Powerful speakers to discuss sport as tool for change in outlook towards disability

- Global leaders from United Nations, UN Human Rights, World Health Organisation, European Union, UNESCO and international governments among those presenting - Summit coincides with UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities 01 Dec 2021
Inclusion Summit 2021

The final speaker line-up for the 2021 Inclusion Summit has been confirmed and 40 world class speakers including, the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, World Health Organisation Director General, President of International Disability Alliance and EU Commissioner for Equality will be among those taking part in 15 top-level virtual sessions.

The two-day Summit coincides with UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December. The theme of the 2021 Inclusion Summit, powered by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and World Academy of Sport, with the support of the International Disability Alliance, is ‘Building Back Better: Sport as a tool to place persons with disabilities at the heart of the inclusion agenda’. 

Over two days, leaders from the world of civil society, business, development, sport, entertainment, and assistive technologies will deliver keynote addresses, panel discussions and presentations, exploring the two themes of:    

  • Promotion of social inclusion and human rights 
  • How sport advance the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 


The Summit begins at 14:00 CET and following opening remarks from IPC President Andrew Parsons and World Academy of Sport Director Dean Gosper, the first keynote is from Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary General, discussing the link between Para sport and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Following a session on the WeThe15 human rights movement, there are a trio of powerful keynotes from: Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo; Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Gabriela Ramos UNESCO Assistant-Director for Social and Human Sciences.

The role of sport in advancing the human rights agenda is then discussed by Juan Pablo Salazar, IPC Governing Board Member; David Grevemberg, Centre for Sport & Human Rights; David Evangelista Special Olympics; and Gustavo de Araujo Perazzolo, International Committee of Sports for the Deaf. 

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, herself a Paralympian, will explore the Paralympic Movement as a driver of inclusive employment.

This theme of changing business will be explored further by Caroline Casey, founder The Valuable 500; Stephen Frost, Included; Angelika Inglsperger, Allianz; Neil Milliken, Atos; and Gareth Whalley, Coca Cola. 

The final session of the day will look at the world of popular culture as Keely Cat-Wells, CEO, C-Talent; Jose Viera, GDS Secretariat; and Mat Goff, CEO, adam&eve DDB, discuss creating a cultural shift for persons with disabilities. 


Starting again at 14:00 CET, the opening keynotes are delivered by: Dr Tedros Adhanom, Director General of World Health Organisation; Ana Lucia Arellano. President of International Disability Alliance; and Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality.

The Summit then explores the importance of community. How sport development programmes for persons with disabilities can impact the local community will be examined by Sergio Diaz Granados; Latin American Development Bank; Remy Rioux, CEO, AFD Director General; and, Dominic Haslam, IDDC. This is followed by a presentation from Facundo Chavez, UN Human Rights on how transforming the lives of 1.2 billion people must begin in the local community. 

There is then a discussion about the impact the Paralympic Games have on transforming the lives of persons with disabilities. Paralympians Liz Johnson (Great Britain) and Husnah Kukundakwe (Uganda) – the 14-year-old was the youngest athlete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games – joined by Nael Ogden-Smith, the IPC’s Head of Partnerships.

The role of assistive technology (AT) as a vehicle to drive social inclusion of persons with disabilities will be examined by Chapal Khasnabis, World Health Organisation; Jon Lomøy, ATscale; Luc De Witte, GAATO; and Vicki Austin, Global Disability Innovation Hub. 

The Summit concludes with Vladimir Cuk, International Disability Alliance, looking ahead to the Global Disability Summit in February 2022. 


The target audience for the 2021 Inclusion Summit includes a wide range of organisations. This includes policy makers, government, human rights and SDG-focussed organisations, NGOs, international development agencies, sport bodies, businesses with a passion for inclusion, event organisers, universities, think tanks. 


To register to participate in the event on 2 and 3 December, please click here.  

The event will start each day at 14:00 CET through to 18:00 CET. 

The registration for the two-day event is EUR 25.