LSA 2020 Keynote Speakers Announced

We are really pleased to announce the line up of keynote speakers for our 2020 conference hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University. The call for contributions is now open: 

LSA Keynotes
Dr Larissa Davies

Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Larissa Davies is a Reader in Sport Management at Sheffield Hallam University.  She is an interdisciplinary researcher whose work draws upon knowledge and methods from sport management, economics and geography.  Larissa’s research focuses on the economic and social impact of sport and leisure.  She specialises in measuring and valuing the ‘non-market’ impacts of sport and physical activity on society.  Larissa’s research is positioned at the interface between academia and practice.  Her work contributes to methodological debates around the measurement of sport and leisure, and her evidence-based research also informs policy and practice in the sector.  Larissa has worked extensively with a range of sport and leisure organisations in the UK, including central and local government, non-departmental public bodies, charities, National Governing Bodies and commercial sports organisations.  She is also part of an international collaboration investigating the social benefits of outdoor sport to society.  Her keynote will focus on the social impact of sport and physical activity and explore the challenges of assigning monetary values to impacts which are often difficult to measure.

Rasul Mowatt LSA Keynotes
Professor Rasul Mowatt

Indiana University

Rasul Mowatt is Professor in the Departments of American Studies in the College of Arts + Sciences and Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies in the School of Public Health – Bloomington at Indiana University; Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society, Ostrom Workshop, and Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies. His prior work included serving as a City Commissioner for the Champaign Human Relations Commission; Program Director for the American Friends Service Committee; Field Coordinator for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; President for the Sunrise Rotary Club of Champaign-Urbana; and, Community Programs Manager for the Champaign Park District. It was this line of work that brought him to completing both his Master of Science degree in Park and Natural Resource Management at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he previously completed a Bachelor of Arts in History (North and East African, Early American History). He would continue at the University Illinois for a PhD in Leisure Behavior directly following his M.S.. The combination of these studies informed his dissertation work on looking at the nature and relationship between leisure, natural/built environment, and Race via lynching history and photography. His primary areas of research and teaching are associated with: social justice, leisure studies, cultural studies, and critical pedagogy. Professor Mowatt has presented his work in more than ten countries, and has published in various leisure related publications and in other fields. He is an associate editor of Leisure Sciences and the Journal of Leisure Research, current editor for Recreation, Park, and Tourism in Public Health, and a former associate editor for Schole. He is the former Chair of his Department, served as a Co-Chair for the National Recreation and Park Association Leisure Research Symposium and The Academy’s inaugural Institute/Conference. In February of 2020, he will be assuming the role and duties of President of The Academy of Leisure Sciences.

Dr Beate Peter
LSA Keynotes
Dr Beate Peter

Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Beate Peter is a member of the Research Centre for Applied Social Sciences and founding member of Music and Sonic Studies (MASS) at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Since her PhD, which discussed clubbing and the unconscious, she has remained interested in both electronic music and dance as an immersive experience. Her publications discuss a variety of topics in relation to electronic music and associated cultures. Over the past three years, she has focussed on rave culture in the UK, exploring aspects of ageing, enduring involvement, and leisure lifestyles.

Diane Wehrle
LSA Keynotes
Diane Wehrle


Diane and is regarded as one of the leading experts on retail and retail destinations, with an unparalleled knowledge and expertise in understanding current and emerging retail issues and consumer trends. Diane is a regular commentator on the performance of retail for national broadcast and print media, appearing regularly on BBC and Sky News and her opinion is often quoted in the UK’s national and regional press.

Diane has 30 years’ experience in retail, and is a founding director of Springboard which was established in 2002. She specialises in delivering intelligence and insights on both current retail performance and long term retail trends to retailers, hospitality occupiers, landlords, investors and place managers.

Diane leads all of Springboard’s insights, and authors its regular commentaries, articles, reviews, and topical reports.  In collaboration with The NPD Group, Diane co-authors an annual report on the eating out market in the UK which is published in November of each year.

Diane recently led a £1 million two year project funded by the UK government, based on enhancing the customer experience in retail, collaborating with UK universities in Manchester and Cardiff. The project has revolutionised the way high streets are classified, paving the way for the introduction of new innovative strategies for town centres to ensure their resilience in a multi-channel world.

Diane holds an MSc in Property Investment and was recently awarded a Senior Fellowship of the Institute of Place Management, one of only 12 Senior Fellows worldwide. Diane was also been named as one of the world’s top retail influencers by two separate organisations in 2019.


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