Learning through play in the Metaverse and the Natural World: A conversation with Bo Stjerne Thomsen, Ph.D. | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

May 13, 2022

In this episode, I speak with Bo Stjerne Thomsen, Chair of Learning through Play, Vice-President at The LEGO Foundation. Bo Stjerne advises executive leadership on how children and adults learn through play. He is a spokesperson representing the LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Brand Group internationally and advises leadership teams across the LEGO entities, in order to attain the overall LEGO Brand Vision of Learning through Play. Bo Stjerne has published widely on Creativity, Play and Learning and, he has been a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab, and an advisor to various international research organizations, including the University of Cambridge PEDAL Research Centre, the Torrance Centre for Creativity, Design for Play in Denmark and the Lifelong Learning Lab at Tsinghua University. We discuss:

  • How learning and play operate dynamically through embodied and social experiences;
  • How the Metaverse will continue to blend virtual and physical worlds of play;
  • How connections toward deeper learning often begin in the natural world.

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Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. is the co-founder of Coconut Thinking, an advisory that supports schools and learning organizations to co-create, co-develop, co-stress test, and co-implement ideas that nurture the conditions for emergent learning. Benjamin is also the Head of Upper School at Green School, Bali. He was previously the Whole School Leader of Learning and Teaching at Prem Tinsulanonda International School in Thailand. He was the Academic Coordinator at Misk Schools, one of the most prestigious and high-profile school in the kingdom. In 2018-2019, he was also the Head of Upper Primary and Middle School at Misk. Prior to this, he was Vice-Principal of the Middle School and High School at the Harbour School in Hong Kong. He holds a Ph.D. in History, an MSc in Education, an MBA, an MA in International Relations, and a BA in International Affairs. Benjamin was born and grew up in Paris, France. He moved to the U.S. when he was 15 and spent 11 years there in different cities before living in the U.K., Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and now Bali, Indonesia. He started his career in consulting for Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley in the late 1990s, working with people whose ambitions were no less than to change the world. This experience had a profound effect on Benjamin's outlook on education, innovation, and entrepreneurship.