Talks, Lectures and Keynotes
I give talks, lectures and keynote speeches on how we can use play in business and in life. I have delivered on how we can use playful methodology in work, learning and eCommerce to change experiences for employees, students and customers. I have spoken on how play can change the way we approach tourism, retail and marketing. I am speaking soon on how play can help us live healthier, more inspired and provide a deep sense of meaning. Get in touch if you'd like a speaker on play at your event or conference.
I develop and deliver classes and workshops for teams and businesses. Drawing on the many and varied tools for developing capacity in teams, I introduce additional play methodologies that enhance the impact and outcome of learning experiences. Insights from my research into play offer powerful tools for cultivating innovation, creativity, resilience, collaboration, engagement, perspective and critical thinking in people and organisations. I use play to develop incredible teams. Get in touch to hear more.
Collaboration and Consulting
I'm always looking to work in new contexts, with different people. I try to get involved in interesting projects that help me to further understand how we play. So far, I have explored how play can help men share their feeling in times of hardship. Every project is different, sometimes it is more like consulting and others the relationship is more hands on. Get in touch if you'd like a playful perspective on whatever you're working on.
Destination Melbourne – Melbourne LIVE
Topic: “Merry-Go-Round” (Playful Tourism)
Destination Melbourne is an independent, not-for-profit tourism organisation empowering Melbourne’s visitor industry to continually enhance the visitor experience and inspiring visitors to explore and enjoy Greater Melbourne. Melbourne LIVE was a full day conference bringing a wide range of organisations, councils, businesses, service providers and groups working within tourism. My talk focussed on using six Playfulness Heuristics from Brian Upton’s Situational Game Design. Analysing examples from around the world, we explored how choice, variety, consequence, predictability, uncertainty and satisfaction factor into the way a person experiences a place, service, experience or context.
Workshop: LEGO Serious Play
The LEGO Serious Play method was designed over a period of 15 years by LEGO in collaboration with business strategists, looking to do business strategy differently. LSP is an idea stimulation and communication tool, run in small groups using LEGO blocks as the central tool. It’s a different way to think and to have a conversation.In a full day session, we explored the passions, strengths, challenges, values and future of a team within Vision Australia, a not-for-profit organisation and Australia's largest provider of services for people with blindness and low vision. The session allowed the team to get to know each other more deeply, communicate ideas in a new, and discover new ideas by virtue of the metaphor and storytelling that the LSP method invites. LSP is a great way to create conversations that are both open and focused.
Topic: The Purpose of Play
Retail Global runs an annual conference in the Gold Coast for the eCommerce industry. My talk introduced the idea that “Play” is a thing; something that we can come to understand and use more in our life and work. Part 1 covered how play can be good for well-being; as a mentally, physically and socially valuable activity. Part 2 covered how play can be good for work; helping to us to be creative, work well in teams and engage customers. This talk also included examples of Gamification (a specific approach to using game design in business) in eCommerce and retail marketing.
Brief: How might we use play to improve the information gained in qualitative market research.
I worked with the team at Whereto to redesign their qualitative market research technique to see if playful methodologies can get more / different / deeper information from participants in a focus group context. The question we investigated: To understand and overcome the challenges men face in sharing their emotional concerns with others. Sessions were two hours and compared to a control method (a group conversation). The first night I used a mixture of improvisation and theatre games, LEGO and Gamestorming (brainstorming through games) to see what affect that had on the control method. In my view, the session was somewhat chaotic and did not yield as much information as I’d hoped. There was not enough time to get value out of each technique. The second night, I led the group on a process to co-design a game together in order to meet the problem. The result was interesting and promising; the abstraction of focusing on a hypothetical player in a hypothetical situation allowed the men to reveal action-oriented solutions based on particular contexts.
Workshop: Play is healthy, useful and meaningful
LEGO Australia New Zealand invited me to run a workshop opening their annual 3-day team retreat. The workshop mixed theory and practice in showing how play can be healthy (physically, mentally and emotionally), useful (for thinking differently and creating a generative team culture), and meaningful (for understanding ourselves and the world). The ideas and practices drawn on for this workshop were inspired by the work of: Stuart Brown, Steve Jobs, Patricia Moore, Dave Gray, Johan Huizinga, Pamela Meyer, Bernard Suits and Augusto Boal. It was a milestone moment for me, running a workshop for one of my hero organisations. It was a lot of fun to work with the wonderfully creative, positive and collaborative LEGO team.
Monash University – Masters of Design
Workshop: Playing with Games
This 4-hour workshop is for students studying a Masters of Design at Monash University. In the workshop, students are split into a number of groups and given a short period of time to rapidly create, test and evaluate a game. They then redesign the game based on their evaluation, test and evaluate again. The aim of the session is to show the power of iteration in any design/creative process. This workshop is faced paced, fun, hands on and a great way to bring students together to work in a deeply creative and collaborative way.
Service Design Melbourne
Topic: From Play to Innovation
An hour and a half presentation providing some key concepts from Situational Game Design as a tool to be used in service design. The insight offers a new way to see the constraints that effect a person’s understanding of an interactive system they are navigate through moves or choices. In other words, a ‘player’ in a ‘game’ can be read as a ‘person’ in a ‘context’.