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DigiFit bootcamp in Paris: Design thinking helps organisations navigate the digital age

By Veronika Mikhaylenko, ISCA

January 2024 marked a milestone for the DigiFit project’s community and partners. Held in Paris at the French innovation platform “Le Tremplin”, the DigiFit Bootcamp was the official launch of the project’s Learn and Do Experience, a twelve-month incubation programme aimed at providing specialised digital support to grassroots sport organisations that will allow them to better address key challenges as they navigate the growing digitisation of sport.

Using a range of innovative methods, DigiFit aims to help sports clubs and organisations become “fit for the digital age”. Its partners comprise ISCA (project lead), PRN SI (France), University College Cork (Ireland), IPDJ (Portugal), DGI (Denmark) and EPSI (Belgium).

Following a selection process, a total of 54 participants representing 15 countries and 10 sports bodies met over three intensive days on 29-31 January. Mentors, project partners, solution providers and sports organisations exchanged ideas and best practice techniques whilst improving their knowledge of so-called design thinking – an innovative approach that uses design, data and digital literacy skills to solve problems and achieve optimal solutions.

Following welcome speeches from ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby and Project Coordinator Carole Ponchon, participants were invited to adhere to the adopted motto “Think-Try-Trust”. Later, Fiona Chambers, Briony Supple (pictured above) and Sinead Moynihan (pictured top-left) from University College Cork (UCC) gave an introduction to design thinking that featured creative mindset and team-building exercises with the use of LEGO.

Day two concentrated on the formation of ideas, the definition of problems and the concept of statement through observation. Participants explored various methods of enhancing digital resilience in the sports sector, focusing on such diverse areas as stakeholder mapping and the need for compassion and empathy when addressing challenges. 

Over the entire three days, expert mentors shared their knowledge of digitalisation, advised participants on how best to define problems and detailed best-practice solutions to specific challenges. The UCC team stressed the importance of involving all stakeholders in the digital innovation process and described how design thinking can be used to achieve optimal results.

The final day included opportunities for grassroots sport organisations to develop pitches and network with solution providers. Following this, matchmaking sessions were held with the aim of forming ten new pilot project teams. Comprising of one grassroots sports body, one mentor and one solution provider, each project will apply a bespoke digital solution to a specific challenge. Teams are expected to create their own contracts and regulations and define their own target audience and participation level.

The DigiFit bootcamp served as a platform for networking, sharing and learning. It allowed grassroots sports organisations to pitch ideas, meet solution providers, and receive expert advice. During the coming months, participants will use this knowledge to increase their innovation-readiness.

What’s next? Progress, achievements, and areas for improvement will be documented during regular meetings with oversight from DigiFit’s consortium partners. The results will be presented at the DigiFit Summit in November 2024.

About the project: 
Co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme, DigiFit is exploring how digital transformation and innovation can fortify resilience, enhance capabilities and allow the grassroots sport and physical activity sectors to thrive in an increasingly digitised world.

Find out more here

The DigiFit project is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

Posted on 12/02/2024 by Veronika Mikhaylenko, ISCA


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