Advanced Training on Olympism, Peacebuilding and Development

Light up your torch and build your Olympism4Humanity legacy at the birthplace of the Olympic spirit

The International Olympic Academy and the Conflict Resolution Program of the Department of Government at Georgetown University are proud to announce the inauguration of Olympism for Humanity (O4H), a global venture that aims to advance Olympism, Peacebuilding, and International Development Scholarship & Practice. The first initiative of O4H is the Olympia Praxis Summer Program, a professional development training opportunity to be held in Ancient Olympia, Greece from June 23-July 3, 2013.

Photo credit: IOA

Olympism 4 Humanity

Olympic Education Alliances Scholarship & Praxis

Why Olympism?

Given the global financial recession, individuals and societies have an increased need for finding new sources of inspiration and solutions that can lead to and sustain a peaceful, creative, and civically engaged global society. At a time when nations are challenged by failing economies, troubling security concerns, diminishing natural resources, formidable social conflicts, and strained inter-group relations, we are compelled to find new sources of inspiration to lift our spirits, call us to greatness, and move us to develop innovative solutions that will shape a better world for coming generations. Never before has the role and the essence of Olympism been as essential as it is today.

"Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles".  (IOC, Fundamental Principle 1, p. 9)                                                                                                                                                                                               

Given the current economic recession, Olympism4Humanity aims to recruit, inspire and support youth and agents of change from across the globe. O4H aims to recruit and train committed entrepreneurs and provide ongoing support and capacity-building opportunities. The ultimate goal of this program is to create the conditions and supporting mechanism for social innovation and entrepreneurship inspired by the Olympic ideals, philosophy, arts and science, and inclusive and democratic governance at the birthplace of the Olympic spirit and ideals.

 O4H presents a unique opportunity to utilize the core values of Olympism to support, inspire and equip youth, education, and sport stakeholders to become socially responsible and civically engaged and to employ Olympic Education as a vehicle for youth development and social transformation in their respective communities.

Olympism, Sport, Peacebuilding and International Development: Global Momentum and Existing Gaps

Over the last two decades an increasing number of sport, humanitarian, educational and civil society institutions have recognized the power of sport, education and cultural enrichment programs as tools for resolving a number of social challenges, such as child Protection; Education and Welfare; Gender and Disability Inequalities and Discrimination; Human Rights; Social Cohesion and Civic Disengagement; Conflict; Inter-Ethnic Intolerance and Democratic Governance; Health and Well-being; HIV; Drug and Alcohol Abuse; Unemployment; Poverty and Homelessness; Refugees and Migration. However, all projects seeking to bring social change through sport must be adequately and professionally planned, monitored, and evaluated in order to achieve successful results.

While these programs create opportunities for innovative “sport for development” (SFD) programming, the SFD researcher and practitioner is expected to possess specific skills and competencies that traditional sport academic programs fail to provide. To address this largely unmet need, the Olympia Praxis Summer Program aims to provide interdisciplinary and applied professional development opportunities to advance evidence-based policy and programming. The Olympia Praxis Summer Program is ideally suited to the needs of SFD practitioners, students, athletes, policy makers, faculty, program officers and educators.

Olympia Praxis Summer Program, Ancient Olympia, Greece, June 23rd- July 3rd, 2013

The Olympia Praxis Summer Program is the first step of Olympism4Humanity (O4H), a global initiative that aims to advance human centered alliances, scholarship, educational opportunities and synergies that will facilitate the resolution of existing global challenges. O4H’s long-term strategic plan aims to provide ongoing professional training and capacity building for individuals who are interested in gaining the essential skills and competencies for effective Olympism, Peace and Development (OPD) program initiation and delivery.

The Olympia Praxis Summer Program aims to provide interdisciplinary and applied professional development opportunities for advancing evidence-based policy and programming. The processional training will include lectures, workshops and panels from prominent academics, sport and development practitioners, and other experts who will share their knowledge and experience from the field.  Click here to read more about the O4H Alliance mentors and advisors.


Topics to be covered:

  • Case Studies: Experiences from the field (unemployment, at-risk youth, conflict resolution, adverse conditions, disability, social integration, etc.)
  • Applied Olympic Education and Olympism Peace and Development (OPD) Theoretical Foundations
  • Non-profit organizations, strategic planning, challenges and steps forward
  • OPD Knowledge Economy (evidence from the field and efforts to bridge gaps in knowledge)
  • OPD Strategic Planning, Partnerships, Program Initiation and Delivery
  • OPD Capacity Building and Sustainability
  • OPD Monitoring and Evaluation


When: 23 June – 3 July, 2013

Where: Olympia, Greece

Who can apply: Sport for development practitioners, students, athletes, policy officers, and educators. Applications will also be accepted from highly motivated and committed individuals who are interested in entering this emerging field. Olympism 4 Humanity invites the following Olympism, Sport, Peace and Development stakeholders to participate in this summer program:

  • National Olympic Academy’s officers and staff members
  • National Olympic Committee’s officers and staff members
  • Olympic Studies Centers' members
  • University Professors and Researchers
  • Athletes and University Students 
  • Teachers of Physical Education, Performing Arts and Sciences
  • Program Officers and Administrators from Government Agencies, Civil Society Organizations, Ministries of Sport, Health, Culture and Education
  • Sport for Development and Peace Practitioners, Youth Sport and Community Sport


Why is this program unique?

