Sport & Society

Thursday 26th April 2018 – 08.30-09.30

The Fable, 52 Holborn Viaduct, EC1A 2FD

Sport is often described in exceptional terms; exceptional individuals, teams, and business models, existing in exceptional spaces – cross the white line or enter the ring and the normal customs and protections of society no longer apply.

Sport is not removed from society but rather an extreme reflection of it. When we talk about sport we often find ourselves talking about politics, ethics, business or technology.

This summer, the World Cup will be awarded by Vladimir Putin; the Giro d’Italia will begin in Jerusalem and the top football leagues in both England and France are likely to be won by clubs owned by the sovereign wealth funds of Dubai and Qatar respectively. Sport has never been removed from politics, but in the age of ‘sharp power’, the way in which sport is being used by governments to influence policy domestically and internationally is very much of its time.

Just as institutional crises rocked businesses in the years following the financial crisis, sporting bodies have faced similar challenges. Crucially, while sport has been organised as a business for over a hundred years, its consumers are fans, and with this mass-appeal and devotion comes incredible scrutiny – which might explain why three Australian cricketers have cried in press conferences in the past few weeks over a small piece of sandpaper.

It’s not all scandal and realpolitik however; sport has long served as a laboratory for ideas, technology and innovation. It is also an arena that plays host to debates on culture, health, leisure and education – each of which sees sport hold a different relationship with society; sometimes it’s a team game and sometimes a zero-sum contest.

Join us on the 26th of April as we dive into sport’s very modern relationship with society.

Get Smarter Over Breakfast

Our Trends Breakfasts have been running for five years, and each month sees a different topic discussed and debated over coffee and croissants. Taking place on a private floor of a popular city location, an array of figures from different industries hear our thoughts on the chosen topic, which often draws on latest findings from our global attitudes and values survey, Trajectory Global Foresight.

Please email sarah ( to reserve your complimentary place and join us for breakfast.