IKEA has always been siding with families with children and has for over 20 years had a complete and unique range and department in the stores to meet the specific needs of children and their parents. For Children’s IKEA the starting point is the IKEA vision, the IKEA values and the Children’s rights and business principles.
“We use the Children’s rights and business principles to strengthen children’s right to play and develop – through our core offer, social initiatives and our approach to developing safe and healthy solutions.”, says Fredrika Inger, Business Area Manager for Children’s IKEA at IKEA of Sweden, and IKEA representative in The Global Child Forum.
During The Global Child Forum, representatives from different business and non-governmental organisations and academia will meet to share knowledge and learn from each other on how the topic of children’s rights.
“For us it is important to take part in this forum to raise our voice and show how businesses can make a difference in these types of questions. At IKEA we stand on a foundation made from four commitments to children. Where our approach is always from the child’s perspective, safety is a precondition, we build everything we do on knowledge and we make sure that we have a positive impact on people and the planet. With this in mind, we are never done. This is a great opportunity for us to share what we do and learn and get inspired from others.”, says Fredrika Inger.
For the last few years IKEA has specialised and focused on how to develop products from a child’s perspective in a new way and to put children in the driving seat in different activities such as; Kids Lab, Kids Panel and design collaborations with kids.
“We strongly believe that it is the children’s right to be heard and we see children as democratic beings with a specific expertise about how it is to be a child. We also want to involve children in order to co-create better products together with the real experts on play.”, says Fredrika Inger.
Going forward IKEA will continue to always put the children in the first room and continuously implement children’s rights throughout the product development and supply chain. Being a part of The Global Child Forum and share with other global leaders is one step on that journey.
If you want to simplify it, you could call Kids Lab focus groups with children for Children’s IKEA. However it is a little bit more than that. We consider children to be the world’s leading experts in play and playful solutions for their homes. They are the experts in all the challenges it means to be living with adults. We need their knowledge. A Kids Lab session is when we meet a group of children (with or without their adults) to be able to get their input on a specific topic connected to a specific business project. It is often connected to a project where we are developing products but it can also be to get input when we create the business plan, to understand children’s life at home. Every Kids Lab is a new group of children.
Kids Panel is our international digital panel where we get almost instant input from advisors in the age of 8-14 from different parts of the world. The children and their parents responds to different questions that is sent to them every two weeks. We have assigned a research company that are very used to working with children. It is great way to have the children’s view present in the everyday. We have moved away from guessing what children thinks to just asking them. We also work with plenty of experts and professors but they need to stand back. The 40 children are definitely our main advisors in the everyday.
SAGOSKATT – kids designing for kids
For a few years now IKEA has arranged the soft toy drawing competition and invite children from around the world to draw the soft toy of their dreams. The 5 most unique creations is turned into real soft toys and become the limited-edition collection called SAGOSKATT. We receive over 80,000 drawings and eventually, our jury settles on winners whose creations last year included a claw-less hippopotamus crocodile, a dachshund with a horn and rainbow-coloured wings, a happy-faced rainbow cloud, a lion named “Tiger”, and other wildly creative submissions. 100 % of the turnover is donated locally on all markets to charities supporting children.