Mike Bonifer, Author and CEO, to Deliver Keynote at PlayCon 2011

March 22, 2011 | Mike Bonifer, author of GameChangers – Improvisation for Business in the Networked World and co-founder and CEO of GameChangers, LLC, will share his philosophy of “improvised brand narratives” and the critical importance of playing games to foster communicating, collaborating and learning during one of two keynote addresses that will be delivered at PlayCon 2011, the Toy Industry Association’s International Conference of Play Professionals.

BoniferBringing together a broad array of play professionals at the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona from May 4th-6th, PlayCon’s program will help youth- and play-focused businesses leverage their creativity and innovation in a highly competitive marketplace.  Conference goals are well-aligned with Bonifer’s notion that today’s highly matrixed communications environment requires brand narratives to be unscripted and improvised in collaboration with a brand’s audience. 

“Quick collaboration and continual adjustments are vital to businesses operating in the Networked World,” say Bonifer and his colleague, Virginia Kuhn, co-founders of GameChangers, LLC. 

The partners rooted the GameChangers philosophy in theories and practices developed in the 1930s by two teachers who discovered that playing games was the key to getting children from diverse cultural backgrounds to open their minds and capitalize on their strength.

Bonifer has been sharing his techniques and tips on how to improve communication and foster innovation in books and professional development programs for years.  He has written, directed and produced hundreds of entertainment and youth-directed marketing projects in different media for major companies including Disney, Mattel, NewsCorp, United Airlines, Diversey, Golin Harris, Franklin Covey, and a host of innovative small tech and start-up companies. 

His career in youth entertainment began in 1980 as a publicist for the Walt Disney motion picture TRON (1980); later, he was the founding producer for The Disney Channel and a pioneer in producing websites for motion pictures, beginning with Disney’s Toy Story in 1994. This sparked his exploration of the internet as a vital communications platform and his development as co-founder and vice president of creative for Network LIVE, a leading producer of the Live 8 online benefit music concerts.

He has conducted GameChangers workshops at the University of Notre Dame, UC-Irvine, NYU and the University of Southern California.  His latest program, Vital Leadership – Five Lessons from 33 Men, draws on the ordeal of the Chilean miners trapped underground in 2010, and was co-designed by author Jonathan Franklin.

In addition to GameChangers, Bonifer also authored Out of Bounds – An Anecdotal History of Notre Dame Football, as well as two books about the making of Disney films TRON and Dick Tracy and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

“Whether from toy companies, retailers, licensors, inventors and designers, or marketers and advertisers – and regardless of their professional role – every individual attending PlayCon will gain new insights that will help them grow their businesses as well as their personal and professional networks,” said Marian Bossard, TIA vice president of meetings and events.  “If you are involved in the business of play, we look forward to seeing you at PlayCon!”

For more information about the conference program, impressive roster of speakers, and to obtain the early bird registration discount ($100 off the price until April 1st, 2011), visit PlayCon2011.org.