Archive for the ‘Event Management’ Category

So,chi? Or So, no? 2014 games could be in the dumps

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Sochi has set up a list of criteria to meet in order to not only be ready for the 2014 games but also produce a sustainable economy, environment, and social sphere after commencement of the games.

The project is not a standalone action/event but it has a mid-term/long-term planning horizon, the project contributes to create tools and assets that will work and have a long-term positive impact in the area of project implementation.

http://sochi2014.blob.core.windows.net/storage/games/strategy/development/award/Sustainability%20Award%20Brochure%202012.pdf

In terms of the projects they have set up to help with the sustainability plan, this includes objectives such as youth engagement, healthy living, and harmony with nature. Of these I feel the healthy living objective will prove to be the most sustainable. In this project Sochi has come up with a “Green Marathon” where people of all ages and fitness levels can compete, which promotes physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. Along with running the marathons the event consists of trees being planted all along the trail to renew resources and keep the environment prospering.

The project enabled all participants, regardless of their age or fitness levels, to feel part of the Olympic Games and make their own personal contribution to the preservation of the natural heritage of Russia.

http://sochi2014.blob.core.windows.net/storage/games/strategy/development/award/Sustainability%20Award%20Brochure%202012.pdf

The part of Sochi’s sustainability plan that has shown to have controversy involves their Zero-Waste pledge for the building of and during the Games.  In October of 2013 some IOC members found that there was illegal dumping of concrete slabs and other waste in Akhshtyr, a landfill just north of Sochi. The illegal dumping in this region could cause water contamination to the host city, hence why it has caused so much concern. The local organizations recognized in this event were supposedly fined, says the Sochi committee and Russian organizers. With this I don’t believe that Sochi is being honest in their complete effort towards their sustainability plan.

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/ioc-members-urge-action-sochi-dump-report-20743588

One of Sochi’s sustainability projects that I find most interesting is their Beer Watch project. In this, they’re monitoring compliance with the rules of selling beer; it has been running throughout Russia since 2008.

The initiative seeks to limit the access of minors to alcohol, and involves retail outlets across the country displaying a special sticker sign, «Are you 18? Prove it!»

http://sochi2014.blob.core.windows.net/storage/games/strategy/development/award/Sustainability%20Award%20Brochure%202012.pdf

Part of the goal is to identify sellers who are not obeying the laws and get them out of the business. Those who do follow the rules are encouraged to sell <Beer Watch> souvenirs to encourage others to follow the rules as well. This project has involved over 160 tests of around 1800 retail outlets and dozens of violations were discovered. I think this project is not only healthy because of discouraging under age drinking but can be very sustainable past the 2014 Games. It has a simple goal with many ways to achieve that goal either by getting rid of those who don’t obey the law or simply having cameras to make sure all retailers card the buyers. With it’s simplicity, I believe sustainability will be achieved.

Sochi has done an excellent job to map out all of their goals of sustainability and discuss the ways they are trying to achieve those goals. Although some projects may need a second look or follow up to make sure Russian committees and Sochi are complying, I feel most of their projects are going according to plan and will be sustainable past the games in 2014.

A Hit or Miss????

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Are the plans for Sochi 2014 achievable? Sochi’s plan for hosting the Winter Olympics has six different plans in mind. They start with healthy living, barrier-free world, modern technologies, in harmony with nature, economic prosperity, and finally culture and national values.

For starters I believe the healthy living plan is a great idea. I really agree that with the hosting of the Winter Olympics it should bring motivation to locals, children and participants in sports and physical activity. In my opinion if I knew Durango was going to host the Winter Olympics, you better believe I would want to be come more involved with participating in these sports or just to simply improve my physical fitness level. I also totally agree that medical services will rise in quality and bring forth more attention.

On the barrier-free world I can also see this plan working out. I have worked with people and children that have disabilities. It is remarkable how their attitude changes so drastically when they realize that they can also participate in the same activities that all the others can. I believe we  can all work together to help these unfortunate people understand that their importance in life, especially sport, is just as important as anyone else.

With the face paced growth of technology I completely believe that their aspect of modern technologies will work . In the technology world almost anything is possible. These new advancements of the UIS portal is a fantastic idea it can help participants and spectators, internationally, be able to easily make their stay a less of a hassle.

In harmony with nature is one of the most important steps I believe in the plan. It should be mandatory at all big sporting events like these to make rules and regulations on how much of an impact any set up can take on the environment. Nothing would make a person more upset than if a huge event like this was supposed to help their local economy but instead it completely destroyed their scenery and surrounding environment.

The last step of the plan I agree with is the economic prosperity. The object of this step is to help the local economy as much as possible. This means new jobs, volunteer movement and the upbringing of more business to local companies. If it works according to plan the place of Sochi should see a huge economic gain.

The last step of the plan I am questionable about. When bringing up cultural and national believes it is a touchy subject. Some countries care so strongly about their culture that any  new interruptions to that can cause some tension. If someone has a set belief on something it is very difficult to change their mind.

