GAME’s Participatory Design Principles

Innovation is a cornerstone of GAME’s way of working using methods from what is called ‘Human Centered Design’ – an approach to design that invites all stakeholders and users into the design process. 

GAME volunteers, children, parents and collaborators participate in workshops, interviews, observations, feedback sessions and tests, and contribute with significant inputs for developing new concepts and methods. This allows us to continuously improve our concepts and methods and to excel in delivering social impact and lowering the threshold to physical activity.

The inclusion of girls in sports is an example of how GAME’s work evolves around our human-centered design model. 

It’s a process of observing and listening – to the girls, their parents, their community and the existing literature on female participation. GAME uses this information to come up with prototypes to test and then evaluates the experiment. This process continues until a concept is ready to be taken to the streets. 

In 2019, for the first time ever, one out of three participants in GAME’s activities across all countries were female. In Denmark, female participation in underserved communities even climbed up to 49%. From 25% in 2017 and 38% in 2018.

The inclusion of girls in sports is an example of how innovation takes place all across the organization.



GAME has identified five design principles that seek to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions and it allows us to include the visions, desires and opinions of kids and youth and the communities around them. 

Principle 1: Ear To The Asphalt
The way to create innovative solutions is to understand the needs and dreams of those who will use the solutions when created. In this case, kids and youth.

Principle 2: Play With The Ideas
Here it’s all about coming up with as many new, weird, different ideas as possible. The most important thing is to play with the ideas, turn them upside down and build on others’ ideas.

Principle 3: Try The Ideas Out, Make Mistakes And Try Again
Spend as little time as possible behind a desk. New ideas must be tested quickly on a small scale to find out how they work in reality.

Principle 4: Take It To The Streets
New good ideas need to get out and live in reality. The biggest challenge with good ideas is often to scale them up, spread them out and watch them live in the real world.

Principle 5: Create Social Change
The last and most important principle is to ensure that the idea actually brings about the social change that it was put in the world to create.

The Design Principles have been developed in partnership with Novo Nordisk Foundation, Steno Diabetescenter Copenhagen and Lokale og Anlægsfonden.