Children First World Design wake up call!

Wapaland Value Exercise @ Joint Idea Arnavutköy

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This is a wake up call for the most important responsibility we have as humans. I encourage every parent; care giver, decision maker, leader, educator, entrepreneur and concerned citizen to read this article. This is a movement to give a voice of to our children, the children of this world.


Exponential change -technological tsunami, communication noise, challenged biodiversity, greedy politics and ‘winner takes it all’ business narratives – and its impact on us is affecting the most vulnerable humans, children more than we seem to accept. I propose to not to fix existing systems but to redesign everything from the scratch, putting children first and everything after that, including profits and growth.




A world where children are most important, where business growth and profit targets are only instrumental goals to serve better to children…where “childish” is not a bad word but a good one; highlighting most important attributes of an innovative human, such as curiosity, collaboration and creativity…where children have a saying about their own life designs, based on their own values.


Why Children?


Top 5 reasons to “Why Children?”


1-Children are our future (leaders, employees, clients, game changers), born in exponential tech, making us to think open & long term with new paradigms, regardless of whether we are parents, business leaders, decision makers or citizens.


2-I see children as the most direct connection to our potential; unlocking motivations of not only parents but almost all adults to be better and do better now and in the future. Most of us are ready to run the extra mile for children happily. They can be a great catalyser in (re) discovering and defining the foundational higher purpose of businesses and us.


3-Children are role models of future humanity; not toxicated with old paradigms, innovative in thinking, passionate about creating, curious to learn, collaborate & grow. Learning from children, and designing with them is the best doorway to our unknown future.


4-Children are our little guides to connect to our authentic selves, and our inner children and enjoy life.


5-It’s easier to do things right than trying to fix them after you mess up. As adults we learnt many wrong assumptions which the grew as beliefs in our systems, now we are trying to unlearn them as leaders, parents, lovers, change makers. It is easier to design meaningful futures by making sure children learn what they really need, such as; self love, compassion, critical thinking, healthy living, art, creativity, empathy, collaboration, communication and consciousness.



Before we proceed, I’d like to share my personal story, and explain you ‘Why Me?’


I started Children First World design movement in my life, 8 months ago when we agreed to make peace with my ex husband for the sake of our children, healed ourselves and our relationship after 4 years of fighting in the court. We ended up innovating the Turkish law practice and became the first couple that got a divorce with common custody, which now is available to all parents who are struggling in the system.


With the awareness of how things can change for the better by focusing on children, I started to design my entire life from the scratch; changed my working hours according to time I’ll share with my 4,5 and 6 yrs. old daughters, which greatly benefited how effectively I do my business and how better it is to just focus on what you like. I prioritised their health as the most important thing which changed our shopping, cooking and eating habits as a family, I m now at my best in my blood and body mass indexes at the age of 36.


We turned off the TV for good, and minimised the interaction with other digital screens while with them to minimum (Hello I am Canay. I used to be a screen addict for the last 8 years of my life. I recovered thanks to this movement.) Our healthy eating habits led me to challenge school lunch menus for my daughters, who are far from ideal, still working on it, wish me luck.


In my businesses, I have always desired to serve to children, and now I’m doing it with human works design, with integrating this movement in all of our programs and serving to children and their parents directly but also designing new futures with children in Wapaland.


Why Now?


The more I focus on children, the more I realise how us-as adults- and our systems are far from prioritising children, in contrary few of them seem not to hurt children directly. As change makers, designers, decision makers, parents, educators, citizens, it’s an obvious dilemma ‘Why do we do what we do, knowing that they don’t serve to our children?’


  • Why do we advertise and sell junk food, drinks, making sure that they grow up to be obese with other mortal diseases?
  • Why do we make them feel as if they are not good enough in our communications and media exposures, and direct them to get depressed or addicted to things, substances and actions that harm them?
  • Why do we put them in boxes (cars, schools, concrete homes) longer than their natural system can accept then label them as ADHD and medicate till they lose their joy and curiosity for life?
  • Why do we keep on polluting our Earth and mess with its resources knowing that future generations will be deprived from clean water, fresh air, natural food and enjoying swimming with fish (instead with plastic)?
  • Why do we educate them to be somebody else who is less than their authentic self, and give them grades as if they wouldn’t enjoy learning in their natural state?
  • Why don’t we listen to them instead of trying to teach them all the time? Are we satisfied with our lives ourselves, do we really know what is a good life?


The effects on each child, if not impossible, are very hard to reverse. We know that from ourselves and every other adult we know deeply. That’s why ‘NOW’ is the best time to grow this awareness and join the movement.


Since we are awake, let’s start the action!




Our goal is to provide a vision and practical guide about “How to design businesses, cities, products, services and communication strategies with a children first approach. For the sustainable wellbeing of humans, as well as businesses and our planet, and inspire as many people as possible till we can happily say ‘Yes, this is a children first family, school, business, city, world.’


We are collecting best cases mainly in business, city, school, art and media/communication designs, community projects, and we are interviewing ‘children first’ leaders and change makers. I will be sharing updates biweekly on our newsletter and in my upcoming book ‘Children First World Design’.


We are also integrating this approach first to our own lives and communities, as well as to our business, including our talks, workshops, learning programs, consultancy services and our children first project ‘Wapaland’.


How can you join the movement?


Contribute. I invite you to attend our “Children First World Design” survey (5 min. fun)


Inspire. Each time you spot a ‘Children First’ product, service, company, design, or a leader, change maker, parent, and educator:


A-Send us an email.


B- Share on social media with #childrenfirst hashtag (tag @hworksdesign on twitter, humanworksdesign on Instagram, humanworksdesign on Facebook, humanworksdesign on Linkedin).


Host / Join Wapaland.

Wapaland is a place where children learn to become the game-changers of tomorrow, where they can design their own future focusing on their own values, and by creating deep human connections through music, art, dance, philosophy and other disciplines. Based on the principles that all starts from within a healthy body, an open mind, and a good heart. A place where they can learn the tools, skill sets and capabilities to become an outstanding game-changer of tomorrow, learning about healthy food, preserving our planet, and connecting as human-beings, equally, respecting other cultures.

Anyone interested to learn more, organise a Wapaland workshop or can help with coding our platform, please get in touch.


Wapaland workshop at Joint Idea, Istanbul (September 2017)



Hire Us. As human works design, we bring in the children values and narratives, with desired futures scenarios and roadmaps to become a ‘children first’ organisation. For our inspiration & empowerment services click here.


And here is a short video to remind us the meaning of life, enjoy!