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The Design Method

How we designed the 21 Days: the Innovation Quest.

The Design

What if Innovation was a Routine?

Innovating at work can be an excitement or a stress ! We often imagine innovation as an excitement that innovators are commited, passionate and always looking for new technologies. However, this intense process may also cause some people stressful or further burnout. Throughout previous research, Bryson et al. have found that innovation affects workers’ wellbeing (Bryson, 2009).

What if innovation becomes a routine or even a mindset so that people can naturally develop and apply proper skills in completing their job in an innovative way?

Research studies have shown that to develop a new routine, it takes at least 21 days of repeated actions. It's a form of training. 21 Days : The Innovation Quest, offers a holistic experience to integrate innovation into professional life - a few minutes of daily gameplay, alone or with others - to make innovation a routine.

Reference : Bryson, A. D.-O. (2009), How Does Innovation Affect Worker Wellbeing?, CEP Discussion Paper No. 953.

The Goals

To develop a positive attitude towards innovations, changes and organizational transformations by creating a routine.

To help individuals and organizations to embrace circular economy and innovating with limited and low-tech resources.

To use gamification techniques to motivate individuals and organizations changing their behaviors.


The Game

21 Days is designed as a serious game to promote awareness and practices of innovating with limited resources.

It exhibits in a form of a tangible game, as well as an online variation. Playing the game day after day, it distributes knowledge about innovation and provides players a hands-on experience. It lasts for 21 days, which is considered as the minimal time to develop a behavioral routine.

Executive and Higher Education students will play their 21-day quest on a mysterious island. They will be given a precious mission box with 21 tubes and a secret diary. Each day they follow the story in the diary, open a tube, and complete a 15-minute mission to better understand one key concept about innovation.

At the end of the 21-day journey, they will have explored 6 dimensions of innovation paradigm and will be able to apply these concepts in their professional life.

Six Dimensions Background

Six Dimensions

To make innovation a routine, the pedagogical framework of the game integrates knowledge, skills, and behaviors.

Through the game, players will learn, practice, and improve on the following six dimensions:


Causal Reasoning


The awareness of the necessity of change, a strong sense of curiosity, and the ability to leave one's comfort zone.


Effectual Reasoning


Mental agility and the avoidance of mental bias.


Exploiting Knowledge


How to effectively design a project and test it through prototyping and iteration.


Exploiting Contingencies


The ability to reimagine a constraint as an opportunity.


Global Vision


Long term vision and prioritization .




Confidence in the face of the unknown, inclusivity, and optimism.









The Design

How we created 21 Days: the Innovation Quest

In creating 21 Days: the Innovation Quest, we followed a co-design method. Starting with two bootcamps with innovation experts and 80 students, we created 16 game prototypes. We identified the requirements of the new game version. We gather several stakeholders interested by Innovation(Ideaslab), Limited Resources Approach (Low tech lab, Suez) and Health challenges (Chair : Public Trust in Health). We identified their representations and challenges. The first version of this game was developed in collaboration with...

Then a game design team of game designers, game developers, and principal investigators was composed and worked on the internal validity of the game. 21 Days : The Innovation Quest was born after three months of iteration, 12 expert interviews, and 20 playtest sessions.