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Innovation in Action (IIA)

Master innovation through real-world application: reinventing the fan experience in sports and entertainment

Programme overview

UEFA has partnered with the IMD Business School and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to run this unique Innovation in Action Programme. This programme explores innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership to equip Senior Management in sports organisations with all they need to know to lead innovation and drive change within their organisations.

The four-month programme makes use of the parkour methodology, used by both UEFA and IOC, a perspective that emphasizes the non-linear context of innovation journeys. With this approach participants will acquire the necessary knowledge and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set to drive innovation within their organisations.

Throughout the different parts of the programme, participants will hear from leading experts in the field of innovation and design thinking as well as undertake various interactive group works to develop their skills. The content will provide participants with industry case studies, an understanding of design thinking and key innovation frameworks, innovation parkour and to create action plans for their own organisations. Moreover, participants will be able to generate and pitch their own innovative ideas. Moreovoer, participants will work on a concrete, real-world challenge and explore innovative ways to rethink customer journey’s during and after major sporting events.

For staff of UEFA member associations looking to take part in the programmes please contact: Academy@uefa.ch for more information.


Quick view

Type of learning
E-learning Face-to-Face
Skills Trained
Soft skills Hard skills
Estimated hours of learning
Contact us


  • Who Senior Management in sports organisations, individual entrepreneurs
  • When Once year in Autumn
  • How long 1 month live virtual classes (3h per week), 1 face-to-face week, coaching session during 1 month
  • Where Online, IMD campus, UEFA & IOC headquarters (Switzerland)
  • Price 8’900 CHF (7’000 CHF negotiated price for staff of UEFA member associations)
  • Number of participants min. 25
  • Academic certification Certificate of completion by IMD
  • Language English
  • Inclusivity, Diversity and Parent Support We welcome all participants from diverse backgrounds and cultures, recognising the unique value that diversity brings to our community. If you have any uncertainties about meeting specific programme criteria, we encourage you to reach out to us. in addition, the UEFA Academy is aware of the challenges parents of young children can be facing when perusing continuous education. Should you believe it could be an obstacle to your education journey, contact us to learn more about the support the UEFA Academy can offer in that regard.

Important dates

  • 01 Apr 2024 Applications open for the fourth edition
  • 31 Jul 2024 Applications close for the fourth edition
  • 30 Sep 2024 Module 1: Launch – Immerse yourself (online sessions)
  • 28 Oct 2024 Module 2: Design – learn, apply and reflect (face-to-face seminar)
  • 11 Nov 2024 Module 3: Transform – transfer learning to your own context (coaching sessions)


  • Gain a full understanding of what is innovation and the design-thinking approach
  • Transfer learning from participants own context and implement a concrete action plan
  • Learn, apply, and reflect on innovation best practices from within and outside the sporting industry
  • Develop a global network of participants also looking to drive innovative practices within their organisations
  • Reflect on and improve your own leadership style and effectiveness


Rodolfo Subtil
"It is a remarkable course because it is more than that: It is a journey! You grow not just as an team player and a leader, but also as a person. Taking innovation as objective, I have learned to combine tools and techniques that enhance creativity. But, equally important, I have understood the value of collaborating inside an innovative environment." Rodolfo Subtil IT Systems Manager, Portuguese Football Federation
Diana Pirciu Vasile
"I recommend this course to anyone who leads a team, not only sport professionals. The diversity of the group and activities bring the athletic mindset together with managerial style. The power of the group is a main takeaway as well as the ability to use the innovation frameworks. Also, being creative and working in a group helped me better understand the value each person brings in forming a great and complex project." Diana Pirciu Vasile Head of Education, Romanian Football Federation
Luis Alberto Morais da Conceicao
"The lecturers brought in different and self-fulfilling aspects of the innovation process, and all in all I feel that the program really lifts my knowledge and understanding about innovation some notches. The program succeeds specially in teaching the use of powerful innovation tools and in giving us awareness about human aspects to be taken in consideration during an innovation process!" Luis Alberto Morais da Conceicao Head of improvement at Otovo AS and member of the arrangement committee of Norway Cup
Cyril Bouquet
"Many organizations tell us they want to be fast, agile, and re-invent the value they can bring to business and society, but game-changing offerings are hard to come by. Most executives struggle to define what it means to be truly innovative. And they want tools that will help them keep up with the rapid pace of change occurring in their business environments." Cyril Bouquet Programme's Director, IMD


1. Module 1 “Launch” 30 Sep – 14 Oct 2024

Immerse yourself

• Discover the program
• Define your learning objectives

• Embrace design thinking and learn key innovation frameworks
• Meet innovation experts • Introduction to real-world challenge

3 online sessions (3 hours each) over 1 month – liVe virtual classroom

Module 1 “Launch”
2. Module 2 “Design” 28 Oct – 2 Nov 2024

Learn, apply and reflect

• Explore innovation best practices
• Flex your leadership skills
• Discover innovation ParKour
• Dive into a real-world innovation challenge
• Pitch your innovative ideas
• Transform innovative ideas into breakthrough solutions
• Develop your action plan

4 days at IMD campus – 1 day at UEFA HQ – 1 day at IOC Headquarter – 1 evening at Olympic Museum


Module 2 “Design”
3. Module 3 “Transform” 11 Nov – 31 Dec 2024

Transfer learning to your own context

Work with IMD coaches to implement your concrete action plan around meaningful areas of change for yourself, for your
team, and for your whole organization.

Individual coaching session during 1 month (online)

Module 3 “Transform”
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