Designing Transformative Technologies and A Digital Tool for Improving Young People’s Relationship With Social Media
TWCF Number
Project Duration
September 1 / 2021
- August 30 / 2025
Core Funding Area
Other Charitable Purposes
North America
Amount Awarded
Grant DOI*

* A Grant DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique, open, global, persistent and machine-actionable identifier for a grant.

Isabela Granic
Institution McMaster University

Led by Isabela Granic at McMaster University, this project will create two distinct digital innovations aimed at fostering human flourishing. The first, the Transformative Tech Toolkit, will allow tech developers to more deliberately integrate evidence-based psychological science into a variety of interactive digital applications to help them design better transformative technologies. The second, Excavo, is a digital self-exploration tool for adolescents, empowering them to better understand their values as well as how they align with their social media use.

The Transformative Tech Toolkit is an action-based, transdisciplinary interactive software system aimed at accelerating the design and development of science-informed digital innovations for human flourishing. As director of the Games for Emotional and Mental Health (GEMH) Lab at Radboud University, Granic developed a transdisciplinary framework—straddling the psychological and behavioural sciences, design thinking, the arts and media studies, and game design—for developing evidence-based digital innovations. The current project aims to refine this framework into an easily shared, interactive web-based tool that can be used across disciplines to guide researchers through the collaborative process of designing and testing digital interventions for well-being.

Excavo, a digital tool designed to promote young people's exploration of personal values, fills a gap in current science concerning technology use among young people, which has tended to treat all “screen time” as equal and failed to create engaging, personalized, science-based digital interventions for their well-being. Drawing on psychological theories of identity and values development, Excavo will provide young people with concrete insights into their social media use and offer them the engaging experience of aligning it with their personal values, interests, and goals. A series of trials within the project will test Excavo for its usability and its effect on young people's well-being.

In addition to the Toolkit and Excavo, project outputs will include a series of training and engagement events and four articles for peer-reviewed journals.

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