As a program of WLO, the Academy seeks to promote leisure concerns through its advocacy, research and educational endeavors and acknowledges the contributions of researchers, educators, practitioners, and others credited with advancing leisure. Specifically, its objectives shall be:
1) to encourage the study of the phenomena of leisure;
2) to advance knowledge related to the best professional practices found within leisure service delivery systems;
3) to serve as a interdisciplinary forum for the scholarly exchange of ideas;
4) to serve as a forum to discuss issues, provide support, and share information on matters impacting on leisure; and
5) to acknowledge the contributions of researchers, educators, practitioners and others whose contributions are recognized globally.
WLO has provided a platform to host WLA as a way of linking the efforts of productive scholarship with public service by working side by side with colleagues across academic disciplines and areas of public trust. WLO is distinguished by its affiliation with the United Nations and is the only organization that operates as a matter of practice and legacy to conduct an international forum for scholars and practicing professionals focused on leisure. WLA, by design, is not intended to be a singleminded group of academics, authors, scientists, or policy-makers, but rather a dynamic engagement of distinguished individuals with the appetite to contribute still more to the advance of social justice, sustainable civil society by actualizing the values inherent in leisure.
An Ad Hoc Nominations Committee was created to propose a slate of nominees for induction as founding members in WLA. The following criteria for the identification of nominees were offered.
Distinguished Scholar. A record of scholarship recognized beyond the boundaries of one’s own country of citizenship. This will be evident in publications and citations of scholarship produced by others. This qualification may also be evident in translated works including books, academic papers, doctoral dissertations or other manuscripts. A distinguished scholar is one with unquestioned and enduring contributions to intellectual thought and production.
Distinguished Practicing Professional. A distinguished professional career of leadership recognized beyond the boundaries of one’s own country of citizenship. This is reflected in holding elected leadership positions in international organizations, associations and societies. It can also be recognized by the creation and implementation of programs that have attracted international attention and demonstrated positive influence for the advancement of civil society. Nominees will be distinguished from peers by their sustained record of professional contributions. International Focus. One’s portfolio of work should demonstrate international significance. This is manifested through publications; participation in international organizations, associations and societies; and through the creation of internationally recognized initiatives including model demonstration programs and services.
Interdisciplinary Focus. Interdisciplinary scholarship, public service and/or professional association engagement is expected of all nominees. WLO’s strategic plan, “Leisure: Enhancing the Human Condition ~ Priorities and Strategies 2009-2014,“ is aligned with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Therefore, the World Leisure Organization’s strong commitment to social and environmental justice, must be evident in a sustained record of accomplishments is expected in all nominees.
A distinguished group of individuals were chosen to provide nominations for the founding members of the World Leisure Academy. They included: Derek Casey (United Kingdom);Gary Ellis (USA); Gerald Fain (USA); Jeong Myung Gim (Republic of Korea); Geof Godbey (USA); Carlos Vera Guardia (Ecuador); Karla Henderson (USA); Francis Lobo(Australia); Pat Long (USA); Mahuidi (The Peoples Republic of China); Wolfgang Nahrstedt (Germany); Ken Roberts (United Kingdom); Tahany A. M. el Sayed (Egypt); Bob Stebbins (Canada); Atara Sivan (Hong Kong) and Ricardo Uvinha (Brazil). For a list of members, click here.
WLA will carry out its activities by promoting opportunities for its membership to discuss issues, provide support, and share information on matters impacting on leisure and recreation. There are projected to be three types of membership in the Academy: 1) Senior Fellows, 2) Emeritus Fellows, and 3) Honoris Causa Fellows. Senior Fellows are individuals who have extensive and significant experience as an educator or practicing professional, is recognized as an outstanding scholar in the leisure service field, and is committed to continuing to advance the goals and ideals of the leisure movement. Emeritus Fellows are individuals who have retired from regular employment and having been previously elected as a Senior Fellow is granted emeritus status. Honoris Causal Fellows are individuals with distinguished records of service to humankind in the form of civic actions that advance social justice or distinguished records of scholarship that advance social justice consistent with the purposes of the Academy.
Selection of candidates nominated as a Senior Fellow, of the Academy shall be made by the Nominating Committee, as hereafter provided with election by all members of the Academy. On a regular basis any member of the Academy will be able to nominate in writing with accompanying support material, individuals for membership in the Academy. A Nominating Committee appointed by the Chair shall propose nominations for membership on a biennial basis. The Nominating Committee shall screen nominations and recommend to the membership potential individuals to be voted upon for Academy membership. Individuals shall be admitted to the Academy who receive a two-thirds endorsement of the voting members of the Academy in any given election. The membership of WLA shall not exceed 50 individuals, excluding Honoris Causa Fellows and Emeritus Fellows. The number of members elected each year will ensure the maintenance of the membership requirements. The elective officers of WLA shall include: 1) Chair, 2) Chair-Elect and 3) Secretary. These officers shall be elected by the mail vote of the membership on a biennial basis. Meetings of WLA will be held on a biennial basis in conjunction with World Leisure Congresses.
Additional information regarding the Academy and/or nominations or self nominations for membership in the WLA can be requested from and/or forwarded to the World Leisure Secretariat, Institute of Leisure Studies, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, University of Deusto, Avenida de las Universidades 24, 48007, Bilbao - Spain to the attention of the Secretary General.