iZ HERO Challenge

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iZ HERO Challenge

Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

The iZ HERO Project is an innovative educational program that was developed by infollutionZERO (Dr. Yuhyun Park, CEO of infollutionZERO, is an Ashoka Fellow from Korea) and Nanyang Technological University, with sponsorship from government agencies in Singapore. The iZ HERO Project has received two prestigious international awards from UNESCO (in 2012 and 2013) for its effort to promote digital citizenship among children. The project is a global initiative working together with international organizations, government agencies, and media organizations in Korea and Singapore. “iZ” stands for infollution ZERO. The mission of the iZ HERO Project is to empower our children to be HEROes in the digital age, who have the discipline to responsibly use digital media, possess a sound value system, and have the empathy to speak up for others. By enjoying the iZ HERO Project with fun story-telling, animated characters, and online/offline games, children can naturally learn about various cyber-risks as well asmoral character values.  As a part of the iZ HERO Project, the 2014 iZ HERO CHALLENGE: ZERO Cyber-bullying has been launched as a campaign to zero out bullying among children. It aims for children to proactively promote the culture of RESPECT and remove bullying in their community.It was beta-launched together with MDA/MLC as a part of Safer-Internet Day (11 February 2014) with one trial school in Singapore (West View Primary School). Our research supports that being taught about cyber-wellness issues through interactive digital media is an effective means for children to learn practical knowledge and tips about responsible online behavior and digital citizenship. At the same time, the research demonstrates that increasing awareness among youth of issues such as cyber-bullying must take a holistic approach that focuses on core values. Indeed, a key success factor is that effective learning approaches on this subject are grounded in the fundamental development of values such as respect and empathy. A deeper level of active engagement with children potentially has greater potential for children to familiarize themselves with these fundamental moral values.Therefore, we propose a new learning model driven by mission-based, real life activities that not only engages kids in a fun way, but also enables them to proactively practice and promote the value of respect. The iZ HERO Challenge is a mission-based activity series for children that helps them become true changemakers, "iZ HEROes", who zero out infollution (information pollution) in their personal space and community. This includes their mobile phone and computer, as well as bringing attention to the issue across their schools and homes.  For more information, please visit http://izherochallenge.net.    

About Project

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

The iZ HERO Project is a research-driven edu-tainment program for kids (ages 7-13) that combines online and offline learning tools to improve children’s online attitudes towards various cyber-risks: 1) Comic-style game characters, an interactive exhibition format, and a story-telling approach to help children enjoy learning about digital literacy; and 2) Complementing the iZ HERO exhibition at the Singapore Science Centre, there is a digital platform in development which consists of an interactive website, mobile app, online game, and comic books. iZ HERO Challenge is a new social campaign for kids to become true changemakers to promote ZERO Cyberbullying culture in their community using the content developed for the iZ HERO Project.
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List additional team members who would be involved in this project:

Hye-Jin Park
Davis Vu
Jay Chi

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About Your Organization
What are your primary products/services? Please describe all.

1. Global education campaign online platform - ZERO Cyber-bullying
2. Mobile app
3. Various merchandise products
Trading cards/Posters/Teachers' materials/etc.

Who is your primary audience, customer or beneficiary?

• Primary school students (7-13 years old)
• Cyber-wellness teachers at primary schools
• Parents of primary school-age children

How do your products/services benefit this population?

We launched the iZ HERO Challenge as a social campaign. It provides a comprehensive learning experience to promote respect and raise awareness of cyber-bullying among children through interactive activities and fun products. It aims to empower children to become changemakers who foster a positive digital culture in their community. It also provides family programs and teachers' guides for caregivers to conduct learning activities for children.

How many staff do you have (full and part-time)?

3 full time and 2 part time

Impact and Sustainability
Organization Mission: What problem is your organization committed to solving? In particular, describe what is innovative about your approach.

Our organization seeks to address the challenges of “infollution” (information + pollution) such as obscene and violent contents, abusive language, sexual predators, cyber-bullying, and technology addiction. The social and emotional development of children is highly influenced by digital media as the average age when children first become engaged in digital media continues to shift earlier. We seek to curtail the impact of cyber-risks on youth by offering a solution to educate children about fundamental values alongside cyber-wellness issues by using an educational entertainment approach.

Impact: What has been the impact of your solution to date?

* A preliminary study by the National Institute of Education provided scientific evidence that the iZ HERO Project can improve children’s attitudes toward cyber-risks. It is one of the world's first programs that has proven its educational efficacy for cyber-wellness.
* iZ HERO exhibition @ Singapore Science Centre has become a hub for cyber-wellness training for all local primary schools in Singapore.
* It won various prizes including two UNESCO prizes, and was recognized by an Eisenhower Fellowship & Ashoka Foundations.
* It created international collaborations with the Korean, Singapore & US govs., UNESCO & various NGOs.
* The iZ HERO Challenge has been highlighted in major news outlets such as Channel New Asia and Straits Times.

