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A cross-disciplinary collective of highly informed individuals is gathering for a ground-breaking conference later this month.

Organised by socially inclusive arts charity Escape Artists, ‘Play’s the Thing: Creative Approaches to Wellbeing’ brings eco-minded authors, social innovators, public thinkers, academics of many stripes, digital network developers, game designers and artists together to examine what the real building blocks for a flourishing life, society and civilisation are.

As Pat Kane, host of the conference and author of ‘The Play Ethic’ says ‘We are increasingly aware that the standard economic models of prosperity and wealth are not delivering the satisfactions they promised - never mind the costs to our environment and health’.

And Alex Higgins, conference organiser and champion of inter-disciplinary conversation notes ‘with contributions from digital technologists, social economists, wellbeing experts, mental health gurus, creative arts practitioners and social business innovators; we hope to build a roadmap towards a society which has wellbeing at its heart’.

We will hear from:

Andrew Simms, head of the New Economics Foundation, one of the original organisers of the Jubilee 2000 Coalition and author of Ecological Debt: Global Warming and the Wealth of Nations (2009)
Felicia Huppert, director of the Cambridge Institute for Wellbeing
• Author of The Mindful Manifesto: How Doing Less And Noticing More Can Help Us Thrive In A Stressed-Out World, Ed Halliwell
Steve Fuller, sociologist of science, whose new book Humanity 2.0 maps out a strange new world of technologically-enhanced wellbeing
Marek Kohn author of many books including ‘Trust’ and “Turned out Nice: How the British Isles Will Change as the World Heats Up’

Other high profile speakers include:

Anne McCrossan of Visceral Business
• Dawson King, founder of Cambridge Healthcare, working in partnership with the NHS to develop howareyou.com, an e-Health platform for patients and healthcare professionals
• Guardian columnist (and author of Willing Slaves) Madeleine Bunting
• BBC technology guru Bill Thompson
Gay Watson, a writer concerned with the dialogue between Buddhism, Psychotherapy and the Mind Sciences
Indy Johar, 00:/ architect, and founder of two London Hubs - at Westminster and Kings Cross (open working spaces for social innovators)
Alice Taylor, ex-games commissioner for Channel 4 and founder of Makieworld, an ‘entertainment playspace for young people' that will invite users to download and print 3D dolls and accessories

International, interdisciplinary artist Ansuman Biswas and improvisation guru Alex Fradera are two of several workshop leaders, who’ll make sure that there’s plenty of room to play among all the expert presentations.

In Pat Kane’s words: ‘the great promise of play becoming our dominant way of doing, being and creating value is that it keeps us open towards, and energetic about, fundamental reform of our systems and structures.’

Play’s the Thing: 22nd & 23rd November 2011 at Toynbee Studios, London


(JOURNALISTS: www.playsthething.org.uk HAS PHOTOS, LOGOS AND MORE PRESS RELEASES INCLUDING 'ARTISTS ASKED TO GET SERIOUS AT PLAY'S THE THING' 'MENTAL HEALTH IS A SOCIAL ISSUE, SAYS PLAYS THE THING' AND 'WILL DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT COLLECTIVE WELLBEING? ASKS PLAY'S THE THING' FOR MORE INFORMATION EMAIL DIRECTOR MATTHEW TAYLOR matthew@escapeartists.co.uk OR CALL 07506717153)

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