Talks, Workshops etc

This is a big ole scrolly list (sorry) of some of the things that I am getting up to at the moment and in early 2020. There are also some events from 2019 which will give you a sense of what I am about. If you would like to talk to me about any of this do please get in touch via If you don’t to sit through a talk but want a picture of roughly what I’ve been talking about recently here’s the short version, courtesy of @katrina_swanton at Edinburgh Napier and her brilliant sketchnoting…

myy talk EN visualised copy

In the diary for 2020

January brings me the launch of the data collection phase of my research project The Value of Play – this will keep me out of mischief for a while as it runs to September 2021. I am also delighted to be running a creativity workshop for Politecnico Torino in early Feb in support of our shared interests in the multinational OECD collaboration to foster creativity and critical thinking at university

Alongside my research I have some intriguing possibilities to develop which I will share anon, and also advising and examining duties… February also brings me my annual visit to work with members of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists for our Markers Day. This is always a fabulous event – fun, productive, enlightening and I get to work with a great group of people. In April I am also honoured to be keynoting at the University of Surrey Learning and Teaching Day on Playful Learning on April 22nd.


I also work with individuals to set and achieve goals according to their own agenda and in academic and professional contexts.

Past talks, keynotes and workshops

Now some of the below may already look like ancient history (2018? When was that?!?) but if you don’t know what I do it may still be a useful window on my world…

In the UK I have been invited to speak or provide a creativity/LEGO workshop at many universities; including Aberystwyth, Anglia Ruskin, Aston, Kingston, Bedfordshire, Birmingham, Cass Business School, Christchurch Canterbury, De Montfort, Portsmouth, Plymouth,  Middlesex, London South Bank,Ruskin School of Art,  Southampton Solent, Surrey, UAL, Warwick, Westminster, Wolverhampton, and the HEA Conference, and the National Playwork Conference in Eastbourne.

I have spoken at numerous locations in the States, keynoting at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and running workshops at the Universities of Virginia, Maryland and a knowledge exchange visit to the University of Pennsylvania, among others. My most recent trip is immortalised in the photo below, taken in the Crown Room of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, Feb 2018.  Stephen Brookfield and I were doing a play and creativity workshop for the Learning and the Brain conference, hosted with Stanford University. It was 8.15 on a Saturday morning and I thought no-one would come, or if they did, it would be for the incredible views of the bay. Thankfully the room was packed and participation was great – 150 of us committed to the case of play in further and higher education.

our workshop

Been and Gone – some highlights from 2019

January……….my annual Assessment Day for the Society of Cosmetic Scientists & a webinar on playful learning for Liverpool Hope University

frank su tweet re my livhope web

February…….a LEGO workshop for Bournemouth University

April…………Play and Creativity Festival at Winchester. This year three days instead of a week but it will be packed!

June…………..Keynotes at Edinburgh Napier Learning and Teaching Day and at London Metropolitan University Learning & Teaching Conference

July…………….Keynote, Playful Learning Conference, Leicester


December 5th ….talk at King’s London about LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® in business management education

November 28th Judging at the inaugural DMU Mindbuilder competition, with a talk on Play in HE that you can view here 

November 13 and 26…..using LEGO SERIOUS PLAY to explore research, running two workshops at the University of Manchester, with Methods@Manchester and at the University of Sheffield for the White Rose Partnership

November 15…webinar for SUN on play and creativity in further and higher education

November 7 I was also delighted to support my great colleague Professor Marcus Leaning as he received his NTF in Edinburgh…

under the railway clock at The Caley

October 15/16….thrilled to bits to be invited to Abertay University by Alastair Robertson, Director https://playandcreativityfestival.wordpress.comof Learning & Teaching Enhancement, for their excellent conference on Learning through Co-Design. I ran a workshop exploring co-design with LEGO at the newly opened V&A Dundee which was a joy, and then gave a keynote on play, creativity and co-design the next day. Also got to see RSS Discovery and have a whizz round the McManus Museum. Both stunning and I can’t wait to go back.

September 6/7 I attended a two day briefing in Paris at the OECD with my colleague Professor Paul Sowden, spearheading the University’s involvement in a multinational research project into fostering and assessing creativity. Details here.

July …at Winchester I ran my annual LEGO workshop for primary school students seeking to understand what university might be like for them, through our Juniversity project – a fantastic initiative to open doors, widen horizons and raise aspirations. The children see it as coming to Hogwarts! Here’s one we made earlier…

May 17…SEDA webinar on play and creativity for staff and educational developers

May 9… I ran my annual workshop on assessment for the Society of Cosmetic Scientists in Piccadilly – a great day and chance  to work with diverse specialists working in a dispersed, online domain.

January…awayday at Marwell Zoo with University of Portsmouth colleagues, facilitating a departmental exploration of a new vision with LEGO