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Daniela Schiffer: Individual and Collective Sustainability Through Gamification

Daniela Schiffer: Individual and Collective Sustainability Through Gamification

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Daniela Schiffer, the managing director of Kilma-Taler. Let’s learn about what’s happening there and how Daniela is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Daniela, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Kilma-Taler?

Daniela: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! In our Klima-Taler app we encourage citizens to adopt more sustainable and healthier lifestyle choices. Our innovative approach combines nudging and gamification. Citizens create Klima-Taler (climate coins) by saving five kilograms of carbon dioxide for walking, cycling, and using public transport. These KT can be exchanged for discounts or free admissions in participating cities, creating a tangible incentive for saving carbon dioxide. Our mission is to make sustainability rewarding and accessible for everyone.

Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?

Daniela: Witnessing the positive changes in people's daily habits as well as the idea of building a network of cities that champions sustainability keeps me going. It’s great to see an increasing number of individuals and cities participate. The opportunity to innovate in the field of gamification and behavioral science, and seeing these innovations lead to real-world environmental benefits, is incredibly rewarding.

Spiffy: What is the impact of your work?

Daniela: Our target is each individual and helping them not to feel overwhelmed and helpless facing the increasingly bad news around climate change. This is about promoting self-efficacy. That it does matter, what every one of us does. Of course big corporations are not off the hook, but neither are we in our daily lives. And we promote this in the most playful and positive manner possible.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your community?

Daniela: We are currently working with over 25 cities and communities in Germany and are starting in two other European regions—Sintra, near Lisbon in Portugal, and Turku, Finland. We are counting on the network effects to make it more and more attractive to join as a city and as an individual.

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Daniela: Certainly! At Klima-Taler, we're not just about promoting sustainable behavior; we're also passionate about fostering a sense of community and empowerment. Through our platform, users not only track their progress, but also connect with like-minded individuals, share experiences, and celebrate achievements together, creating a supportive environment for positive change.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Daniela—it’s been an honor!

Daniela Schiffer has an MFA in New Media and founded Changers.com in 2012 and Klima-Taler in 2020. She works in the fields of tokenized incentivisation for health promotion and climate change mitigation. Daniela's heart beats for the possibility of solving societal problems through the use of technology. With the help of a carbon dioxide token, rules for earning and spending and the corresponding exchange value can be defined, enabling a healthier and more just future for us all. (Nominated by Max Kahn. First published on the Ladderworks website on April 6, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.