Tech skills are increasingly important to success in today’s global economy. And yet, as the digital divide’ continues to widen, many young people are deprived access to emerging technologies and, by extension, opportunities to thrive in the tech space.

 

In collaboration with SAP, streetfootballworld set out to address this concern in 2015. What resulted was the KickApp Cup: a global event series that used football to promote tech-based skills in disadvantaged communities. This initiative provided SAP employees with meaningful skill-based volunteering opportunities. Across industries, employee engagement has proven to increase levels of employees' identification with the company, their motivation and productivity as well as their loyalty and retention. It increases a brand's reputation as an employer of choice and helps to attract and develop the most valuable talent.

 

 

Over the course of nine months, the KickApp Cup traveled to Brazil, India, the USA, Hungary and Israel for a string of regional installments. Each event brought together 30 SAP staff and 30 young people, who split into smaller teams and then generated ideas for the development of a socially conscious football app. 

 

The KickApp Cup was designed as a two-way learning experience. In addition to the app development component, the young participants were responsible for educating SAP's staff on football3, a football methodology that incorporates key life lessons into every match. And, in return, SAP introduced the young participants to a host of cutting edge technologies, ranging from virtual reality to drone prototypes to 3D glasses.

 

After three days of conversation, collaboration and design thinking, a panel of experts decided on the best idea and the winning teams were awarded a trip to the KickApp Cup Final in Heidelberg, Germany and Lyon, France. In Heidelberg, the teams presented their winning ideas at SAP AppHaus and developed a collaborative concept for a global football for good app. This was followed by a trip to Lyon for Festival 16, where they introduced the concept to 50 football for good experts from all over the world and received a rousing reception.

 

By combining football and technology, the series inspired disadvantaged young people from four continents to pursue careers in IT. It was also an opporuntity for these people to lend their voices to important tech projects that will help us change the game for good. 

"It was an amazing opportunity for me and my team mates. I hope our app will spread the message that football can help to overcome national rivalries and aggression."

Venkatesh Eathirajulul
KickApp Cup Participant, India

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