July 12, 2010

The Aspen Institute gets playful

Aspen Ideas FestivalThe Aspen Ideas Festival, which just wrapped up on July 11, is a conversation-packed exploration of some of the most important ideas and pressing issues in the world today. It’s been called “inspiring,” “exciting,” and “electric,” but never “playful.”

That changed this year with the introduction of a new theme, “The Promise of Play” which explored how play fuels human creativity and is as basic a biological drive as sleeping and eating.

But few people realize that play is in peril. To help bring this issue to the forefront, the Aspen Institute invited top experts to discuss the importance of play and how to bring it back into our children’s lives. The panel included our very own CEO, Darell Hammond, as well as these other notable play advocates:

  • Kevin Carroll, founder of Kevin Carroll Katalyst/LLC and an author, speaker and agent for social change (a.k.a. the Katalyst).
  • Ellen Galinsky, President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute (FWI) and author of over 40 books and reports on work and family life.
  • Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, the Stanley and Deborah Lefkowitz Professor of Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia and author of 11 books and over 150 professional articles on early childhood and infant development.
  • David Rockwell, an American architect and designer who conceived and designed manipulable play systems called Imagination Playground™.
  • Brendan Tuohey, who co-founded PeacePlayers International (formerly Playing for Peace) in 2001, a global organization that uses sport to unite and educate young people in divided communities.

Here’s Darell in action, moderating "Why is PLAY Important: Crusade for Health" with speaker Ezekiel Emanuel, chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health:

The festival also featured one of David Rockwell’s Imagination Playground™ in a Box systems, which is now being donated to a local school. Festival attendees showed us that Imagination Playground™ isn’t just for kids:

Imagination Playground™ in Aspen

For more videos, visit the Aspen Ideas Festival AudioVideo Library.
For photos, see the Photo Gallery.



kaboom! news, promise of play, darell hammond, imagination playground, aspen ideas festival