12.03.2018

An innovative game from The Challenge, where young people can walk a mile in someone else’s shoes – albeit virtually – has been given national funding.

Google and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) have announced the first projects awarded grants through their £1 million Innovation Fund to counter hate and extremism in the UK.

The Challenge applied for the national funding last year for a mobile-based game with the working title, ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’. Players take the role of a young person from a different background and help that character make choices as they go through the game. The game’s characters and their journeys will reflect the challenges and decisions that different young people face in daily life and be co-created with National Citizen Service (NCS) graduates, as part of their programme activities.

Rebecca Carter, director for organisational planning, strategy and communications, said: “This is a great opportunity to explore and understand how we can use online technology to achieve our vision of creating an integrated society. It’s also a chance for young people to virtually discover the diverse experiences of NCS graduates who are different to them and get a real insight into what they do and encounter on a daily basis.

“It’s the first time we’ve used technology in this way and it’s an exciting and interesting project that will lead to better understanding of each other, break down barriers and build friendships.”

Together with the Innovation Fund’s expert advisory board, ISD and Google selected 13 projects from over 125 applications from British innovators and actors working in the education, campaigns, cultural and technology sectors.

Successful applicants include some of the UK’s leading youth and anti-hate organisations, as well as smaller local organisations across the country.

Sasha Havlicek, CEO of ISD and chair of the advisory board, said: “Having worked in this field for over a decade, it is exciting to see new actors and innovators coming to the table from across the country to tackle the spread of hate and extremism that leads to violence and division. The sheer volume of applications demonstrates the significance of Google.org’s investment and the need for further funding in this area, not just from government but from the private sector and philanthropy too.”

Keep an eye out here for updates on this and find out more about the ISD by visiting its website: www.isdglobal.org.