TED Conversations

Kevin Carroll

Katalyst, Kevin Carroll Katalyst, LLC

TEDCRED 200+

This conversation is closed.

LIVE CHAT With Kevin Carroll: Can a ball save a life & change the world? What are the social innovation values of sports? June 15, 4-5PM EDT

Join us for a LIVE conversation with Katalyst, author, and speaker Kevin Carroll.

This conversation will open at 4:00PM EDT, June 15th, 2011.

"Can a ball save a life & change the world? What are the social innovation values of sports?"

They chose their addiction over raising three sons. The pinnacle moment of my parent’s neglect resulted in the three of us being “rescued” by a stranger, shuttled down to a greyhound bus station in Bowling Green, VA, in the summer of ’65, placed on a bus alone (ages eight, six, and three) and sent on a 200+
mile, one-way fare to my grandparent’s house in Philadelphia. Without parents in my life, I resorted to finding my life lessons from many sources: businessmen and laborers, winos and alcoholics, drug dealers and users, sport coaches, my peers and old-heads at the playground, merchants, war vets, school teachers, librarians, custodians, food service workers, other kid’s moms and dads. I learned to be constantly on the lookout for any nugget of insight that would assist me on my quest to rise above my suffering and circumstances. I spent endless hours at the neighborhood playground and it became my sanctuary. That playground plus sports and play proved to be a catalyst in my journey from dysfunction and hardscrabble to becoming an author, a speaker and an agent for social change invested in the sport for peace and development movement.

Sport and play are common human denominators and equalizers. No matter where you go in the world - regardless of socioeconomic, political or religious system – sport and play are present. Stories abound about the use of sport and play as social innovation tools versus foes of the human condition - HIV/AIDS,
gender equity, social inclusion, homelessness, literacy, natural disaster, conflict and many others - and there are human catalysts who utilize it to inspire change and action.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jun 15 2011: I love playing pick-up soccer with all sorts of people - it's really a fantastic experience. It's not just about meeting new people and seeing new skill, it's testing your own adaptability, understanding of style and flow - real time collaboration with others to create purposeful motion. Sports are built on gesture, which is really an exploration of space - how you are in space and what you can imagine in space.

    I think knowing your body is a huge part of placing yourself in the world, there are other lessons in sports - perseverance, focus, dedication, cunning, spirit - but for me the most important is learning gesture - it's the fundamental element of our communication.
    • thumb
      Jun 15 2011: pick-up games require quick adaptation to others + creating spontaneous "non-verbal" language or gestures to communicate with your new teammates to play well together. I t really is a great test of one's ability to be resourceful, clever, adapt quickly + have a great playing experience. The magic is when you connect with someone you hardly know or just met in the pick-up game & you really have a true game connection as if the team has been playing together for years. Belonging, respect for each others gift/talent, & the mutual love for the game can go a long way!! thanks for the comment Aleksey!

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.