Olympic Heritage & Civilization in service of Humanity

Investment in Human Potential, Innovation & Prosperity

Our story

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.

Over the last 12 years, O4H in close collaboration with our strategic partner- the International Olympic Academy and our Olympism for Humanity Allies across continents – we have established the first integrated Olympism in Action- Sport for Development and Peace professional development training academic programs (O4H Praxis) and International conferences (O4H Summit) at the birthplace of Peace Education, Democracy and the Olympic idea— Athens, Delphi, Nemea, Ancient Olympia, Thessaloniki, Dion and Mount Olympos. Since then, we have 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, 2015, 2021; Lyras 2013, 2014, 2020, 2021; Moghaddam, 2014, 2020). These foundations are integrated in our Olympism for Humanity (O4H) and Sport For Development (SFD) Theories and serve as a universal transdisciplinary blueprint for applied knowledge production, academic teaching, social innovation, community development, fundraising and data-driven Humanity in Action ventures – across continents  (Lyras, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2020, 2021). 

Inspired and guided by the richness of the Olympic World Heritage, our academic work is built on a synthesis, applied scholarship and collective work of award-winning initiatives implemented since 1993, ranging from data driven peace and democracy youth programs in regions of conflict, to multinational student engagement initiatives in close collaboration with the International Olympic Academy, the Muhamad Ali Institute of Peace and Justice, schools, universities and orphanages across continents.

Focusing on action (“Praxis”), these initiatives have been very successful for 30 years. Our social innovation work is built on field-based learning in multiple universities, high schools, NGOs and youth agencies across continents targeting 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, Youth Programs and Olympism for Humanity and Sport for Development professional training in Delphi, Athens, Thessaloniki and Ancient Olympia; and disaster recovery in tsunami-affected areas in Japan as part of the Tokyo 2020 Games Academic legacy endeavors.

Our 30 years data driven transdisciplinary academic expertise, grant management and field programming is centered on integrated Olympism in Action Theory and Praxis: the intersection of Olympic Heritage, Peacebuilding, Democracy Actualization and Sustainable Development applied research and data-driven programming (Mandigo et al., 2016, 2018; 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 Theory and Praxis: A Call for Peace and Democracy Champions of Change

More recently, in response to the state of global affairs Olympism for Humanity (O4H), the Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED) 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. Successful participants can qualify for intensive and advanced hybrid and residential training at the birthplace of the Olympic idea, Peace and Democracy in Greece, the USA, Cyprus, France, Japan and across fragile regions and communities.

Driven by the essence of the Olympic Heritage and ideals – this program aims to prepare the next generation of scholars, foreign affairs agents, educators, artists, journalists, sport and community leaders, ESG – CSR officers and citizens who are trained to serve humanity as  Peace and Democracy Champions of Change across fragile regions and communities in need. Actualizing, in other words, the essence of the Olympic idea and ideals- through scientific, theoretically informed, data driven Actions (Binder, 2001, Mandigo et al., 2016, 2018; Lyras, 2007, 2012, 2014, 2020, 2021). This program is part of our long term vision, which aims to connect Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024, 2028 Los Angeles and Brisbane 2032 Games (with past and future Olympiads) and to advance a worldwide academic ecosystem committed to institutionalizing Olympism for Humanity in Action G.O.A.L.S. and Vision. The vision is to establish an Olympism for Humanity (in Action) global Academic Diplomacy network committed to the advancement of Democracy and Humanity in Action enterprises across continents.

Certificate Program Applications Are Now Open

Click here for more information about CIED-O4H Georgetown University Certificate Program.

Who we are

Olympism for Humanity (O4H) is an Olympic Studies Social Innovation Hub with expertise in integrated Olympic Literacy and Olympism in Action field research, academic teaching, capacity building and data-driven programming across fragile regions and communities across continents.

Our focus and what guides our mission

Olympism For Humanity conducts original Olympism in Action field research, produces applied knowledge and provides professional development training and capacity building, social innovation mentoring, and other services to academic agencies, individuals and organizations in order to support purpose-driven peacebuilding and sustainable development ventures 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, 2003,2007, 2020, 2021).

O4H Wreaths of excellence in five Praxis

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. 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
  • Social Impact assessment and applied research
  • Cultural enrichment, capacity building, community-based learning, capacity building, and youth-led social entrepreneurship
  • Data-driven program design and delivery
  • Change management, fundraising and grant proposal writing

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.

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