In this YouTube video it shows just a glimpse of what creations they are going to and have added to the location to make it easier for spectators and participants. It shows the technology part of the plan does not seem to be an issue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uluVnk7kBgE

Over all I believe Sochi’s plan for the Winter Olympics in 2014 is a great idea. If the plan works it could be a huge economic and intellectual gain for the area.

Mother Russia tries to be sustainable, also soc(h)ially???

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

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General Information

The 2014 Winter Olympics or the 22nd Winter Olympics will take place from the 7th to the 23th February 2014, in Sochi, Russia. The Olympics and 2014 Paralympics are being structured and organized by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOC), which was established on October 2, 2007 by the Russian Olympic Committee, the Federal Agency for Physical Culture and Sports, and the Administration of the City of Sochi (wikipedia.org).

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The map above shows the location of the Russian state Krasnodar Krai (red area). Sochi which is located in Krasnodar Krai, is situated on the Black Sea coast near the border between Georgia and Russia.

Sustainability

Sustainability consists of three-pronged elements, which are the environment, the economic and social (cultural) well-being (Pedersen, Parks, Quarterman & Thibault, 2011, p.238).

Social Objectives of Sochi 2014

The Sochi Organizing Committee focuses on promoting a “healthy lifestyle” within the community of Sochi and Russia. Therefore it main focus lies on the creation of conditions to make it possible for people with disabilities to engage in sport and to develop medical support for professional sport, employees and participants of the mass events. To achieve these goals, the Sochi Organizing Committee concentrates on physical education to increase the knowledge of the importance of physical activities and to make mass sport popular. This education focuses especially on children and the youth. One of the educational purposes is to teach the youth about a healthy nutrition, and the dangers of smoking and alcohol. Moreover another committee’s stated task is to increase the physical activity of people with disabilities (http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/sustainability/life/).

In my opinion the educational objective and the objective of focusing on the sport participation of people with disabilities are two achievable goals. It is important to implement certain physical education classes, which mainly focus on nutrition, and the positive physical and psychological outcomes of sport. Furthermore the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics create great opportunities for the local community of Sochi to involve people with disabilities in physical activities or jobs. It is important that the committee creates a long-termand sustainable plan of keeping people with disabilities involved in projects, jobs and sport.

The goal of creating a medical support system especially for workers and employees of the Winter Olympics Games is an unachievable objective for now. Let’s face the problems, Russia is still known as a country who forgets too many times the human rights. The violation of human rights is often mirrored by the violation of fair labor.

“Construction companies have been accused of not paying their workers, bussing in illegal laborers and taking scant care of their existing employees as Russia rushes to complete its preparations.

Last year at least 25 people died in accidents and many more were injured. The estimated 95,000 workers who have worked on the project have seen little of that £32 billion.

A Human Rights Watch report published in February found that some employers’ cheated workers out of wages, required them to work 12-hour shifts with few days off, and confiscated passports and work permits, apparently to coerce workers to remain in exploitative jobs.”

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/winter-olympics/10416297/Sochi-Winter-Olympics-2014-rising-concerns-over-Games-mar-100-days-to-go-celebrations.html).

These examples of the work condition in Sochi indicate that corruption and unfair labor treatment is still a concern in Russia. We can hypothesize that Russia won’t solve these problems in Sochi, because Russia has to finish their projects until beginning next year and to be honest Russia won’t invest money to create better conditions for their workers because if workers complain they get laid off and another bus of migrant workers from the former Soviet Union will arrive.

Other social objectives are to develop patriotism, the feeling of national pride, maintain cultural diversity, ensuring access of cultural events, and maintaining the cultural legacy. Through the creation of certain themes for each year, for example 2013 is the year of museum; Russia explains and promotes their history and culture to their people and to their visitors. This is a great way of making people proud of their country and to achieve the goal of patriotism and national pride. Never the less Russia fails of creating diversity or cultural diversity in certain aspects. After a new federal law approved in Russia in June 2013 that bans “homosexual propaganda to minors” an important wave of criticism followed and many voices have claimed to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sochi). This action of the Russian government clearly prohibits the diversity of different groups of people and creates a certain type of racism. Russia shows again that they are still a country who doesn’t respect human rights. With this law Russia limits their people’s freedom once again.

Economic Objectives of Sochi 2014

The goals of developing a stable economy, creating a well-working job market and to developing the city of Sochi as both a mountain climate resort and a sports center at an international level are the main economic objectives for Sochi, the Krasnodar region and all of Russia. To achieve these objectives the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee focuses on using local and regional labor resources, materials, components, and equipment. Furthermore it wants to create new jobs and train/develop local labor resources. Furthermore Sochi will get a more developed and efficient infrastructure with that is meant that modern roads and railways, new transport hubs or new gas pipes are getting built. The city of Sochi and its people will definitely profit through the projects of the Winter Olympics and it creates new job opportunities in all different kind of fields. Therefore I think the Olympics will definitely benefit Sochi and its people economically and as a community. On the other hand,

“Sochi borders Russia’s six autonomous republics of the Northern Caucasus, home of the Chechen wars and violent feuding that surfaced after the breakup of the Soviet Union and continues to date. All of the republics have severe social problems that stem from massive unemployment and bad governance. Islamist extremism and the terrorism associated with it continue to be a threat” (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/opinion-will-olympic-flame-dim-in-sochi-a-680560.html).

