First IPC Swimming Summit Sparks Real Dialogue

04 Jun 2009 By IPC

With the theme “The Water is Open, Make Your Splash, Create the Wave”, the first International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming Summit successfully ended its three-day conference in the German capital of Berlin.

A total of 70 delegates with different backgrounds and responsibilities in IPC Swimming attended the Summit, with the purpose of exchanging ideas between experts in various topic areas.

The IPC Swimming Sport Manager, Agnes Szilak, said that Open Space Technology (OST), the format on which the Summit was based, gave each person who came to the Summit the chance to share their ideas and topics, as well as contribute to those from others.

The Open Space Technology allowed time to set the topics for discussion, and people were then encouraged to move between groups as they wish. Participants were asked in the opening session to nominate specific topics of interest, which lead to the formed eight subjects and working groups. The facilitator ensured that everyone understood the process along the way, and that the principles of Open Space were clear.

IPC Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez said that the three days in Berlin was productive in that it provided for an open forum that allowed all attendees to freely voice their opinions and ideas to others.

“At the Swimming Summit we wanted to assemble groups at the end of the event,” Mr. Gonzalez said. “The three themes (The Water is Open, Make Your Splash and Create the Wave) each represented a part of the process, which together produced effective results.”

The delegates formed several working groups at the conclusion of the Summit, which will continue to work on different aspects of the Sport and take the necessary actions to “Create the Wave” for the future of IPC Swimming.

In conclusion, Ms. Szilak said that the first IPC Swimming Summit in Berlin was in fact successful, and that the results would be utilized in all upcoming planning and events.