• ENGSO Youth

Open-source avenue that gathers together: people, ideas, tools and actions

"Not an advertisement for the incubator" was a key element of the brief that I had for this piece. It should be a piece about the conception, development and implementation of an idea - telling the human story. To tell that story would require a team effort, as to reach this point the idea has been carried and nursed by a number of individuals, all who have come together to create the Playlab.

The Playlab was created to give back to the sport for social change sector - years of combined experience had shown us that there are literally thousands of organisations and individuals out there using sport to bring about positive change in the world.

Sport has an unique ability to bring people together, break down barriers created by race, religion, social/economic status, ethnicity, etc. The initial steps to construct a programme, project or organisation using sport could be described as somewhat "easy". However, developing that into something that has long-term sustainable impact, is affecting positive social changes and can be scaled up locally and/or globally is a challenging step. A step that for small projects requires too much time and energy away from core activities.

The Playlab was born from this reality - lots of people doing lots of positive things globally with sport, but no real space to come together and develop ideas, to share experience and expertise, to create projects that can have the impact we all dream of. It is about collaboration, community and creation. It's for concrete solutions. But most importantly it's open-source. Free and accessible to all.

I am very proud to be the Playlab Project Manager because the principles of what we have created sit very close to my heart - to affect long-lasting change, and I believe in sport as a powerful tool. We're kicking off this initiative by focusing on organisations that are using sport to increase the inclusion of refugees. However, we hope as the months and years pass we will be able to construct a truly active community and tackle many societal issues effectively with sport as a tool.

Crossed fingers to you who are making a difference!

Stay tuned.

Matthew Ruuska,

PlayLab Project Manager

Play International

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