Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Britain’s former Culture Minister Dame Tessa Jowell and violinist Vanessa Mae are among a group of experts who will help shape the future of the Olympic Movement, it was announced today.
They have accepted invitations from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach to sit on one of the 14 working groups which will help frame some of the key recommendations of his Olympic Agenda 2020 programme.
Each group will be made up of key stakeholders of the Olympic Movement, including IOC members, athletes and representatives of the International Federations and National Olympic Committees.
As part of the ongoing open and inclusive process, a number of experts have also been included from civil society, including representatives of leading international organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations and business.
Schmidt, who Forbes ranked last year as the 138th-richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of $8.3 billion (€6.1 billion/£4.9 billion), has accepted Bach’s invitation to be part of a working group investigating “Olympism in action including Youth Strategy” which will be chaired by Argentina’s IOC member Gerardo Werthein and will also include Younghee Lee, Samsung’s head of mobile marketing.
Jowell, the architect of London’s successful campaign to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, will sit on a working group that will investigate “Bidding Procedure”, arguably one of the most crucial areas that the IOC need to reform.
She will be joined, fittingly, by Sebastian Coe, the former chairman of London 2012, on a group to be chaired by IOC’s Australian vice-president John Coates.
Mae, a Singaporean-born British violinist, will be part of the working group on Culture to be chaired by Greece’s Lambis V. Nikolaou and which will also include Lord Hall of Birkenhead, better known as Tony Hall, the director general of the BBC and former chief executive of the Royal Opera House in London.
Mae is a particularly appropriate choice as, not only is she renowned as being one of the best-known classical musicians in the world, but at Sochi 2014 she competed in Alpine skiing, representing Thailand, the county where her father was born.
Bach, himself, will chair the working group that is investigating the Olympic TV Channel, which could potentially bring about one of the biggest and most important financial changes for the IOC.
He will be joined by Kuwait’s Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the influential President of the Association of National Olympic Committees, Dick Pound, former head of the IOC’s Marketing Commission, and Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympics.
The composition of the groups were announced as main of the members who will sit on them were gathering here for the start of the 35th European Olympic Committees (EOC) Seminar, which is due to begin tomorrow.
Britain’s Sir Craig Reedie will chair the working group on “Good governance and autonomy”, which also includes EOC President Patrick Hickey, the IOC’s autonomy tsar.
The working groups will look at proposals made by the Olympic Movement, the world of sport and even by individual members of the public, who were able to contribute via a dedicated e-mail address.
Each of the Groups will meet next month around the occasion of Olympic Day, and their findings will be presented to the IOC’s ruling Executive Board at its meeting on July 8 and 9.
The findings will then be discussed at the Olympic Summit later in the month, which will be attended by all the key stakeholders of the Olympic Movement.
The contributions will then be presented to the IOC Commissions in September, before being discussed again at an Executive Board meeting in October.
The refined proposals for Olympic Agenda 2020 will then be presented for discussion by the whole membership and approval of the IOC Extraordinary Session in Monaco on December 8 and 9.
Discussions have centred on five themes: the uniqueness of the Olympic Games, athletes at the heart of the Olympic Movement, Olympism in action, the IOC’s role and IOC structure and organisation.
This article first appeared in Inside the Games and is reproduced with permission. The original article can be viewed by clicking here.