- 19 Nov 2020
Three Knowledge Value Network (KVN) workshops held online between August and October encouraged IOC staff from different departments to share knowledge, inform colleagues about ongoing projects, suggest new ideas and work together to assess and update the current knowledge-sharing tools and materials.
COVID-19 context and new ways of thinking
The underlying theme of the first two workshops was the current context brought about by COVID-19. The focus was on how the IOC can capitalise on this unprecedented experience (particularly regarding the postponement of Tokyo 2020), and how it is recording and integrating these changes into the work processes, Games organisation, stakeholder relations, and managing and sharing information and knowledge within the organisation and with partners.
During the first workshop, Maria Bogner, Head of The Olympic Studies Centre (OSC), introduced the recently launched project to capture and document the knowledge acquired on the impact of COVID-19 and the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. She said: “The unprecedented situation we are living these days is a force for new ways of thinking and doing in all aspects of our business, and is impacting many departments and projects in ways that might not be visible to all. It is essential that we capture the knowledge and learnings along this journey, not only for the history books, but also as a blueprint in case the IOC would ever be faced with a similar situation again in the future.”
Tokyo 2020 data capture
IKL team members Trofym Anderson, Nzumbe Nyanduga and Fabio De Alcantara Machado highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on the Games experience and data capture programmes for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. E.g. the team will need to adapt data capture on transport use and accredited seating at venues, with next year’s Games to set many precedents. For the Games Experience programme, with Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 being held just six months apart, activities have been revised so as to create as much synergy between them as possible.
At the second virtual workshop, the participants were divided into sub-groups to address the following three questions remotely:
- How have things changed because of COVID-19?
- If they have changed, should these changes be maintained?
- How should these knowledge assets continue to evolve?
These questions applied to Games reference materials (for example, the guides), terminology management, knowledge exchange, Olympic Games knowledge, experiential learning (observation and secondment programmes as personal development tools), training (of both staff and experts), and data and analytics. A dynamic moderation and innovative tool like virtual Post-its, which were added to whiteboards on the screen, facilitated the brainstorming and a high interaction online.
Technology to drive positive change
The third workshop organised in November responded to the wish of the group to get inspired by and learn from external experts. Todd Harple, currently seconded as innovation consultant to the IOC from Worldwide Olympic Partner Intel shared insights on how his company anticipates the future and uses technology to initiate positive change in many areas of society, from 3D printed medical braces, and the responsible use of Artificial Intelligence to technologies for pandemic relief such as crowd monitoring and thermal scans. Todd, who has a PhD in anthropology and has been with Intel for 15 years now, has worked on a number of data-driven sports experiences and products, e.g. developing a technology for sunglasses which integrates real-time coaching through voice interaction, and augmented reality solutions for the Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020, allowing for reality views of the venues, via an app. For Tokyo 2020, Intel will deliver VR training for operational readiness, which provides for more scalable and effective training, an easier evaluation of people’s performance and, on top of that, a reduction in travel time. Intel will also support the IOC’s data capture in Tokyo. For Beijing 2022, Intel is supporting a project which looks at VR broadcast solutions. His conclusion regarding innovation: “The key is to innovate in the service of a goal, not for the pure sake of innovation. As a matter of principle, technology should always be based on empathy and on the values of those whom it serves.”
The purpose of the Knowledge Value Network, launched in 2015, is to regularly bring together people from various IOC departments to share their knowledge and ideas, with a view to achieving better collaboration and greater efficiency in projects. Since its creation, there have been around a dozen workshops on various topics such as information mapping for the Olympic Channel in 2015, an exchange on problem-solving best practices with UEFA and other IFs in 2017, and sessions with sports business experts.