One Globe Kids

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One Globe Kids: Avoiding Prejudice One Friend at a Time

Worldwide: English, French and Dutch-speaking/learning regions Voorburg, Netherlands
Year Founded:
2009
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Growth
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

One Globe Kids is the first play experience that safely and realistically simulates inter-group friendship for children 3+ years. Feeling emotionally close to someone in a different socio-economic, geographic or linguistic group prepares children to create a more inclusive and equal world.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if technology helped kids make friends across socio-economic, geographic and linguistic borders?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Globalization has made the world demographically more diverse, yet as a species, we group ourselves together with others who seem familiar. We limit close contact with those from a different "group." This hidden bias perpetuates prejudice because we usually help those nearest and most similar to us. Poverty and inequality persist because our choices favor people we feel connected to, not those who need our help the most.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

One Globe Kids collaborates with children and families around the world to create virtual experiences that help kids 3+years feel emotionally connected with peers from a different "group." Using prejudice-reduction techniques based on intergroup contact theory, our stories combine real photos, narration and interactive features to encourage emotional connection. Our Globe Smart educational supports facilitate deeper reflection and perspective-taking. By expanding the young child’s “circle of concern” beyond what is linguistically, geographically and socio-economically familiar, a lifetime of increased creative play, openness, caring and engagement awaits. We offer a global, social and emotional tool clothed in an app costume.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

"Sally watched Gabou in Haiti 4 times this morning and then asked if we could ‘penyen’ her hair. This afternoon she invited her “friends” over to play, standing at the door and pretending to welcome them- ‘Hi, Jenissa! Hi, Gabou!’ You have created a bunch of imaginary friends for her.”–User’s Mom. Sally is 5yrs old and lives in the USA. Jenissa and Gabou are real girls living in Burundi and Haiti that she "met" via One Globe Kids. By playing that Jenissa and Gabou are part of her “group,” Sally has altered her understanding of what is foreign. As her world expands, she will be more likely to have diverse friends, understand a different perspective, and act with the global social and emotional intelligence our world needs.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Cross-group friendship is the most powerful way to overcome, or from a young age simply avoid, prejudice. One Globe Kids encourages this by: 1-increasing empathy for others; 2-reducing anxiety interacting with the “other”; 3-increasing knowledge about the other group. An early positive virtual experience paves the way for it to be real in the future. To take the learning further, in Aug. 2014 we launched Globe Smart Education, with activities and discussion themes based on each of the One Globe Kids stories. Adaptable to the ages and abilities of each student, it offers a combined SEL and global learning tool that compliments language arts, social studies and math curriculums. A pilot project has just started. As of Sept. 2014, each of our 11K+ app downloads has increased the likelihood that a child will make friends outside their group. And each time they do, prejudice is reduced.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Virtual: Add new stories, translate stories into more languages (Spanish, Arabic, Chinese), make them available on more devices and partner with organizations to make them accessible to children with limited internet. Non-virtual: Create toys, games, books to promote global imaginative play. Community: Partner with and support local organizations that encourage real cross-group friendship. Research: Contribute to research on cross-group friendship for prejudice reduction and lobby for policies that encourage it. One Globe Kids will remain dedicated to making the foreign feel familiar.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Parents and educators want kids to have 21st century skills: global competency, cross-cultural communication, creativity, and SE intelligence. We meet that demand in a playful, safe, kid-attractive way. Even if used by only 1% of the 63K elementary schools in USA, we cover all costs. Via local profit-sharing partnerships we will target other country markets and develop non-digital products (toys, games, books) for the home market.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Most toys, books and curriculums don’t connect with kids in a globally intimate way. Many rely on generalities, focus on country knowledge, or provide little story depth when introducing peers. Users remain on the outside looking in; One Globe Kids invites them to become part of a new narrative. Rather than facilitate real contact, our simulated friendship model safeguards the privacy of users and those in the stories while encouraging follow-up creative play. Current SEL curricula focus on those in close proximity, whereas kids are able and eager to learn more about the world.
Team

Founding Story

Sitting on the floor in our NYC apartment in 1999, I read the children’s book Joyce’s Day to my 2-year-old son and the idea for One Globe Kids was born. Printed in 1974 and given to me as a newborn present, its photos and simple text had made Joyce’s day in South Africa relatable to me, a young, white girl living in small-town Illinois. Sebastian was fascinated with the book and as we read, I realized what a fundamental role it had played in my life and could play in his. I grew up feeling that I knew Joyce, which had made other foreign things less scary and more attractive, forever changing how I interacted with the world. What if kids around the world could grow up seeing each other as friends and equals who are “just like me”?

