"Silk City" A Revolutionary Game

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"Silk City" A Revolutionary Game: For raising worker's voices and drawing near labour rights

Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Allow workers to learn and exercise their rights in an easy, fun and engaging way. Provide an efficient tool for transparency, training and grievance mechanism that will help Brands in managing responsibly their supply chains. Enable a two-way comunication system. Give a voice to the unheard.

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

What if targeting problems in supply chains were as easy as playing 'Candy Crush' and labour rights just as popular?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In China: 'The world's factory,' labour issues and supply chain management have little transparency as freedom of association is restricted and vast factories create hermetic environments where overwork and lack of insurance push discontent among millions of workers (national turnover rate of 40%) The app could be feasible as smartphone penetration in factory worker's scope is 77%, and an avg. 35 min/day per person is dedicated to playing games.

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

Through a smartphone game we can contribute to the improvement of labour conditions of factory workers in China as free access to any player and amusing features allow spreading such as catchy games do! Labour rights will be broadcasted throughout different levels of the game in a goofy way engaging players to learn. The project consists of an app and a service: The app will establish a two way communication channel from the user (factory worker) to the clients (multistakeholder initiave, brand, or NGO) through a grievance channel and a training tool (game). Big data management is the service: clients will recieve reports on a regular basis targeting the problems and giving statistics on training progress among the different factories.


Graded with Honors as Final Project for the International Master in Sustainable Development and Corporate Responsibility at Escuela de Organización Industrial. Madrid, Spain.
Impact: How does it Work

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

After a 14-hour exhausting working day, XiaoDeng seeks to break away somehow from her factory dorm. She dreams of a better job. There are still 2 weeks to go untill her next day off. She has started playing a game that teaches about labour rights and OHS, and that encourages her to share her discontents at work. It is a very fun game which runs periodic raffles for market coupons! Since she can also interact virtually with other workers, she doesn't feel as lonely as before. The goal is to allow independent support from outside and decrease vulnerability, breaking through hermetic environments where workers may not distinguish if their conditions are proper. (Blue collar workers lead the ranking of gamers by employment type in China.)

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

To date the project hasn't had the opportunity to develop due to lack of funding but at soon as the app is ready, communication with multistakeholder coalitions can begin in order to target factories for the pilot stage so that the app can be able to start earning capital through its own processes. As non-profit, capital is saught to be always reinvested in communication and implementation plans in order to reach more factories every year: First stages will scope factories with very high compliance on labour issues, spreading further on to medium and low compliance, tracking down the entire supply chain. Our mission is to allow EVERY factory worker in China to learn and exercise their labour rights, no matter what factory they are working at. We just need a little help to get started and allow SilkCity to grow and spread, improving the world's factory and millions of workers lives.

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

We have designed an implementation plan through which in 5 years we will be able to reach out to 100 factories, with an average of 4,000 workers, this is 400,000 workers in total. Supposing 60% use at some point the app, (% suggested through experiences of other similar iniciatives) we would have reached 240,000 workers! Rankings of player factories could generate a possitive competition towards high compliance. Information will be shared with NGOs if critical grievances are detected at factories that fall out from brands' supply chains, allowing in any case a response to major violations.

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

The project seeks to charge a service for brands and multistakeholder coalitions that are interested in managing more efficiently their supply chains in China, reduce costs on trainings and support audits. It can also be financed by NGO's or public initiatives, as the social value of broadcasting labour rights in this region is very interesting. The game may use rewards to motivate players such as supermarket coupons, charging marketing benefits.

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

Our most important competitor right now is Labor Links, since Better Workd (ILO) is focusing in other countries and LaborVoices is not yet working in China. What is our competitive advantage? Fast&Smart! - Fun and engagement are the basis of significant and lasting learning. We provide real measurable training about rights and other standard with feedback reports, not only information delivery through SMS or Voice Messages. - A user friendly and handy tool that allows real-time information through big data analysis that generate reports, more efficient than listening to 100 recordings.

Founding Story

This project started out as a final project for the International Masters in Sustainable Development and Corporate Responsibility at Escuela de Organización Industrial, Madrid, Spain. At the begining we were just researching on the conditions of factory workers in the textile sector in China and the problems supply chains usually faced in that context, later we came up with a brainstorm of possible solutions that led us to the design of the App. We were curious of the feasibility of the iniciative so we developed a business plan and after presenting the final project to the jury we were pretty much congratulated and encouraged by them to continue. Generating social value is our goal.


Fixed Team: Entrepeneur Coordinator& Board member: Architect with business courses, expert on participative processes, gamnification and sustainability. Eva Capellán. (Full time) China Coordinator&Board member: Chinese citizen in Shanghai, that has been working in audit firm 'bureau veritas' for 7 years. Juanjuan Chen(full time) Lawyer specialist in gamnification, training on labour rights, and supply chain with 11 years international experience : Helena Perez (advisor) Sub-coordinator: Journalist with 6 years experience on CSR. Rocio Danino (part-time) Sub-coordinator 2: Corporate Communications and Corporate Responsibility specialist. Ester Sedney (part-time) We designed a plan for recruitment and selection of the specialists we will need on the different phases of our development and implementation plans as long as we find funding for the start-up.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]


Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Consumer, Researcher.

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Auditors, Brands, Corporations, Factory Workers, Retailers - Department Store, Retailers - Specialty Store, Retailers - Mass-merchandise Chain, Retailers - Discount Chain, Sourcing Manager / Supply Chain Manager, Supplier - contractor, Supplier - subcontractor, Technologists, Trading Companies, Women, Youth.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Access to Essential Services (i.e. Healthcare and Education), Access to Social Protection Services (i.e. Insurance, Pension, etc.), Labor Rights (i.e. Collective Bargaining, etc.), Gender Equality, Anti-forced Labor or Anti-Human Trafficking, Disaster and Humanitarian Relief, Physical Working Conditions, Transparency.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Advocacy, Training, Technology.

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

Hidden from View: Conditions in Forests, Farms, and Factories are Only Visible to a Select Few, A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Well-Being.

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

Activate Local Know-how for Driving Solutions: Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders, Transform the Chain into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors that Open New Pathways to Sustainability.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

Every factory worker user of the game app would be a change maker, through his contribution to transparency in supply chains.

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

Our approach is inspired by our teachers whom are great specialists on the matter and have shown us examples and guidance.