The Theme of the 2021 Academy of Leisure Sciences Africa Congress is a response to the Joint Charge Statement facilitated by The Academy of Leisure Sciences (TALS), the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which gripped the world and the harsh realities of racism
The primary aim is to explore the main theme “Leisure’s Promise, Social Purpose and Justice” by creating an online platform for professionals from diverse disciplinary fields to interact, share and present a context for leisure services and opportunities
The 2021 Congress will revisit what we have known since the 1980’s, that leisure can positively impact happiness, health, and environmental stewardship, especially during a pandemic.
University of South Australia, Australia
Freya Higgins-Desbiolles is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management, Business Unit, University of South Australia. Her work focuses on social justice, human rights and sustainability issues in tourism, hospitality and events. She has worked with communities, non-governmental organisations and businesses that seek to harness tourism for sustainable and equitable futures. She is one of the Founding members of the Tourism Alert and Action Forum.
New York City Parks
Mitchell Silver became Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks in May 2014 and also serves as president of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and past president of the American Planning Association (APA). With more than 35 years experience, he is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues. As Parks Commissioner, Mitchell oversees management, planning and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland, which includes parks, playgrounds, beaches, marinas, recreation centers, natural areas and other assets. His career has included roles as a policy and planning director for New York City’s Department of Planning, a principal of a New York City-based planning firm, a town manager in New Jersey, and deputy planning director in Washington, DC. One of the nation’s most celebrated urban thinkers, Commissioner Silver has been elected to Planetizen’s list of the 100 Most Influential Urbanists in the world (2017), and named an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (2017), a fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences (2016), an honorary fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia (2015), a fellow of the American Planning Association (2014), and an honorary lifetime member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (2014). In addition, he has been honored as one of the top 100 City Innovators in the world and in 2012 the Urban Times named him one of the top international thought leaders of the built environment.
President, DC’s Green Space Alliance, Green Spaces for DC
John Henderson has over 26 years of experience in parks and recreation in the United States, including twelve years with the Chicago Park District and 14 with The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. John is a certified parks and recreation executive, attorney, city planner, public participation practitioner, arbitrator, and mediator. John holds a Juris Doctor degree from The John Marshall Law School, Bachelors in Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati and a Certificate in Public Performance Measurement from Rutgers University. He is on the Board of the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, serves on the committee for the National Recreation and Park Association and teaches courses on evaluation and public engagement at the national park and recreation directors school.
Faculty of Human Life Sciences, Department of Studies on Lifestyle Management, Jissen Women’s University, Japan
Junichiro Inutsuka, Professor of Jissen Women's University in Tokyo, teaching philosophy and mediology. He is researching the mesological approach to revive humanity, focusing on the quest for the mutual recovery of human being and environment (natural and social), or rather, with the understanding that humans are nothing but mutual relationships. In recent years, He has been studying the ontology of visual arts with own art of photography as a prise/hold. He serves as a
Director of The Japan Society of Leisure and Recreation Studies, and
The Japan Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations.
Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Dr Slak Valek earned her PhD in Business from the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia, Europe). She teaches Tourism related courses at Undergraduate and Graduate level at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. Her research focuses on Tourism & Leisure Marketing, and as a former professional athlete she is also interested in Sport Leisure activities.
Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil
Ana Cláudia Porfírio Couto is an Associate Lecturer IV at the Physical Education School of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy (EEFFTO) of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), in Brazil. PhD in Sports Science by the University of Porto, in Portugal; Post-Doctorate in Sociology of Sport and Leisure at the Lusophone University of Humanities and Technologies, in Portugal. Accredited Lecturer of the Interdisciplinary Program in Leisure Studies at the School of Physical Education, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy (EEFFTO) of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). Leader of the Study Group on Sociology and Pedagogy of Sport and Leisure (GESPEL). Member of research committee 13 - Leisure Sociology of the International Sociology Association (RC 13 - ISA). . Founding partner of National Association of leisure research. Full member of the board of directors of University Sports Centre (CEU) - UFMG. Has experience in the area of Physical Education, with emphasis on Sociology of Sport and Leisure, acting mainly on the following themes: Leisure and youth; Society and Leisure; Bullying and Youth. Public policies, programs and social projects for youth. The latest studies focused on the influence of sport and leisure on the human development of young people, social and sustainable aspects of Sport and Leisure.
Leisure Management Studies, Universidad Mexicana del Noreste, México
International Leisure Studies, WLRA International Centre of Excellence in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands PhD, Leisure and Human Development, Universidad de Deusto, Spain In 1993 she managed the Local Secretariat for the organization of the 3rd World Leisure Congress in Jaipur, India
Universidad EAFIT, Colombia
Laura Rojas De Francisco is a Full Professor of Marketing and research and Director of Marketing Studies Lab at Universidad EAFIT – School of Management (Colombia). She has a Doctorate in Humanities - Production and Consumption of Culture from the business department of Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain). She focuses on the areas of consumer consumption analysis, place branding, digital culture and leisure studies. She is the Principal Investigator of the project “Medellín City Brand constructors,” which utilizes social network and thematic analyses and a mixed methodology to find the points of view of tourism organizations, visitors and citizens about the image of the city in order to understand how to construct a city brand from various perspective. She has published in top leisure studies journals, such as Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, Journal of Leisure Research, World Leisure Journal, and Leisure & Society and in business and marketing journals. Orcid: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7250-5599