Team

- Founder/President: Anne Glick; story collection & production; 10+ years experience in Africa, Middle East and EU; skilled project manager; trilingual; full-time - Marketing: Sanny Zuiderveld; marketeer & engineer; EU & US work experience; full time - Finance: Jan Hoiting; 17+ years experience as financial advisor / accountant; part-time - JLoop: coding; hired per project - Expert Volunteers & Global Online Resources: Education/Design/Legal
About You
Organization:
One Globe Kids
About You
About Your Project
Organization Name

One Globe Kids

How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

, Voorburg

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Worldwide: English, French and Dutch-speaking/learning regions

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals.

Supplemental
Awards

- UK Educational App Store - "A fantastic app for letting children appreciate the similarities and differences they share with others around the world", 5 stars

- Common Sense Media - "Stories, beautiful photos help kids build global awareness" - 5 stars quality, 4 stars learning, Top Pick Summer Learning Guide

- Common Sense Graphite- "Amazing cultural and social learning experience", 4-start learning rating

- Smart Apps for Kids- "New top pick for multiculturalism" - 5 stars

- AppoLearning - "Will keep them curious about other cultures" - Score 86

- CoolMomTech "One of those apps our kids bring up later, remembering what they've learned" - Ten Best Kids Apps 2013

- Teachers with Apps- "Teachers love this app!"

- Kids App Central - "One of the best apps we've ever reviewed"

Primary Target Age Group

3 - 5, 6 - 12.

Your role in Education

Parent.

Please specify which of the following best applies:

I am applying on behalf of a particular program or initiative.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with (if applicable)

Public (tuition-free), Private (tuition-based).

Intervention Focus

Curricular.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Actively Designing Space & Culture as Essential Elements for Learning: Creating cost-effective methods to infuse a school with habits, language, and materials needed for learning through play.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Whole child development is undervalued: Essential parts of development get left behind as children get older, such as healthy habits, executive function, and social and emotional learning.

Need

Parents and educators who want to use One Globe Kids and provide feedback

Offer

Advice about common international themes for children and use of our international nettwork

What key learning outcomes does your work seek to improve?

Increased empathy, especially for those in a different "group"
Reduced or avoided prejudice among young children
Improved social and emotional intelligence
Improved ability to understand another's perspective (perspective-taking)
Advanced critical thinking skills
Global competency
Confidence and willingness to initiate intergroup contact and friendship
Interest in learning a foreign language
Confidence communicating across cultures
Increased creativity from being exposed to new ways people do things

Secondary Form
PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details

We create intimate, safe virtual experiences that enable kids 3+ to imagine befriending someone outside their own “group” – 100+ photos per story; narration in 3 languages; adventure choice; tell about yourself; record yourself in friend’s language. Globe Smart Education offers discussion themes and experience, art, math, writing, and taste activities, leading students toward global SEL. It is available to children with internet or iOS access worldwide (over 11K downloads from 91 countries as of Sept. 2014). Once they’ve met, there’s no limit to their imaginary play together.

INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.

Making the foreign feel familiar responds to important trends:
• Education: Global competency and SEL are crucial skills for taking on 21st century problems.
• Storytelling: The desire to learn from and know about each other while sharing about ourselves.
• Virtual technology: Sharing, learning and connection in constantly evolving ways.
• Intergroup conflict: Around the globe people look for solutions to fear, prejudice and the inequality it causes.
One Globe Kids has re-imagined learning to offer children a fresh start in preparing for the future we want them to have.

LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?

Children have vivid imaginations. While they’re not really in the ballet or catching bad guys, imaginative play prepares them for real and active participation in the world. They’re playing the future.

Learning through play unlocks their ability to imagine things not as they are but as they could be.

As William Arthur Ward said, “If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”

By playing an inclusive future children are building one. A child with an imaginary friend from another country today will more likely have a friend from there tomorrow.

SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.

Our product development phase was 100% self-funded; our CMS enables max. flexibility at min. cost. In Yr 1 sales covered 22.5% of annual operating costs. In Yr 2 we introduced an accompanying education curriculum. If sales remain steady, in 2015 we will cover 75% of operating costs from profits.

MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?

