The First Mini Play Adventure in the World

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“You’re a what? A change agent? I thought you were joking when you said that’s what you do.”

And it does feel like a joke much of the time if I’m to be honest.

I met David last Saturday at a mini play adventure, the first event run by The School of Play. The moment I heard my soon-to-be friend David’s words I knew we were going to have lots of fun together.

And so it was that seven strangers met on a beautiful sunny afternoon at Milton Keynes Museum talking, playing and contemplating how we play and our multiple intelligences externalised through play.

I was delighted to discover that there are other adults who, like me, long to play more in their lives and are willing to pursue it wholeheartedly. And as we explored our ideas of play, amongst buttercups and concrete cows, an invisible thread appeared that connected our individual definitions of play.

It turns out one of the reasons adults want to play is because it helps us be authentic. And we want to be authentic because it feels good. Because it connects us with our true selves. Vulnerability researcher Brene Brown calls this “living wholeheartedly”, to show up and allow yourself to be seen. What our mini play adventure demonstrated was that to be authentic, we need a space that is safe and non-judgmental. The same condition necessary for true play.

Play for a Change

Creating The School of Play has been a long-time dream of mine, promoting happier adulthood through lifelong play. Having spent the past 15 years being paid to play as a change agent in large corporations (from airlines to biscuit manufacturing to financial institutions), one of the most effective and efficient ways I’ve found that keeps me going and growing is to play our way through change.

Making Play History

If we wish to change the world, we need to first change ourselves. I hope you’ll join us at the next mini play adventure on Saturday, 25 June, at the historical and beautiful setting of Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. What better way to transform into our better selves than through play in the company of friends? Hooray!

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