Future Play Design Challenge

A global design challenge for entrepreneurs

In partnership with LEGO Ventures, CoC Playful Minds launches a global design challenge for entrepreneurs within the market of playful learning, January 2021.

Listening to the voice of consumers, here children & youth, helps companies to gain market insight which they can use to provide better quality experiences and increase revenue.

Co-creation with children is a way to customize product solutions to children's needs, perspectives, and dreams for the future of play - but it is also an ethical way of bringing new products into the world.

New toys, games, children’s products, and digital services impact the way children behave, feel, and think. If we want to ensure these effects are positive, we need to take children’s own perspectives into account. What is a better way than to ask the children themselves?

The purpose of the Future Play Design Challenge is to encourage and inspire entrepreneurs to practice ethical co-creation with children and involve them in design activities. A specific theme for the challenge will be selected each year.

The mission is to create a global playground where entrepreneurs and businesses can develop and improve competencies in ethically responsible involvement of children and youth for co-creating products and services targeting children and youth.

The vision is to pave the way for a future, where children and youth are respected as competent citizens by being ethically responsible involved in innovating and co-creating their own world in collaboration with businesses.

All applicants for the Future Play Design Challenge will be assessed by acknowledged industry & research professionals within playful learning, children's development, and understanding of children & youth as consumers within innovation & marketing, as well as a youth jury to ensure the co-creation strategies are ethical and meaningful. The winner will receive a 6-months' customized mentorship with CoC Playful Minds and LEGO Ventures, who will help the winner build competencies and mature the concept in co-creation with children.

The theme of 2021

Ethically co-creating the next generation of social digital play with children

Digital devices and tools have become a natural part of children and youths’ everyday life, privately in homes and educational settings. This brings new play opportunities into the picture – but it may cause both negative and positive consequences for children’s development.

THE NEXT GENERATION of social digital play, should have two unique characteristics:

  • Respecting children & youths’ perspectives by listening to their voice
  • Delivering a play platform fostering social interaction between individual children & youth, stimulating social skills such as empathy, collaboration & co-creation

SOCIAL interaction is a key element in children’s development of social-emotional skills, which is about understanding & responding to the emotions of other people (e.g. empathy & sympathy) - But it is also a key challenge in digital play. 

PLAY is critical for children’s learning & development of 21st Century Skills, thus should be designed to have a positive impact on healthy development in childhood.

CO-CREATING the design of the social digital play with children & youth is key to ensure a safe, engaging, and not least meaningful personalized play experience for children & youth. 

ETHICALLY new necessary considerations arise when children go online, to become a true success story as a business.

Learn more about the challenge at the Future Play Design Challenge website www.futureplaydesignchallenge.com and sign up for our kick-off webinar on the 22nd of January HERE

Do you have a winning concept?

We are looking for teams of 2-3 entrepreneurs with design concepts for the next generation of social digital play, and an approach for how to co-create it with children and youth in an ethical way. Here’s how you apply:

  1. Download the CONCEPT DESCRIPTION 2021 STRUCTURE and write your concept description in ENGLISH - make sure to cover all questions in the document

  2. Go to the application site again, and submit by answering the questionnaire on background information below, and upload your concept description in English and in pdf format


Please, complete the following questionnaire with your information and upload your concept description in PDF format no later than March 26, 2021.

Please read the following documents before uploading the form.
CoC Playful Minds privacy policy
CoC Playful Mind's statement of consent
LEGO Ventures Information Policy

Informed Consent
Your contact information
Your motivation, needs & expectations
How much do you expect to like these set-up options of this challenge?
How did you find out about this challenge?

Further wishes and ideas
Upload concept description


Contact Maria for more information

Maria Kümpel Nørgaard
Senior child-centric innovation manager PhD & PostDoc

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