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UNICEF Impact Explorers: Unveiling the Power of Child Lens Investing in a Virtual World

Dedicated mentors from partner: Jussi Kivipuro, Radha Kulkarni, Florian Morales

The Problem - Background:

Imagine a world where investors' decisions positively impact the lives of children around the globe! UNICEF's Innovative Finance Hub is crafting the groundbreaking Child Lens Investing Framework (CLIF) and a toolbox that'll revolutionize how investors contribute to children's wellbeing.

Our mission? Illuminate the life-changing effects of these investments on children! We'll be venturing around the world, showcasing the CLIF to investors and revealing what it means to target children's interests. Our goal is to captivate investors and political leaders' attention for 1-3 minutes with an unforgettable demo.

Picture this: Investors witnessing the tangible impact of CLIF on children's lives through the eyes of a child! We're envisioning a Virtual Reality or Metaverse demo that immerses them in the awe-inspiring experiences of the children they're uplifting.

Your Impact - The Challenge:

Together with your team members, you will create a demo that shows how investments aligned with UNICEF's guidelines can change the life of a child.

  1. You will develop a prototype of a virtual reality or a metaverse demo that could be used by UNICEF team in the events anywhere in the world.
  2. UNICEF will then draw inspiration from your prototype as a design blueprint for the final product to be developed later. By sharing your innovative ideas and learning from your experiences, you and your team will make a direct and meaningful contribution in shaping the future of innovative financing.

Potential Considerations

When responding to this challenge, you may (but are not required to) consider the following:

  • Provided materials:
    • UNICEF will provide your team with data and information of the impact. Demo should not include false information. We may also provide pictures or videos that can be used if useful.
  • End user experience
    • Target audience of this demo are top management of big (impact) investment companies, global political leaders, and leaders in the development community.
    • They are not interested in details, but the demo has to be based on facts.
    • User experience should be visually appealing and emotionally engaging.
    • Demo would visualize the impact of child friendly investments to an ordinary life of a child. We will let the users experience the impact by themselves in a concrete way.
    • Users can see how childrens’ life is without investments and how it is different and better through the investments.
    • We would like to capture the most important elements of a child’s life such as home, home surroundings, community/city surroundings, school/pre-school, etc.
    • City will be an undefined city somewhere in Asia, Africa or South-America. There is architecture from around the world, from slums, apartment buildings to skyscrapers. You can get inspired e.g. by the looks of cities such as Mumbai or Lima. People with different cultures and colors are living in this city.
  • Usability
    • In the events UNICEF will participate in, there will be a demo person helping the visitors to start the demo (e.g. put VR glasses on, re-start the demo).
    • Visitor should be able to use device and demo without any training (maximum training time 20 seconds). Therefore demo should not have too many buttons or interaction elements. Only e.g. zoom from person, to city to continent and then button to put investments on / off or from 0% gradually up to 100%.
  • Technical requirements
    • As sometimes events have limited connectivity, preferably demo needs no internet connection or does not need high bandwidth
    • Demo is easy to set up
      • e.g. needed equipment: standard screen, laptop, internet connection, virtual classes
      • e.g. Not technical demo person can just click of the application icon and maybe click few clicks to get started.
  • Brand requirements
    • Demo does not need to have a UNICEF branding. If you use it, it might work better in the beginning / end of the demo as a headline / end text. Follow UNICEF brand guidelines.
    • Idea is that investments are done by the companies, not by UNICEF. Therefore children and families will not see any UNICEF branding in their surroundings even if CLIF would be used.
    • Any references to UNICEF needs to be removed from the version that will be available online as open source.

Your challenge is to identify a suitable solution that works for the above set up.

  • Does VR or metaverse serve better? Which platform will provide great user experience and would be also easy to develop.
  • You can explore if there are some ready made asset libraries etc. to be used to create different experiences.
  • You can also consider if AI can be used for some parts of the content creation process.
  • What is the most concrete and interesting way to explain the impact provided by CLIF?
  • What kind of user experience do we want to provide? Should the feel be realistic or would some game like visualizations/interactions communicate change effectively?

