Q&A: Stefan Answers Your Questions about SPORTS20

Am 30.11.2023 haben Tanja Ferkau von IMPCT und Stefan Wagner von Sports for Future die gemeinnützige Kooperationsplattform SPORTS20 im Rahmen der 28. UN-Klimakonferenz in Dubai vorgestellt. In zwei Panels im Deutschen Klima-Pavillon und dem WWF Panda Hub wurde mit weiteren Speakern, Luisa Neubauer, Eckart von Hirschhausen und Jamie Farndale, wurde über die Entstehung, die Arbeit und die Wirkungsweise von SPORTS20 gesprochen.

Um Euch SPORTS20 ein wenig näher zu bringen und Euch den Unterschied sowie die Abgrenzung zu Sports for Future zu verdeutlichen, haben wir hier die wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten zu SPORTS20 für Euch zusammengefasst:


How and why did SPORTS20 come about?

SPORTS20 emerged through the collaboration of Sports for Future and IMPCT. We questioned how, in addition to the very effective and grassroots activation through Sports for Future, we could demonstrate the level of ambition necessary in the end. Our goal is not only to focus on sports but also to draw attention to the changes needed elsewhere in other areas to make sustainable transformation possible.

What goals, mission, and vision does SPORTS20 pursue?

Another world is possible. Using the example of sports, SPORTS20 paints a tangible, positive vision of a 100% sustainable world. We aim to inspire and unite while deriving various actionable steps. This is for politics, business, and sports alike. Through a specific framework, tangible and palpable future scenarios, action derivations on many different levels within and outside of sports, and a audible voice in the sports and political arenas, SPORTS20 also extends its impact beyond the realm of sports.

Why the name SPORTS20?

There are numerous alliances that have formed around major political summits such as G20 and G7 to make their voices heard as civil society representatives, including entities like Business20, Youth20, or Foundations20. Through its significant and unifying influence, sports has the opportunity to provide crucial insights both in the interest of its own sustainable development and for the broader society.

Who is behind SPORTS20? Who are the founders, and how is SPORTS20 funded?

SPORTS20 emerged from Sports for Future e.V. and IMPCT gGmbH, with their respective chairs Tanja Ferkau and Stefan Wagner. Initially, we are funded through donations and have received a commitment from the Dietmar Hopp Foundation, which will take effect once SPORTS20 gGmbH is established. Currently, we are in the process of being founded. Exploring other forms of funding, such as partnerships with businesses, is also part of our considerations.

How is SPORTS20 organized?

The exact structure and functioning of SPORTS20 still need to be established after this initial launch, once the necessary funds are available. So far, the involved partners have been contributing a lot of their own efforts upfront. The directors are Tanja Ferkau and Stefan Wagner, and we have been supported by a project manager up to now.

Why another new project/network on the topic of sports and climate protection?

Because, at the level of SPORTS20, sports has not yet appeared. It does not enter the prominent political stages, nor has there been such a framework that has emerged after about 18 months of intensive research into almost all relevant sustainability frameworks. It translates the SDGs (and all KPIs and sustainability principles) into the operational framework of sports organizations, making them manageable. At the same time, we derive the necessary changes on the mentioned different levels – from politics to sports clubs.

What is the difference between Sports For Future, Sports4Trees, and SPORTS20?

Sports For Future aims to mobilize sports, raise awareness for the climate crisis, and generate impact through concrete projects, such as those in schools, charity runs, and supported projects in the global South through the Sports4Trees campaign: "Green Schools," forest protection, and reforestation. This is deliberately low-threshold and easily accessible.

The legitimacy and importance of Sports For Future have not changed. On the contrary, the goal of the organization and its partners everywhere else is to break down this framework and derivations for grassroots actors.

SPORTS20 is an international network that operates on global platforms. It has a different perspective, focusing on the end result of the transformation and outlines a framework for it. The implementation is then thought backward and addresses not only sports but all other relevant stakeholders and decision-makers.

How can one participate in SPORTS20?

There will be a steering group consisting of key international network partners, with Sports For Future naturally included. Additionally, we are forming a circle of supporters, open to essentially any sports organization. This will include a level for sponsors and cooperation partners and an advisory board composed of individuals from sports, business, science, and politics.

What's next? What are the next steps?

We have several threads that we want to pursue simultaneously:

  • Formation of a steering group with key international partner organizations, including the involvement of Sports For Future.
  • Further refinement of the SPORTS20 framework for transformed sports in various organizational forms and disciplines, establishing a "transformation path" within it.
  • Define and address precise levels of participation and cooperation: steering group, advisory board, thematic partners for different SDGs, activity partners (committing to the "SPORTS20 path"), supporters, and sponsors (financial and conceptual).
  • Derive the prerequisites that must be met outside of sports. For example, decarbonized transportation and aviation for sustainable mobility.
  • Recruit (additional) sports ambassadors.
  • Elaborate on the future scenarios for a transformed sports world, develop them in collaboration with partners in other parts of the world, and create a digital representation of these images to make the changes behind them visible and tangible.
  • Establish the organizational structure.
  • Develop the roadmap for 2024.