Impact: What is your projected impact after receiving consulting support from American Express?

We plan to launch the initiative in Korea and other Southeast Asian countries in collaboration with governments and UNESCO. We need to work with international stakeholders in order to support distribution of our educational programs on cyber-wellness to our target audiences (kids, parents and teachers). We hope to enhance our reach and impact through support from Amex.
1) Reach more than 1M kids in Asia through the iZ HERO Challenge initiative after receiving consulting support from Amex.
2) Create a social networking strategy and execution plan to bring together our various programs to enhance impact.
3) Have a strong and central message that can effectively be delivered to a worldwide audience.
4) Generate significant attitude change toward cyber-bullying among children that leaves them better prepared to responsibly use digital media.

Sustainability: Do you currently have the financial and human resources to implement new strategies or recommendations offered through this partnership, or would implementation be dependent on receiving additional funding? Please describe.

We currently have the minimum financial and human resources to implement new strategies or recommendations offered through this partnership. Depending on the scope, we may have to seek out additional funding.

Project Selection
Select your first choice project

Social Media Roadmap

Select your second choice project (Optional)

Strengthening Key Messages

Are you or an assigned project manager from your team able to commit 3-5 hours per week over the 10-week consulting period?


Social Media Roadmap
Why did you select this specific project type?

Even though our initiative is web/mobile driven, we have not been actively engaged with social media to network with a broader audience. It is most critical for us to build a strong online presence in various social media outlets, especially those which engage kids and their parents.

What challenges are you facing with your social media outreach strategy?

# 1. Lack of internal talent. Our staffs is not very "social" in both on-/off-line settings.
# 2. Our target audience is primary school-age kids who are not officially allowed to be on major social networking sites.
#3. Our program was stemmed from academic research, not from schools/families.

Which social media channels are you currently using (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)? Please list and provide links and URLs.


Are you interested in reviewing your social media communications strategy for the organization overall or for a specific product/service? Please explain.

Yes, an overall communications strategy will be extremely useful review and develop. However, as a first step, I would like to focus on broadcasting and communication about the iZ HERO Challenge.

What are you trying to accomplish through improved social media outreach?

1. Build a digital network with young parents and teachers, (ideally with young kids as well) - in Singapore as well as in other parts of Asia, including Korea.
2. Seamless flow of our sites and social media sites from users' perspective.
3. Effective delivery of our core messages.

If you were to receive support, what is your expected outcome at the end of the consulting period?

1. Systematic strategic plan and policy for social media outreach.
2. A trained internal staff who can be in charge of social media communication.
3. Start communication in major social media channels with consistent message in right tone for target audiences.

How will support in this area allow you to deepen your impact?

Tremendously. Effective communication is THE key success factor of the Initiative.

Strengthening Key Messages
Why did you select this specific project type?

As a social campaign, our platform needs catchy key messages that not only reach out to young kids (our primary target) but also the general public. Our current key messages - "Be an iZ HERO", "ZERO Cyber-bullying" - may not be ideal branding messages that strongly resonate with & inspire audience.

What brand challenges are you facing?

With the nature of our initiative combining education + entertainment for young kids, it has not been easy to have catchy and fun branding for kids. Moreover, since our projects have been developed organically, the key messages have not been consistently developed in one direction.

Are you interested in reviewing your organizations overall brand or for a specific product/service? Please explain.

The iZ HERO Challenge social initiative is an extension of the comprehensive iZ HERO Project. We need a holistic review of branding. Furthermore, based on the overall message, sharpening up the initiative's message would be important.

What are you trying to accomplish through improved branding?

We aspire to establish "iZ HERO" as one of the key brands that stands for 1) educational content for kids to teach values such as RESPECT and EMPATHY; 2) promoting safe and fun digital culture for kids. The right branding with the right messages will enable the Initiative to spread effectively.

If you were to receive support, what is your expected outcome at the end of the consulting period?

1) Key slogan for iZ HERO projects.
2) Review of the the current iZ HERO messages.
3) Powerful messages for the iZ HERO Challenge social initiative.
4) Ideally web/mobile strategy to effectively deliver key messages.

How will support in this area allow you to deepen your impact?

After all, this is a social campaign that aims to elicit positive impacts on people's thoughts and actions regarding online behaviors and awareness. Strong key messages with effective delivery are essential to achieve successful impact.