Our mission is to help make the foreign feel familiar by creating experiences for children that encourage cross-group friendship. While we have chosen a for-profit business model to avoid the uncertainty of grants and donations, both partners work as volunteers until the business is financially sustainable. By creating products people are willing to pay for, our customers become partners in our mission.

FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?

To expand our product offering (more countries, more friends!) and market reach among customers who already have internet/iOS access, creating a solid profit base for our company. This financial stability will enable us to expand our reach to communities and countries with less internet/iOS access.

PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.

• Our collaboration with Apple enables us to distribute our products instantly and simultaneously around the world.
• By partnering with children and their families around the globe, we are able to share the experience of cross-group friendship, reducing anxiety and improving expectations for these relationships in the future.
• Partnering with schools and teachers multiplies our impact, reaching more students with global play2learn tools.

COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.

We have made inspiring and potentially fruitful connections, including possibly introducing our project within the Kids for Kids preschool program, connections to create additional stories such as with Door Step Schools in India and Extreme Kids&Crew in the USA, and collaborating with playGlobo.

VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?

Our products will be the first stop, online and offline, for play and education that makes the foreign feel familiar, promoting global imagination and enabling children to experience and prepare for life beyond their routine.

One Globe Kids will have inspired children around the world to make cross-group friendships in their youth, and society will continue to benefit from the prejudice-free decisions they make as adult citizens and leaders.

IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time

More research is needed to understand the processes that create and encourage positive intergroup contact. Through our contacts with research groups and schools, we focus on understanding and influencing:
• Perceptions of commonality
• Anxiety toward persons from a different group
• Expectations for intergroup contact
• Empathy toward someone from a different group
• Global imaginative play
• Amount of cross-group contacts and friends (key

IMPACT - REPORTING SAMPLE: Please attach any examples of your impact reporting. [optional]:
RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE: Please link or attach any research or evidence resource you are open to sharing more widely [optional]. Building research and evidence is a key aim of this initiative, and the resources you share may be chosen for listing in the Center for Education Innovations library:
SOURCE: If applicable - who created the research or evidence you are choosing to share? :
IMPACT - REACH: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

1,001 to 10,000

STUDY: Has an external evaluation or study been conducted of your organization?

Other (please specify)

Other (please specify)

Many outside educational groups have published reviews about One Globe Kids, the product.

Number of Employees:

Fewer than 10

Number of Volunteers:

10-100

APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.

Pretence/ Socio-Dramatic Play.

Other (please specify)
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.

Comments

This is a project with a very broad and forward thinking remit.

Identifying ways and means of children mixing with a wider variety of backgrounds is the essence of moving forward across all society. There is a great deal of responsibility adopted in your project, which is great to see and sincerely hard work. For me this project has managed to identify the fundaments of what helps children by doing the hard things to make a raft of experiences accessible and easy for children to feel associated with. It is particularly nice to read that you happened upon this when realizations struck you when reading to your won children. It is incredible the amount of times children remind us of things we'd forgotten about.

Finally, as integrating children is a key component of your work and we are all one biological culture, is it possible to create a character or tell a story that can portray this? As schools are now introducing evolution into UK curricula, for the first time. Just a thought.
Good luck with OGK and keep in touch!

This is an excellent project-a much needed one and I wish you the best in making this a grand success!

Anne Glick's picture

Thanks for your thoughtful response. We completely agree that children remain a great source of learning! Your idea about a character or story to portray evolution is interesting. Others have suggested using our interactive, story-telling style to teach about other periods in history. Once we start brainstorming, it can be hard to stop!

We have been following UK curricula and are especially enamored with their introduction to geography curricula: "A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. " We totally agree!

Yes, let's definitely stay in touch - your blocks are brilliant, as we wrote earlier. Best of luck!

Miguel Luengo-Oroz's picture

Congratulations for the project! One question, have you thought of incorporating somehow "real" interaction between the kids, maybe through videoconferences?

Anne Glick's picture

Miguel, Good question. Increasing real interaction is absolutely part of our mission! Due to privacy concerns and linguistic limitations (the children featured only speak their native language, other volunteer child narrators have recorded their story in English, French and Dutch) we are not planning to facilitate actual virtual interaction within our current project. It targets children up to 10 years. For future projects designed for kids 13+yrs, that type of interaction, via video conferences or other, could be possible. Right now, we hope it gives kids confidence and openness to interact with and befriend people from different groups in their immediate environment, expanding to international friendships in the future.

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