Using Technology to Create Social Impact at Special Olympics

You may have seen the Olympics on TV before, but have you had the opportunity to attend a local Special Olympics event that supports people with intellectual disabilities? If not, check it out; Special Olympics has helped 5.5 million athletes and attracted more than 1 million volunteers to its program in 193 different countries. This requires massive amounts of data to facilitate successful organization and efficiency.

How is Special Olympics using information from millions of athletes to enhance the experience and increase engagement?

On today’s episode of DisruptED, host Ronald Stefanski chats with Special Olympics Chief Information and Technology Officer Prianka Nandy to discuss how Nandy can help viewers better engage with the sport of Special Olympics. Special Olympics has seen fewer athletes during the pandemic. Now, they’re trying to grow back by understanding who their athletes really are and how they can best participate in one of the many components of their research, “athlete sports.”

Stefanski and Nandy also discuss…

How she’s using data from 16 million athletes to continue her transformational journey at Special Olympics

Different Levels of Participation in Special Olympics

What Special Olympics has to offer participants beyond the actual athletic experience

Nandy described how she hopes the data they collect will change engagement. “We’ve been able to find talent, we’ve been able to find corporate sponsorship in some cases, and we’ve started to adopt a core centralized data strategy … so it’s not just us wanting your money to help our organization. It’s It’s about the time we need from you and your engagement and involvement. How can we transform you from donor to coach, or from athlete to coach?”

Nandy is Chief Information and Technology Officer for Special Olympics International, with experience designing digital and data governance structures. She has held other international positions such as Chief Data and Analytics Officer and Data Project Manager in the Technology Division of the World Food Programme. Nandy’s accolades include the VPU Team Award for the 2 Minute Feedback Survey, the Open Knowledge Base, and the World Bank Group’s World Bank Finance mobile app. She holds a BA in Economics from Virginia Tech and a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in Social Policy from George Mason University.

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