Events

Project Play explores breakthrough ideas at three types of events: Town halls/summits for large gatherings, all-day deep dive roundtables with 25+ thought leaders, and "Aspen Timeout" panels held at major conferences of stakeholder organizations

Event is now sold out; sign up here for wait list

It's been a year since the release of the seminal Aspen Institute report, Sport for All, Play for Life: A Playbook to Get Every Kid in the Game, and many organizations have taken action consistent with its eight strategies for the eight sectors that touch the lives of children. At the 2016 Project Play Summit at the Newseum's Knight Conference Center in Washington, meet leaders of these efforts and discover new opportunities to build healthy communities through sport.

The nation's premier gathering of leaders at the intersection of youth, health and sports, the 2016 Project Play Summit will 1) Take measure of the collective progress made in the past year, 2) Offer learnings through session dialogues, and 3) Host the announcement of new initiatives. Among the 60+ confirmed speakers are leaders including: Michael Wilbon, ESPN show host;  Mary Davis, CEO Special Olympics, Tab Ramos, Youth Technical Director, US Soccer Federation; Jim Whitehead, CEO, American College of Sports Medicine, Craig Robinson, ESPN analyst and former college basketball coach; Benita Fitzgerald-Mosley, CEO, Laureus Foundation USA; Alonzo Mourning and Grant Hill, former NBA All-Stars; Allyson Felix, Olympic champion sprinter; Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Billie Jean King, tennis and civil rights pioneer. The latter five are all members of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. 

The event agenda flows from the report's eight strategies, with conversation on each of the following topics:

  1. Ask Kids What They Want
    New research, new insights: What do they tell us?

    Moderator: Jon Frankel, Correspondent, HBO Real Sports
    Tom Cove, President and CEO, Sports & Fitness Industry Association
    Holly O'Donnell, National Executive Director, America SCORES
    Tom Paskus, Principal Research Scientist, NCAA
    Edwin Roman, Senior Director of Consumer Insights, ESPN
    Carlo, Participant, The First Tee – New Orleans
     

  2. Reintroduce Free Play
    Can the largest organizations drive de-organization?

    Moderator: Mike Fletcher, Senior Writer, The Undefeated, ESPN 
    Allyson Felix, Four-Time Olympic Gold Medalist
    Neeru Jayanthi, Director of Tennis Medicine, Emory University
    Chris Marinak, SVP, League Economics & Strategy, MLB
    Alonzo Mourning, Vice President of Player Programs, Miami Heat
    Jeremy, Participant, Sports Plus
     

  3. Encourage Sport Sampling
    How can PE, clubs collaborate?

    Moderator: Bill King, Senior Writer, Sports Business Journal
    Brendan Ledwith, Coordinator, Sport Development, USA Volleyball
    Sarah Lee, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
    Ken Martel, Technical Director, USA Hockey
    Paul Roetert, CEO, SHAPE America
     

  4. Revitalize In-Town Leagues
    Who will be their champion?

    Moderator: Dan Shanoff, Content & Programming, Monumental Sports Network
    Ryan Eckel, Vice President of Brand, Dick's Sporting Goods
    Noah Blue Elk Hotchkiss, Founder, Tribal Adaptive Organization
    Matt Kata, Manager, Youth Baseball Development, Cleveland Indians
    Max Levitt, Founder & Executive Director, Leveling the Playing Field
     

  5. Think Small
    Can we systematize creativity in play spaces?

    Moderator: Kevin Martinez, VP, Corporate Citizenship, ESPN
    Corliss Allen Solomon, Doctoral Student, University of North Carolina at Charlotte 
    Chip Patterson, Executive Director, The First Tee of Greater New Orleans
    James Siegal, CEO, KaBOOM!
    Erin Smith, Director of Education and Training, US Lacrosse
     

  6. Train All Coaches
    How to engage the hardest-to-reach?

    Moderator: Jeremy Goldberg, President, LeagueApps
    Jon Feinman, Founder, InnerCity Weightlifting
    Leah Friedman, Junior Development Coordinator, USTA Chicago 
    Tony Korson, CEO, Koa Sports
    Richard Pavlick, Co-Founder, Project Leader & Coach, YLC Kicks
    Daleajah, Playworks Junior Coach
     

  7. Design for Development
    Where to next with the American Development Model?

    Moderator: Caitlin Morris, Sr. Dir. for North America, Global Community Impact, Nike
    Christine Bolger, Coaching Education, United States Olympic Committee
    Jeremy Campbell, Former professional wheelchair basketball player
    Michael Clayton, Nat'l Coaches Education Program, USA Wrestling
    Tab Ramos, Youth Technical Director and U-20 Men's Head Coach, U.S. Soccer
     

  8. Emphasize Prevention
    Brain Injuries: How much science do we need to act?

    Moderator: Mark Hyman, Professor, George Washington University
    Kevin Bieniek, Research Fellow, Mayo Clinic
    Kate Carr, President and CEO, Safe Kids Worldwide
    Dr. Sam Gandy, Prof. of Neurology and Psychiatry, Mount Sinai

In addition, we will host plenary sessions and breakouts on these topics:

Opening conversation with ESPN show host Michael Wilbon, former college basketball coach Craig Robinson, and speaker TBA

Featured conversation with tennis legend Billie Jean King and Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition

Physical Literacy
How to implement the concept?

Moderator: Cedric Bryant, Chief Science Officer, American Council on Exercise
Dean Kriellaars, Associate Professor, University of Manitoba
Mike Sagas, Department Chair and Professor, University of Florida
Kathleen Tullie, Founder, BOKS
 

Call for Leadership
Treetops to grassroots: How to scale a culture of health in sports?

Moderator: Tom Farrey, Aspen Inst. Sports & Society Program
Mary Davis, CEO, Special Olympics International
Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, CEO, Laureus USA
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Jorge Perez, VP, Youth Development, Family Enrichment & Social Responsibility, Y-USA
Jim Whitehead, CEO, American College of Sports Medicine
 

Model Communities
How to build local coalitions?

Moderator: Steve Patrick, Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions
Renata Simril, President, LA84 Foundation
Jamie Schmill, New Orleans Program Officer, Laureus USA
Sara Couppas, Sports and Nutrition, Clinton Foundation
Bruce Lee, Director, Global Obesity Prevention Center, Johns Hopkins University
Laurence Chalip, Professor, University of Illinois
 

Insights shared during the event will help inform the conclusions of a "State of Play: 2016" report that includes the latest data on sport participation rates. It builds on the Project Play report, which offered 40+ ideas for making sport activity accessible and affordable for all kids. US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, in his keynote address at the 2015 Project Play Summit, he said, "You have built a very powerful roadmap" for cross-sector collaboration and innovation that will help sport serve the needs of public health. Since then, 20+ organizations have launched initiatives consistent with the Project Play strategies, as recognized through the "What's Your Play?" submission process. Sports leagues, media companies, national governing bodies, recreation groups, foundations and other organizations all have used the report to shape their work with youth.

Leaders from the following sectors will find relevant content at the 2016 Project Play Summit: National Sport Organizations, Community Recreation Groups, Public Health, Business & Industry, Tech & Media, Policymakers & Civic Leaders; Education; and Parents.

The program runs from 8 am until 5:30 pm, followed by a reception on the Newseum terrace until 8 pm.

The Summit is now sold out. Please sign up for the wait list here. For those who were unable to register, we will live-stream select sessions. Enter your name on the wait list to receive reminders and information about streaming.

Additional thanks to Bill Mayer for his support.

For sponsorship questions, please contact taylor.gray@aspeninstitute.org. For all other inquiries, contact Risa.Isard@aspeninstitute.org.

Details
May 17, 2016
8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Washington, DC

Events

May 17, 2016
Washington, DC

Event is now sold out; sign up here for wait list

It's been a year since the release of the seminal Aspen Institute report, Sport for All, Play for Life: A Playbook to Get Every Kid in the Game, and many organizations have taken action consistent with its eight strategies for the eight sectors that touch the lives of children. At the 2016 Project Play Summit at the Newseum's Knight Conference Center in Washington, meet leaders of these efforts and discover new opportunities to build healthy communities through sport.

