14 February 2018

Six months after the launch of Common Goal, the movement’s founder Jürgen Griesbeck and Manchester United star Juan Mata, the first player to make the pledge in August 2017, travelled to Davos on the occasion of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting.  


This year, The World Economic Forum focused on the theme ‘Creating a shared future in a fractured world’ and took place from 23rd – 26th January 2018. The event brought together some 3000 global leaders from the worlds of politics, finance, diplomacy and business, including Kofi Annan, Narendra Modi, Christine Lagarde, and Bill Gates, along with heads of international organisations such as the World Bank and the United Nations, and well-known artists like Sir Elton John and Cate Blanchett.


Since 2000, the meeting has also evolved as an important platform for top leading social entrepreneurs who, through the collaboration between the World Economic Forum and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, have the opportunity to participate in the invite-only event. Awarded Social Entrepreneur of the Year in Europe by the Schwab Foundation in 2011, Common Goal and streetfootballworld founder Jürgen Griesbeck, participated in the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting for the third time. This year, he journeyed to Davos with the special mission of bringing Common Goal to the Forum, and positioning football as a key player in the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. “We are in Davos,” said Jürgen, “to demonstrate the importance of team play to the future of society. Common Goal is a powerful example of how collective action can significantly contribute towards achieving the Global Goals and the enabling role football can play.”


Jürgen was joined by Juan for a series of events focused on presenting the Common Goal movement and emphasising its significance in the attainment of the Global Goals. 


“To represent Common Goal at such a forum with the world’s leaders is an honour and a great opportunity to explain the evolution of the movement,” commented Juan, “It's great that people are starting to understand football as a force for scalable social change and that this has a voice at the World Economic Forum. I’m very excited to connect with many people and organisations that share our commitment to improving the state of the world.” 


One of the highlights of the week was the Global Goals Gathering, organised by the Gates Foundation in the evening of 24th January. Over 200 illustrious guests attended the event that included speeches from business magnate and philanthropist Bill Gates, and Pakistani activist for female education and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Both Gates and Yousafzai stressed the importance of further action to accelerate progress in meeting the goals concerning health, education, poverty and gender equality. 


Both Jürgen and Juan acknowledged that being present at the World Economic Forum was another milestone for the thriving movement that used the context to announce its alignment and compromise towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, during a Facebook Live Chat broadcast in the evening of 24th January, Juan shared his particular interest in championing SDG 5 – Gender Equality: “If I have to choose one Global Goal,” he said, “I am very interested in female empowerment and gender equality. I think women have a real power, strength and role to play in this world and I think the situation should be more equal in many aspects for any of them, not just in football but more generally the position of women in society. I am very interested in that matter but obviously, we speak about the 17 Development Goals, they are all very important and very crucial to make this world a better place.”


Set in motion in August 2017 with the commitment of Juan, Common Goal has since grown rapidly and now already boasts a squad of 40 football players of 18 nationalities who have pledged at least 1% of their salaries to community-based organisations championing social change through football. 


Six months after its launch, Common Goal has raised close to €500,000 that will be invested in high-impact local initiatives in the field of football for development. In 2018 the movement aims to generate over €2.5 million and take a further step towards becoming a systemic part of the global football industry. 


Like Juan, the other players who have joined the movement will be also supporting initiatives that are contributing to the achievement of the Global Goals. The allocation of the pledges from the first 40 will be finalised during the month of February and Common Goal will soon begin announcing which projects and organisations are being supported by the fund. 

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