past event

The Summit

Over the past two years, the Project Play Summit has taken its place as the nation’s premier gathering for leaders at the intersection of youth, sports, and health. From Michelle Obama to Billie Jean King, grassroots innovators to foundation chiefs, media executives to policy wonks, the event has helped to take measure of, and push forward, the movement to build healthy communities through sports.

This year, our theme is “A New Scoreboard for Sports.” We’ll explore alternate ways to measure success through emerging metrics, introduce major new initiatives, and hear from 50+ speakers, including a keynote conversation with Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.

The Summit is sold out for the third straight year. A full agenda for the first day of the 2017 Project Play Summit is below. Asterisks indicate the the session will be livestreamed at (link goes live day of).

8:00 a.m. – Registration + Breakfast
Youth sports demo by The First Tee of Greater Washington, DC


8:25 a.m. – Welcome + Opening Remarks*
Dan Hicks, Broadcaster, NBC Sports
Andrea Nielsen, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Target

8:40 a.m. – State of Play: 2017*
Tom Farrey, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program

9:00 a.m. – Ask Kids What They Want*
Kids: So When Do We Get a Vote?
Moderator: Dan Hicks, Football/Golf/Olympic Broadcaster, NBC Sports
Brenton Baker, 9, Buffalo, NY
Nina Locklear, 11, Baltimore, MD
Andrew Ramos, 9, Montgomery Village, MD
Claire Vachon, 10, Walled Lake, MI

9:40 a.m. – Reintroduce Free Play
From Pokémon Go to Esports: Lessons and Opportunities
Moderator: Jeremy Goldberg, President, LeagueApps
Vikram Grover, Senior Director of Business Development, Niantic (maker of Pokemon Go!)
Chris Kluwe, Former NFL Punter/esports Entrepreneur
Rich Luker, Founder, Luker on Trends
Angela Ruggiero, Co-Founder/Managing Director of Sports Innovation Lab, Hockey Hall of Famer

Emphasize Prevention
Preventing Abuse – in All its Forms
Moderator: Mike Wise, Senior Writer/Columnist, The Undefeated
Rick Ankiel, Author, Former Major League Baseball Player
Nekia Kemp, Executive Director, Police Athletic League of Buffalo
Shellie Pfohl, CEO, U.S. Center for SafeSport
Dr. David Satcher, Former U.S. Surgeon General, Co-Chair of National Council on Youth Sports Safety

10:35 a.m. – Design for Development
What is Basketball’s Role in Reforming Youth Sports?
Karen Crouse, Sports Reporter, The New York Times
Steve Keener, President/CEO, Little League Baseball
David Krichavsky, Vice President of Youth Basketball Development, NBA
Greg Kristof, CEO, Zero Gravity Basketball
Chiney Ogwumike, WNBA player

Revitalize In-Town Leagues
Latinos in Soccer: What’s the Model?
Moderator: Alicia McConnell, Director of Training Sites and Community Partners, U.S. Olympic Committee
Lawrence Cann, President/Founder, Street Soccer USA
Ed Garza, President of Urban Soccer Leadership Academy, Former San Antonio Mayor
Chris Moore, CEO, US Youth Soccer
Hugo Salcedo, Director at MaxInMotion, Former U.S. Soccer Olympian


11:30 a.m. – Featured Conversation*
Rob Manfred, Commissioner, Major League Baseball
Moderator: Terry McDermott, Author, Off-Speed: Baseball, Pitching, and the Art of Deception

12:00 p.m. – Lunch
Demos by The First Tee of Greater Washington, DC
Bobsled, courtesy of US Bobsled & Skeleton


12:45 p.m. – Encourage Sport Sampling
Golden Opportunity: Bringing Swimming to Minority Communities
Gary Hall Jr., Olympic Gold Medalist in Swimming
Nikki Cobbs, Aquatic Coordinator, Baltimore City Rec & Parks Aquatics Division
Tom Fristoe, Founder/General Manager, TeamUnify
James Nicholson, Board Chairman, YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit
Reece Whitley, 17-Year Old Swimmer, Philadelphia

Think Small
Bringing Play Spaces to Kids (Not the Other Way Around)
Moderator: Mark Hyman, Author, Until it Hurts: America’s Obsession with Youth Sports and How it Harms Our Kids
Theresa Lou Bowick, Executive Director, Conkey Cruisers
Ed Foster-Simeon, President/CEO, U.S. Soccer Foundation
Mike Lanza, Author, Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood into a Place for Play
Kevin O’Hara, Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs, National Recreation and Park Association

1:40 p.m. – Train All Coaches
What’s Fair for Parents to Ask of Coaches?
Moderator: Rebecca Lowe, Broadcaster, NBC Sports
Alan Ashley, Chief of Sport Performance, United States Olympic Committee
Michelle Mundey, Facility Director, Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County + Mom of E’Jai (12) and Neiko Primus (Nation’s Top-Ranked, 9-Year-Old Basketball Player)
Harold Reynolds, MLB Network Broadcaster and Former MLB Player
Steve Stenersen, CEO, U.S. Lacrosse

The $15B+ Youth Sports Economy: What’s in it and Where’s it Headed?
Moderator: Sean Gregory, reporter, TIME Magazine
Tom Cove, CEO, Sports & Fitness Industry Association
Susan Eustis, President, WinterGreen Research
Dev Pathik, CEO, Sports Facilities Advisory | Sports Facilities Management


2:35 p.m. – Physical Activity Break*
Emily Roske, 10, November Project / Bus Stop Project

2:45 p.m. – Call for Leadership*
Collaboration Nation: What’s Possible When Silos Connect for Kids?
Introduction: Chris Watts, Executive Director, National Fitness Foundation
Moderator: Tom Farrey, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program
Beth Baran, Co-Executive Director, Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation
David Egner, President/CEO, The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
Caitlin Morris, General Manager of Global Community Impact, Nike
Louis Shapiro, President/CEO, Hospital for Special Surgery
Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympics and President, Business, NBC Sports Group

3:45 p.m. – What’s Your Play? Announcements*
Speaker: Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, CEO, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA
Risa Isard, Program Manager, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program

4:10 p.m. – The Best Sports Town in America*
Karen Crouse, author, Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence
Moderator: Jon Solomon,
Editorial Director, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program

4:45 p.m. – Adjourn to Reception

7:00 p.m. – Summit Concludes

The Summit is sold out. 

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Thanks to our sponsors for their support.

Event information
Wed Sep 6, 2017
8:00am - 7:00pm
The Newseum
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC