Traditional sports and games convey values of solidarity, fair-play, inclusion, and cultural awareness. Moreover, traditional sports and games reflect cultural diversity, and foster mutual understanding and tolerance among communities and nations, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Building upon UNESCO’s activities in promoting inclusive knowledge societies, creating an International Network on Traditional Sports and Games, and safeguarding and promoting intangible cultural heritage, among else, in 2015, UNESCO and Tencent Interactive Entertainment launched the project “Creation of an Open Digital Library on Traditional Games - Innovative use of ICTs to Safeguard and Promote Indigenous and Local Knowledge for Learning, Development, and the Rapprochement of Cultures.” The project utilizes ICTs to safeguard and promote traditional and unique sports and games, in order to preserve this rich and disperse knowledge as living heritage in the public domain, and pass it down to future generations.
During 2015-2017, six countries in four continents - Bangladesh, Mongolia, Brazil, Greece, Morocco and Kenya - have joined the project as pilot sites for data collection that allowed us to design and test this innovative digital library. In line with our project guidelines, data and audio-visual content of 58 selected traditional games and sports from pilot countries have been collected and documented. This content has been made accessible in the Open Digital Library on Traditional Games 2.0 constructed by Tencent. In addition, young people started exploring innovative ways to transfer information stored in the ODL into creative content.
The 2nd Annual Expert Meeting and Youth Dialogue will present project results from 2015-2017, showcase its achievements, identify existing challenges and share best practices, and discuss ways forward to expand project coverage to other countries; and how to maximize project results, including how to generate educational and other resources needed for the platform to serve as learning space on culture, traditions, languages, etc. It will also discuss how to further mobilize support from young people globally. An exhibition will be organised in parallel, showcasing audio-visual content of traditional games from project pilot countries, as well as demonstrating how technologies such as VR and motion sensing can help promote the traditional games in new forms.
The expected outcomes of the 2nd Annual Expert Meeting and Youth Dialogue are:
- further refine the project Guideline for global adaptation through consultation with experts based on pilot experience;
- review and improve the ODL features, as well as present and discuss strategy for utilizing more advanced technical solutions in future phases;
- build a community of dedicated young people to raise awareness globally and to become content contributors to the ODL.