Serious Play

Creativity, Innovation & Design Thinking

Communication, Inclusion & Presence

We help businesses learn a creative mindset and how to apply processes so that everyone participates in innovating for new ideas, services or products.

Listen for and tell the stories yet untold.



we are all individuals...


...who have a lot in common.



in a fast changing world...



What an adventure! This work is for anyone in a high-powered position who wants to step it up a notch.
— – A.W., Economist

new here?

meet laura CARMICHAEL

Laura brings together skills from 25 years in the performing arts with 15 years as a corporate trainer in leadership, creativity and communication. She lives in Amsterdam where she is an innovation facilitator at THNK, School for Creative Leadership and Innovation, and is a consultant to many businesses in the EU & USA in creativity, presence, inclusion and engagement. She has designed and leads a variety of training programs at . Click for full bio.

Her burning question of the moment: How might we not only thrive in the system as we know it, but shape the future in order to move the world forward?




see with fresh eyes

Serious play europe


  • creativity


  • presence 



In-Company Programs

Need applicable tools for thriving in times of uncertainty? Serious Play offers learnable processes in the areas of innovation, digital leadership, creative teamwork, and inclusive communication skills for leaders, teams and professionals. We specialize in start-up support for companies who want to leverage diversity from the get-go, and in supporting established companies who want to change company culture to a less hierarchical, more dynamic, highly engaged environment, and need tools to overcome the inevitable struggles that arise with embracing diversity. We are there for you both in preparing the environment, jumping in to (co)-lead managing a team or project, and for the long-term support that creates change for success. Go here for descriptions of our full offerings.

Workshops & Retreats

Serious Play creativity workshops & retreats offers individuals an oasis in which to train your creative muscles, get brave, and renew your sense of possibility. Use all the parts of your mind & body to turn on the tap of intuition and originality, and the creative mindset.


Post-workshop, I felt energized, relaxed, open to new opportunities and importantly, able to see many multiple paths for moving forward. I felt more alive with possibilities that were most definitely in my reach. If you want to experience a different way or thinking; a different way of being, go take Laura’s workshop. It’s as simple as that.
— Kate Gaertner, Sound Machine Inc., CEO/Founder of OMALA LLC, a sustainable women's activewear lifestyle company

presence changes everything

Serious Play USA 


  • innovation



In-company Programs & Workshops

Ready to shift the status quo in terms of who is seen as a leader and how to lead? Know diversity, inclusion & collaboration create stellar results but struggle with the discomfort of shifting hierarchies? Experiential programs on communicating authentically with Power & Poise to create impact, amplify confidence and make yourself impossible to stereotype.

Integrated innovation, design thinking and creativity applied to business.   full list here.

Individual coaching private sessions also available outside the EU.

Laura is a world class trainer.
— P.L. – Executive Search Consultant


programs & principles

self aware communication & meaningful feedback

Success in communication doesn't have to be random. Savvy up your personal awareness and presence to communicate with poise and power.  Get the message across. Eliminate the perception of arrogance or invisibility. Claim your authentic physical & vocal presence. Know yourself so you can operate from strategy rather than habit and become impossible to stereotype.

Critical Response Process

Learn tools from the acclaimed CRP - developed by Liz Lerman to get value-based precise feedback to move you forward.

growth mindset & Creativity

Learn the mind-set that results in creative outcomes and innovative culture. Synthesize data and analysis into original solutions to break the formulaic status-quo and come up with new ideas. Also known as the "learning mindset" or "creative mindset," discover how this one element can pivot you and your organization's culture into forward-motion.

Inclusive culture

We offer experiential trainings on how to include others, and how to include all sides of yourself. Be seen and heard. See and Hear. Sift out the noise and harvest the best ideas. Create an inspiring environment where talent grows and thrives. Address double-bind issues of gender and cultural conditioning. 

COLLABORATION not competition

Shift from the drain of restraint to high-gear inspiration. By creating empathy, trust and mutual respect you maximize team intelligence.

innovation processes

Apply innovation and design thinking tools to amplify brainstorming and creative problem solving.

You can innovate on any product or service, but also on less conventional internal things like your company culture & KPIs. 


Want to update your digital leadership without chasing your tail? Find out how to make strategic choices, create trust, and unleash your group's brilliance. 


  • Healthy Change Coach Giovanna Manto :"mind-traps, values and leadership awareness training" for corporate clients
  • Sharmishtha Dattagupta at Dana Coaching: "True Colors" embrace your full spectrum as a creator and leader
  • Alasdaire Graham at Apex Discovery: inclusion & culture change, application of analytics and integration of data and assessment tools with training
  • Organization Builders: holocracy training with stellar communication