Tokyo 2020 Paralympics 1 Year to Go! – A Discussion with the International Paralympic Committee ​

August 24 (Monday), 20:00 will mark exactly one year to go until the start of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in 2021. The Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) alongside our Paralliance partners invite you to hear from President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Mr Andrew Parsons, as well as IPC Chief Brand & Communications Officer, Mr Craig Spence and IPC Governing Board Member at Large and President of the Japanese Paralympic Committee, Mr Yasushi Yamawaki.

Andrew, Craig and Yasushi will speak on renewed expectations, principles for re-planning and what lies ahead for the 2021 games. The panel will also speak on the Inclusion Summit, a natural extension of the current IPC activities that focuses on inclusion and accessibility from a community, sport, and labour perspective. Following which, our speakers will engage in a short discussion followed by a Q&A session opened up to members of the Paralliance.

Registrants will receive an email with a ZOOM link 1 hour before this webinar is scheduled to start.


Information about the speakers

Andrew Parsons – President of the International Paralympic Committee

Andrew was elected President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Paralympic Movement’s global governing body in September 2017. Upon election as IPC President, Andrew made strengthening the IPC’s relationship with the IOC a top priority. In October 2018 Andrew was elected an IOC member and currently he represents the IPC in the IOC Coordination Commissions for Tokyo 2020 (since 2013) and LA 2028. He is also a member of the IOC Marketing Commission and is on the Board of Directors for the Olympic Channel and is a member of the WADA Foundation Board.

Aside from his involvement with the IPC, he has been active in Paralympic sports in his home country Brazil for many years. Between 2009 and 2017, Andrew served as President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) after working as CPB Secretary General from 2001-2009. He led the Brazilian delegation in several international competitions such as the Paralympics Games, Parapan American Games, World Championships and World Cups.

Craig Spence – Chief Brand and Communications Officer, International Paralympic Committee

Craig is an award-winning communicator who joined the IPC in September 2010. He is responsible for and oversees the IPC’s brand and engagement, content, corporate communications, broadcasting, commercial, partnerships, and events and hospitality functions.  He also acts as the IPC’s official spokesperson.

His work in helping to reposition Paralympic sport as high-performance sport has enabled the Paralympic Games to grow into the world’s third biggest sport event in terms of ticket sales, with only the Olympics and FIFA World Cup selling more.  Through using the Games as a platform to change attitudes towards disability, the Paralympics are now regarded as the world’s number one sport event for driving social inclusion. In 2016 he was awarded European PR Professional of the Year, while the IPC Media and Communications team he heads was awarded in-house team of the year at the European PR Excellence Awards.  He was named in the 2015 Leaders in Sport list as one of 40 Global Leaders under 40.  In 2019, he led an IPC team that won a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Action Award for a campaign highlighting the legacy of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Away for the IPC, Craig was an Independent Director of the 2019 UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Yorkshire, his home region in Great Britain.

Yasushi Yamawaki – Member at Large, International Paralympic Committee

Major contributions to sport for athletes with an impairment
– Governing Board Member at Large, International Paralympic Committee (2013-present)
– Vice President, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (2014-present)
– President, Japanese Paralympic Committee (2014-present)
– Chairman, Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center (2015-present)
– Councillor, Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) (2015-present)
– Chairperson, Council for Sport Policy, Japan Sports Agency (2016-present)

Professional career 
– Advisor, NYK Line (Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha) (2011-present)
– Executive Vice-Chairman, NYK Line (2008-2011)
– Member of the Board of Directors, NYK Line (2000-2011)
– NYK Line (1970-present)

Alison Beale (moderator) – Vice President, British Chamber of Commerce in Japan
Director, University of Oxford Japan Office

Alison has been Director of the University of Oxford Japan Office since 2012 after 15 years of living and working in Japan and a career in international and cultural relations. She worked for many years for the British Council in senior positions in China, Trinidad and Tobago and Japan, most recently as Deputy Director Japan from 2009–2012. She is frequently asked to talk about Higher Education and to advise universities in Japan on their internationalisation strategies.