The Playlab is a collective program dedicated to developing social innovation through sport. The goal of this physical and digital platform is to identify, co-produce and share new solutions brought by sport to educational, social, health and humanitarian issues in our societies.



Discover the presentation video of the Playlab






Playlab is a place of collaboration between individuals and organizations looking to use sport as a catalyst for social change. Playlab was designed to share experiences and expertise in order to build tangible solutions to the major challenges of today. The knowledge that each person has from their experiences is a strength of the Playlab. This concept, called “crowd innovation”, consists in gathering stakeholders around an ecosystem that encourages innovation and co-creation.


To allow stakeholders to meet, share, create, develop and experiment, the Playlab, located in the heart of Paris, includes 3 unique and distinct environments:

• The Café with a couch, chairs and bar tables for casual and spontaneous conversations

• The central eld offers 50m2, adjustable forworkshops, trainings and tests to stimulate our minds

• The Back-Of ce includes of ces that canaccommodate up to eight people working together or individually





As the virtual equivalent of the physical space, the digital platform was created on the principle of collaboration and open-source sharing. On this platform, project leaders can identify potential collaborators, share their ideas, ask for advice or schedule meetings and events.


Members of the Playlab are invited to join projects through the platform in order to share their knowledge and experiences and answer requests for specific expertise or suggest innovating ideas and improve emerging practices.





As part of this initiative, PLAY International appoints a Scientific Committee in charge of following thissocial innovation dynamic:


Karin Woodley

CEO, Cambridge House, United Kingdom


Haïfa Tlili

Researcher in sports sociology, University of Paris Descartes, France


Sanjeev Rao

EM Lyon expert, India and France


Maxime Zennou

CEO, Groupe SOS Jeunesse (SOS Youth Group), France


Hélène Joncheray

Researcher in sociology of high-level sports, INSEP, France


Richard Giulianotti

Researcher and Professor in sports sociology, University of Loughborough, United Kingdom



Concrete examples of innovative projects carried by the Playlab




Today, there are 23 Million refugees and 66 Million displaced people globally, half of which are children. In 2015 and 2016, more than 2.5 refugees requested asylum request in the European Union. In 2016, the EU has resettled or provided asylum to about 720 000 refugees –three times more than Australia, the US and Canada combined.


Given this alarming context, PLAY International has organized the first editon of its incubation program dedicated to inclusion of refugees through sport. The objectif of this program, co-funded by the European Commission and the Mairie de Paris, is to accompany 7 innovative projects from 7 seven European countries.


This incubator will allow us to strengthen projects through training, ideation, co-creation & collaboration workshops. From 18 to 22 of June, 7 projects coming from 7 different European countries have followed an acceleration week, at INSEP Paris and at the Playlab, as part of the Incubation program – Sport & Refugees. This program  was launched for the first time this year on the theme of including refugees through sport. The Playlab, by creating this program, aim at accompanying those who have made an initiative on the social innovation’s field and who have an important potential of replicability. With this support, the projects should have in hand the tools enabling them to increase their impact on a medium term as well as to identify the solutions that would be beneficial to the whole of the sport and social sectors. Remote technical support will then be provided as projects implement their action plans in the field. The learning and experience gained from the organisations will inform an open and transparent reflection on what works well in this field, what is good practice and common pitfalls to avoid – all published in a report.


(Re) live in images, videos, key figures, social networks this week of acceleration here





On October 17th and 18th – under the strong support of the French Ministry of National Education and the patronage of the Mairie de Paris – PLAY International organized the 3rd edition of Playground dedicated to the stakeholders of sport, education and social change. For 2 days, the doors of the CENTQUATRE-Paris activities’ center (19th arrondissement) opened to welcome 246 teachers, educators, athletes and educational coordinators from 5 different countries (Burundi, Kosovo, France, England and Belgium) and 600 children to discuss one educational approach: Playdagogy. Dedicatedto training, co-creation and exchanging practices, this event allowed eld operators to work on ways to ght inactivity and promote physical activity. Concrete issues were tackled through the practice ofsports and games.


A total of 42 workshops were organized around 3 courses adapted to the different profiles "practitioners" "partners" or "co-creators"
Throughout the two days, 600 children, from the school or extracurricular sector, had the opportunity to participate in Playdagogy sessions and test sports games from Burundi or Kosovo.






2017 was marked with an exclusive cycle of 4 conferences about social innovation in France and around the world. The goal: spreading the Playlab vision in terms of collective innovation and identifying the way in which sports can increasingly bring solutions to our societies’ issues.


SOCIAL INNOVATION COMING INTO PLAY : 3 may 2017 - Carreau du Temple Paris with Vincent Edin, Journalist ; Manuel Herrero, Director and Audio-Visual producer Nouveaux Explorateurs ; David Blough, Executive Director PLAY International ; Virgile Caillet, General Delegate UNION Sport & Cycle ; Marie-Christine Lanne, Director of communication and social commitments Generali ; Lola Virolle, Startup Program Manager Paris Pionnières.


(IN)ACTIVE GENERATION? SPORTS AT THE HEART OF TOMORROWS SCHOOL : 13 october 2017 - Centquatre Paris with Véronique Moreira, President USEP ; Jorge Casimiro, Vice President Global Community Impact Nike, Inc. - President Nike Foundation ; Renaud Lavillenie, Olympic Champion and world record holder of pole vaulting ; Aurore Millot, School teacher Colette Magny Paris ; Valérie Senghor,

Deputy director CENTQUATRE-PARIS ; and Haifa Tlili, Postdoctoral research in sports sociology, University Paris Descartes.


OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES: WHAT IF IT WERE MORE THAN JUST SPORTS? : 4 july 2017 - City hall of the 18th arrondissement (Paris) with Marie Barsacq, Director Impact et Héritage (Impact and legacy) Paris 2024 ; Andy Grifiths, Director Fondation Laureus ; Emmeline Ndongue, Basketball Olympic vice-champion ; Pierre Rabadan, Sports advisor for the Mairie de Paris.


CLOSING CONFERENCE: SOCIAL INNOVATION IS A COLLECTIVE SPORT : 24 january 2018 - EM LYON Paris campus with Arnaud Mourot ; President PLAY International ; Pierre Salignon,

In charge of partnerships with civil society organization for the French Development Agency ; Elisa Yavchitz, Director of Les Canaux (Solidary and innovating economies association) ; Richard Loat,

Lead Comic Relief Program ; and Sanjeev Rao CEO Mi-Shift Expert EM Lyon.



Pourquoi rejoindre le Playlab ?


The goal of the game is collective action. Social needs are important; the most relevant answers we can provide are collective. It is by sharing ideas and expertise that we can provide the most relevant answers. It is by confronting the points of view and the perspectives that we invent the world of tomorrow.
Joining the Playlab is joining a community that shares the belief that sport and play can be a solution. It is part of an ecosystem that will contribute to collectively finding new answers to societal issues. It is to contribute to collective intelligence while knowing that his project will find a benevolent welcome.
Join us to feed your project or idea in a concrete way.


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Présentation PL4Y Lab

Présentation PL4Y Lab

Call for projects - Sport and refugees

Call for projects - Sport and refugees