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Carlotas : Building a world with more respect and empathy through art.

�, BrazilSão Paulo, Brazil
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

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

What if the world were a place where all were courageous enough to accept individualities and empathy was the only law?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Children and Youth don’t innately have the tools necessary to manage what’s different. They are also often raised with views that are aggressive toward the unknown and with conduct directed at seeking the “right” way to behave and appear. As affirmed by D. Kahneman, the human brain confuses what’s familiar with what is correct. These factors, if present in the initial formation of character, can generate intolerant, suspicious and alienated adults.

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

The path of transformation of children and youth as a point of take-off. However, it’s not complete unless there is engagement of relatives and educators, principal agents in the education of future citizens. Carlotas addresses its concepts in a fun and natural way, utilizing art, play and good humor as tools to build a country where imperfection is seen as a gift, acceptance is encouraged and respect is widespread and so complete, that it is transformed into empathy. There are several artistic platforms and languages that lengthen this discussion: creative workshops: interactive portal: illustrated educational books: animated series for TV and internet: collaborative games and apps: art expositions: and musical puppet show.
Impact: How does it Work

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

Once upon a time Clarinha, a 10 year-old girl, knew Silvia a colleague from class that had downs syndrome. The two never spoke or interacted in any way, because Clara thought her classmate was weird. After participating in a Carlotas workshop, she came to know the world where being different is magical, and playing with art that is inspired in all that is imperfect, she understood that each person sees something different looking at the same image and that there isn’t only ONE correct way. Upon arriving home, Clara gave one of the postcards that she received in the activity to her grandma and told her that she had made a new friend, Silvia, and had discovered that she was really cool!" A story inspired by a testimonial that we received from the family of a participant in the Carlotas workshop.

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

In 2013, the workshop for students from 5 to 16 years old impacted directly 800 students, aside from playing and exploring creativity they were invited to pass the world of Carlotas on to those around them with illustrated postcards. Our plan is to expand this conversation, impacting children, teenagers and educators even more in a more complete and profound way, utilizing different artistic platforms and languages. We believe that the impact will be: 1) Improve socio-emotional abilities: 2) Develop people who are more empathetic, cooperative and tolerant with themselves and with those around them: 3) Create instruments so that more people experiment focusing attention “outside of themselves.”: 4) Allow the educator to illustrate Carlotas with examples, daily: 5) Reinforce the image of the educator as a reference within the community: 6) Transform the relationship between educators and family members in a true partnership.

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

The expectation is to impact 200 thousand children and teenagers and 2 thousand teachers by 2016. The educators will be information distributors, through the activities and discussions available in the Portal. We consider that each teacher has the potential to have an impact on 100 young people. In 5 years, we will make official our partnership with public education policy in Brazil, expanding reach and deepening discussions. In our 10 year plan we will build a network that allows us to expand to other countries, being that play and art are global languages and our concepts are easily applied in other languages/cultures.

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

The amount for the structure (approximately R$500,000 per year) will be built-in to the cost of the projects which are made possible in the following way: Creative workshops through sales to institutions of education and businesses (OneForOne): Interactive portal via crowd-funding: the collaborative games will be commercialized: and illustrated books, animated series, art expositions and musical plays with tax incentives. (Rouanet, ProAc and Audiovisual)

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

The formal education system is focused on the search for standardization, for a single correct response, where the professor is the holder of absolute truth. Carlotas proposes supplemental content to the curriculum, a behavior transformation with a reflection on acceptance of diversity. We believe that all institutions of learning are valuable potential partners, including technical schools, social services and NGO’s. Aside from this, Carlotas proposes itself as an alternative to traditional communication established by big brands for younger public which is based on aesthetics and stereotypes.

Founding Story

In 2011, in a conversation about art with children between 5 and 6 years old, Carla spoke about “imperfection” arguing that there is no such thing as “one perfect.” Later, while they drew and played with paint, a teacher emotionally told that a student, that had been taken from the parents by the social service and hadn't spoken in three months, now was speaking and playing with friends. He had deprived himself from speaking because he thought he was different from his classmates and believed that he didn't belong in that group, but after he understood that all are different and that there's not one perfect family, but several. Carla then perceived that her asymmetric art had a transforming role, she conceived Carlotas as a social organization and developed the first workshops.


Full Time: Carla Douglass, Artist, Creative Director. Fabiana Gutierrez and Julia Kahn, communicators, General Director and Director of Projects. Joice Risnic, pedagogue, Post Graduate in Play-Oriented Education, Director of Pedagogy Tomaz Roberto, engineer, Financial Director. Part-Time: David Hervel, New Business.
About You
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About Your Project
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Organization Country

, SP, São Paulo

Country where this project is creating social impact
What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?


Invitation to present ExploreCarlotas at the Creative Women Event, of Cultural Connection (São Paulo, Brazil), November/2013
Invitation to present Project Carlotas at 'Youth to Business' of AIESEC (Sorocaba, Brazil), April 2014 and at EBC talks / Business and Culture Forum - Carlotas: construyendo un mundo imperfectamente perfecto (Mexico City, Mexico), May 2014.
Finalist of Wings for Changes 2014

Primary Target Age Group

6 - 12, 13 - 17.

