Undeflatable Ball Keeps Spirits Aloft
Mal Warwick, One World Futbol Project with John Heymann, Teresa Pahl and Jay Coen Gilbert
The One World Futbol Project (OWFP) produces and distributes ultra-durable, all-terrain balls designed to shrug off the harsh conditions of refugee camps, war zones, inner-city neighborhoods, and impoverished villages, and to keep people (especially children) playing and laughing together. The simple act of enjoying a soccer game can improve the quality of life of people living with the demoralizing realities of fear, poverty, and violence.
One World Futbols are also used in numerous programs that use soccer to resolve conflict, teach tolerance, build community, foster leadership, and promote health and welfare. In its first year and a half, OWFP distributed tens of thousands of One World Futbols around the world, donating futbols to more than 140 nonprofit organizations in 128 countries.
Since launching in July 2010, this triple-bottom-line business has received considerable help from the SVN community:
- SVN member and former SVN board chair Mal Warwick is one of its four principals.
- SVN member John Heymann and his staff at NewLevel Group furnish management advice and back-office services.
- SVN member Teresa Pahl and her colleagues at HansonBridgett provide legal services.
- SVN member Jay Coen Gilbert and his B Lab team certified OWFP as a B Corp.
- Four SVN members have together invested more than half the venture’s capital.
- SVN member Rafael DeGennaro connected the Project with a soccer industry professional who is now its director of international sales.
"When [One World Futbol co-inventor] Tim Jahnigen came to me with his idea for a football or 'soccer' ball that could be played on any surface and would never need a pump and never go flat, I immediately thought of all the millions of children and young people who could use the ball in refugee camps, conflict zones, and poor communities all over the world." - Sting, 16-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter