Sports & Society Program

The mission of the Sports & Society program is to convene leaders, foster dialogue, and inspire solutions that help sport serve the public interest, with a focus on the development of healthy children and communities. The program provides a venue for thought leadership where knowledge can be deepened and breakthrough strategies explored on a range of issues. Its signature initiatives are Project Play and Future of Sports.

In 2019, Project Play launched Don’t Retire, Kid, a national campaign to raise awareness on why kids are quitting sports and the solutions to help parents. Watch the PSAs and videos from the campaign, some of which aired nationally on ESPN. Visit to give sports back to kids.

The 2019 Project Play Summit in Detroit marked the first time we took the event outside of Washington D.C., and it was our largest Summit ever (550 attendees). Speakers included former NBA star Chris Webber, 7-time NCAA gymnastics championship coach Valorie Kondos Field, Special Olympics chair Tim Shriver, New York Times columnist David Brooks, NFL running back C.J. Anderson, ESPN reporter/host Cassidy Hubbarth, University of Michigan baseball coach Erik Bakich, and much more. Read the Summit recap.

Our Future of Sports series held three conversations in 2019 to help stakeholders think through key questions shaping the future of our games, the sports industry and its impact on society. The 2019 topics looked at the future of coaching, the U.S. Olympic movement, and college athlete pay. Watch the event here on the Future of College Sports: Government’s Role in Athlete Pay, to be held Dec. 17 at the Aspen Institute.

Also, in 2019, the Aspen Ideas Festival hosted a track on sports, focusing on the limits of human achievement. Sessions included:


Featured Testimonial

"You have built a very powerful roadmap"

-- US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on the Sport for All, Play for Life report

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