Subtitle: Imagination taking power

From What If to What Next: Episode 16

In Episode 16 of ‘From What If to What Next’ we explore the question of play. Play is a devalued aspect of both childhood and adulthood which has been declining now for decades, and its decline has had many knock-on effects across society. What would it be like if we decided to give it a huge boost, to create the ideal conditions for a re-emergence of play across education, economics, planning, and so much more? What might that look like?


I am joined in this episode by two of the most amazing guests to dive deep into this act of imagining. Ash Perrin is the founder and CEO of The Flying Seagull Project, a UK-based charity that works around the world to bring happiness to children who are marginalised or suffering. His small, highly-skilled team of around twenty professional entertainers use music, arts, dance and clowning to spread smiles to more than 140,000 children in hospitals, orphanages and refugee camps around the world. His TEDx talk from last year is a must-watch.

Ben Tawil is a play consultant and researcher. Working together with his colleague Mike Barclay as Ludicology, they have over 40 years’ experience of working with and on behalf of playing children. Their work includes play sufficiency assessments, research and action planning with municipalities and national organisations, consultancy on neighbourhood regeneration, developing evidence-based design recommendations, and working with schools and arts and cultural organisations to develop playful practices.

I hope you love this inspiring and insightful episode. My thanks, as ever, to Ben Addicott for theme music and production, and to you for listening. Do share your thoughts and reflections, and join us next week when we join Ash and Ben on an unmissable visit to the Ministry of Imagination.

Rob Hopkins · Episode 16: What if we took play seriously?


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