OUR VISION FOR THE WORLD IS ONE WHERE ADULTS HAVE PERMISSION TO JUST PLAY
If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice.
Reset is an incorporated non-profit social enterprise with a mandate to address social isolation by helping adults feel permission to just play through experiences that are at the intersection of art, digital detox and community.
Play is essential to our quality of life and has been proven to improve our ability to learn, lead and love. Yet, many adults lack a sense of permission to play. “Just play” is a directive that is inspired both by our learning around how hard it is to have collective justice without joy and our belief that our work must center justice and play. Reset embodies this commitment in many ways, including ensuring that our experiences are accessible, non-violent and focused on connection rather than competition. There is no winning in just play - we play simply for the sake of playing.
Reset was founded in 2015 and its original form was an adult digital detox summer - Camp Reset - that was hosted every summer from 2015-2019 in southeastern Ontario. In total, we hosted seven multi-day camps that ranged in size from 30-300 people.
When the pandemic began and we canceled Camp, we used the unanticipated time and space to explore how we could apply our learnings from our camps towards the much-needed social recovery in our cities. Given our experiences around fostering connection, we felt we had a role to play at a time of mass disconnection.
This need combined with insights from a community engagement process resulted in the creation of the Pop-Up Playground, or PUP for short. The PUP was an audio experience created by +80 artists, researchers, psychologists, designers and volunteers who were collectively trying to answer the question, “How might we create a safe experience for strangers to play with each other?” The playgrounds incorporated dance, improv, mindfulness and more into a guided audio experience that we hosted over 50 times in 2021 across parks and public spaces in Toronto.
The success of the playgrounds, coupled with the research conducted with those who attended them, have led to our next two initiatives in the city: a Retreat Centre focused on collective joy (launching February 2022) and a large outdoor event, which is the focus of this application.
These activities, along with the long-awaited return of Camp Reset in 2022 (details announced in March), are led by a collective, governed by a Board and guided by our advisors, as well as the Reset and local communities
Camp Grounded who provided the initial spark for a digital detox adult summer.
Everyone who attended the first Camp Reset for believing and becoming the founding community.
Ecology Retreat Centre for hosting the first reset and many more after that.
Everyone who attended and co-created a reset experience between 2016-2021.
Everyone who volunteered their time, labour and love on the Reset team between 2016-2021.
Everyone who provided feedback and ideas for Reset rebrand and strategy in 2017-18.
Our inaugural Reset Residency cohort in 2018.
Everyone who gave their time to help reimagine the future of Reset in 2020-21.
Shazia, Wilson, Amy, Adil, Michelle, Melissa, Adam, Cindy, Sam, Katya, Angus, Tim, Fatima, Chidi, Dylan, Luke and Jeremy for providing the extra energy so that we could host over 50 pop-up playgrounds in 2021.
Andres, Arati, Andrew and Adil for providing the financial resources required to enable the playgrounds.
The 42 Communities team for enabling the Vaughan Road space.
Temwa for providing the words, wisdom and memes.