Playing on Thin Ice: Sports for Climate Action

Wednesday, September 25 2019, 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM [EST]

155 West 60th Street, Room 109, New York, NY, 10023, United States


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Event Information

Wednesday, September 25 2019, 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM [EST]

About the Event

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people," - Nelson Mandela.

The climate crisis is generating massive challenges for business, culture, and human health. Sports are not immune to the increasingly dire and fragile condition of the environment. Winter sports have been disproportionately impacted by rising temperatures, making ski, snowboard and outdoor pond hockey seasons noticeably shorter than they were even a generation ago. This negatively affects athlete performance, fan interest and the flow of new participants. To address this new reality, winter sports organizations and athletes are promoting climate action. Protect Our Winters (POW) trains Olympic and other elite skiers, snowboarders and rock climbers lobby Congress and snow state governments on behalf of climate legislation. And next Spring, a group of legendary sportsman from a variety of nations will gather with United Nations and the Holly See above the Arctic Circle for “The Last Game,” a pond-hockey game that will bring worldwide attention to the Climate Crisis.

Join our All-Star panel of climate-minded winter sports professionals for a discussion of how sports can play an important role in taking climate action!


Lew Blaustein, GreenSportsBlog


Omar Mitchell, NHL

Sergey Rybakov, UNFCCC's #TheLastGame

Winston Binch, Protect Our Winters & Gale Partners

Introduction by: 

Geert Hendriks, Sport and Sustainability International

This event is graciously sponsored by Clif Bar and by the Council for Responsible Sport. Please read more on the Sponsors Page.

Event Location

About the Organizer

Event Speakers

Geert Hendriks, Event Introduction
CEO of Sport and Sustainability International

Geert Hendriks is the co-founder and CEO of Sport and Sustainability International (SandSI), a global membership organisation with the mission to accelerate sustainability in and through sport. SandSI, a Geneva-based NGO, has currently 240+ members from 55 countries, representing 70+ different sports. Prior to SandSI, he was the Head of Projects at the AISTS (International Academy of Sports Science and Technology). In this role he worked closely with the International Olympic Committee, international sports federations (UEFA, FIFA, FIBA, FIVB, World Rugby, etc.), professional sports leagues (US), host cities, Olympic Games organising committees and postgraduate students. He published several studies and books, including a booklet with case studies on the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. Geert is the President of the Swiss Korfball Federation, a sport that will be used during Tokyo 2020 to support the integration of disabled youth (Tokyo 2020 Game Changer).
Lew Blaustein, Moderator
Founder of GreenSportsBlog

After a successful career in sports marketing communications and advertising sales, Lew Blaustein became passionate about the environment and climate change as a patriotic reaction to the 9/11 attacks. A successful solo eco-preneur career soon followed. Blaustein sells green-themed sponsorships, helps corporations tell their sustainability stories more powerfully, and generates media coverage for sustainable events on behalf of clients ranging from Whole Foods Market to Bright Power, from the Empire State Building to the Wildlife Conservation Society. GreenSportsBlog, which Blaustein launched in 2013, has become “the source for news and commentary at the intersection of Green + Sports.” Its monthly audience of up to 8,000 includes sports commissioners, team and league executives, sustainability leaders, eco-athletes and more. GreenBiz, Sustainable Brands and others syndicate his work. Blaustein was trained by Al Gore and his team as a Climate Reality Leader in 2012. Since then, he has given the slide show that was at the heart of An Inconvenient Truth to 35+ schools, religious groups, businesses and more. He also volunteers with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, lobbying members of the US House and Senate on behalf of the “Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019,” the first bipartisan carbon pricing bill to be introduced in a decade.
Sergey Rybakov, Panelist
CEO of the Slava Foundation

Sergey Rybakov is the CEO of the Slava Foundation. He has worked more than 20 years on the top management positions in financial and media sectors. He was responsible for the advocacy campaign for the creation of the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area in Antarctica, starting of #Antarctica2020 and #BeatThePlasticPollution campaigns, beach clean-ups in Mumbai, Lake Baikal and in the Arctic, creating the first annual, international conference in Russia on sustainable tourism and national parks and annual Moscow Club Ambassadors Dinners. He is the head of the steering committee of #TheLastGame initiative. His main angle is to link sport and environment together.
Winston Binch, Panelist
Chief Brand & Experience Officer of GALE

Winston is Chief Brand & Experience Officer of GALE, where he leads the agency’s brand and experience design team and helps clients innovate at scale to unlock business growth. Over the last 18 years, he’s advised countless global brands on the marketing potential of the digital age including Domino’s, American Express, Target, Burger King, Nike, Vail Resorts, Taco Bell, Pandora, AB-InBev, and Volkswagen. Prior to joining Gale, Winston was an independent consultant and Chief Digital Officer of Deutsch North America. He has won 43 Cannes Lions including three Titanium lions and three Grand Prix awards. He was named one of the 100 People Who Make Advertising Great by the 4A’s, and Adweek recognized him as one of the 50 Most Indispensable Executives in Marketing, Media and Tech. An industry pioneer, Winston is known for his ability to build and grow brands through marketing and digital innovation. Before Deutsch, Winston led digital and was a partner at Crispin Porter Bogusky. He also worked at R/GA and Sony Music. He's cofounder of the M-School: Institute of Marketing at LMU and a board member of Protect Our Winters, a non-profit dedicated to fighting the climate crisis. He used to play guitar in touring indie rock band, Stereobate.

Omar Mitchell, Panelist
Vice President, Sustainable Infrastructure & Growth Initiatives at the National Hockey League

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