Kansas City is serving as a hub for a national sports initiative that will host a handful of professional teams hoping to help young people around the U.S.
Kicking off Friday, Play for Tomorrow — the brainchild of Kauffman Fellow Pankaj Sood — will feature seven professional sports teams from North America, including the Kansas City Royals.
Expecting to draw hundreds of people from Kansas City, Toronto and Palo Alto, the event will offer local attendees a chance to network with representatives from the Kansas City Royals. Other locations’ participants will interact with those from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, San Jose Sharks, Canadian Football League and Toronto Argonauts.
Sood, now director of Toronto-based iBoost, synced up with the Kauffman Foundation and the Palo Alto-based nonprofit StartX to create a multi-city initiative that and aims to leverage the power of sports to create social change in communities. Spanning from Oct. 21 to 23, the event will showcase industry speakers, sport and community panelists with the goal to reshape youth development via emerging technology.
The panels will be located at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City will be simulcast to the Toronto and Palo Alto locations, but each city will host their own hackathon.
“Like our foundation’s founder, Ewing Kauffman, we believe that real change happens when everyone is working together to solve a problem,” Kauffman Foundation CEO Wendy Guillies said in a release. “This unique event is designed to bring together entrepreneurs, community members and our youth to create innovative solutions.”
Here are some of the Kansas City events:
- Sports as an Effective Vehicle for Change Panel — Mark Donovan, president of the Kansas City Chiefs, speaks, will be one of many to speak on the importance of sports and education.
- Overview of Community & Youth Development Initiatives including Potential Opportunities — a panel focused on Kansas City specific problems.
- Intro to Design Thinking — a workshop session hosted by the Stanford Centre for Design research.
- Hackathon — participants will be assigned into teams and tackle problems related to urban youth and sports. With prize money on the line, each team will pitch their solution on Sunday.