World Leisure Academy was established by the World Leisure Organization’s Board of Directors in 2009. The Academy is dedicated to discovering and fostering those conditions that permit leisure to serve as a force to optimize collective and individual wellbeing. The Academy seeks to promote leisure concerns through its advocacy, research and educational endeavors and to acknowledge the contributions of researchers, educators, practitioners, and others credited with advancing leisure.
Specifically, the Academy objectives shall be:
to encourage the study of the phenomena of leisure;
to advance knowledge related to the best professional practices found within leisure service delivery systems;
to serve as a interdisciplinary forum for the scholarly exchange of ideas;
to serve as a forum to discuss issues, provide support, and share information on matters impacting on leisure; and
to acknowledge the contributions of researchers, educators, practitioners and others whose contributions are recognized globally.
World Leisure Academy
Since its establishment and under the inspirational leadership of its President: Prof. Atara Sivan, the Academy has been successfully carrying out a series of activities promoting opportunities for its membership to discuss issues, offer support, and share information on matters impacting leisure globally.
Some major activities undertaken by Prof. Atara Sivan are:
Setting up the WLA website as a source for information on members’ activities and contribution to the field.
Liaison with the Nominating Committee for new nominations.
Induction of new members from a range of places and professions.
Creation of an e-discussion for the Academy members to share and exchange emerging issues and matters impacting leisure globally.
Holding an International Panel entitled: “Transforming Leisure Research and Practice for Global Connectivity” with distinguished Senior Fellows from 5 continents: Atara Sivan (Asia), Cara Aichison (Europe), Robert Stebbins (Canada), Tony Veal (Australia), Ricardo Uvinha (South America).
Establishment of a Forum for representatives of Leisure Research Organizations to address possibilities of bilateral and multi-lateral collaborations for internationalizing leisure research and fostering the establishment of organizations in developing countries. Participating members of the inaugural meeting were: Atara Sivan (WLO- HK Chapter), John Tower (ANZALS), Robert Stebbins (CALS), Maliga Naidoo (LARASA), Karl Spracklen (LSA), Karla Henderson (ALS).
Chairing biennial Academy Business Meetings during World Leisure Congresses.
In line with its vision and objectives the Academy continues to carry its outreach activities through a dynamic engagement of distinguished individuals including academics and practitioners who are passionate to contribute to the advance of social justice and sustainable civil society by actualizing the values inherent in leisure.
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, Arenal 1. Segunda Planta. 48005, Bilbao – Spain to the attention of the Secretary General.
Nomination and membership
Nominees for the Academy are distinguished from peers by their sustained record of professional contributions and portfolio which demonstrates 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 scholarship, public service and/or professional association engagement which is aligned with the WLO’s strong commitment for social and environmental justice is expected of all nominees. Nominees constitute both Distinguished Scholars and Distinguished Practicing Professionals. They are identified with the following criteria:
A record of scholarship recognized beyond the boundaries of one’s own country of citizenship which is 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.
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 are distinguished from peers by their sustained record of scholarly and professional contributions and portfolio which demonstrates international significance. This is manifested through publications; participation in international organizations, associations and societies; and through the creation of internationally recognized initiatives.
Interdisciplinary scholarship, public service and/or professional association engagement which is aligned with the WLO’s strong commitment for social and environmental justice is expected of 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).
The Academy has three types of membership: 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 have been previously elected as a Senior Fellow. 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 is made by a Nominating Committee on a biennial basis and hereafter provided with election by all members of the Academy. On a regular basis any member of the Academy is able to nominate individuals for membership in the Academy. The membership of WLA does not exceed 50 individuals, excluding Honoris Causa Fellows and Emeritus Fellows.