The nation's premier gathering of leaders at the intersection of youth, health and sports, the 2016 Project Play Summit will 1) Take measure of the collective progress made in the past year, 2) Offer learnings through session dialogues, and 3) Host the announcement of new initiatives. Among the 60+ confirmed speakers are leaders including: Michael Wilbon, ESPN show host;  Mary Davis, CEO Special Olympics, Tab Ramos, Youth Technical Director, US Soccer Federation; Jim Whitehead, CEO, American College of Sports Medicine, Craig Robinson, ESPN analyst and former college basketball coach; Benita Fitzgerald-Mosley, CEO, Laureus Foundation USA; Alonzo Mourning and Grant Hill, former NBA All-Stars; Allyson Felix, Olympic champion sprinter; Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Billie Jean King, tennis and civil rights pioneer. The latter five are all members of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. 

The event agenda flows from the report's eight strategies, with conversation on each of the following topics:

  1. Ask Kids What They Want
    New research, new insights: What do they tell us?

    Moderator: Jon Frankel, Correspondent, HBO Real Sports
    Tom Cove, President and CEO, Sports & Fitness Industry Association
    Holly O'Donnell, National Executive Director, America SCORES
    Tom Paskus, Principal Research Scientist, NCAA
    Edwin Roman, Senior Director of Consumer Insights, ESPN
    Carlo, Participant, The First Tee – New Orleans
     

  2. Reintroduce Free Play
    Can the largest organizations drive de-organization?

    Moderator: Mike Fletcher, Senior Writer, The Undefeated, ESPN 
    Allyson Felix, Four-Time Olympic Gold Medalist
    Neeru Jayanthi, Director of Tennis Medicine, Emory University
    Chris Marinak, SVP, League Economics & Strategy, MLB
    Alonzo Mourning, Vice President of Player Programs, Miami Heat
    Jeremy, Participant, Sports Plus
     

  3. Encourage Sport Sampling
    How can PE, clubs collaborate?

    Moderator: Bill King, Senior Writer, Sports Business Journal
    Brendan Ledwith, Coordinator, Sport Development, USA Volleyball
    Sarah Lee, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
    Ken Martel, Technical Director, USA Hockey
    Paul Roetert, CEO, SHAPE America
     

  4. Revitalize In-Town Leagues
    Who will be their champion?

    Moderator: Dan Shanoff, Content & Programming, Monumental Sports Network
    Ryan Eckel, Vice President of Brand, Dick's Sporting Goods
    Noah Blue Elk Hotchkiss, Founder, Tribal Adaptive Organization
    Matt Kata, Manager, Youth Baseball Development, Cleveland Indians
    Max Levitt, Founder & Executive Director, Leveling the Playing Field
     

  5. Think Small
    Can we systematize creativity in play spaces?

    Moderator: Kevin Martinez, VP, Corporate Citizenship, ESPN
    Corliss Allen Solomon, Doctoral Student, University of North Carolina at Charlotte 
    Chip Patterson, Executive Director, The First Tee of Greater New Orleans
    James Siegal, CEO, KaBOOM!
    Erin Smith, Director of Education and Training, US Lacrosse
     

  6. Train All Coaches
    How to engage the hardest-to-reach?

    Moderator: Jeremy Goldberg, President, LeagueApps
    Jon Feinman, Founder, InnerCity Weightlifting
    Leah Friedman, Junior Development Coordinator, USTA Chicago 
    Tony Korson, CEO, Koa Sports
    Richard Pavlick, Co-Founder, Project Leader & Coach, YLC Kicks
    Daleajah, Playworks Junior Coach
     

