2018 Project Play Summit

Event information
Tue Oct 16, 2018
8:00am - 7:00pm
The Newseum's
Knight Conference Center
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC
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The Project Play Summit is the nation’s premier gathering of leaders at the intersection of youth, sport, and health. It’s where game-changers from the eight sectors that touch the lives of children take next steps in building healthy communities through sports. Where new initiatives are announced, and new tools are released. Where the boldest funders and ideas collide, inspiring new partnerships and actions.

This year’s theme is “Think Global, Play Local.” Speakers will include NBA legend Kobe Bryant, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, Olympic track and field champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee, NBC Sports broadcaster Mary Carillo, and other domestic as well as international trailblazers who can help U.S. leaders identify opportunities for innovation. The full day of programming will include keynotes, panels, and plenaries; interactive experiences; small breakout conversations; major announcements; release of new resources and the 2018 State of Play report. At the Summit, Project Play will recognize select organizations (“Champions”) making commitments to new, meaningful and specific actions.

2018 Project Play Summit
October 16 | 8 a.m–4:45 p.m., with reception to follow
Knight Conference Center at the Newseum | 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW | Washington, D.C.


8:00 a.m. Check In + Breakfast

8:25 a.m. Welcome
Mary Carillo, Broadcaster, NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics)
Dan Porterfield, President and CEO, Aspen Institute (@DanPorterfield)

State of Play: 2018
Tom Farrey, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program (@TomFarrey)

Ask Kids What They Want: What if Youth Designed Youth Sports?
: Kobe Bryant, NBA Legend (@KobeBryant)

  • Zoe Barlow, 12-year-old soccer referee from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
  • Ka’olu Holt, 13-year-old Little League World Series champion from Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Shawkierra Mills, 9-year-old Special Olympics track athlete from Detroit, Michigan
  • Owen Norwood, 11-year-old multisport athlete from Mobile, Alabama

Overview of Day
Mary Carillo


Strategy Sessions #1

Think Small: Big Ideas from Small Countries
: Laurence Chalip, Professor, Sports Recreation Studies and Sports Management, George Mason University

  • Inge Andersen, former Secretary General, Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sport (Norway)
  • Patrick Massey, Project Manager, Portas Consulting (UK)
  • Matt Young, founder, 60 Minute Kids Club (Canada) (@mattyoung101)

Reintroduce Free Play: Organizing for Creative Expression
: Gwen Oxenham, author, Finding the Game: Three Years, Twenty-Five Countries and the Search for Pickup Soccer (@gwenoxenham)

  • Debru Ludovic, Head of Institutional Affairs, French Football Federation
  • Izzy Paskowitz, Co-Founder, Surfer’s Healing
  • Matt Bowers, Assistant Professor of Instruction in Sport Management, University of Texas at Austin (@mattbowersphd)


Strategy Sessions #2

Train All Coaches: Can a Free Tool Change the Game?
: Craig Morris, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, U.S. Tennis Association (Australia)

  • Wayne Moss, Executive Director, National Council of Youth Sports
  • Ben Reed, Specialist, Sports and Recreation, YMCA of the USA (@BenReedYMCA)
  • Chris Snyder, Director of Education, U.S. Olympic Committee

Revitalize In-Town Leagues: The Promise of Mixed Gender Play

Moderator: Risa Isard, Program Manager, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program (@RisaLovesSports)

  • Kate Carpenter, America SCORES Milwaukee Executive Director, (@Kate_JCarpenter)
  • Marj Snyder, Senior Director, Research and Programs at the Women’s Sports Foundation (@MarjSnyder)
  • Other speaker TBA



Welcome Back
Mary Carillo

Champions Announcement        

The Meaning of Play, with Kobe Bryant
Kevin Carroll, author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball



Strategy Sessions #3

Encourage Sport Sampling: How to Use the World’s First Healthy Sport Index

Moderator: Jon Solomon, Editorial Director, The Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program (@JonSolomonAspen)

  • Michael Kanters, Professor and Coordinator, Masters of Parks, Recreation, Tourism & Sport Management at North Carolina State University
  • Michele LaBotz, Member, Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, American Academy of Pediatrics (@mlabotz)
  • Lou Shapiro, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hospital for Special Surgery

Design for Development: Restructuring Competition for Better Outcomes
: Mary Carillo

  • Andre LaChance, Business and Sport Development Director and Women’s National Team Manager, Baseball Canada (@alachance)
  • Ken Martel, Technical Director, American Development Model, USA Hockey (@kenmhockey)
  • Lora Webster, Olympic Gold Medalist, Sitting Volleyball


Strategy Sessions #4

Emphasize Prevention: What Next for the U.S. Olympic Movement?

Moderator: Tom Farrey, The Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program Executive Director

  • Donna de Varona, Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer
  • Other speakers TBA

Fast Break Ideas
(5 total for 6 minutes, 20 seconds each)

  • Trish Sylvia, Founder, National Center for Safety Initiatives
  • David Ridpath, Associate Professor of Sports Business, Ohio University (@drridpath)
  • Doug Rifenburg, Executive Director, Victory Sports Outreach, Inc. (@VictorySportsGO)



Welcome Back
Mary Carillo

Physical Activity Break

Project Play Announcements + Champions

Saturday Night Lights with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.
Luis Fernando Llosa, Co-Founder, Whole Child Sports

Many Sports For All, with Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Call for Leadership: How to Empower Parents as Agents of Change?

  • Joe Figini, Washington D.C. parent of 11-year-old son
  • Andi Nielsen, Communications and Marketing Director, Target (@AndreaNielsen)
  • Jessica Berman, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, National Hockey League
  • Jenny Storms, Chief Marketing Officer, NBC Sports

Project Play Champions Announcement

Landing with Impact, with Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk)

4:45 p.m. Closing Comments + Adjourn to Networking Reception

7:00 p.m. Summit Reception Concludes

Registration for the Summit is sold out. Place your name on the wait list to be notified if space becomes available. 

A separate, Post-Summit Workshop is Oct. 17 at the Aspen Institute. Limited seats remain.