A friend, Mikko Mäkelä, came up with an idea of new Olympic sport. It would be called “Peace Walk”. In it five representatives from each nation would walk 20 kilometers and have a chat about what ever they want to talk about: politics, religion, everyday life issues, etc. It could be a great counter weight for the commercialism of the Olympics and could open up discussion on topics that are not today discussed openly in the Olympics. No winners, just interesting discussion.
I love the idea, but would like to add in it some more “education” and “media” thinking. First of all, I would call the sport “Knowledge Building Olympics” or “Knowledge Building Walk”. I assume you all know what is knowledge building. The actual sport would be the same 20 kilometers walking with discussion, but more focused topics and documentation for further use online.
The themes of the discussions could be the articles of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To make it knowledge building some technology should be used to capture the discourse for further development. Each participant would have a microphone attached to them and a camera would follow all the participants all the time. The viewers of the event could choose who or what discussion they follow and later one could watch the discussions from the recordings available online. The online community could transcribe the discussions, translate them, make sub-titles, categorize them and discuss more about them.
So, what could we get out of this? I think it could bring discussion on the world most crucial topics in to the global media – among the Olympics. All major new channels would report what kind of ideas the participants have present during the walk. The event would be in the news, because it would be part of the Olympics. Would it be really that wrong to use Olympics to get attention on these issues? I don’t think so.
If you haven’t seen this, you should. International Philosophy: Deutschland – Giechenland.