What Is KidZania?
The origin of KidZania starts like all great stories start, with an idea driven by an unwavering spirit born of a desire to create something better.
It didn’t just happen overnight, it was a long time in coming. And it didn’t happen in just one place, it occurred across the globe. Kids from every corner of the world were inspired to find a better way. From the kids’ perspective things were just not going as well as they should and it wasn’t getting better anytime soon. Governments operated inefficiently, societies were becoming inequitable, resources were being squandered, and decent values were being abandoned. With principles wavering, it became apparent that kids were going to be inheriting a less than ideal world. Something had to be done and so they sprang into action.
A Spirit is born
Their idea was simple. Unencumbered by race, religion, geography or culture, the spirit of their idea was a utopian vision of what a well-functioning, ideal world could be.
This was a world full of opportunity, where kids could assert themselves and take control. Through sharing ideas and gaining knowledge, they could think and act independently from adults. What the kids envisioned, was a real world, made perfect.
Clearly a world such as this demands a high degree of readiness and a solid foundation for achieving success. The kids understood that they would need to increase their skills, expand their knowledge and gain experience. Especially experience in every type of profession so that when the time came to join the adult world they would have the confidence to go forward and achieve their dreams.
RightZ are defined
Making the world a better place was a grand idea and the kids knew it was also the road to self-empowerment. But they also realized they needed to set out some basic rules so that they could put their dreams into action. They needed to exercise their RightZ, which were defined as fundamental to their belief’s principles and purpose. Like points on a compass, these beliefs – or RightZ – guide the kids in achieving their goals:
- To Be – Grounded in the idea of freedom, this Right empowers kids to act, to speak, and to think as they wish without hindrance or restraint.
- To Know – This Right demands open access and an open mind for the attainment of knowledge and experience, challenging the bearer to always be willing to question the status quo.
- To Create – This Right appeals for the discovery of original perceptions to design effective and valuable projects.
- To Share – This right fosters the belief of a strong ethic, a willingness to collaborate, to work together in ways rarely imagined, to shape a spirit based on giving.
- To Care – This right is fundamentally a commitment of awareness and involvement in the welfare and protection of the natural world.
- To Play – This Right is rooted in the desire to be playful and to enjoy life to the max – it’s what KidZania is all about!
A declaration is made
In their willingness to act upon their hopes and dreams the kids were already practicing an important right: to Be. Soon the kids were defining other RightZ and were ready and able to assert them. In reaching out to kids everywhere, they were getting ready to unite and to get serious about their plans. What the kids were planning to do was really kool and of monumental significance. Following the historical lead of the many trailblazers who came before them, these kids wrote the Declaration of Independence document as a proclamation of their independence from adults and as the unequivocal announcement of their new world’s existence.
It was a confirmation of their readiness and an immediate call to action. The time was now. Adults had better be prepared because the kids of the world were uniting!
A Nation is formed
The Declaration of Independence had proclaimed their RightZ and established their independence, now it was time for the group to declare their sovereignty. A formal identity with an official structure was needed. Forming a Nation with States and a government was the ultimate solution, an impressive leap as daring and fantastic as the decision to establish Cities of their own, but that is jumping ahead in the story. Their first leap was just in calling themselves a Nation. A Nation united on ideals rather than geography that would be a place all kids could call home no matter where they actually lived. Born from a spirit to make the world a better place, theirs would be a Nation for the ages.
The Nation is named: KidZania
After some consideration, the kids agreed upon the name for their Nation: KidZania. Roughly translated, it means ‘Land of Cool Kids’. It was short, easy to remember and it sounded really kool. Especially when they started calling themselves KidZanians, CitiZens of KidZania. All the kids loved it!
A city is envisioned
The kids were now ready to create a better world, but to do this required the creation of a special place just for them where they could prepare the skills, knowledge and experience they needed. For this, they decided to build their own City because cities are places where people live, interact and work independently while contributing to a greater whole. And Cities were also the kind of place where people could make friends, share ideas and care for those around them. Certainly those types of actions were important to the kids’ world too. So while Cities and civilizations had historically been founded for purposes of trade, for the centralization of power, and for human habitation among other reasons, the kids’ City would be founded for purposes of preparation and social interaction. This would be the place where KidZanians could experiment and train!
For this idea to work, the kids would need to mimic the reality around them in a way that would be conducive to their own needs. With the help of special adult City planners they surveyed what each of them liked and didn’t like about the Cities where they lived.
The kidz chose what their City would become and at the top of their list was the requirement that they could ‘play it real’ and ‘play it big’. Playing it real meant their City would feature real professions functioning within a real economy and playing it big meant the jobs would require kids to take on adult roles.
A city is founded
The first KidZania was established in Santa Fe, Mexico City. On the opening day thousands of kids came. They quickly embraced the city as their own and became passionate about its activities. Their participation provided useful feedback to the city planners striving to meet the needs of the city’s ever-growing population.
To commemorate the opening of this City, a local holiday called Foundation Day was celebrated each year on the day of the City’s momentous beginning. This tradition was repeated each time a new KidZania City was founded and is a practice that continues to this day.
Santa Fe was only the beginning. Soon the ideals spread across the globe, from city to city, and the nation of Kidzania came into being across the globe.
A government is established
With KidZania now established, it became apparent that there would need to be a governmental structure which would regulate the operation of the Nation and to guide the interactions of its CitiZens. With their first City built and more Cities on the horizon, the kids knew the creation of a government would be yet another great experience they could learn from and improve upon once they grew up. As more KidZania Cities were built, the global governing system evolved to support the physical and intellectual growth of the KidZania Nation.
This system would be comprised of ‘States’ across the world, each with its own KidZania City. It was decided that the States would be united in governance under two branches of government: a legislative body made up of kids and an administrative body run by adults in sync with the kids’ ideals.
From the history and development of KidZania come five remarkable characters: adventuresome Urbano, creative Beebop, thoughtful Chika, caring Vita and playful Bache, their fun loving pet.
They are considered the ‘RightZKeepers’ of KidZania’s most important RightZ: to Be, to Know, to Create, to Share, to Care and to Play. Urbano represents KidZania’s infrastructure aspect, Beebop symbolizes its artistic phase, Chika characterizes its trends, Vita personifies the standpoint of nature conservation and Bache represents the spirit of fun.
These veritable RightZKeepers are the City’s most celebrated residents. A trip to KidZania should definitely include a visit to the important monuments that memorialize them.
Some interesting facts about the RightZKeepers – they are:
- Animated interpretations of real-life beings.
- Universally relatable.
- Ageless in outlook and exemplary in behavior.
- Clever and witty, but never pretentious or disrespectful.