Today, we are living in strict confinement due to the public health crisis caused by covid 19. At the same time, we see air quality improving, local food producers being supported by unified communities and sanitary preventative measures becoming new and healthy habits. So after the crisis, can we risk losing all of these positive impacts and miss an opportunity to implement lasting change? Or should we keep going in the right direction and allow future generations to benefit from these positive impacts, starting from our children.
We realised that our challenge would not be to encourage those who are already passionate about sustainable change, but to get the message to and inspire all the people who are not aware of the positive impacts of these new habits. We could indeed create a campaign, send out flyers or write a book, but how do you grab the attention of the public and actually get them to read your message and furthermore take action?
What we learned
To spread the message, we require an effective messenger and we found that in children. They take their learnings from school, share them with friends, siblings and the rest of their families back home. We therefore turned our focus to spreading our message to young people and we learned through our research that an effective way to address them is through gaming. Indeed research shows that gamification that fosters both competition and collaboration is effective in cognitive, motivational, and behavioral learning (Sailer & Homner 2020). Other research has shown that goal setting and positive reinforcement encourages behavior change in children (Downing 1977).
We therefore developed a game that will teach kids about the positive changes and habits learned during the pandemic and encourage them to adopt through monthly challenges. The game will be developed with the collaboration of education specialists in order to ensure it compliments school curriculums. It will then be distributed to schools as they are an impactful channel to implement the game, indeed schools will guarantee a wide distribution and use of the game. The game takes the form of a calendar so learnings are adopted over time.