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 are involved with several beneficiaries:
- Students & Teachers: implementing activities in schools and preparing educational toolkits.
- Patients & MDs: implementing the gamification of the diagnostic process.
- Community: exchanging resources and ideas online.
- Players! Anyone that plays one minute learns about malaria and how a blood sample looks under the microscope. So far more than 30 000 people in more than 100 countries have played and learnt.
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.
We are living a data revolution. Mobile phone penetration is unstoppable and is democratizing the access to the information and opening opportunities in every corner of the planet. Artificial intelligence and augmented reality will change the way we interact with the world. Kids will be the main beneficiaries of this revolution. They are digital natives. Videogames are being designed to help people to (re)learn all types of skills, empowering a digital economy. Society is ready to accept that games are not the problem, but the solution.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?
We spend 3 billion hours a week as a planet playing videogames. Neuroscience research provides evidence that playing is not a waste of time, but a natural way of learning, giving skills and increasing players self-esteem. What if a percentage of this time was spent playing videogames that could change the world? We believe it could bring about a revolution in education. But also in health and other domains. Playing, learning and doing are all part of a future feedback loop that will contribute to the well-being of digital natives at a global scale. We can’t waste this opportunity.
SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.
In a R&D focused initial phase, our funding comes from foundations’ donations 50%, research grants 40% and pro-bono in-kind support 10%. The future plan targets a sustainable mixed model combining pay-per-diagnosis and videogames strategies- with a strong social component in the valuation metrics
MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?
We envision a world where people play, learn and diagnose. Our social enterprise business model uses a metric that prioritizes access to diagnostics where is more needed. Sustainability based on a dual model coming from health (pay-per-diagnosis) and videogames. Stakeholders benefit from the win-win of merging these fields and the most vulnerable beneficiaries -patients and children learning- not pay. We believe others will follow our lead.
FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?
We will use it to develop a new mobile version of a videogame for diagnosis of malaria and tuberculosis to be launched during one week of activities in several high schools. These activities will create a blueprint for educative modules that will be then shared and replicated via our online platform
PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.
This is a global multidisciplinary endeavour based on working together with partners in several fields: medicine (Hospital San Carlos (Spain) and Manhiça Health Research Centre (Mozambique)), technology (MIT (USA)), social innovation (Socialab (Chile)), videogame design (Nebutek (Spain) and AppsForTime (USA)) and communication and education (HS teachers)
We also count on a fantastic community of online volunteers involved in many project tasks.
COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.
We have exchanged very valuable feedback with other pacesetters and we are exploring how we could find synergies. There are 3 projects which seem specially interesting as potential collaborators: "Institute of Play", "Make it Epic!" and "Professor S."
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?
Learning through games and crowd-diagnostics have been key in the revolution to achieve universal health coverage for all the citizens of the world. Diagnosis has been democratized: massive and rare diseases are collectively diagnosed in real time with the help of videogames. Digital professionals playing everyday acquire new skills adapted to the society needs. 10% of videogames and augmented reality market is devoted to real health applications
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
-People learning about diagnosis and global health playing a videogame. So far >30000 people from +100 countries. We target millions worldwide!
-Blood samples analyzed: 5.000 for training so far. We target thousands of real time analysis.
In the long run:
-Create a digital task force with initiatives expanding the concept to other diseases and new games (x10 by 2016).
-Generate new scientific vocations and create new digital jobs (x1000 by 2016)
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.
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.