Great point! Not only do businesses not take it seriously enough, I think they also don’t know what to do to keep data safe. The speed and ways at which security can be disrupted is alarming. I think companies underestimate what they need to do and become caught off guard if something terrible does happen from a cyber security perspective.
That’s a great point about the 2003 Cubs, Casey (Cubs fan here). I was certainly unifying to see Cubs fans rally behind a common adversary in Bartman after that tragic loss. I see sports as a unifying force where people who might have nothing else in common now have something in common, and can use this shared passion as a starting point to forge relationships and discuss other topics. From a peace perspective, I think about when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016 and how much that unified the people of Chicago. Not in animosity for the Cleveland Indians, but in passion for their own team. During the parade after the win, an estimated 5 million people attended the Cubs parade through Chicago. Yet reports were only ~5 or so people were arrested during the rally, including people for misdemeanors such as flying a drone over the crowd. The ability of an enormous group of people to join together behind a unifying force with a period of peace shows the ability of sports to create a common bond to promote peace.
Jowan, Great points. Something else to add is that while many of these events bring together a homogeneous group of people, it’s also a great breeding ground for peace across barriers that may be present outside of the arena. The idea of finding something in common with someone who seems so opposite of oneself speaks volumes to the building of peace that these recreational events provide.
Great point on companies taking the easy and cheap way out and praying nothing happens. I think another way to incentivize companies to proactively work to control user data is by implementing strict fines and repercussions when a breach is made. For example, I doubt any of us have NOT received a notification of a data loss - off the top of my head I’ve received these notifications from both Target and my old health insurance company. While I haven’t noticed any personal issues from the hacks, all I received was a letter (almost tossed it - who sends mail anymore?) with pages of legal jargon I had no interest in reading through. It doesn’t seem fair that middle Americans are at the mercy of these data breaches and when something goes wrong, we aren’t protected or receive justice.
Casey, first off GO HOOSIERS! I like the point you’ve made about creating a bond or perhaps a friendship ground zero with humans all over the world as a result of your sports affiliations. I also like this because it’s less threatening and dividing than the other ways people bond, like politics, careers, wealth, etc. While rivalries are strong, they do not impose on the civil liberties of the other, unless you count my husband covering up all the Purdue shirts when we go to the store. I’m interested to see what happens as major league sports continue to transition from team loyalty to player loyalty (think KD, Lebron, etc). It’s too early to tell if this shift will help break borders or lose the sense of community and belonging these fandoms create.
Adam, I came here to discuss this as well. Not only is the system not sustainable, but in addition it’s unbearably short term, think of how quickly children outgrow shoes and other clothing. In addition, a model like this does nothing to build an economy, because there is no work or exports to keep making money. It also strikes me that the charity is dependent on consumers buying luxury goods - while the brand was hugely popular a decade ago, like all trends they were replaced by something else, therefore stopping the flow of shoes to those in need. Finally, some luxurious for Americans are actually harmful to those in need. I saw a story a while ago where a cop gave his shoes to a homeless man - amazing of course, but the homeless man expressed that this gesture was harmful, since such a nice object can get him jumped or even killed. While I love the thought these businesses have, it’s not the thought that counts, unless it leads to sustainable action and change.
Good points, Ashley. I think we’ve seen some examples of this immediate ‘damage’ control most notibly in the recent Starbucks, CVS, and Dollar General incidents showing discrimination by their managers. I’m thrilled they received these consequences, but it does nothing to solve the overall problem. This reactionary response to public outcry drives a wedge between individuals on either side of the issue, and no real discussion takes place. Outrage is a good first step, but education on issues is key to dismantling this system and divide.
Awesome reference Michelle, and it’s a great point that these programs are the first to lose funding when budget cuts must be made. Another point to add is that this that this program provides an alternative to advance their lives that isn’t academically based. It also provides individuals who may themselves have to work to support the family, or have parents who have to work late to do the same, a creative outlet to grow and develop themselves. School and work can be important and rewarding, but for those who have no alternatives to break up the monotony this could be the difference between repeating and breaking the cycle.
