Play It Forward


Ashoka is a global non-profit which facilitates social entrepreneurship. Its Youth Venture division helps young people to envision and pursue socially and economically sustainable projects for the common good. Ashoka's core process is socially intensive, requiring considerable face-to-face-meeting time with mentors and peers. The organization is currently creating online analogues of this model, accessible to larger, more far-flung groups of participants. It recently launched a non-proprietary, social-networking site,, to help inform and inspire. However the site needs to attract more repeat visitors. PETLab proposes to address this challenge in two interlocking ways:

  1. A GenV arcade area that enables users to make and play their own custom-created, mini-social-issue games.
  2. Connecting the GenV arcade to popular, commercial social sites, such as Facebook.

The proposed Facebook experience would be a game where players build their own, virtual, social ventures. Higher concentrations of game creation and play would earn real financial contributions to players' causes. Facebook would extend the game virally. Ashoka is currently seeking funding for the next phase of development on this project.


  • Chris Hennelly
  • Karen Sideman