Team: Design for humanity
Brief A: In charge of your body
About No Minor Thing
What can designers do to help combat sexual exploitation of children? That is the question posed by WDCD in collaboration with the Dutch Public Prosecutions Service (OM) and the Ministry of Justice & Security in an invitation-only design challenge.
In No Minor Thing: The What Design Can Do Challenge to Combat Sexual Exploitation of Children, selected design teams had the opportunity to come up with new ways of tackling this issue. Read more on the results of the project and approach of Design for Humanity.
About youth or dare
Youth or Dare: a weekly calendar that helps parents and children communicate about relationships and sexuality. Through various themes, all family members are invited to express their values and share information. The calendar is placed in the bathroom, ensuring a private and safe place where people can interact with the calendar, while at the same time serving as a means of communication for everyone who uses the bathroom. The content of the calendar steers the communication, keeping it light, fun, and friendly, while at the same time teaching children that they are in charge of their own body.
Read more on this project on the No minor thing platform >
What was it like to participate in No Minor Thing?
‘Sexual exploitation of minors is one of those topics that really moves you when you read about it, but remains difficult to do something about as an individual. No Minor Thing provided the information and the support of professionals that allowed us to get involved. Grouping together the input made it possible to kick-start our ideation process almost immediately and go through several iterations in a short period of time. It was an intense but also very interesting and educational process.’
‘We believe that a lot of gains can be made by teaching child-rearers that they need to start communicating with their children about sexuality and relationships at a much younger age.’
While working on this project, what has caught you by surprise the most?
‘We are still quite young ourselves so in our social environments we get to experience the present generation of adolescents up close. Yet, we were astonished to find out how young children are involved in sexuality online. We believe that a lot of gains can be made by teaching child-rearers that they need to start communicating with their children about sexuality and relationships at a much younger age.’
What role do you attribute to design when it comes to this type of social issue?
‘Design is the link between problem and solution. Anyone can design, but involving a trained designer dramatically increases the chance of finding innovative, creative solutions. This type of social issue is often highly complex, professionals from the field are, understandably so, absorbed by all the elements of the problem. The designer however only has one foot in this field while the rest of his body resides in a constantly changing world with new opportunities and insights from various disciplines. This allows the designer to iterate with the stakeholders, deploy various creative techniques and achieve unexpected combinations and new insights.’
Do you intend to continue the project once the challenge is over?
‘Yes, we are in contact with a healthcare institution in Amsterdam interested in publishing our calendar.’