These problems and issues could have negative effects of the economic development of Sochi’s region. It is hard for me to imagine that expressions of peace, tolerance, and fairness would be held hostage to a region where these values have little meaning. Never the less this Olympic Games could be a changing point for the tensions of this region. Russia needs to find the dialog between the different groups and also invest into these regions to create a more stable and sustainable economy.

Environmental Objectives

One environmental concept is the “Green Office”. “Green” rules are in place inside Organizing Committee’s buildings. This means that plates, bowls and cups used by the Organizing Committee are all re-usable. The napkins, towels and toilet paper are all made from recycled materials (http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/sustainability/nature/game_nature/green_office/). In my opinion that is a great move of being economical sustainable and to reduce resources and waste. Furthermore to reduce the waste, the committee developed the “Zero Waste Games”, which focuses on upgrading the system of waste treatment in Sochi and on the stimulation of separate waste collection and waste recycling. The committee also developed a concept of how to use these new waste systems in the post-games period. With that is meant that they will adapt waste treatment systems, which were formed in the period of the games delivery, to the needs of Sochi (http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/sustainability/nature/waste/).

Moreover the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee works together with “Dow” Worldwide Partner and the Official Chemistry Company of the Olympic Games. Together they will focus on energy-efficient technologies, with improved greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions performance in the key areas of infrastructure, industry and agriculture (http://www.dow.com/sustainability/pdf/Q1SustainabilityReport2013.pdf). Through this partnership the committee wants to achieve the goal of having a minimal impact on the climate. This is an efficient and effective step of creating a long-term economic benefit to Russian economy, because these new technology methods can be used throughout Russia to improve sustainability and to protect the environment.

Conclusion

In my opinion the economic and environmental objectives are the most realistic one’s to achieve. In fact I think most of the ideas and actions will be effective and will help Sochi and its people to develop to a more sustainable city. The major concerns are the social objectives. In my opinion Russia has to enable the freedom of speech and has to realize the importance of diversity. Moreover it has to improve their way of treating workers fairly and to protect them from exploitation.

 

 

so so so Sochi 2014 Olympics

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

The Sochi organizing committee for the Olympic and Paralympic games have outlined seven key objectives for the games coming up this winter. Those objectives are vision, strategic aim, legacy, the Russian diamond, brand, sustainable development and the Olympic games impact. As i looked into the sustainable development section the committee focused in on six areas,1) a healthy life style,2) harmony with nature,3) barrier free environment,4) modern technologies,5) economic prosperity and 6) culture/ national values.

I believe the In Harmony With Nature section will definitely be achievable because the world is finally recognizing that we are effecting the environment daily with all the pollution and harmful chemicals we are putting into the air. The committee is adopting the nature and environmental management approach which will allow them to have a better understanding on how to manage the harmony with nature. Our ability to construct and build structures  that are environmentally friendly/efficient has improved tremendously in the past decade, which means that the buildings and stadiums for the Olympics will definitely represent that.

Modern technologies is another section of sustainability which i believe the committee will achieve. We all know our world is about using technology to better ourselves, and with the technology we have today, its very easy to use and implement it in any situation. With the use of innovative technology we can enhance our logistics, communication skills within the Olympics, transportation for spectators and it creates a higher education in sports management.

Now there are two elements of the sustainability development that i do not agree with and do not see the committee achieving. The first is a healthy lifestyle, at every sporting event and even the Olympics there is going to be unhealthy food and lots and lots of alcohol being distributed. No matter what sport or event it is, there will be spectators getting wasted and you cant tell someone to not drink alcohol when it is being offered to them. They also mention they will help to stop smoking, but you cant take away someones right to smoke in a public area, there is and always will be smokers and alcoholics.

Last but not least the culture/ national values will be another tough sustainable environment to achieve. here is one quote that i read in the Huffington post, “Russian President Vladimir Putin in June signed off on a law that bans the dissemination of so-called “gay propaganda” to minors which activists fear could be used for a broad crackdown on gays.” They also stated in the article that any participate disseminating “gay propaganda” will be fined or arrested. “Gay propaganda” is along the lines of wearing the rainbow stripes of the gay rights movement or even as simple as telling miners its normal to be gay. With these statements its pretty clear that cultural and national values are not being supported at the Olympics and there for it will be hard for them to achieve that sustainability.

The video that i am uploading relates to the end of my blog because once Russia realized how politically wrong and incorrect they were, rules had to change and the gay rights movement won the battle.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v41NN2IyQ2c