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

How Did Play Become Invisible?

I find the way that people don't generally think of activities as 'Play' quite strange. People are very happy to say that they are 'at work', but they'll rarely describe themselves as 'playing' - except as a description of messing about or trying something new. But...
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What if the Future is All Play?

For generations people have asked when the propensity for technology to reduce the effort required to deliver the basics of food, water, shelter will be met with a reduction in the length of the working week. We have not yet achieved a three-day week. In certain categories of jobs people are working longer than ever. But the fact is that on the whole we are working significantly less than has historically been the case. Weekends spent outside work are now the norm, where once two full days off was the exception.

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Is Advocating Play at Work Propaganda for Oppression? [Guest Post]

Today I read the article ‘Work Isn’t the Opposite of Play’ by Ben Ross, and though I agreed with the premise, reasoning, and conclusion, I did take exception to the sentence “Further, I’d argue that to be really good at work you have to play at it.” My inference from this, rightly or wrongly, was of an embedded assumption for the necessity of work and the need to be “really good” at working through the utilisation of play. I was left with the question, has this blog post become effective propaganda for a prevailing paradigm of oppression? You may well consider that a quick escalation given Ben’s convivial writing; still, let me see if I can make my case in point by way of this invitation from The Flying Raccoon.

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Full Blog

See all posts

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

7 + 8 =

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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