Many interesting social entrepreneurs drop by the Volans office in London and in these disruptive times of financial crisis it is especially heartening to hear their stories and appreciate the change that is already taking place.
So this week Charmian and I were delighted to welcome Gobion and Hannah from Red Redemption .
Red Redemption is a gaming company with a twist. They build socially conscious and ethical games. They were founded in 2000 and recently one of their games that they developed for the BBC, called the Climate Challenge, won the European Green IT awards 2008. Many of us at Volans have played the games hosted on their website and we are intrigued by the concept of using online games to raise awareness on social issues.
After we settled comfortably on our huge red sofas, Gobion explained more about Red Redemption – the culture, their business model, current alliances with Publishers and a few funny success stories of converting climate sceptics. Hannah delved into giving us an understanding on designing of the games and the science behind it.
As we heard more we began to grasp how the interactive environment of a socially conscious game can not only expand player’s understanding of complex developmental issues but also expose hidden biases. With the rising awareness about socially conscious games Red Redemption has big plans for the future and they are definitely a social enterprise to watch!
We couldn’t resist but ask if the crunch had affected them? Surprisingly the answer was ‘no’, and things were actually better. Gobion explained that before the crunch investors could invest in, say, the housing market, do nothing and still make a return. In the current climate investors need to be smarter and look at alternate investments. Thus opportunities are emerging for profitable social enterprises such as Red Redemption that have a working business model.