Your role in Education


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), Home-School, Other.

Intervention Focus


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

Equip Adults to Drive Change in Learning: Providing creative learning experiences for teachers, parents, working professions and others that empowers them to drive change in any part of the learning ecosystem.

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.


Develop partnerships and multipliers to take the universal language of Carlotas around the world.


Access to a network of play-oriented education in Brazil.

What key learning outcomes does your work seek to improve?

At Carlotas, we believe that all are born free of any prejudice, respecting all equally and practicing empathy with whoever is around. With the passing of time, empathy transforms into solidarity and respect closes itself little by little.
We present a world called Carlotas, where all that live there are conscious of their imperfections and because of this see themselves as equals, rescuing the concepts of empathy and respect in a playful way, through art and playing. With this, each young person creates tools to get along with the diversity in reality where they are placed.

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

WORKSHOPS carried out by two capable people, in institutions of learning, with classes of 30 children/young people and teachers, with a length of 1.5 hours; PORTAL with monthly activities of 1 hour for teachers to take the classrooms, beyond forums and much art; BOOKS worked on in the classroom or in family reading (2 releases per year with 3 thousand copies); SERIES for TV and Internet with weekly episodes; collaborative CARDGAMES to play with family and friends (1 thousand units per year); EXPOSITIONS of art in 4 cities, with participation of 800 students in the creation of the works, through 1 month creative workshops.

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.

While technology evolved much in the last decades, the school system is practically stopped in time. The chairs in rows turned toward the chalkboard, the teacher as holder of the correct answer and the hour of recess as the limited time for play, have been the same for the past century.
Such a lag creates dispersed and demotivated students and teachers, reflecting on the limitation of the learning, sees a fall in the IDEB (index of basic education development)/2013 (including in private schools), and putting at risk the development of socio-emotional abilities.
With this the system now understands that a revolution in learning is necessary.

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

It's when we play that we take a new look at what is around us, having fun and always exercising and developing creativity. Playing maximizes learning, going beyond psychomotor development, activating the imagination, conflict resolution, interpretation and decision making.
When we play we are in contact with the purest side of childhood, distanced form the conventions and prejudices that surround us, and it is there that we find our window to empathy.
To learn playing goes beyond teaching, it means to EDUCATE.
In Carlotas, learn and play are synonyms :)

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

Our structure of approximately R$500 thousand per year, will be made possible in the following way:
2.PORTAL - 0%
3.BOOKS - 40%
5.GAMES - 5%

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

Our hybrid model is founded on the concept of 'Sector 2.5,' in other words, the decisions are made always seeking to maximize the reach of our mission, reinvesting 100% of income in the cause, however, seeking professionalization and sustainability of a business model.
Based on this, we will utilize the model OneForOne (each project sold generates a free project in community in need) always when applicable to democratize access to the discussion.

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

The budget would be destined to the making possible of the PORTAL, for it is the basis of sustaining the projects and principal tools to empower the educators and strengthen our mission. Beyond this the Portal is not a source of revenue and is not applicable in incentive laws, which complicates the search for sponsors.

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

Partnerships are fundamental to make possible the dialogue with our public. It is through them that we grow and expand our reach.
INSTITUTIONS OF EDUCATION: Schools, NGO's, shelters, colleges and extra-curricular activities.
CULTURAL INITIATIVES: Collective financing sites and businesses that promote culture.
GOVERNMENT: through incentive laws and Public Schools.
PRIVATE COMPANIES: sponsors through tributary substitution.

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

Pupa: bring together knowledge so we might understand the methodology that they use and by so doing bring together early childhood as a public of Carlotas. Child Talk: apply the workshops to the public served by them, so that empathy and respect might permeate how the children are raised.

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?

Be a Brazilian reference for play-oriented education of socio-emotional abilities, related to respect and empathy:
1)Have a well established network of multipliers and process of training; 2)Be part of public policy and be present in 100% of public schools in the country; 3)Possess a complete line of toys and collaborative games and apps; 4)Be present in several countries with books, series and feature films.

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

We will develop a questionnaire based on the EMRI (multi-dimensional scale of interpersonal reactivity) to apply to the public, before and after knowing Carlotas, measuring the impact in empathetic behavior. This tool will be able to be applied online, in classrooms or in external events. Meanwhile, we are maximizing the entry of qualitative feedback, performing a session of evaluation of the process with educators after each workshop and making available an open and live channel in the Portal.

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)
Number of Employees:

Fewer than 10

Number of Volunteers:

Fewer than 10

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.

Symbolic Play, Creating a Supportive Socio-Emotional Environment, Adults Participating (Ensuring adults are able to play alongside children), Challenging Play (play that disrupts - where rules are disregarded and levels of imagination are high).

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

Not yet! :)