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Futurist Keynote, France: The Future of Sport, Decathlon


Sport is amazingly powerful, it transcends national politics, and its benefits on our mental and physical well being are well documented, so let’s take a look at what the future holds.


It was with great delight that I was asked to be the keynote speaker at Decathlon’s annual Vision 2030 summit in Lille, France, to discuss the Future of Sports, because not only am I a personal trainer and sports enthusiast at heart, but sport, in my eyes at least, plays an absolutely vital role in helping protect and promote people’s mental and physical wellbeing, and is often held up as a beacon of light and hope in an increasingly fractured politicised world.


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Like any industry sport isn’t immune from disruption, but unlike many industries, where disruption has both its advantages and disadvantages, almost all of the developments arriving in the sports world are positive – positive for the players and participants, and positive for the companies involved. Provided that is they can see them in time, and have a strategy for dealing with and maximising them.


The Future of Sports

During the session I split my keynote into two main subject areas – the impact that new disruptive innovations will have on sports apparel companies, and then the emergence of so called cyber-physical sports and how a multitude of new and powerful technologies will help improve players performance and mental and physical wellness.


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The reason why I opted for these two particular areas is because on the one hand I feel that there are a tsunami of disruptive, and somewhat unexpected, innovations in both and then secondly, by surfacing them it’s my hope that the combination of them all will have significant benefits for both the company and players – creating a literal Win Win for everyone.

In the first part of the keynote I showed how companies can use new Creative Machines to design and develop products faster, and then use advanced manufacturing technologies such as 3D Holographic Printing to eliminate the need for supply chains and inventory – with the added upside being that these two areas can be combined together to reduce the amount of time it takes get a product from concept to shelf by up to 98 percent while at the same time letting customers digitally personalise products, and boost profits.


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During the second part of the keynote I then went further and showed how Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Vision and other so called smart products can be combined together to help players, amateurs and professionals alike, reach their A-Game and improve their mental and physical wellness. Then I lifted the lid on how the new world of cyber-physical sports will, literally, both put you in the game to face off against the stars, and, for example, let you play rugby with players on separate continents in new ways – complete with bruises.

The future of sports is going to be as fast paced as the players themselves, and there’s going to be no holding back. It’s time to get your game face on.

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