2016 Schedule

Interactive: March 11–15  •  Film: March 11–19  •  Music: March 15–20

Burning Man: From Free Play to Innovation Science

Monday, March 14
5:00PM - 6:00PM

Westin Austin Downtown
Paramount 1
310 E 5th ST

Playfulness is a refined mechanism of evolution that acts as an engine of engagement and adaptability. The biology of fun is the biology of deep engagement and creative invention. In play, animals (including humans) generate novelty and build strong social relationships. Furthermore, the creativity of play is a precursor to innovation akin to how natural selection generates innovation, as some ideas generated in play's abundance result in useful, game-changing strategies. Here we bring together an elite panel that will show how the future of robust social networks, as well as innovation (& social joy), relies on tapping into our evolutionary resource: playfulness.

Hashtags: #sxsw


Brendan Boyle at SXSW

Brendan Boyle

Partner at IDEO


Brendan Boyle is a Partner at IDEO, a leading design and innovation firm ranked independently as one of the most innovative companies in the world. Brendan's role also has a special emphasis on Ent...

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Isabel Behncke at SXSW

Isabel Behncke


Oxford University

Isabel Behncke is a primatologist (Oxford University, TED fellow) who has walked more than 3,000 km in the jungles of Congo following wild bonobo apes in the quest for the origins of playfulness, c...

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Jenn Sander at SXSW

Jenn Sander

Global Initiatives & Innovation

Burning Man

Jenn is the Founder of Play Atélier, a business consultancy that helps create space for innovation. Jenn has been working with Burning Man for the last 3 years, leading their global initiatives de...

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Stuart Brown


National Institute of Play

Dr. Stuart Brown is co-founder of PlayNovation, and founder and President of the National Institute for Play. Trained in general and internal medicine, psychiatry and clinical research, Dr. Stuart ...

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