For additional resources you could conduct an internet search to gather relevant information that may be useful. Potential search keywords could include:

  • UNICEF Child Lens Investment Framework
  • Impact investments
  • Investment in Children (UNICEF)
  • Gender Lens Investing
  • Sustainable Development Goals

Child-lens investing: practical example

What does a world where children and their community look like? It is a world where the investment community considers them and impacts them positively directly or indirectly through their financial decisions.

For ease of clarification, let’s look at two scenarios: one day in the life of a child, in an environment where investments are not aligned, and an environment where they are.

WIth no child-lens investing (status quo) (NOTE: we highlight five core areas we want the product to focus on: these are Nutrition, Early Childhood Development (ECD)/Education, Energy/Climate, Housing/Transportation and Health/Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). We highlight these for you accordingly)

You wake up early, as your house’s windows are broken and the air is cold outside. The dwelling you live in is in poor conditions: the floor is just dirt, there is a single room you share with your family of five and a coal-fueled stove, and there is no toilet: you can only defecate in the open. (ALL OF THESE ARE EXISTING CHALLENGES RELATED TO HOUSING/TRANSPORTATION and HEALTH/WASH)

To go to school, you must walk several miles, as there is no bus or other means of transportation in your town (HOUSING/TRANSPORTATION). School is not much better than home: the floor is just dirt, classes are shared with multiple school grades and supplies (pencils, notebooks, chalk) is almost non-existent. More than 70 children are squeezed together in these rooms, with only three teachers for the entire 300-student body. (EDUCATION). You wished school had a toilet for boys and another for girls, as you consider that as you grow up, this would be important (menstruation, HEALTH/WASH).

By now, you are very hungry. Food at home is usually low in nutrients (think a water-based concoction with a few extra items) and while at school lunch is served, portions are small and not balanced (NUTRITION).

After school, you have to go back home walking, braving dangerous areas of town. You rush to finish homework before night time because there is no electricity at home (ENERGY/CLIMATE). You finally go to bed, but due to a particularly strong storm announced in the radio, you can feel the tin roof giving away, perhaps even tearing apart… (ENERGY/CLIMATE)

With a child-lens investing

You live in an area of town where sustained, responsible investments had made sure to benefit your local community (think how a large investment group prioritizing a portfolio of renewable energy, agriculture, real estate and transportation companies to invest in, and they conducted a thorough analysis of children’s needs in the area to ensure all these needs are met as part of their investment allocation).
(NOTE: this is the life of a middle-class child, do not assume an upper class upbringing)

You wake up as always, in a room you share with your sibling. You are annoyed you have a bathroom to share between both. A nutritious breakfast is prepared by your parents, who walk you a few blocks to the bus spot (they don’t have a car and work until late). A vehicle promptly arrives to take you to school, a 20 minute drive. (HOUSING/TRANSPORTATION and NUTRITION)

School begins as usual, and you arrive to your 40-student class for first session. Your backpack is full of notebooks and your new set of stationary. Your teacher has a boring session where you see a bad PowerPoint projected on the screen. (EDUCATION) Between classes you rush to the toilet (there are multiple at school, and differentiated between boys and girls) (HEALTH/WASH). Between classes, lunch served is the same as yesterday: some rice, some fish and some veggies you are forced to eat. (NUTRITION) After classes you train as part of the school’s football team (HEALTH/WASH). You take the bus back home (HOUSING/TRANSPORTATION) and after a shower, you spend two hours doing homework. When night falls, you turn on the lights (ENERGY/CLIMATE). After a long day, you go to bed.

Additional Prompts

  • UNICEF does not victimize children: we see them as actors with agency, please consider this when designing the experience
  • Users should be able to experience both scenarios in full, we suggest at least 1.5 minute experience for each
  • First-person perspective (eyes of a child, maybe have a mirror at the beginning to show who you are)
    • Optional: male/female customization
  • Refer to spatial elements: we suggest two main scenarios (the HOME and the SCHOOL, then back HOME)
  • Refer to temporal elements: we suggest three time MORNING, SCHOOLTIME and SUNSET/NIGHT (streetlights walking back home)
  • We suggest using no background music, only real-life sounds (house noises, family conversation, traffic, kids chatting at school, rain on tin roof, lighting during a storm, etc.)
  • Add some way of adding text to explain what is going on at each stage

Additional Prompts

You can check further mixed media produced by UNICEF and other children organizations in this Google Drive

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