This program is particularly unique for many reasons. It will be the first professional training opportunity solely focusing on Olympic value dissemination as a tool for social change, and it aims to revive these values at the birthplace of the Olympic Spirit: Olympia. There, Olympism, peace-building, democracy, philosophy, arts, science, and civic engagement were originally embraced as vital and essential elements of excellence, and as the components of a holistic educational philosophy of a balanced mind, body and spirit. Participants will participate in a life-changing learning experience by gaining an intense cause-oriented, project-based training at the foundation of the Olympic Spirit. Olympia Praxis Summer program participants will complete a strategic action plan, which will be supported throughout the year with the mentorship and support of Olympia Alliance, a consortium of prominent experts from this emerging field. 


Photo credit: IOA. O4H will take place at the premises of the International Olympic Academy in Ancient Olympia, Greece.

Olympia Alliance, Mentors, Advisors and Support Group

Olympia Alliance will serve as a platform and a resource for ongoing mentoring and capacity building for sustainable program initiation and delivery. Olympia Alliance is a consortium of prominent Olympism, Peacebuilding and International Development experts from the following agencies:

  • International Olympic Academy, (Greece)
  • Georgetown University (USA)
  • Muhammad Ali Center (USA)
  • PLUS Global Academy (USA)
  • Caribbean Sport for Development Agency (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • UOC, FCB Barcelona and UNESCO Chair (Spain)
  • Magic Bus (India)
  • Texas A&M University (USA)
  • University of Regina (Canada)
  • Partners of Americas (USA)
  • University of Botswana (Botswana)
  • University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (USA)
  • International Center for Sport, Research and Development (Cyprus)
  • University of Calgary (Canada)
  • University of New Mexico (USA)
  • Sport2build (Zambia)
  • Yale University (USA)
  • Regional Sport Agency (Suriname)
  • University of West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica)


Photo credit: IOA. Become part of history. Light up your torch and build your Olympism4Humanity legacy at the birthplace of the Olympic spirit. This picture captures the "stoa", the gate through which athletes use to enter the Ancient Olympia Stadium.

Olympism4Humanity legacy: Ongoing Support and Commitment

Olympia Praxis Summer Program is part of Olympism for Humanity (O4H), a global initiative, which aims to advance human centered alliances, scholarship, educational opportunities and synergies that will facilitate the resolution of existing global challenges. O4H will coordinate local, regional and global efforts and serve as a catalyst for:

  • Creating Inclusive Systems: Create new and support existing local, regional and global learning hubs through the Olympia Alliances Project
  • Providing Ongoing Capacity Building: Provide Olympic Education training, capacity building, mobility and educational opportunities for engaged stakeholders through the Olympia Praxis Project
  • Establishing O4H Scholarship: Produce and advance related and applied scholarship through the Olympia Epignosis Project

O4H Vision: Olympism for Humanity (O4H) aims to advance Olympism, Peacebuilding and International Development alliances, scholarship and practice.

O4H Mission: O4H is guided by the International Olympic Academy’s vision and efforts “to explore and enhance the contribution of Olympism to humanity”. Its mission is to advance, disseminate and promote Olympism as a tool for addressing local, regional and global societal challenges.

How to apply: Click here to begin the online application form

Click here to download the O4H brochure

Program Fees for the ten-day program: 1450 Euros.

Special discount packages are available for (a) students, (b) Sport for Development and Peace agency and CSO staff members, (c) country delegations,  (d) National Olympic Academies and Committees’ delegations, (e) National  Paralympic Committees’ delegations, (f) Olympic Studies Centers’ members, (g) IOAPA members and (h) members of the Peace and Collaborative Development Network (PCDN).

The program Fees cover (a) 1-day double occupancy accommodation and dinner in Athens, (b) 9-days double occupancy accommodation and meals in Ancient Olympia, (c) 10-days extensive training from prominent OPD experts (Olympia Alliance), (d) access to the IOA library, (e) site visit at the Olympic Museum in Ancient Olympia, (f) transportation from Athens to/from Olympia, and (g) ongoing support and mentoring from Olympia Alliance during program delivery. The program fees do not include international travel expenses to Athens, Greece.


Photo credit: IOA. O4H has multiple goals and emphasizes the use of sport and Olympism as a vehicle for promoting social change and justice. O4H will target the resolution of local social challenges such as unemployment, antisocial behavior, bullying and aggression, academic/school dropout rates, inter-group intolerance, social isolation and disengagement.

For further information please visit our website at or contact the O4H administrator via email

Alexis Lyras, Ph.D.


HM King Abdullah II of Jordan Generations for Peace

Research Fellow, Conflict Resolution Program

Department of Government, Georgetown University

3240 Prospect Street NW, Washington, DC 20007


Skype: alexislyras
Office (202) 333-2168
Fax      (202) 687-0597                                                                                                       




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Comment by Patricia Hester on April 25, 2013 at 2:39pm

What an amazing opportunity! Good luck this summer!

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