Juergen Griesbeck

Year founded: 

Harnessing the passion for the beautiful game, streetfootballworld unites a global network of organizations using football to empower young people.

Focus: Children and Youth, Education
Geographic Area of Impact: Global
Model: Hybrid Non-Profit
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 87 organizations; 3,700 staff; 25,000 volunteers; 700,000 youth (2012)
Annual Budget: US$ 5.75 million
Percentage Earned Revenue: 26%
Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Europe, 2011

Football is the world’s most popular sport, inspiring millions of players and fans across the globe. By harnessing the passion for the game, streetfootballworld brings individuals and organizations together behind a common goal: empowering young people. In addition, streetfootballworld strives to develop the football industry to become a sustainable ecosystem, with social change embedded at the core of the business.

Activities and Innovation
For more than 20 years, organizations all over the world have used football to increase their impact in communities, addressing issues such as HIV/AIDS prevention, social integration, education and peace building. streetfootballworld has converted isolated initiatives into a truly global network that currently unites nearly 100 such organizations across 61 countries; in 2011 alone, these organizations reached close to 700,000 young people around the world.

streetfootballworld drives an international collaboration of private and public sector bodies to strengthen its network members through capacity development programmes, expertise sharing, partnerships and advocacy work. Partnering with selected corporations, foundations, governments and philanthropists, streetfootballworld aims to build a mission-driven, sector-wide coalition that maximizes and sustains the social impact of football on society. Current partners include adidas, Gillette, Sony, Hyundai, the German government, the European Union and the Inter-American Development Bank.

The organization also works closely with football governing bodies such as FIFA and UEFA, with a focus on developing strategies for social change and delivering social legacy programmes for mega-events. Initiatives include the construction of 20 Football for Hope centres across Africa, creating a lasting social legacy for the World Cup 2010. Recently, streetfootballworld agreed on a 10-year football and social responsibility plan with the Asian Football Conference, a partnership that promises to foster the huge potential of Development through Football in Asia.

The Entrepreneur
Deeply affected by the murder of Colombian football star Andrés Escobar in 1994, Jürgen Griesbeck decided to dedicate his life to exploring the potential of football as a tool for positive social change. Starting in Medellin, Colombia, he initiated Football for Peace, which brought together thousands of young people in troubled areas of the city. Bringing this concept back to his native Germany to combat the wave of racist attacks plaguing the country in the early 2000s, he established the Football for Tolerance project. Griesbeck’s efforts to create social change through football led him to establish the streetfootballworld network in 2004. He is the recipients of awards including: Synergos Fellow 2012; UEFA Monaco Charity Award 2011; Ashoka Fellow since 2007; Globalizer Fellow since 2010; Laureus Sport for Good Award 2006; and, FIFA Fair Play Award 2006.