Plenary Sessions

A plenary session will be held on each of the first three days of the conference. These 90-minute sessions gather the entire group of attendees to hear talks from several prominent speakers, who will address a play-related priority issue targeted for discussion each day. A question and answer period with the audience will follow the presentations.

The themes of each of the plenary sessions are as follows:

  • Day 1: Unleashing the Power of Play… in the 21st Century
  • Day 2: Unleashing the Power of Play… for in Situations of Crisis, Conflict and Challenge
  • Day 3: Unleashing the Power of Play… to Mobilize for Change

Day 1 – Wednesday, September 13

Unleashing the Power of Play…in the 21st Century

Today’s speakers will help to situate play in contemporary society. What is play in the 21st century context? Are play cultures and landscapes changing? What are the new opportunities and challenges for supporting children’s right to play?

Dr. Peter Gray
Dr. Roger Hart

Day 2 – Thursday, September 14

Unleashing the Power of Play… in Situations of Crisis, Conflict and Challenge

In situations of conflict or disaster for children living with everyday hazards and poverty, play is crucial to their well-being, development, health and survival. Children display extraordinary resilience in creating space and opportunities to play even in the most extreme circumstances and many communities and organizations strive to continue to support play in situations of crisis. However, more needs to be done to ensure we fulfil our obligations to children in ensuring their right to play is realized. This plenary will share, for the first time, the findings of IPA Access to Play in Crisis 2016-17 research project and will introduce the new IPA handbook for practitioners, managers and policy-makers.

Dr. Sudeshna Chatterjee
Maria Assi
Theresa Casey

Day 3 – Friday, September 15

Unleashing the Power of Play … to Mobilize for Change

Our final plenary session will help to chart a path towards systemic changes which will support children’s right to play through research, practice, policy and advocacy. Discussion will include how we can engage children, families and neighbourhoods in the work to restore and protect children’s play and play environments.

Dr. Peter Gray