Join us in building a guide that integrates children’s rights into the heart of the design process.

The technological innovations and new media have provided children with unprecedented opportunities to express themselves, participate, access information, learn, share, play and communicate – opportunities we could only have dreamt of before. Today, our children have instant access to the latest knowledge and wisdom of the world, they are able to connect with other children across the globe, and participate in fascinating entertainment experiences.


Alongside these great benefits and new digital experiences, children are facing a number of risks that may compromise their well-being and violate their rights. Exposure to age-inappropriate content or conduct, violation of children’s data privacy, online bullying, sleeping disorders and the other effects of excessive use of digital products are few examples of the common challenges faced everyday. 

And no wonder - when it comes to the digital era, we are still a toddler learning to walk, knees shaking. We all know that it is time to take the next leap - to harness the vast potential of technology and new media for the greatest interests of both children and businesses.

#ChildrensRightsInDesign #DesignForChildren #EthicalDesign #EthicalBusiness


Welcome to the TALKOOT* 19-21 Jan 

A weekend-long event of inspiration, discussion and hands-on work for the better future for children.  The event will take place in the Helsinki Think Company space on Yliopistonkatu 4 in the center of Helsinki, Finland.




The design community has the power to create the products and services that respect children’s rights. Together we can question the status quo, encourage responsible business conduct and the development of products and services, where child rights considerations are embedded in their design.

How can we take steps to minimize risks for children’s exposure to harm, abuse and exploitation in the services and products we create, and also empower children to access information, express themselves, and teach them to be emphatic, critical and active, participate and learn?

We want to bring the design community together to find out what are the key opportunities, challenges and needs for support when moving towards children’s rights by design approach. Throughout this weekend we will search for solutions and ideate how to integrate these considerations into the design process.


Firstly, we aim to build a free and open digital guide in collaboration with the participants. The guide will support designers in the process of creating products and services, that have children’s rights and best interest embedded in their design.

As a result of Talkoot*, we will publish a MLP version (Minimum Lovable Product) of the guide available online for the global design community and for any other interested parties to use, share and iterate forward.

Secondly, we also want to empower the design-community, build awareness and start a discussion on the subject of children’s rights in design.



We will be working in teams divided by the age groups of children, paving the different layers of the design guide. Each team will look into the following themes:

  • Psychology & development: How can the heterogeneity of children as end users be taken into account in design?

  • Social factors: How can we ensure the positive social impacts and empower the child’s journey from family to individuality and active participation in the society?

  • Content and features: How can we design the impact of the content in mind, e.g. privacy, safety, data collection, and addiction? And also engagement, digital literacy, learning, creativity and play?

  • Design methods in practise: How to tweak probes, interviews, co-creation, brainstorming and research for each age group?


We welcome internationally all professional designers (e.g. service, interaction or game design), as well as experts in cognitive scientists, psychologists, social scientists, educators, human rights experts, and others who want to give input for the better future of children’s rights in design to take part in the Talkoot event.

  • 40+ Professional designers

  • 20+ Experts

  • Speakers (Will be announced in mid-December)

Join us!


UPDATE: The application period has ended on 5th of January 2018. All applicants have been informed if they have been selected.



The Program

Friday the 19th of January

15:00-20:30 Registration, expert lightning talks and discussion.

Saturday the 20th of January

9:00-19:00 Workshops, collaborative building of the Designing for Children Guide MLP.

Sunday the 21st of January

9:00-17:00 Share and discuss the workshop results, plan for the next steps.


First time in Helsinki? Check out the Helsinki Info page where we collected some useful links on transportation etc and the venue location map. 



The guide and documentation of the event will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

Creative Commons License

The speakers


Amaya Gorostiaga, Child Rights and Business Specialist at UNICEF

Amaya Gorostiaga is a Child Rights and Business Specialist at UNICEF. Amaya brings with her more than ten years of experience working on corporate sustainability. In her current role at UNICEF, Amaya focuses on strategic planning, internal and external stakeholder engagement, and capacity building for the advancement of children’s rights within the ICT industry. With regards to children’s rights in the digital world, Amaya engages business on issues including combatting child online sexual exploitation, child online safety, privacy, digital marketing, and digital literacy, and has led the development of a numbers of child rights tools and guides for business.


