Kickstarting the Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity (GDC) 2022

Warm up event - Online April 28 from 09:00 to 13:00 (Irish Time)

Virtual Place


Start: 28.04.2022
End: 28.04.2022


Sport Ireland , International Sport and Culture Association , The Association For International Sport for All , University of East London Sport Coalition , UNESCO Chair at MTU

The Global Design Challenge Week will run in October 2022.

The Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity crowdsources radical, innovative ideas that enable people of all ages and abilities to lead active healthy lives. Ideas come from around the globe with best ideas incubated and/or taken up by national and global partners.

The Global Design Challenge 2022 builds on the success of the GDC 2020 and 2021, which were created and led by University College Cork (UCC). This year the Global Design Challenge network welcomes two international alliances of universities – European University of Post-Industrial Cities (UNIC) and the East London Global Sport Coalition.

This global initiative generates ambitious, innovative ideas and links directly to a number of UN Sustainable Development Goals, as called out in the Kazan Action Plan of 2017, particularly those relating to social impact, inclusion and equality (SDGs 5 & 10), but also wider goals around health, education, economics, the environment and governance. The initiative has also benefitted from UNESCO patronage.
Watch this video about the Global Design Challenge 2022

An online ‘warmup’ event took place on April 28 from 9:00-13:00 Irish time (10:00-14:00 Central Europe Time). The warmup was an opportunity for potential Design Challenge participants to find out more about the initiative, benefit from expert insights, tips and guidance on preparing for the upcoming challenge.


Trends & Challenges - Mogens Kirkeby, President of the International Sports and Culture Association (ISCA) presents some of the mega trends and challenges in sport and physical activity that set the stage for the Global Design Challenge 2022.

Empathy in Design Thinking - Dr Briony Supple, Senior Lecturer in Design Thinking, Pedagogy and Praxis at UCC, talks about the need for empathy at every stage of Design Thinking, the importance of thinking about who you are designing your solution for and tools you can use.

Design Fiction - Dr Paidi O’Reilly, Senior Lecturer in Business Information Systems at UCC, talks about how to be more radical in our thinking and solution generation to the challenges we face.

Rapid Prototyping- Dr Fiona Chambers, Head of School of Education, Senior Lecturer in PE and Sport Pedagogy at UCC and founder of the Global Design Challenge, outlines the rapid prototyping process and how it can be harnessed for the Global Design Challenge 2022.

Thinking Ahead to Incubation- Eamon Curtin, Director of IGNITE UCC, talks about how to incubate ideas into successful businesses.

The 2022 challenge focuses on inclusion.

The invitation is for UNIC alliance teams to innovate new ideas to: ‘increase opportunities for engagement in sport and physical activity ensuring that it is accessible to everyone of any ability, age, race or socio-economic background’.


  • Furthering the association between Sport and Physical Activity and achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Providing Design Thinking training to develop human-centred innovation in Sport and Physical Activity
  • Enlisting innovation and design thinking departments and students to push the boundaries of possibility in the Sport and Physical Activity sector
  • Ensuring communities, non-governmental organisations and businesses are engaged with universities to ground ideas in real needs and solutions.
  • Supporting the best teams immediately post-challenge to maintain the momentum in their development and supporting them in connecting with relevant partners.
  • Intended Impact

The GDC 2022 will:

  • Showcase university talent and innovation in collaboration with communities, non-government organisations and businesses
  • Make a significant contribution to the Sport and Physical Activity Sector
  • Further the understanding and connection between Sport and Physical Activity and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • The Global Design Challenge Week will run in October 2022.


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