The International Canoe Federation outlined its mission to use leading AI-driven technology to deliver global sustainable goals at its events when attending the Alibaba Cloud Global Summit in Paris, France.

ICF President Thomas Konietzko and ICF Secretary General Richard Pettit joined leaders, innovators and tech enthusiasts at the annual gathering held at the Le Méridien Etoile in the French capital today.

Alibaba Cloud, the official Cloud Services Partner of the Olympic Games, has been helping the ICF to find ways to measure and improve the sustainability of its events around the world since they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last year.

The Alibaba Cloud Global Summit is being staged with the goal of driving innovation, disseminating cutting-edge knowledge and developing actionable strategies for the future.

Mr Konietzko participated in a panel discussion on the topic “Harnessing AI to Promote Sustainability Across Industries”.

Chris Tung, President of Alibaba Group, William Xiong, Vice President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence and General Manager of International Industry Solutions, and Wei Liu, Head of ESG Strategy at Alibaba Group, were also on the panel alongside Cedric Vanden Bogaerde, Executive Director of the International Academy of Sport Science and Technology.

Mr Konietzko spoke about the specific challenges facing paddle sports when it comes to sustainability and underlined how AI will support the delivery of climate-positive actions.   

ICF President Thomas Konietzko Alibaba Cloud Global Summit

“Our sport is intricately linked to the environment, and it is imperative that we take a leadership role in maintaining our position as an International Federation at the forefront of sustainability initiatives,” said Mr Konietzko.

“Supported by Alibaba Cloud’s sustainability toolkit, the comprehensive database generated from our events provides us with a holistic view that makes it much easier to establish realistic objectives.

“With the advanced AI-driven technology offered by Alibaba Cloud, we can effectively measure, forecast, analyse and optimise the carbon footprint of our events and operations.

“It enables us to integrate this technology into our environmentally-friendly sports, while providing valuable insights that can contribute to the enhancement of Alibaba Cloud’s sports solutions.”

The Alibaba Cloud Global Summit is taking place one month after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) launched its Olympic AI Agenda.

The initiative sets out the envisioned impact that AI can deliver for sport and how the IOC intends to lead on the global implementation of AI within sport.

During the Summit, a signing ceremony took place to mark the start of a new strategic partnership between the ICF and Alibaba Cloud.

This ground-breaking agreement builds on the successful collaboration between the ICF and Alibaba Cloud established with the signing of an MoU in October last year.

The collaboration is playing a crucial role in the delivery of one of the ICF’s key pillars in its Fit for Future Strategy to mobilise the paddle sport community to take climate-positive actions and optimise events to align with sustainable objectives.

William Xiong Thomas Konietzko Alibaba Cloud ICF partnership

Under the new agreement, the ICF will explore the potential of employing Alibaba Cloud’s AI-driven ESG solutions to reduce environmental impact and carbon footprint at its events and jointly organise sustainable activities to promote collaborative efforts.

"At Alibaba Cloud, we are passionate about driving sustainability through cutting-edge technology," said Mr Xiong. 

"By leveraging our proven cloud and AI solutions, we aim to empower organisations globally to host more sustainable and efficient events.

“Our collaboration with ICF exemplifies our enduring commitment to pioneering sports innovation and championing sustainability initiatives worldwide."

Mr Konietzko said: “I am thrilled to sign this exciting new strategic partnership after successfully commencing our collaboration with Alibaba Cloud last year. 

“We are committed to activate the paddle sports community to take climate-positive actions and ensure events and organisational practices are optimised to support our global sustainability goals.   

“This enhanced partnership with Alibaba Cloud will enable us to delve deeper into joint initiatives centred around sustainability and various other aspects.   

“I am confident that our partnership is mutually beneficial and holds great promise for driving positive impact and innovation.   

 “It is a win-win-win collaboration and I’m excited by the opportunities that lie ahead.” 

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