EVOKE: Transforming education to empower youth


Evoke is a crash course in changing the world.

An award-winning educational experience that uses project-based learning, game mechanics, graphic novel content and storytelling designed to engage young people and inspire them to solve global challenges while developing 21st Century skills.

Want to know more? Look at the original Evoke trailer!

Engaging Digital Content

NEW second image by Inaki
How can I create more engaging learning experiences to reach students who are disengaged and unmotivated? As learning moves outside of physical classrooms, student attention is increasingly competing with other media (such as movies, games, social networks).  In this context, one of the major challenges for education systems is identifying relevant and engaging digital content to support students in their learning process, as well as to inspire them to learn and take action to address global grand challenges in their local communities.




Development of 21st Century Skills

What are the important elements to consider when designing an e-learning platform for 21st century skills development? 

Lack of Relevant Skills among youth is cited globally: Private sector demands critical thinking (72%), collaboration (63%) and communication (54%). The 2014 iteration in Colombia surfaced many important lessons on the use of open platforms to catalyze learning in Latin America, including the integration of competency frameworks for 21st century skills, the development of authentic tasks for measurement of skills, and the role of project-based learning in development of socio-emotional skills.

Student Incentives

How do I implement transparent mechanisms to incentivize and measure 21st century skills in results-based financing?

Incentivizing and measuring the development 21st century skills through results-based financing or conditional cash transfers. Transparency is critical to scale education financing: Studies have shown that in many countries only 13% of intended resources actually reach the school. At the same time, student engagement and motivation represent a persistent problem throughout the education sector. Evoke’s blockchain pilot aimed to pilot solutions to both of these problems; the project worked to create incentives for students to complete coursework by issuing tokens (dubbed “Evocoin”) as a reward for completed coursework. The Evocoins could then be redeemed for cell phone minutes in a marketplace on the platform.


Explore how the Evoke Project has evolved over the years and the key research questions it has explored

  • How can we reach youth where they spend their time – in graphic novels, game environments and social networks? The original iteration of EVOKE, URGENT EVOKE, launched at the TED conference in early 2010 by co-creator and noted game designer Jane McGonigal, generating much media interest, ran as a 10-week “crash course in saving the world" from February through May. Geared for students across Africa, this first version of EVOKE was in English. It won a top award at the 8th Annual Games For Change Festival.
  • How can we create content focused on the global grand challenge of waste with local storytellers? The second iteration of EVOKE, EQUIPE-EVOKE, took place in 2012 in partnership with the Ministry of Science and Technology in Brazil. This version of EVOKE, which is sometimes referred to as 'season two', was in Portuguese (view trailer).
  • Can the creative industry of storytellers and artists collaborate with futurists and development experts to create original engaging educational content? The third iteration of EVOKE was developed in 2014. Supported by the World Bank's Innovation Fund, it was piloted in Spanish in Mexico and Colombia, in partnership with the University of Guadalajara (Mexico) and Uniminuto (Colombia). This version of EVOKE, which focused on food security, energy and water, was in Spanish. As part of this iteration, a creative narrative hackathon with Arizona State University was organized, which featured world-renowned science fiction authors from ASU's Project Hieroglyph as well as futurists, visual artists and subject area experts on a range of pressing global issues, and led to the creation of new content related to peace and literacy. 
  • What is the role of technology and project-based learning in development of relevant 21st century skills? The fourth iteration of EVOKE took place in partnership with the Soacha campus of Uniminuto, targeting the town south of Bogota which has a large population of people displaced because of prior civil unrest in that country. This version of EVOKE took place in Spanish. See the results of the randomized control trial.
  • Can technology reach and impact out of school youth?  A fifth iteration of EVOKE was implemented in July 2017, in partnership with World Vision in South Africa around the theme of Literacy.
  • Could blockchain technology provide transparent and traceable disbursement of incentives directly to students?  In 2020, Evoke piloted the use of Blockchain technologies to enable an incentive-based approach to engage students who took a course on “Sustainable Cities” in EAN University in Bogota, Colombia. At the end of this implementation, the lessons were shared in the event “The Future of Education”.


Evidence and Evaluations

Media and Events



Videos and trailers: