foundation’s critical message, “Play unlocks learning and development benefits that last a lifetime, and childhood presents a critical window of opportunity.” We agree, and will continue to form better citizens from childhood through the universal language of play.





International Day of Sport for Development and Peace - 6th April

Sports for Development and Peace


Today marks the first ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP). While sports have long been recognized as a tremendous tool for growth (especially here at S4S!), this is the first time the UN has declared a day to demonstrate how sports foster development and peace. The event has been supported worldwide, with various organizations, celebrities, nations and sporting leagues, including FIFA, championing the cause of sports for development and peace.

In UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s brief statement on IDSDP, he acknowledged several aspects of sports that serve as the foundation for our Sports for Sharing program, “We at the United Nations know that sport is a universal language, uniting groups and nations across divides. Sport empowers youth, promotes good health and deepens UN values such as equality, mutual respect and fair play. Sport helps us in spreading messages of peace, driving social change and meeting the Millennium Development Goals.”

These sentiments have been echoed by governments and NGOs (non-government organizations) alike, including the Australian based Sport Matters, which plans to lead celebrations in Sydney for the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Jackie Lauff, chief executive of Sport Matters, recently gave a radio interview discussing the origins of the the inaugural IDSDP, how sports affect communities and how this commemorative day will highlight some of the great work being done across the globe demonstrating the power of sport to improve the lives of others.

Peace and Sport has developed an online platform for the event which any person or organization can register, advocate and share their cause as it relates to promoting peace and development through sport. Their objective statement sums it up well, “To bring together and promote all the initiatives being led worldwide to celebrate sport for peace and development on 6 April.”

If you are interested in participating, following along or supporting the event, check out the website, the IDSP and sportanddev Twitter handles, as well as the #IDSDP/#IDSDP2014 trends. Click here for a list of information, research, and organizations celebrating IDSDP. This event is a call to action to promote sports to build communities and peace, let’s get active!