PtG Article 12.03.2010

Play the Game Director steps down and takes a break

After more than 13 years at the helm of Play the Game Jens Sejer Andersen has decided to leave his post as director, but he remains at Play the Game’s disposal for another non- executive position.

From 15 March and until a permanent solution is found, the Chairman of the Board of Play the Game, Jens Brinch, will work as acting director in close cooperation with Play the Game’s Conference Manager, Maria Suurballe.

“I started preparing the first international conference in the autumn of 1996.  After three successful conferences, Play the Game became an independent institution with a public grant in 2004, and I felt privileged to be appointed director. However, I always had the exit in mind,” Andersen says.

He feels that the moment is right since Play the Game’s existence is now ensured by a public grant which runs until the end of 2011. Also, the seventh Play the Game conference in 2011 looks secure with high quality bids from Germany, Slovenia and South Africa. This leaves time for a stable transition, Andersen believes.

“An institution like Play the Game which aspires to constantly qualify public debate and promote values like democracy, transparency and freedom of expression should not depend on one person, and fortunately this is no longer the case for our institution. It is the right time for me as well as for Play the Game to seek new inspiration.”

In the first instance, Jens Sejer Andersen has been granted up to six months leave to be cured for what remains of a stress disorder that has bothered him for some time.

“Like many others I have had to face the undesirable fact that there is a limit to everything. My body is sending warning signs that I can no longer ignore. Also it is no secret that I am much more a communicator than a manager, and as the outside interest in Play the Game grows, so does the demand for managerial and administrative skills. Basically, I leave my job with optimism and look forward to returning with renewed energy and to contributing to Play the Game from another position.”

The board of Play the Game has accepted the director’s decision with regret, but also with understanding, and Chairman Jens Brinch says the board is ready for the task:

“Our first challenge is to ensure that the 2011 conference will be delivered at the same excellent level as previously. We owe that to our future partners and to ourselves, and we are quite confident that this will work out well. Secondly, we must find a structure for Play the Game that can sustain the continued development of our conference, networking and communication activities for the years after 2011, and we will take the time we need to carry this process through.”