Minna Huotilainen, Neuroscientist, Professor in the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Helsinki University

Neuroscientist Minna Huotilainen is a Professor in the Faculty of Educational Sciences in University of Helsinki. As a researcher, Minna has studied the brains and learning in infants, children and adults, and is especially interested in the effects of music and digital devices to brains and learning. As an author, Minna has introduced brain research in books such as Tunne aivosi (Know your brain) and Aivot työssä (Brains at work), published by Otava.


Dr. Teemu Leinonen, an Associate Professor IN THE DEPARTMent of media, Aalto University

Dr. Teemu Leinonen is an Associate Professor of New Media Design and Learning at the Aalto University, lead of the Learning Environments’ research group. Teemu holds over two decades of experience in the field of research and development of web-based learning, especially e-learning, collaborative learning, collaborative group work, creative work and art and design practices. Teemu  is a well-known advocate of open source / free software in education, free knowledge and open education.


Professor Krystina Castella, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena

Professor Krystina Castella has practiced as a product and environmental designer for companies such as Walt Disney Imagineering and has taught at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA for 25 years. Her research and coursework centers around designing for play, the intersection between design and ethical business, and sustainable materials and manufacturing. Krystina is currently writing a book for Routledge Publishing: Designing for kids and youth: Creating for playing, learning, and growing.


Shuli Gilutz, Ph.D., ux Research, Children's technology

Shuli Gilutz, Ph.D., specializes in user research, assessment, strategy, and design, of interactive environments for children. She works both in industry and academia, teaching, advising, and conducting research, in a variety of user experience (UX) settings, as well as a strategic consultant for development of children's digital experiences. 

Shuli founded the Child-Computer Interaction research FB group with over 1,000 members world-wide, and works to combine research and practice with startups both at Google Launchpad and MindCET accelerators.


Willow Mellbratt, Play Director, Toca Boca

Willow Mellbratt is a Play Director at Toca Boca with a passion for bringing play into the design process and always advocating the kids’ perspective. After a Masters in Experience Design, Konstfack, Sweden, she sought out how to explore design research and co-creation practices through working with IDEO, Penguin Books and Doberman. She has been working in the digital industry since 2003 with a focus on children since 2011.


Petter Karlsson, Play Designer, Toca Boca

Petter Karlsson is a Play Designer at Toca Boca with a deep interest in play and participatory culture. As a fond believer of the power of play, Petter co-founded the company LajvVerkstaden which uses roleplaying pedagogic to teach at schools and organisations. After joining Toca Boca in 2015 he has been working with the Toca Life Series.


Casper Mathiesen, Lead play designer, designit

Lead Play Designer at Designit with a diverse background from kindergarten teacher to puppeteer to Digital Experience Manager. Focuses on building a better world by being inspired by kids with a strong belief in humans as playful beings. Loves pragmatic design tools.


Jais Christensen, creative producer, LEGO

Jais Christensen joined The LEGO Group in 2012 as a creative producer.  Jais is particularly passionate about play in design and how this is turned into child friendly user experiences. He has been the key driver and lead creative on LEGO preschool experiences for LEGO DUPLO and LEGO Juniors since 2012. As part of the LEGO Digital Games team he strives to build upon LEGO’s success and secure quality content for kids in the mobile apps and game market.


The application period is now closed. We have let all applicants know if they have been selected. If you have any suggestions or questions, we'd be happy to hear from you at info(at)childrensdesignguide(dot)org

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In collaboration with

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More partners, sponsors and collaborators to be announced. If you would like to join as a sponsor, partner, or have any suggestions or questions, contact us at info(at)childrensdesignguide(dot)org