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TheCityGame: Empowers users to perform good actions for the environment and society.

Athens, GreeceAmsterdam, Netherlands
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

TheCityGame is an app that gives users the opportunity to learn about meaningful actions, have fun, and get rewarded while making a difference. At the same time it offers commercial partners a platform to empower users, while achieving marketing and CSR goals.

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

What if a game could drive real-world actions and real social and environmental change?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The major problem we want to solve is climate change, reduce CO2 emissions, and help manage waste at an individual level. People do not act, although they are aware of how their actions can contribute in solving the large environmental problems mentioned above. Three main issues here are that a)results are not clear so any action feels like a drop in the ocean, b) sometimes we simply forget to act, c) we think we do not have the time.

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

TheCityGame enables its users to do good by creating a fun social experience; users keep track of their contributions, achieve goals, & get rewarded for their efforts. TheCityGame solves the three problems stated above. It is a “serious game” that puts users into a quest for performing good actions and eventually creating a habit out of it. Users participate every time they recycle packaging, batteries or electronic devices, donate shoes and clothes, use public transportation, keep utility bills low or learn through quizzes. Every accomplishment is measurable, rewarding and sharable, all of which are key factors to create a new, consistent, and loyal behavior. Eventually users achieve a social status of how “good” they are.
Impact: How does it Work

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

The use-case is simple: The user opens the app and sees three sustainable actions to be performed. Once one action is performed, it is verified either by a photograph or by a participating partner, and the user earns points for each action completed. Examples actions are turning off a light, unplugging devices not in use, using pressure cookers or the washing machine at times most economical for the grid. For actions that require verification at certain locations, one could be asked to recycle packaging or electronics at participating stores, or to give away old clothing and shoes to charities. In terms of lifestyle choices, there are missions around using public transportation or more adopting more responsible eating habits.

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

By the end of the year, the milestones we want to achieve are to have 10.000 users in Amsterdam and 10.000 users in Athens, and motivate them to perform at least one action per week, resulting in 20.000 responsible actions per week. Through recycling, clothes and shoes donations, customer walk-ins, energy saved, and sustainable actions completed, the impact for each user can be very large, and still needs to be quantified with our first launch by the end of the year.

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

Our target is to be the metric of doing good. We will achieve this by: Setting up city-wide partnerships & games; Building the infrastructure to automate the process of partner-specific missions; Empowering 3rd party sustainability developers by offering them our API. We are focused on building citywide pilot games in Athens & Amsterdam.The keys to success are getting metrics around user acquisition, retention, and the ways that motivate towards daily usage & action performing.This process is the basis for acquiring the learnings needed to create a replicable process to take off in new cities.

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

We can achieve sustainable entrepreneurship on three fronts: First of all, we can launch our business which can produce profits while at the same time produce tangible environmental results. Secondly our partners (the brands and retail stores) can support their sustainability goals and give back to the community they serve. Thirdly and arguably most importantly, users can produce the most impact by engaging in and forming responsible habits.

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

There have been similar initiatives like in France, and other platforms urging users to action without real rewards. We believe that TheCityGame is unique in the way it combines solutions for corporations, organizations, developers, and the great user experience which empowers the user. Gamification has successfully come in to many fields such as language learning (duolingo), exercising (runkeeper), or recycling (recyclebank), and the companies behind these efforts have attracted millions of users and significant funding. TheCityGame is this app for doing good.

Founding Story

The whole idea started at a startup-weekend in Santiago, Chile, when Thomas and Ioustinos had the idea of rewarding the participants with points and gifts for every aluminum can they brought to them. In a weekend, they coded up a website for showing missions and the points for each, they gathered 450 cans, saw great participation rates, and figured out that this could turn into a real business.


Fotis Merakos, COO, full-time, Ioustinos Sarris, CEO, full-time, Thomas Papaspiros, CTO, full-time, Aspasia Koumli, Marketing and sales, full-time, Umur Gedik, Front-end developer, part-time, Thomas Whitener, Game deisgner, part-time,
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Organization Country

, Amsterdam

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Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Individuals, Customers.

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

WWF Hellas for educational content
Kyklos ltda. to create a competition for schools
ANAMET as a material recycling and collection partner