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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Lego Build a World of Play Challenge

Lego wants breakthrough ideas that connect with and can be integrated across systems and sectors, that are contextually relevant and that resonate within the communities who will ultimately own and sustain them. 

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For the LEGO ® brand’s 90th anniversary we’re making a commitment to the world’s youngest children by giving out grants worth 900 million Danish Kroner to give them the best start in life.

What if we put the wellbeing of children at the centre of everything?

What if the needs of our youngest children, their families and their communities were a driving force in everything from the way we design care and education systems, plan health systems, design cities and infrastructure and tackle the climate crisis?

More than 1 million neural connections per second

That’s how quickly young children’s brains develop. Every experience in their early years – from the bonds they form with their parents and caregivers, to the food they eat, the air they breathe and the way they play and learn – builds children’s brains, shapes their personalities, and develops their immune and metabolic systems. In turn, it shapes the lives they’ll grow up to live.

Yet, how often do governments, city planners, businesses, policymakers, education and health systems put children at the heart of their plans?

Even though a child’s first six years are filled with the biggest potential to shape lives and ultimately make communities and countries healthier and wealthier, early childhood development receives a meagre share of funding around the world.

We say it’s time to change that!

The Lego Build a World of Play Challenge is looking for solutions to give children the brightest start

90 years of insight into play have taught us how powerful play is in supporting children’s learning, wellbeing, and holistic development. We want to make sure all young children grow up in safe, nurturing, and stimulating environments – where they have everything they need to thrive.

Lego is looking for your idea

We’re after bold, transformational ideas that focus on young children’s wellbeing and holistic development, while addressing global social issues. To be in with a chance of a grant, your ideas will be impactful, feasible, community-centred, and sustainable.

What could that look like? Here are some ideas to spark (but not limit) your thinking:

  • Do you have tech innovations that will improve the quality and access of healthcare for families with young children?
  • Do you have plans to make cities safer, greener, more sustainable, more playful, and more accessible places for all children to live, grow, and thrive?
  • Do you have innovative ideas for reducing stress amongst caregivers and childcare providers, so they build stronger, safer, and more nurturing relationships with the young children they care for
  • Do you have plans to increase the resiliency and adaptivity of systems, institutions and services to better reach and support young children, families and households amidst disruptive and adverse events?
  • Do you have big plans to help all children learn through play? And by all, we mean all. That includes equal access to education for girls, equal access for children with disabilities and equal access for neurodiverse children who may need extra support.

We want breakthrough ideas that connect with and can be integrated across systems and sectors, that are contextually relevant and that resonate within the communities who will ultimately own and sustain them. 

Who can apply?

Lego is looking for applications from NGOs, not-for-profits, research organisations and for-profits from around the world. And you don’t have to enter as a single group or organisation. In fact, we’d love you to team up across organisations and sectors to drive more impactful and sustainable results.

To find out more check out our eligibility criteria.

How many grants are we giving?

Our panel of expert reviewers will help us choose up to ten finalists in September 2022. We’ll give each finalist 6.5 million DKK (approx. 1 million USD) to strengthen their plans and lay the groundwork for their big ideas.

Selecting from amongst the finalist organisations, we’ll announce up to five awards by the end of 2022. And we’ll give three grants of 200 million DKK each (approx. 30 million USD each) and two more awards of 100m DKK each.

Deadlines to register and apply

Interested organisations must register to apply before 4pm U.S. Central Time on April 7, 2022.

Registered organisations must complete and submit their applications before 4pm US CT on May 17, 2022, whereafter they will be assessed by our expert reviewers. 

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