  7. Design for Development
    Where to next with the American Development Model?

    Moderator: Caitlin Morris, Sr. Dir. for North America, Global Community Impact, Nike
    Christine Bolger, Coaching Education, United States Olympic Committee
    Jeremy Campbell, Former professional wheelchair basketball player
    Michael Clayton, Nat'l Coaches Education Program, USA Wrestling
    Tab Ramos, Youth Technical Director and U-20 Men's Head Coach, U.S. Soccer
     

  8. Emphasize Prevention
    Brain Injuries: How much science do we need to act?

    Moderator: Mark Hyman, Professor, George Washington University
    Kevin Bieniek, Research Fellow, Mayo Clinic
    Kate Carr, President and CEO, Safe Kids Worldwide
    Dr. Sam Gandy, Prof. of Neurology and Psychiatry, Mount Sinai

In addition, we will host plenary sessions and breakouts on these topics:

Opening conversation with ESPN show host Michael Wilbon, former college basketball coach Craig Robinson, and speaker TBA

Featured conversation with tennis legend Billie Jean King and Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition

Physical Literacy
How to implement the concept?

Moderator: Cedric Bryant, Chief Science Officer, American Council on Exercise
Dean Kriellaars, Associate Professor, University of Manitoba
Mike Sagas, Department Chair and Professor, University of Florida
Kathleen Tullie, Founder, BOKS
 

Call for Leadership
Treetops to grassroots: How to scale a culture of health in sports?

Moderator: Tom Farrey, Aspen Inst. Sports & Society Program
Mary Davis, CEO, Special Olympics International
Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, CEO, Laureus USA
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Jorge Perez, VP, Youth Development, Family Enrichment & Social Responsibility, Y-USA
Jim Whitehead, CEO, American College of Sports Medicine
 

Model Communities
How to build local coalitions?

Moderator: Steve Patrick, Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions
Renata Simril, President, LA84 Foundation
Jamie Schmill, New Orleans Program Officer, Laureus USA
Sara Couppas, Sports and Nutrition, Clinton Foundation
Bruce Lee, Director, Global Obesity Prevention Center, Johns Hopkins University
Laurence Chalip, Professor, University of Illinois
 

Insights shared during the event will help inform the conclusions of a "State of Play: 2016" report that includes the latest data on sport participation rates. It builds on the Project Play report, which offered 40+ ideas for making sport activity accessible and affordable for all kids. US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, in his keynote address at the 2015 Project Play Summit, he said, "You have built a very powerful roadmap" for cross-sector collaboration and innovation that will help sport serve the needs of public health. Since then, 20+ organizations have launched initiatives consistent with the Project Play strategies, as recognized through the "What's Your Play?" submission process. Sports leagues, media companies, national governing bodies, recreation groups, foundations and other organizations all have used the report to shape their work with youth.

Leaders from the following sectors will find relevant content at the 2016 Project Play Summit: National Sport Organizations, Community Recreation Groups, Public Health, Business & Industry, Tech & Media, Policymakers & Civic Leaders; Education; and Parents.

The program runs from 8 am until 5:30 pm, followed by a reception on the Newseum terrace until 8 pm.

The Summit is now sold out. Please sign up for the wait list here. For those who were unable to register, we will live-stream select sessions. Enter your name on the wait list to receive reminders and information about streaming.

Additional thanks to Bill Mayer for his support.

For sponsorship questions, please contact taylor.gray@aspeninstitute.org. For all other inquiries, contact Risa.Isard@aspeninstitute.org.

October 22, 2016
San Francisco, CA

As part of the roundtable discussion on Promoting Physical Literacy in American Youth at the 2016 annual conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Sports & Society Executive Director Tom Farrey will address a group of medical leaders on the topic of "Media & Technology: Using it to Promote Physical Literacy." The full agenda for the morning is below.

8:00-8:45 AM          Media & Technology: Using it to Promote Physical Literacy 
8:45-9:20 AM         Health Care Providers: Tools to Assess Physical Literacy  
9:20-9:55 AM         Leading the Way: Physical Literacy Programs at Work in Communities
9:55-10:30 AM       Fostering the Youth Sport Ethos in Organized Sports 
10:30-11:00 AM     Roundtable Discussion 
 
April 8, 2016
Denver, CO
University of Denver
Like other states, Colorado faces challenges in dealing with a crisis of physical inactivity, parental concerns about injuries, and declining participation in youth sports. How can leaders work together to make sport more affordable, accessible and developmentally appropriate for all children?
 
Please join us on April 8 at the University of Denver for the first-ever Colorado Youth Sports Summit, where we will review and recognize sport programs and activities that contribute positively to the overall development of children.
 
The summit builds on the work of the Aspen Institute’s Project Play, a multi-stage initiative to provide stakeholders with the tools to build healthier communities through sports. Led by executive director Tom Farrey, Project Play has used research and input from experts, including several from Colorado, to provide guidance for those of us working in youth sports.
 
The goal of this summit is to reaffirm Colorado as a leader in the provision of youth sport programs that teach physical literacy and prepare young people for a lifetime of healthy physical activity. Only by working together at the state and local levels can we overcome the challenges that we face.
 
Come learn more about Project Play and share your ideas for how youth sports can help our children achieve physical literacy and meet their developmental needs.
 
Program Highlights:
 
  • Kick off with Tom Farrey, author of Game On: The All American Race to Make Champions of Our Children, award winning journalist, and director of Project Play
  • A presentation on the importance of Physical Literacy by Robin Schepper, Director, Bipartisan Policy Center, Washington, DC
  • Panel of leaders from USOC, national governing bodies and other organizations that have already reimagined youth sports in their developmental programs
  • A presentation on injuries in youth sport by Dr.Shale Wong, Pediatrics, CU School of Medicine
  • Breakout sessions on using The Playbook to promote physical literacy and overall childhood development
  • A presentation on  integrating physical literacy into youth sport practices
  • General summary of best practices and a CALL TO ACTION for improving youth sports

More information is available on the event website here

November 11, 2015
Las Vegas, NV
Mandalay Bay Convention Center

At the world's leading conference for the sports events industry, a session is devoted to the Project Play report and its eight strategies for the eight sectors that touch the lives of children. Event organizers as well as leaders from national sport governing bodies and other groups will learn how they can use the report to get and keep more children active through sports in their communities. Panelists include Skip Gilbert, managing director of professional tennis operations for the U.S. Tennis Association and tournament manager for the U.S Open.

November 6, 2015
Santa Fe, NM
Eldorado Hotel

At the 36th annual conference of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, a session titled "NASSS Coaches Assess the Project Play Report" presents an invited panel of NASSS members who are youth coaches to engage their sociological imagination and critically discuss the goals and recommendations in the Aspen Institute's Project Play report.  The panelists will explore questions related to the challenges and tactics associated with putting Project Play recommendations into action. The session recognizes that although Project Play focuses on the U.S, it was partly informed by similar efforts in Canada, and is applicable to youth sports worldwide.

The moderator of the session is Brian Gearity, professor at the University of Denver. Joining him as panelists are Gary Sailes, Indiana University; Katlin Okamoto, University of Minnesota; Jim Denison, University of Alberta; Algerian Hart, Western Illinois University; Anna Baeth, University of Minnesota; Jeffrey Montez De Oca, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs; and Ryan King White, Towson University. The session chair is Jay Coakley, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and a member of the Project Play advisory group.

More information on the conference here.

October 26, 2015 to October 27, 2015
Palto Alto, CA
At the SAP InnoJam in Palo Alto, the Aspen Institute's Tom Farrey issued a challenge to student teams from Bay Area universities based on an opportunity identified in the Project Play report: Build a tool that can connect youth, parents and others to the full array of sport programs and sites in their communities. Two of the eight teams of coders and business students were assigned to the 30-hour challenge, and one of them -- "Team Rollick," comprised of students from San Francisco State and Chico State -- won the design thinking competition, with a prototype of a mobile app. 
 
The judging panel included senior SAP executives, including SAP Chief Human Resources Officer Stefan Ries.  As winners, the members of "Team Rollick" will showcase their app May 17 as part of the SAP University Alliances experience at the SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando, Fla.

