The Flying Raccoon

Promoting Lifelong Play

The Flying Raccoon is on a mission to reintegrate Play into the lives of all adults, and believes that in the process we can recapture a bit of the humanity that has been lost.


We all love to do it, and we’re all naturals at play. Somewhere along the line we were all told that it has to be left behind in childhood.

The Flying Raccoon believes that each time someone:

  • …takes a decision in the boardroom¬†that maximises the bottom-line¬†but compromises the environment…
  • …or can’t bear to get up in the morning to go to work…
  • …or chooses the same meal in the same restaurant as they always do…

that they’ve taken this message too seriously. Let’s bring play back into people’s experience and in doing so give everyone fuller lives.

100 Days of Play

The blog

Work Isn’t the Opposite of Play

One of the fun things about working in Play is that you get to tell people ‘I work in Play’. Reactions vary wildly. It’s good to see, though, that many believe that the ‘defence of play’ has already been won. When I say to these people ‘Play Isn’t the Opposite of Work’, they’ll say ‘Of course not. Does anyone still believe it is?’

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Play Has Its Own Gravity

There were a few days during my challenge where I felt like I’d had enough. Various people had suggested to me that play can’t be scheduled and that it has to be spontaneous. I didn’t think that’s so, and I still don’t: it’s clear to me that we can deliberately make time for play if we want to.

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Where Do You Go with Play?

A question I get asked fairly is often is – fun aside – what can you really do with play? They’re a variation on a theme, said in a way that implies it’s good and all “…but where do you go with play?” They’re asking: Play seems great. We love it. It’s fun. But it’s not really got any actual punch to it, does it?

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Full Blog

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Come and Play With Me

I'd love you to join me on my 100 Days of Play journey

Just get in touch

Take a look at the calendar and let me know when you’d like to come and play, using the form below. And if you have any additional play suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Let's grab a coffee together

Available to chat / play / drink / eat

14 + 4 =

Who is the Flying Raccoon?

A bit about me and how I came to Play

Ben Ross

Chief Raccoon

Sorry – I can’t promise my hair will do this when we meet. This was in Martin Creed’s Balloons room when it was at The Hayward Gallery on London’s Southbank. It was surprisingly painful when hairs strayed into the path of the knots and became entangled. The exquisite joy of play!

Favourite Things

  • Pinball
  • Adventure playgrounds
  • Water, in all its forms


  • BBC
  • TV / Online / Editorial / Curation
  • Executive Coaching
  • Lifelong Fun-Finder
  • Explorer
  • Lover of Life

Vital Statistics

  • Name: Ben Ross
  • Species: Human Being
  • Citizenship: The World (via the UK)

Who I’d Like To Meet

  • People who play
  • People who don’t play (yet!)
  • Teachers of play
  • People with wisdom
  • People with childlike innocence
  • You. Yes, you!

What's a Flying Raccoon?

How I came to find my spirit animal

The Esalen Institute

The perfect place to connect with your spirit

September 2016, the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California: I’m doing a workshop with the wonderful Lissa Rankin. She tells us one night to pay attention to signs of our spirit animal.

Mysterious Creature

An animal I’ve never seen before appears

“Cute”, I think, and want to approach the animal brazenly wandering around on the tables outside the lodge. “Don’t,” cautions another onlooker, “it’ll f*** you up!”. My spirit animal?

Next Morning

In the hot springs, a majestic flight

A bird appears on the horizon, a foot above the water. It flies this height, as they do, across the entire width of the horizon. Could the bird be my spirit animal?

A Moment of Enlightenment

Writing my morning pages, and contemplating

The truth comes to me. The raccoon is my spirit animal. The bird is my spirit animal. I am immutably drawn to both. The Flying Raccoon has shown itself to me, and guides me in Play.

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