Arigatou International

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Arigatou International: Kokoro - Learning to Live Together

Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Based on the widely recognized Arigatou International Learning to Live Together manual, Kokoro is a unique and interactive virtual global community that promotes intercultural and interfaith learning and collaboration among children and youth to tackle issues that affect their societies.

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

Children and youth could connect with each other virtually, accross religions and cultures, to collaborate on initiatives that can transform their communities and the world?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The increasing level of religious intolerance, racial discrimination, prejudices, stereotypes that lead to violent conflicts require that children learn about other cultures and beliefs. A gap exists in digital games for developing global citizenship. Particularly, games that teach about other cultures and beliefs, that lead to collaborative and global action and support or initiate projects that promote peace, mutual understanding and respect.

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

Kokoro aims to create a unique global digital game and platform that connects children and youth from around the world with each other. Our platform's goals are: • To provide opportunities for children and youth to develop as global citizens and take collective action on topics that affect them; • To promote collaborative learning and problem solving among children and youth across countries and cultures; • To promote respect, responsibility, empathy and reconciliation. • To nurture children’s and youth’s capacity to contribute to a culture of peace. The platform aims to create spaces for children youth to connect with real life projects, learn about initiatives from NGOs and promote spaces to develop collaborative actions.
Impact: How does it Work

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

As a result of a physical workshop based on the Learning to Live Together manual, a young boy in India decided to go door to door and start collecting one cup of rice from his neighbours to distribute among the hungry in his community. He saw that just one cup of rice could make a difference when added up. Imagine this boy could inspire not only those children in his community, but around the world, transforming his initiative into a global movement. Or connect with organizations promoting child rights, or use his creativity to propose solutions to challenges and problems presented in a digital game that can inspire many more youth; or develop further critical thinking to propose alternatives to other problems of violence and poverty.

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

Kokoro is in its initial conception and has not been developed yet as a digital game.

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

Once Kokoro is developed as a digital game, the following strategies are envisioned: Partnerships with schools where Kokoro can be implemented as part of a blended approach to citizenship education; Connect schools and children around the world through the virtual platform to work together on global projects; Partner with technology companies to bring smart phones and tablets to the developing world and to those areas most marginalized where religious and ethnic fundamentalism fuels conflicts to connect children and youth, challenge their prejudices and develop their collaborative skills.

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

We plan to gather together a consortium of partners to help develop and finance the game and platform. In addition to funding, partners will have the opportunity to offer valuable advice and support for the development and dissemination of Kokoro. The Consortium will be formed by five to six organizations that have expertise in Children’s participation, Interfaith and Intercultural learning, Technology, Education and Peace building.

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

Peace building games and games for change are a growing niche in the gaming marketplace. Businesses such as Take Action games, Gamelab and Tiltfactor develop games that address social and humanitarian issues. The Games for Change festival recognizes and awards initiatives in this area. Kokoro differs in that, in line with the principles of our Learning to Live Together manual, it offers not only space for individual learning and reflection, but also promotes interaction with others and with social projects, and collaborative action, both within the game and in children's own communities.

Founding Story

The Learning to Live Together Programme of Arigatou International is now being implemented in more than 30 countries. During the process of implementation we have impacted more than 8000 children and youth, who are now peace builders, helping to change their communities; when I leave each location where the program is being implemented, I always asked myself: and how can we continue connecting these amazing youth? what if we had a platform that they can use in fun and interactive ways to further their learning and collaborate, what if the time they spend in the Internet can be used to challenge their prejudices, discuss issues that affect them and collaborate? What if we make the program a digital game and a collaborative platform?


Maria Lucia Uribe, Director Arigatou International (Founder) Valérie De Pauw, Elearning Program Manager Arigatou International (Staff) Scot Osterweil, Creative Director of the MIT Education Arcade (Developer, Advisor) Josh Sheldon Educational Technologist MIT Education Arcade (Developer, Advisor) Through a consortium of funding partners, we plan to further diversify the project's available expertise and staff.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name

De Pauw

About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

Switzerland, GE, Geneva

Country where this project is creating social impact
What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Foundations, NGOs.


None yet

Primary Target Age Group

13 - 17, 18 - 35.

Your role in Education

Administrator, Other.

Please specify which of the following best applies:

I am applying on behalf of a particular program or initiative.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with (if applicable)


Intervention Focus

Curricular, Extracurricular, Community, Online Learning.

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

Putting Children in Charge: Giving children a voice and cultivating agency via experiential learning, project-based learning, and civic engagement.

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

One size fits all fits none: Students are disengaged and not being prepared for "real life."


Technical advice, develop business model and engaging partners


Network of implementing partners around the world working with children and youth; a widely recognized ethics education material

What key learning outcomes does your work seek to improve?

By participating in Kokoro, children will:
• Reflect about their values, beliefs, and identity;
• Strengthen their capacity to make well-­grounded ethical decisions based on values that promote respect for other cultures and beliefs;
• Identify the needs of their societies and respond with an attitude of
• Develop collaborative skills, critical thinking, problem solving and non-­
violent communication skills;
• Discover their capacity to transform their societies and take individual and
collective responsibility for the future;
• Nurture their spirituality

Secondary Form
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
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.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?
SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.
MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?
FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?
PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.
COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.
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?
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
IMPACT - REPORTING SAMPLE: Please attach any examples of your impact reporting. [optional]:
RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE: Please link or attach any research or evidence resource you are open to sharing more widely [optional]. Building research and evidence is a key aim of this initiative, and the resources you share may be chosen for listing in the Center for Education Innovations library:
SOURCE: If applicable - who created the research or evidence you are choosing to share? :
IMPACT - REACH: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

STUDY: Has an external evaluation or study been conducted of your organization?

Other (please specify)
Number of Employees:

Number of Volunteers:

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.

Other (please specify)
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.