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Dreams in a Box

Everybody has dreams - but much to often we keep them to ourselves. "Dreams in a Box" is designed to help 10-15yr olds to develop, draw & discuss their dreams - Then share them with the world to inspire personal imagination and empower local change.

Photo of Anne Kjaer Riechert
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How little is enough, to make a big difference in the world?

I asked myself that question back in 2006, and as the result I founded my own humanitarian project Kids Have a Dream  to:

1) Inspire youth to imagine a better world
2) Empower youth to build a better world
3) Share their dreams to educate the world

I designed the project along the lines of "train the  trainers" and "only use resources available to everyone - everywhere!".  It is essential to the project to create local ownership and make the project accessible to everyone.

However, even though all you need to run a "Dream Workshop" is paper, pens and access to e-mail, it can sometimes  be difficult for teachers and social workers in the developing world to participate in the project. They simply don´t have or can´t afford to participate. "Dreams in a Box" will make Kids Have a Dream workshops available to everyone - everywhere!

The "Dreams in a Box" should contain A3 paper, pens, paint, post-it notes, sticky tape, paid postage, a participation contract and a paedagogical guideline. The guideline will inspire the local teachers and youth leaders how they can facilitate a workshop that allows their students to develop, discuss and share their dreams for the future.

The content of "Dreams in a Box" can be sponsored by companies who produce the materials in the box e.g. 3M, LEGO, Sharpie, UPS.

After each workshop, the box is returned including the drawings, but the content will remain locally and keep inspiring the local communities to do more creative work.

In this challenge, we want to create ideas with young people, not for them. Outline how you’re planning to involve young people or other end-users (parents, teachers, etc) in designing, iterating or testing your idea during the Ideas phase.

On October 26th I organized a Global Dream day, asking kids in rural Uganda, in a squatter camp in South Africa, in a socially marginalized part of Germany and very resourceful school in Norway to all share their dreams on the same day. We even managed to connect kids in Uganda and Germany via Skype, so they could say "Hello" to each other. In order to feed the kids in Uganda for the day and pay for the paper, pens, postage and internet fees, we created this crowdfunding campaign In less than 24hrs we raise the money needed - but it took almost 4 weeks before the money got transferred and we lost about 7% in bank fees. In fact the bank transfer took so long, that the local teacher had to take up a small bank loan, to cover the small fee for the material. It would have been much easier and much faster if I instead could have sent a "Dreams in a Box" to Uganda, with all the materials that they would need locally.

How might you envision your idea spreading across geographies or cultures so that it inspires young people around the world to cultivate their creative confidence?

"Dreams in a Box" will become an integrated part of Kids Have a Dream, which has already been running for 7 years and tested with more than 3500 youth in 24 countries worldwide. In the developed world, there is no need for a box. All the content can be sourced locally and will be made available digitally. "Dreams in a Box" will help youth in the most under-developed parts of the world, gain access to creative education. The concept could also be carried out in collaboration with UNICEF, to ensure the global reach.

What skills, input or guidance would you like to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

- How might we create a business plan based on "Dreams in a Box" to make Kids Have a Dream self-sustaining? - How might the content of the box be improved to inspire local action?

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Photo of Ashley Jablow

So great to see your update here, Anne – I'm so excited to hear about your progress. I'm especially loving that your workshops are instilling creative confidence in young people without explicitly making the workshops *about* creative confidence – does that make sense? I'll be so excited to see how your efforts and this idea grow.