Lois Holzman

Lois Holzman

Play Helps Us Grow at Any Age

In this talk, Dr. Holzman documents the importance of play in our growth and development throughout our entire lives.  Babies and toddlers play their way to growth. They learn how to talk, draw, dance, even think, through playing at what they’re not yet—performing it before they know it. Lucky for us non-babies, the mystery of exactly why and how play is developmental has been revealed and put to use with adults! Across the globe, from board rooms to therapy rooms, from hospital wards to refugee camps, “play revolutionaries” are helping people and communities embrace play as a way to keep developing.


About Lois Holzman

Lois HolzmanLois Holzman is a passionate advocate for tools and practices that empower people to transform the alienation and passivity of our culture—and she’s found play to be one of the most powerful transformers. A pioneer of a new “psychology of becoming” that incorporates play, performance and practical philosophy to inspire life-long human development through group creativity, her work builds on that of Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky, who advanced the understanding of learning and development in early childhood as social, cultural, improvisational and playful.

As director of the non-profit East Side Institute and lead organizer of the biennial Performing the World conferences, Lois helps to create and support a new generation of play revolutionaries. She travels the world bringing her message to groups as varied as rock climbing experiential educators, corporate leadership consultants, postmodern psychotherapists, Chinese Marxist philosophers, Brazilian youth workers, Bangladeshi business students, and teenagers from America’s inner-cities.

A contributor to Psychology Today (“A Conceptual Revolution”), Lois is writing her ninth book online as an experiment in group creativity, in which readers respond to each chapter as she writes it (The Overweight Brain: How Our Obsession with Knowing Keeps Us from Getting Smart Enough to Make a Better World).