Today at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in Doha, Qatar, the Imagination Foundation was named one of ten ‘Champions’ in Lego Foundation and Ashoka‘s Re-Imagine Learning Challenge. Out of 632 projects from 63 countries, Imagination Foundation’s Global Cardboard Challenge–which has reached over 200,000 participants since its launch–was selected as “one of the most innovative, impactful and sustainable projects aimed at transforming the way the world learns.”

Says Mirjam Schöning, Global Head of Programmes and Partnerships in the LEGO Foundation:

‘Re-imagining learning requires breaking out of traditional models and institutions and venturing out on a journey filled with creativity and playfulness…These 10 Champions reflect some of the world’s most promising, high-impact, scalable solutions in the field.”

Meet the Champions


The 2014 Global Cardboard Challenge engaged 125,000+ participants in 46 countries in Creative Play

Our Global Cardboard Challenge, inspired by ‘Caine’s Arcade,’ invites the world to celebrate child creativity and the role communities can play in fostering it. The invitation is two-fold: kids are invited to build something amazing out of cardboard, recycled materials and imagination; and parents, educators, and nonprofit and business leaders are invited to be collaborators in bringing this worldwide initiative to their schools and communities.

From Los Angeles to Melbourne to Bogota to Kuala Lumpur, the passion, dedication and ingenuity on display during the Global Cardboard Challenge is a testament to the universal power of child imagination, and the extraordinary way it impacts communities anywhere and everywhere. By giving children time and space to explore their creativity — to tinker, to play, to test their ideas — the Imagination community is helping to raise the next generation of makers and innovators.

Cardboard Challenge at AVANCE in Houston, TX. Photo by Janet Deleon.

500 families participated in their first-ever Cardboard Challenge at AVANCE in Houston, TX. Photo by Janet Deleon.

The 2014 Global Cardboard Challenge was our most successful to date!

  • From 11,890 participants in 2012, to over 90,000  in 2013, to 125,304 in 2014, the Global Cardboard Challenge continues to grow in size and scope, championing the value of Creative Play around the globe.
  • The 2014 Global Cardboard Challenge boasted a record 715 events, hosted by dedicated volunteers from all over the world. [Read organizer reflections here]
  • We reached thirteen new countries, including Argentina, Venezuela, Benin, Ethiopia and Estonia.
  • The Global Cardboard Challenge is the first national effort to bring early STEM learning to pre-k learning environments. This year, in partnership with National Head Start Association, over 12,000 Pre-K kids joined the Global Cardboard Challenge.
  • New awesome partners in Creative Play include National Head Start Association, Clinton Global Initiative, Reddit and Skype in the Classroom.

Thank you to our own champion of Creative Play, Mattress Firm, for sponsoring the Challenge these last two years. And thank you to our other sponsors/partners, Focus Features, The Boxtrolls, reddit, Makedo, littleBits, SparkFun, National Head Start Association, Adobe and Skype in the classroom. Finally, congratulations to our passionate army of parents, educators and community leaders who organized Cardboard Challenge events all over the globe.

Our 4th Annual Global Cardboard Challenge will launch next September and culminate in a day of play on October 10, 2015 (the fourth anniversary of the flash mob that came out to make Caine’s day in the short film).  Mark your calendars and we look forward to seeing everyone next year.

The World at Play


Quadcopter pic of a Cardboard Challenge in Memphis, TN. Photo credit: Sheri Burkeen / @ecctech

Families built a cardboard city in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Little Creatures Collective.

Families built a cardboard city in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Little Creatures Collective.


Cardboard Challenge in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo by Lhaira Guerrero.

Cardboard Makedo Maze in East LA. Librarian from Albany public library. Photo by Dream Mullick and xx.

Left: Cardboard Makedo Maze in East LA. Photo by Dream Mullick. Right: Drumming up creativity in Albany, NY. Photo by Albany Public Library.


Walukuba Creators and their cardboard creations in Jinja, Uganda. Photo by Bulungi Creative.

See the 2014 Yearbook See Videos