More on the competition, held at the HanaHaus in downtown Palo Alto, here. Photos and social media on the event can be found on Twitter #Innojam

October 14, 2015
Colorado Springs, CO
Olympic Training Center

Sports and Society Program Executive Director Tom Farrey will present to 20 Community Olympic Development Program (CODP) directors at the CODP conference. He will help these leaders, which represent 15 programs from across the US, understand how they can activate and shape programming based on the strategies from the Project Play report.

October 6, 2015
Washington, DC
Aspen Institute

The increasingly sedentary lifestyles of children, and participation declines in many youth sports, are in part due to a structural reality: lack of access to safe, affordable, nearby recreation facilities. State, county and municipal leaders must find ways to avoid closure of more parks, recreation centers, and sports complexes.

Challenging outdated finance and management models is essential. Funding is a key factor in the development of new parks and recreation centers and the maintenance of existing recreation assets. Communities that have been successful in addressing financing issues have developed innovative approaches that often involve private-sector budgeting models, public-private partnerships, and economic impact analyses which justify new or continued investment in sport and recreation centers.

This roundtable of 25+ leaders built on a September 2014 roundtable that identified opportunities to grow access to recreation spaces, by focusing on facility financing solutions. Participants included Barbara Tulipane, president and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association and Michael Kelly, general superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District, along with some of the brightest minds in sports finance. Sponsored by the Sports Facilities Advisory, the event will inform the creation of a resource that can be used by key decision-makers to fund more recreation spaces.

September 30, 2015
Washington, DC

Project Play will join Boys & Girls Clubs of America leaders for a think-tank style day to share best practices and shape policies for the organization.

September 24, 2015
Colorado Springs, CO

Tom Farrey will present the Aspen Institute's Physical Literacy report, and explain how it syncs with the Project Play report and the recent sport industry endorsement of multi-sport play, to leaders of the Multi-Sport Organizations Council of the U.S. Olympic Committee. The session is open and free to the public. 

September 17, 2015 to September 20, 2015
New Orleans, LA

Back in February at the Project Play Summit, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation announced that they would be convening a sport-for-development collective impact coalition to create a framework for stakeholders to work together effectively in order to improve opportunities for youth in New Orleans. 

In September, Laureus hosted a Sport for Good weekend in New Orleans which began with a Project Play training session for the city-wide coalition of youth sports providers. Laureus released a state of youth sports and physical activity report that addressed the needs of children in the Orleans Parish and included profiles of local children, authored by the Aspen Institute and journalist Hugo Kugiya, whose lives hang in the balance.

Sports & Society Executive Director Tom Farrey also moderated a lively panel at Tulane University that focused on the challenge of retaining girls in sports. Participating in the dialogue were Olympic champions Allyson Felix (track) and Kelly Clark (snowboarding), former Saints running back Deuce McAllister, and Playworks chief marketing officer Tonya Antonucci.  

In the coming months, Project Play will continue to support the coalition in New Orleans as it aims to grow access to quality programming across the city.
 

September 16, 2015
Las Vegas, NV

Sports & Society executive director Tom Farrey is speaking on behalf of Project Play at the 2015 National Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference where more than 7,000 park and recreation professionals, citizen advocates, and industry suppliers are gathering at the premier annual meeting of the park and recreation community. At the conference, Project Play will share Sport for All, Play for Life: A Playbook to Get Every Kid in the Game and will emphasize the role that park and recreation departments can play in giving all children the opportunity to be active through sport.

The Future of Play
Wednesday, September 16 | 1:00-1:45pm PDT
The future of play belongs to one of two realms – virtual or physical. Right now, virtual is winning the day. Video games, internet sites, and other technology options are more effectively engaging children, providing great exercise for thumbs and not much else. What will it take to steal back the concept of “play” and address our national epidemic of physical inactivity? Tom Farrey, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program, discusses the eight key strategies, as identified in the Project Play report released earlier this year.