by Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association

Looking for inspiration on how to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build your competitors? Dale Dougherty, “father” of the Maker Movement, creator of the world-renowned Maker Faire events, and a White House “Champion of Change” honoree, may be just the muse needed. Dougherty will be presenting his ideas at PlayCon, The Toy Association’s International Conference of Play Professionals, when the conference returns May 8 to 9 in San Francisco, CA.

“As we look to provide the most cutting-edge information and trends to PlayCon attendees, we are excited to include Dale in the conference’s strong line up of speakers,” said Marian Bossard, The Toy Association’s executive vice president of global market events. “His ideas are sure to inspire the maker in all of us.”

PlayCon’s speaker roster includes more than a dozen thought-leaders, industry analysts, toy influencers, consumer product executives, and other motivational speakers who will lead short “TED Talk”-like sessions during the conference’s new format.

As the founder and CEO of Maker Media, which owns Make: Magazine and Maker Faire, Dougherty believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering. PlayCon attendees are sure to be inspired by Dougherty’s passion for creation and invention.

Dougherty started Maker Faire, an event that celebrates the DIY mindset, in the San Francisco Bay area in 2006. Since then, Maker Faire has spread to nearly 200 events in 40 countries, with over 1.5 million attendees. The family-friendly event gathers together tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, food artisans, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors to showcase their creations and share their learnings, inspiring others to become Makers themselves.

Dougherty is the author of Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds. He is also a co-author of Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities. Attendees of Dougherty’s seminar will also receive a free copy of Free to Make.

Visit to register and for a list of up-to-date speakers, hotel information, and other news about the industry’s premier conference for play professionals.