Who we are

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About The School of Play

The School of Play began as one woman’s dream for a more playful, happier world. Portia Tung is an Executive and Personal coach, Agile coach, play researcher and storyteller. Her pursuit to help people realise more of their potential has led to the pleasant yet all together unexpected discovery that play is essential for the lifelong development of adults and not only children. Portia’s research on play has led her to live a more playful life, so much so that she has managed to dream The School of Play into existence.

The School of Play is dedicated to promoting happier adulthood through lifelong play. We inspire and enable  transformational change through on a mashup of Agile, play science, psychology and coaching techniques. If you think change is full of pain and suffering, may be it’s time you came to play at The School of Play.

Watch Portia’s Agile 2019 closing keynote to learn about Playful Leadership, a concept Portia has created, which contains the secret to creating transformational change and how to have fun doing it: “Playful Leadership: How to Enable Transformational Change and Have Fun Doing It”.

Find out more about the services we offer here.

About Portia Tung

IMG_8352Portia is a Personal and Executive coach, Executive Agile coach and play researcher creating transformative change in a range of organisations including the Prime Minister’s Office, the NHS, British Airways and global financial institutions. Portia combines coaching and business strategies with play to bring about positive and enduring change. She is also the founder of The School of Play, dedicated to promoting happier adulthood through lifelong play.

A Career Beginning in Software Development

Portia began her career as a software developer and team lead over 20 years ago. Over the past two decades, she has become increasingly drawn to person-centred approaches in enabling positive personal and organisational change. Portia is a keen student and practitioner of the transformative power of personal, organisational and systemic change through play. Consequently, she has chosen a path of personal mastery by focussing on exploring and understanding her own system first in order to discover the most effective and efficient ways to enable others to change themselves.

Towards Enabling Transformational Change

As part of this journey of self-discovery and training, Portia has trained as a professional coach with Kim Morgan at Barefoot Coaching. She has also been a student of Wendy O’Sullivan and Paul Field in Clean Language and Coaching, a student of Nancy Kline in the ways of the Thinking Environment and Thinking Partnership.

Returning to Her Roots: Systemic Coaching for Enduring Change

In 2019 Portia became a student of John Whittington in the field of Systemic Coaching and Coaching Constellations which has enabled her to access resources both within her own system as well as those of her clients to support their  wish for enduring change.

Never one to turn down an invitation to play with like-hearted individuals, Portia completed her training as a children’s yoga teacher with Ayala Homossany at the start of 2021, notably one of her most challenging and fulfilling endeavours to date in making the most of her potential and on becoming her whole person in service of greater good. The result is the creation of Studio Tara, a new virtual extension to The School of Play

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to be service to all the systems to which she belongs, Portia has chosen to deepen her journey into systemic coaching by extending her work to include organisations, individuals and families. This has led her to begun her studies with Lynn Stoney in Family Constellations in March 2021.

Portia at Play

Portia is the author of The Dream Team Nightmare: Boost Team Productivity Using Agile Techniques, the first ever Agile novel where your decisions determine the outcome of the story.

Portia is well-known for her fun, practical and thought-provoking talks and workshops at Agile conferences, and is also the creator of creative concepts such as Agile Fairytales and Enterprise Gardening. Find out more about Portia’s musings through her Agile Coaching blog and The School of Play blog.

Watch Portia’s talk on “The Power of Play – Making Good Team Great“, the talk that marks the start of Portia’s passionate pursuit of play as an adult, inspired by Dr Stuart Brown‘s book “Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul“. Portia’s talk debuted at Oredev in Malmö in 2011 and has since appeared at conferences around Europe including London, Cambridge, Manchester, as well as Copenhagen (Denmark) and Rückersbach (Germany). Her talk has inspired audiences to take play more seriously as a crucial catalyst for personal happiness and overall well-being.Portia’s Play talks include:

To prove we’re serious about the importance of play, check out our Play Manifesto, our pledge to play.

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