The WLO Special Interest Group on “Leisure and Innovation” aims at looking into the diverse fields of innovation in leisure contexts, practices and theories. In a world where change is constant, new challenges and practices arise, also in leisure. Innovation in different areas have consequences in leisure as well as leisure becomes a field of experimentation, innovation and constant search for entertainment, sport, recreation, learning, social life or quality of life. Connected to changes in business or individual practices, increasingly more issues related to leisure and lifestyle seem to be permeated with innovative approaches.

There are five main dimensions that are the priority of the group, although others are welcome:

  • Leisure theories

  • Leisure practices

  • Leisure businesses

  • Policy making

  • Research and Methodologies

  • Education

The WLO Special Interest Group on Leisure and Innovation will therefore work towards developing this area of interest with the collaboration of its members in reflections, projects and publications. The World Leisure Congress (bi-annual event) is the main reference to the group meetings. Other meeting points can be suggested along the way.

As in the field at hand – innovation – the SIG’s path is open to where its members will take it by nurturing synergies within the group and innovative developments in leisure.

Within this context, the SIG Leisure and Innovation aims at contributing to a better understanding of topics related, but not limited, to the following:

  1. Innovative leisure practices

  2. Technology and leisure

  3. Digital leisure

  4. Creative leisure

  5. Leisure and social innovation

  6. Crowdsourcing and leisure

  7. Leisure and the creative industries

  8. Innovation and creativity in leisure events

  9. Innovation and change in the leisure industry

  10. Innovation, lifestyle and leisure

  11. New methodological developments in leisure studies

  12. Innovative educational leisure policies and practices

  13. Innovation and leisure policies

  14. Future trends and challenges in leisure


  • Organized a panel session within the 2018 WL Congress in Sao Paulo
  • Contributed to the WLO monthly newsletter WL News
  • Contributed to the Special Issue of WL Journal on Leisure and Innovation (2019)
  • Described, appealed and overviewed the activities in WL Journal 2018 and 2019

Planned Activities

  • To assist in reviewing papers for the 2020 WL Congress in Pinggu-Beijing
  • To organize a panel session within the 2020 WL Congress in Pinggu-Beijing
  • To explore the possibility of organizing a webinar on Leisure and Innovation
  • To contact with other organizations for potential projects


Lénia Marques, Ph.D.


  • Establish the LM SIG to share information about leisure management research, practices and publications.
  • Establish a database of leisure management researchers and their areas of expertise.
  • Document research about how leisure programs, facilities and services are contributing to communities’ quality of life.
  • Document research about how leisure programs, facilities and services are achieving the UN”s SDGs.


Edginton, C. R., Hudson, S., Lankford, S. & Larsen, D. (2015). Managing Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services: An Introduction – 4th Ed. Urbanna, IL: Sagamore.

Taylor, P. (Ed.) (2011). Torkildsen’s Sport and Leisure Management – 6th Ed. Milton Park: Routledge.

Torkildsen, G. (1983). Leisure and Recreation Management. London: E & F. N. Spon.

Tower, J. & Zimmermann, J.M. (2016). Setting the scene for the WLJ special edition on leisure management. World Leisure Journal. 58(1), 3-11.

Veal, A. J. (2003). Leisure Management in J.M. Jenkins and J. J. Pigram (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Leisure and Outdoor Recreation. London: Routledge.

Veal, A.J., Darcy, S. & Lynch, R. (2013). Australian Leisure – 4th Ed. Frenchs Forest, NSW Australia: Pearson.

Victorian Auditor General Office. (2016). Local Government Service Delivery: Recreational Facilities. Melbourne: Victorian Government.

Zimmermann, J. M. & Tower, J. (2017). Leisure management: All about the “what” and the “who”. World Leisure Journal, 59 (1), 2-5.