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Client: Universiteit Utrecht

Utrecht University attaches great importance to sustainability. They also want to give this to the students. We have been asked to design a game that helps students to form and develop a vision on sustainability from the perspective of their future profession.

How it works

This multiplayer game will be played on your phone during the Utrecht introduction week. First year students go out with their mentor group, and carry out challenges that have to do with sustainability. At the same time, they get to know each other and the city better and better.

Sustainable Development Goals

At the basis of the game are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  At the start of the game, students are presented with statements about the SDGs. They answer two questions: what do you think is important? And what do you think you can influence? Based on their answers, they will receive a profile.

On your way!

On their phones the students watch a nanotalk from a well-known Utrecht funnel. For example, a chef from a famous restaurant in Utrecht who explains how he deals with sustainability. In the nanotalks, the well-known Utrechters sketch a problem they themselves are waking up to. Each nanotalk is linked to 10 challenges for which the students come up with solutions. The challenges vary in size, for example ‘Inspire a stranger’, ‘Solve it with coffee’ or make a poster of your solution and hang it up. They make a photo and a text of every solution the students come up with.

No right or wrong

The challenges have deliberately been kept abstract so that there is room for personal interpretation. The game is about students looking around and looking for solutions with an open mind.

Although we did not initially build a competition in the game, it became clear during the first test that competition does motivate the students. The teams can now earn points in different ways. By uploading solutions, receiving likes and liking other solutions.

Big game

All solutions are plotted on the map of Utrecht. In this way, students get an idea of the city, where everything is and they immediately see what other teams are doing. The bigger goal of the game is that all students together will shape the Utrecht of 2040. What really needs to be there in 2040 and what is completely different?

At the end of the week the students reflect on the challenges and the profile during a joint lecture. Do you still think the same about it? Or are there other SDGs that appeal to you more or on which you think you have more influence?


A PhD from the UU carries out research into the influence of the game. Do students look at sustainability and their city in a different way after playing the game? As soon as the results are known, we take them into account in the further development of the game.

To be continued…

The game does not stop at the introduction week. We are currently working with the UU to see how we can make the game come back at different times during the study period.


Are you curious about what we can or can do for your organisation? Contact us or call 020 33 00 111