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Jürgen Griesbeck

Jürgen Griesbeck believes that football can be used as a force for social good and as an enabler of systems change. He believes that collaboration (team play) is probably the biggest innovation of our time and has invested the past 25 years in building an entrepreneurial ecosystem and mobilising the football industry to efficiently contribute to sustainably scale the impact. In 1994, Colombia captain Andrés Escobar scored an own goal that sealed his nation’s exit from the World Cup. Days later, he was shot dead in a Medellín car park. His murderers mocked his own goal as they pulled the trigger. Shocked by the senseless killing of a man admired for his commitment to fair play, Jürgen Griesbeck set out to investigate the escalating violence in Colombia and explore alternative approaches to conflict resolution. This, in turn, led him back to football, laying the foundations for a new dimension of the game and leading to the foundation of streetfootballworld (2002), Common Goal (2017 , The Third Half (2017) and The Game of our Lives (2020).

Jürgen has a Degree in Sports Sciences from the German Sports University in Cologne/Germany and studied Roman Languages at Cologne University followed by a master’s in social sciences at the University of Antioquia in Medellín/Colombia. Later during his career, he complemented his studies at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School as well as THNK Creative Leadership School in Amsterdam.

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Hybrid Social Enterprise
Gender Inequality; Education; Entrepreneurship
Areas of Impact
ASEAN, Australasia & Oceania, Europe, Eurasia, Middle East & North Africa, Europe, North America, Africa


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 far more than 100 such organizations across more than 80 countries; in 2017 alone, these organizations reached close to 2.5 million young people around the world.

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. Since 2002, streetfootballworld has hosted close to 30 festivals and forums all over the world, raising awareness of the cause and bringing together the key players from the field. The organization has also developed more than 60 football pitches, community centres and mobile stadiums in previously dangerous areas, ensuring more young people have safe places to play.

In addition, the ongoing support and dissemination of football-based development programmes has raised upwards of €25 million for community organizations, while its consulting services have unearthed new investment opportunities for more than 50 public and private partners. Independent estimates from McKinsey & Company suggest the field of football for good could empower as many as 50 million young people every year. Thus streetfootballworld has started two new ventures: the third half and Common Goal. These endeavours have been set up has building blocks towards a resilient and sustainable ecosystem for change, embedded at the core of the industry.


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