• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Grace James: Entrepreneur using gamification to raise climate change awareness

Grace James: Entrepreneur using gamification to raise climate change awareness

Recognising the significance of gamification in developing interactive and engaging methods to educate and motivate young people, Grace James founded GreenQuest to enlighten and empower youths on climate change adaptation and environmental protection.

“Climate change is a critical issue that requires urgent action, and I believe that gamification could make learning about it fun and impactful,’ he says

“Participating in events like the International Model UN and Youth4Climate 2023 broadened my perspective, exposing me to diverse viewpoints and innovative solutions, and solidifying my vision to use games as a tool for social change,” Grace adds.

GreenQuest was founded during the Covid-pandemic while the founder was in the 400 level studying Information and Communication Engineering.

“I spent the majority of my time learning about global challenges and came across climate change,” she notes.

“There had been a call for solutions by a social enterprise, and I decided to apply. This experience sparked my passion for addressing environmental issues through innovative solutions, leading to the creation of GreenQuest,” the founder explains.

To kickstart her initiative, Grace generated funds through bootstrapping and grants.

According to her, the mission of the startup is to educate and empower the next generation to take meaningful action on climate change and other social issues through engaging, interactive learning experiences.

“Our vision is a world where young people are informed, motivated, and equipped to drive positive environmental and social impact.

“We achieve this through our 3D adventurous video games and board games, which combine storytelling, augmented reality, and rewards to make learning exciting and impactful,” she says.

Besides climate change, GreenQuest addresses other social challenges such as environmental conservation, sustainable living, and community engagement.

“We ensure our games are both engaging and educational by incorporating compelling narratives, interactive gameplay, and real-world action rewards,” the founder says.

“Our content is designed in collaboration with educators and subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and relevance, while the gamification elements keep players motivated and involved.”

Speaking on some success stories or impacts of GreenQuest, the founder says, “GreenQuest has reached over 500 young learners in Indigenous communities, inspiring many to take tangible climate actions.

“For example, our pilot schools have reported increased student participation in environmental projects after engaging with our games. We measure the effectiveness of our games through user feedback, educational outcomes, and the number of real-world actions taken by players.”

However, the journey of establishing GreenQuest has it hiccups. Speaking on challenges, the founder says, “Promoting climate education through gamification has its challenges, including skepticism about the educational value of games and limited access to technology in some areas.

“We have overcome these by demonstrating the impact through pilot programs, securing endorsements from educators and environmental organizations, and developing both digital and offline versions of our games to reach a wider audience.”

To further overcome these challenges, the game company’s partnerships with organisations such as the Foresight group and NBC have been instrumental in expanding GreenQuest reach and impact.

“These collaborations have provided us with valuable resources, mentorship, and platforms to amplify our message. We approach collaborations with a focus on shared values and goals, ensuring that each partnership aligns with our mission to educate and inspire action on climate and social issues,” Grace says.

“Through these partnerships, we have been able to access new audiences, enhance our content, and increase our overall effectiveness.”

Speaking on future goals for GreenQuest, both short-term and long-term, the founder says, “In the short term, our goal is to expand Green Quest’s reach across more regions in Africa, enhancing our games with new features and content.

“Long-term, we aim to develop a global platform, addressing a broader range of social issues and leveraging advanced technologies like AI and VR for even more immersive learning experiences.”

On her advice for aspiring social entrepreneurs using technology and gamification for social change, Grace says, “My advice for aspiring social entrepreneurs is to stay passionate and persistent.

“Use technology creatively to solve problems, seek out partnerships, and always prioritize the impact on your community. Gamification can be a powerful tool for change if designed thoughtfully and executed with a clear purpose.”