The ability of sports to align or divide individuals is nuanced. Sports can light a passion in some people that leads to them separating the game from the individual, almost relishing when a rival player gets hurt or suffers a major loss. The burning of player jerseys, coupled with the protesting and boycotting is not alone unlawful, the potential for threats to become physical and deadly is one of the dark elements to the loyalty that sports encourages.
I’d say, even though it’s no longer explicit, we see the same exclusivity in the music industry that we see in business communities. As artists climb the ladder, they reach down and pull those similar to them up, or work actively to keep others down - prime example, Mariah Carey and the way she speaks about and treats other female artists. Because success is dependent on connections with and assistance from major industry players, this field is not equitable to all players.
It’s interesting to hear this point of view, Adam and Elizabeth. Love a good fish proverb reference, but also think it’s important to look at this in a somewhat utilitarian view. Maybe it’s not the best course of charity, but if it’s a step towards peace and it brings about the criticism that companies are then able to adapt from, I think its tough to frown upon it. Toms has taken some of that consumer feedback and expanded its operations - the fact that they are for-profit makes them competitive - they have to find opportunities for growth and development if their original business offering declines.
I think another great example of sports unifying and promoting peace is the success the Las Vegas Knights had this season. I remember going to Vegas during the regular season and tickets were very difficult and expensive to find. Whenever I went into a Lyft or Uber, the driver had some sort of Golden Knights “swag”. They all said the Knights allowed the community of Las Vegas to finally be able to cheer for something following the tragedy that happened last year.
Here is a good article I found regarding peacebuilding through sports. This year, Jerusalem will host the International Children’s Games, which start tomorrow. During this 5-day event, 1,500 boys and girls will participate in 9 different sports. The motto of the games is “Play fair, win a friend” and the goal is to provide life lessons for these adolescents through sports. These types of events really show the power that sports can have on promoting peace.
I wanted to share information on a non-profit organization focused on peacebuilding. Peachtec Labs has an interesting mission – reduce violent conflict using technology, media, and data to accelerate and scale peacebuilding efforts. I also thought it was impressive that they largely focus on organizations that have woman founders. Impressive group of people on their leadership team and a great example of a company is dedicated to bringing peace across the globe. It’s worth the read.
Thanks for sharing! Really love the "play fair, win a friend’ message.
Eric, good article about the International Children’s Games. I hope that some of Israel’s traditional adversaries are able to participate, including Palestinian teams. The fact that 50% of the athletes are girls is also meaningful to demonstrate that sports are for all. Children should be less likely to be affected by global politics and historical adversarial relationships, so hopefully they forge some relationships that can increase peace. The slogan to “win a friend” might perhaps create lasting partnerships and lead to increased business and peace as a result of this competition.
Lush is known as that trendy retailer selling ‘good for you, good for the environment’ soap products to consumers. But what should also be known about Lush is their incredible commitment to sustainability, partnering with economically-challenged regions in business development (first two links), and interest in driving peace (third link). With the Peace Boat partnership initiative, they are partnering with organizations to provide soap-type products to regions that have suffered from conflict or disasters. Very impressive efforts by Lush to drive change.
Fantastic insights Adam! It is inspiring that sports can have such a huge ability to bring people together, to rally behind a cause of their favorite team/person performing well and winning. Definitely shows that people capable of being united, just finding those moments and maximizing the unity for the greater good is the huge opportunity.
Great article Linda about Lush. I’ve seen their stores in the malls but never walked in. After reading about all of their philanthropic efforts, I may have to check it out next time.
Jermaine, I agree that We Are The World is probably the most impactful song whose message was peace. I remember when Haiti was decimated in 2010 that they created a new version of the song with new celebrities and singers. Although I don’t remember the original version from the 80s, I remember the version from 2010 having a big impact on me.