Design Principles

Innovation is a cornerstone of GAME’s way of working using methods from what is called ‘Human Centered Design’ to investigate how GAME’s impact can make even more social change for more children and young people.

The development of new methods to lower the threshold to physical activity is pivotal to the GAME. 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 concepts to test on a smaller scale – together with the girls, of course. Finally, GAME evaluates the experiments, adjusts, comes up with new concepts and tests again. This process continues until a concept is ready to be taken to the streets. The real test is if the design actually creates a social change.

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.

GAME Playmakers, children, parents and collaborators constantly participate in development workshops, interviews, tests and observations, and contributes significant inputs for formulating new concepts that strengthen or develop GAME’s program.

The inclusion of girls in sports is an example of how innovation takes place all across the whole organization so that knowledge and ideas do not only come to fruition in Vollsmose and Gellerup in Denmark but also in Beirut, Amman, Hargeisa and Accra.


GAME has identified five principles that are rooted in the designer’s working methods which can help create real innovation.

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 is all about putting on your thinking cap and com- ing 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.