Olympic Heritage & Civilization in service of Humanity

Investment in Human Potential & Prosperity

Who we are 

Olympism for Humanity (O4H) is a Champions of Change Olympic Studies Center with expertise in Olympism in Action applied research, academic teaching, capacity building and data-driven programming in fragile regions and communities in need across continents.

Our 30 years data driven transdisciplinary academic expertise and field programming is centered on Olympism for Humanity in Action: the intersection of Olympic Heritage, Peacebuilding, Democracy Actualization and Sustainable Development applied research and programming (Lyras, 2003, 2007, 2020, 2021). Actualizing, in other words, the richness of the Olympic Heritage into operationalized data driven Sport for Development and Olympism in Society ventures across communities in need. Olympism For Humanity conducts original applied research and provides professional development training and capacity building, mentoring, organization and other services to academic agencies, individuals and organizations in order to support purpose-driven peacebuilding and sustainable development venture across domains.Our pioneer theoretically informed community-based learning model, aims to preserve and optimize the impact and the essence of the Olympic Heritage and ideals, which is to promote Peace and Democracy – and “to unleash and actualize human creativity and full potential “ (Lyras, 2020, 2021).

More recently, Olympism for Humanity (O4H), the Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CEID) at Georgetown University and the International Olympic Academy, joined forces to launch a new Certificate Program and a global Academic Diplomacy venture that aims to prepare global citizens to serve, lead and Champion Change in our troubled world. The CIED-O4H Georgetown University Certificate Program is a hybrid Olympism in Action – Champions of Change online and onsite immersive experience for future leaders and includes webinars, in-class workshops and lectures. The vision is to develop Peace and Democracy “Champions of Change” across the globe with knowledge and tools on how to effectively design and deliver conflict transformation, social innovation and climate action ventures, inspired and guided by the universality of the Olympic and World Cultural heritage, grounded on solid and scientific Olympism in Action skills and competencies . Successful participants can qualify for a follow up cycle of advanced training, which will take part in the USA, Greece, Cyprus, France, Japan and across fragile regions and communities.

O4H Wreaths: excellence in five core activities

Inspired and guided by the wealth and richness of the Olympic idea and heritage we deliver on five core activities:

  • Olympism for Humanity Academic teaching, instructional design & professional training
  • Impact assessment and applied research
  • Cultural enrichment, community-based learning and youth-led social entrepreneurship
  • Data-driven program design and delivery
  • Capacity building, change management, fundraising and grant proposal writing

O4H Background

Olympism for Humanity (O4H) was founded by Dr Alexis Lyras in 2011, as part of an International Development initiative at the Conflict Resolution Program, Department of Government, Georgetown University. The vision was to provide capacity building and support mechanism to scholars and practitioners who wish to utilize the power of sport and the Olympic ideal to promote positive social change and conflict resolution programs in their respective communities. Inspired and guided by the richness of the Olympic World Heritage, we have established a number of ventures (data-driven program design and delivery, workshops, field – based ventures and activities) and a world-wide action plan as a platform for community regeneration and engagement.

Over the last 11 years, O4H in close collaboration with our strategic partner- the International Olympic Academy, have established the first integrated Olympism in Action- Sport for Development and Peace professional development training program (O4H Praxis) and International conference (O4H Summit) at the birthplace of Democracy and the Olympic idea—Athens, Delphi, and Ancient Olympia- and expanded this work across the globe through professional training programs, workshops, forums and symposia, academic teaching, capacity building, multisided impacts assessment ventures, service learning, social innovation ventures, student engagement, and community outreach across continents.

One of the highlight of our first O4H Summits in Ancient Olympia, was Professors’ Fathali Moghaddam, Barbara Burns and Alexis Lyras‘ keynote addresses. They all emphasized the connection between Olympism and Humanism as a peacebuilding transdisciplinary platform for embracing omniculturism, a collective sense of humanity, personal and democracy actualization, community health, social innovation and resilience (Burns, 2014, 2014; Lyras 2013, 2014, 2020, 2021; Moghaddam, 2014, 2020). Since then, these foundations and Olympism for Humanity (O4H) Theory serve as a universal transdisciplinary blueprint for knowledge production, academic teaching, social innovation and community development- in Action – across continents.

Our focus and what guides our mission

Olympism for Humanity Theory and Praxis: A Call for Peace and Democracy Champions of Change

The core of our scientific-academic field work is based on more than 30 years of institutional expertise on Youth Development, Academic and Cultural Diplomacy, Intercultural Education and Development, Global Sport Management, Applied Sociology of Sport, World Olympic Cultural Heritage and Conflict Resolution program design, assessment and delivery.

Our Academic Diplomacy ventures are built on award-winning initiatives, ranging from youth-driven programs in regions of conflict, to multinational student engagement initiatives in close collaboration with the Muhammad Ali Institute of Peace and Justice, universities, public authorities, schools and orphanages.

Focusing on action (“Praxis”), these initiatives embrace field-based learning in multiple universities, high schools, NGOs and youth agencies across continents (homeless and underserved youth in the US and in India; capacity building in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Guatemala, Colombia, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, peacebuilding and at-risk youth in Cyprus and South Africa, Olympism in Action professional training and Youth Programs in Delphi and Ancient Olympia, and disaster recovery in tsunami-affected areas in Japan.

This picture captures the “krypte”, the entrance through which athletes use to enter the Ancient Olympia Stadium. Build your legacy and light your Olympism for Humanity “torch”  and venture at the birthplace of the Olympic spirit.

What is Olympism?

“Olympism is a philosophy of life exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example, and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles. The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity. The goal of Olympism is to build a peaceful and better world – to inspire and motivate the youth of the world.

Olympic Charter, International Olympic Committee

What we do – in a nutshell:

O4H embraces the relationship between the ancient Olympic idea and the modern world by optimizing cultivating international collaborations, to educate youth and people of all ages through life-long learning, social entrepreneurship, peacebuilding and Sustainable Development programs across continents.

We conduct action research and produce applied knowledge to enhance and further the values of Olympism for everyone involved through Olympism for Humanity Actions. We also host conferences, summits, professional training, capacity building programs and youth in action festivals. All of these important activities depend on outside funding, donations and sponsorship.

Copyright 2012-2023, Olympism For Humanity Alliance, Inc. – All rights reserved.