Capital of Children
The children create the future at CoC Playful Minds.
Sometimes it can be difficult to notice how occupied everyone is when you are seated in an office environment
Louise, Playfuld Minds
"The thing that I like the most about the box is entering the box, closing the door and feel the calm. Then i become present in the meeting that i am attempting."
Back in 2012, a vision was created with the aim to make a difference for the youngest citizens in society. The vision stemmed from a completely unique and close collaboration
between the public sector: Billund Municipality and a private one - the LEGO Foundation.
CoC (Capital of Children) Playful Minds’ vision is that Billund should be the Children's Capital. Here, children learn through play to be creative world citizens, which is especially about being able to act in a complex world; to be able to deal
with their own and others' feelings; to be able to understand cultural
differences; to navigate critically in relation to news (including social media); to be able to handle conflicts, and, not least, have the desire to explore the world around them, and to dare to communicate and create conversations that can
make a change for the better for other people.
For CoC Playful Minds, it is all about creating concrete solutions together with children. This can be through entrepreneurs who create products or services for children, or it could be children's own suggestions for safe, secure, and fun urban spaces. Suggestions for the learning environment of the future are also co-created with children. At the Facilitator Academy, entrepreneurs, educators, government officials,
architects, and others can learn to co-create with children. It is, therefore, no surprise that in 2020, UNICEF recognised Billund Municipality's efforts as a
significant signal to the outside world that children have the right to be
heard in cases that concern them.
We have been fortunate enough to be a part of CoC Playful Minds' office and innovation environment ‘Playful Hub’ and meet Sara Bæklund Daugaard and Louise Fenger
Kornum. We got a peek into how a knowledge-based development organisation can create a crucial change that makes life better for children, parents, and everyone around them. We were also interested in finding out what it means for employees to work on purpose-driven projects every single day.
In addition to this, it was important for us to experience how our MuteBox affects the daily lives of the organisation and the members of Playful Hub.
“We have four MuteBoxes, and they are placed around our office, which is a large hall. The hall is divided into two, and two of the MuteBoxes are placed in one hall, and the other two are here. We use them when we have online meetings or phone calls. When needed, you can just go into the box and immerse yourself in the meeting you are attending, so that you do not disturb the people around you, or
get disturbed yourself" begins Bæklund Daugaard, who works as a Master of Co-creation and is herself a diligent user of the MuteBoxes in the open hall on a daily basis.
"What I like most about the box is that when I sit down and close the door, I can feel the calm. I feel present in the meeting I am in” she explains.
Presence, and a
deeper understanding, are both essential concepts for the daily work of CoC Playful Minds, which is driven by making a difference. Bæklund Daugaard is currently working on a project that focuses on the UN's global goals in schools and day care. “Sustainability is part of everything here" she points out, referring to our MuteBoxes. “The fact that the boxes are also sustainable means that they fit in very well. In fact, we want everything we do to be sustainable” Bæklund Daugaard concludes.
At MuteBox, we also have sustainability in mind in all our decision-making processes. Our
boxes are produced in Denmark from quality materials, which means that the MuteBox, in the same way as a quality piece of furniture of Danish design, can last for many years. The materials include sustainable wood and recycled plastic.
Fenger Kornum works as Project Lead in the Playful Innovation unit. She describes the MuteBox as a really great place to be if you need some peace and quiet and at the same time do not want to disturb your colleagues with a conversation or a phone call. Fenger Kornum also experiences the MuteBox as a space where the focus has been taken
away from elements that would normally be disturbing.
The program that she works on every day focuses on companies and children. Fenger Kornum emphasises
that much of what is made at CoC Playful Minds stems from co-creation. It’s all about putting the companies and the children together. Both the companies and
the children are the users, so it is important to have an understanding of what children like and thereby gain input and insight into what the children have to say. "After all, children are experts in their own lives," she emphasises.
At the end of our conversation, Fenger Kornum mentions an interesting point that is worth
highlighting. She also experiences that the MuteBox can be a clear indication that you are busy when you are inside it.
"It can sometimes be difficult to see how busy people are when sitting in an open office environment." She describes the MuteBox as a signal that you are preoccupied with both something that requires total focus and needs a private environment. And that, when you step out again, as a colleague, you are most likely available again.
At MuteBox, we have no doubt that children and young people are helping to create and shape our future, and we are therefore proud to have Playful Minds as a happy