17 Mar 2016

Bright Little Labs: Creating children’s stories to inspire a fairer world.

By Guest

With Demo Day just a week away, we are profiling each of the nine teams that are going through the BGV programme. For this post we spoke to Sophie Deen of Bright Little Labs – who is creating children’s stories and games that encourages children to question the world around them.

What’s the problem you are trying to solve?

I think a lot of kids’ entertainment and programmes aren’t teaching our children about the right things. Kids’ stories, cartoons, and books are lacking in diversity, and rarely tackle important issues like the environment and sustainability. Females and minorities are rarely lead characters, and they certainly aren’t doing cool things with science or maths.

I also think it’s a sad fact that we have no idea where our stuff comes from. 40% of kids don’t know milk comes from a cow! We have a responsibility to educate the youngest members of society so that they can grow up to make informed choices.

What’s your solution?

Bright Little Labs create stories that inspire a fairer world. Stories provide great opportunities for us to impart knowledge to children. If we want kids to care about the problems they are going to inherit we need to explain those problems to them in a way that they can digest.

The main thing I’m focusing on first, is trying to connect us to our products. Our flagship story is centred around Detective Dot – a 9 year old coder who goes on global adventures trying to discover where things come from. She’s a part of the CIA (Children’s Intelligence Agency), and we’re encouraging our audience to become a part of this movement.

What’s your experience with that problem?

I spent a number of years working in tech where I was focused on measuring access to the internet in countries around the world. As a female working in technology, I noticed that I was frequently the only female in the room, particularly at government level in a number of the countries I was working in.

After this, I trained as a therapist and began a placement in a primary school. At the school we had this amazing playroom where there were lots of really diverse toys – toys with disabilities, of many different races etc. and it got me wondering why isn’t there more of diversity represented in mainstream media.

At the same time, I started working with Code Club, and I started learning more about the gender gap still present in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects in the UK.

How will this impact the lives of millions of people?

Our hope is that the stories we create will be picked up and shared across the world, and inspire a whole generation to have meaningful conversations about where their stuff comes from. As for Detective Dot, we hope she inspires young girls and minorities to get into STEM.

How can people get involved?

We always want to speak to people who can help. We particularly would love to hear from people who have experience in children’s media, parents, teachers, schools, museums and investors. So get in touch!

Website: www.brightlittlelabs.org
Twitter: @blittlelabs