In the last decade, there has been an increasing interest in the uptake of game-based learning or gamified approaches to eco-entrepreneurship in the island of Cyprus. According to the Eco-Innovation Observatory report for 2018-2019, policy and funding measures and mechanisms for promoting eco-innovation in Cyprus highly depend on co-financing through the EU structural funds. In particular, the initiatives carried out result from participation in the context of EU projects from NGOs, social enterprises, and other organisations, active in the field of social entrepreneurship.
As stated in the 2019 National Report on Social entrepreneurship in local communities, the typologies that qualify as social enterprises in Cyprus are Limited liability companies, Cooperatives, and Associations. These organisations that are based in Cyprus, have the capabilities and the know how, to introduce stakeholders and individuals to concepts and tools that focus on the use of game-based learning for eco-social entrepreneurship.
Among the most notable examples that were successfully implemented, include the Recyward, which run until 2017. Implemented by the University of Cyprus and its students, Recyward was based on the method of gamification, in that, every time someone recycles glass, plastic, aluminium or/and paper is rewarded with points which can be exchanged from various offers. Points are also exchangeable with seeds for tree plantations or for donations. Another noteworthy example, the STOMP CY youth entrepreneurship pilot programme, implemented in 2019 CyprusInno and the Center for Social Innovation (CSI), helped Cypriot youth develop entrepreneurial skills through gamification and interactive learning while exploring their city.
More recently, the INSPIRE project, including a partner organisation from Cyprus, involved development of an Innovative psychometric Serious Game. The scope is for players to become aware of themselves and identify the role they can play in a team of a Social Enterprise, and deal with the challenges. One other project with a partner from Cyprus, employing game-based learning for eco-entrepreneurship, is the AgroEduGames project. The project foresees an array of contemporary game-based learning methodologies towards the amelioration of Agro-entrepreneurship, including Escape Rooms and an Escape Card game. Similar to this gamified approach, using the concept of escape rooms, the ER-SE project, included creation of a comprehensive module pack with escape rooms scenarios on Social Entrepreneurship.
It is evident that there is a growing interest in the field of game-based learning and eco-social entrepreneurship in a Cypriot context. However, more government led funding is needed, to take a practical approach to the matter and resort to education of key stakeholders in a type of systemic change in the mindset of people, towards a truly sustainable eco-entrepreneurship path in Cyprus.