During this year, World Leisure Organization (WLO) has continued offering learning opportunities to further expand our educational approach through spaces designed for different audiences, such as academics, professionals, young and emerging leaders, etc., so that participants not only learn from other experiences, but also may share their own and collectively reflect on the ongoing transformations, challenges, and opportunities at different levels in the society.

World Leisure Pathways – Past, Present and Future Conversations podcasts series

As one of its 70th Anniversary activities, WLO launched in the beginning of the year the World Leisure Pathways – Past, Present and Future Conversations, a series of podcasts through which different guests who have been playing a key role within the organization have reflected and discussed on a wide range of topics in the sector. WLO Chair Prof. Joanne Schroeder and WLO Chief Operating Officer Dr. Cristina Ortega introduce these conversational interviews, which have been followed by WLO Vicechair Dr. Lawal Marafa, who shared with us his knowledge and experience about sustainability and its strong relation with the leisure field; WLO Board members Prof. Marie Young and Prof. Dr. Marcel Bastiaansen, together with WLCE University of Sao Paulo representative Prof. Dr. Ricardo Uvinha, who discussed on the late trends and challenges on contemporary leisure research and how they are evolving differently in their regions, South Africa, The Netherlands, and Brazil; and Karla A. Henderson, PhD., and Heather Gibson, PhD., with a podcast about leisure and gender, where they gave us some relevant insights on gender equality and the inclusion and visibility of women in global leisure agendas. Stay tuned as more episodes are expected for 2023!

If you want to check all the episodes released, click here!

Knowledge-sharing and networking experience

After the successful development of the initiative Knowledge-sharing and networking experience, born during the pandemic, we continued with its 2nd level (Expert level) where expert guests from the academia and the professional sector delved deeper on “Leisure, mental health and well-being”, a topic which emerged from 1st level (Engage level). This Expert Level encounter, Global Leisure Debates: Responses to challenges on leisure, mental health and well-being, was a two-fold experience. First, participants had access to pre-recorded short videos in which the expert speakers reflected on the main challenges previously identified by key people from the professional sector. Then, an online Encounter was organized in which participants had the opportunity to listen to and exchange with the expert speakers. On this occasion, we felt honored to listen to three exceptional international speakers addressing the challenges identified from the professional sector: Dr. John Dattilo, Penn State University (US); Dr. Simone Fullagar, Griffith University (Australia), and Dr. Joe Pavelka, Mount Royal University (Canada). The event was moderated by WLO Chair Prof. Joanne Schroeder.

Click here for further information and to discover more about this experience!

WL SIG Leisure Management – Webinar series

During this year 2022, the WL Special Interest Group (SIG) on Leisure Management has also carried on with the organization of its Leisure Management webinar series. Its first webinar of the year was titled The Crisis Preparedness Webinar and addressed a range of crises to explain how park and recreation departments prepare and cope with the ‘unexpected’. Patrick Hammer, Erie Colorado’s Director of Parks and Recreation, explained his personal experiences when responding to an unexpected crisis in the community. The second webinar of the year, Managing Safe Places for Leisure, featured the participation of Dr. Corey Johnson, the Karla A. Henderson Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at North Carolina State University, who shared his experience and insights about power relations between dominant and non- dominant populations in the context of leisure. The webinar’s focus on LGBTQIS2+ communities discussed how leisure managers can deliver safe places for inclusive leisure experiences.

At the Leisure Management SIG website, you could watch its webinars and check related relevant documents. You can visit it here.

WL SIG Leisure and Human Rights

Additionally, this year, we welcomed a new WL SIG on Leisure and Human Rights which was launched in October through a webinar where their co-chairs, WL Academy President Dr. Atara Sivan and Dr. Tony (A.J.) Veal, University of Technology Sydney, introduced the SIG and proposed a new collaborative research project “Holding nation states to account for leisure rights”. The webinar included presentations on these two elements and invitations to participants to comment on both the SIG and the proposed research project and to express interest in becoming involved. The goals of this Leisure and Human Rights SIG are to promote research and teaching on the topic of human rights and leisure, based on the principles set out in the WLO Charter for Leisure, and to enhance the profile of leisure rights among governments, leisure policymakers, practitioners and researchers and within the UN human rights system. The collaborative research project will investigate the performance of individual nation states in regard to their respecting, protecting and fulfilling of the human right to leisure, using a common conceptual and research framework.

Further details of the Special Interest Group and the proposed research project can be found here.

“Mondiacult 2022: Towards a New Culture Goal for the Sustainable Development Framework” Webinar

And last but not least, in November 2022, a webinar was organized in the aftermath of the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development, Mondiacult 2022. In partnership with the European Network on Cultural Management and Policy (ENCATC), the webinar “Mondiacult 2022: Towards a New Culture Goal for the Sustainable Development Framework” was conducted. Expert speakers with various backgrounds harnessed their experience and expertise to best inform a debate at the crossroads of culture and leisure. On this occasion, we counted with the participation of Mariachiara Esposito, Seconded National Expert at the European Commission, Dr. Lawal Marafa, WLO Vicechair and Member of UNWTO World Committee on Tourism Ethics, Dr. Jordi Pascual, Coordinator at UCLG Culture Committee, Dr. A.J. (Tony) Veal, WL SIG on Leisure and Human Rights Co-Chair and Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology Sydney (Australia), and Elena Theodoulou-Charalambous, Head of European and International Affairs, Deputy Ministry of Culture and Chairperson of the Organization of European Programmes and Cultural Relations (OEPCR) in Cyprus.