KidZania Ztory

The time had come. Enough was enough. Something had to be done and kids were the ones to do it. The history of KidZania starts like all great stories start, with idealistic passion and an unwavering spirit that was stimulated by a communal desire to create something better.

Inspired

The kids of the world became utterly inspired. Looking at the way the adults were running the world had become an exercise in exasperation. From a kid’s perspective things were just not going as well as they could be and it didn’t look to be improving anytime soon.

Something had to be done and they were the ones prepared to do it.

It didn’t just happen overnight; it was a long time in coming. And it didn’t happen just in one place, it occurred in the minds of numerous cultures across every continent. And it wasn’t just to rebel for some adolescent reason, but rather to make improvements for wonderfully idealistic reasons full of principles and values, passion and commitment.

What happened is, the kids of the world became utterly inspired. Looking at the way the adults were running the world had become an exercise in exasperation. From a kid’s perspective things were just not going as well as they could be and it didn’t look to be improving anytime soon.

Governments operated inefficiently, societies were becoming inequitable, valuable resources were routinely squandered and values were seemingly more and more negotiable. With principles wavering and violence increasing it became apparent that kids were going to be inheriting a less than ideal world. Something had to be done and they were the ones prepared to do it.

A Spirit is Born

The birth of their idea was the result of likeminded thinking, a state of mind, more than a physical place. It was the collective thinking in the imagining of something better by kids all over the world that led to its creation.

What the kids envisioned, was a real world made perfect which ultimately made it “the place” where kids wanted to be.

Unencumbered by race, religion, or culture, the spirit of their idea transcended even geography to be rooted in a utopian vision of what a well-functioning, ideal world could be. This was a world full of opportunities where kids could assert themselves and be responsible. This was a world where kids could think and act independently from adults sharing ideas and gaining knowledge.

What the kids envisioned, was a real world made perfect which ultimately made it “the place” where kids wanted to be.

Clearly a world such as this demands a high degree of readiness and a solid foundation for achieving success. To truly create a wellfunctioning, highly empowering place, kids would need to be equipped and self-determined.

They would need to increase their skills, expand their knowledge and gain experience. Especially experience, all kinds of experience in every type of profession and with every type of technology imaginable.

If they were to be ready to apply their ideas once they joined the adult world at the age of 16, training and experimentation were going to be essential to their plans. But first, they were going to need to identify what was really important for them and then start asserting those RightZ

RightZ are Defined

Like points on a compass, these RightZ would be there to guide the kids in achieving their goals. They are the foundations for real world preparations and the achievements of happiness.

To Be

The power to be self-determining, unique and free in harmony among humankind. This right is grounded in the eternal idea of freedom: the power to act, to speak, and to think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

To Know

The capacity to be curious and experimental when educating oneself. 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

The faculty to be innovational, to dream up new things. This right appeals for the discovery of original perceptions to design effective and valuable projects; the initiative of new solutions to humankind problems with original and useful thoughts

To Share

The benefit to be generous and thoughtful to oneself and to others. 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

The responsibility to be supportive and proactive of the environment. This right is fundamentally a commitment of awareness and involvement in the welfare and protection of the natural world.

To Play

The ability to be playful and participatory in life. This right is rooted in the ageless desire to relax and enjoy life; to devote one’s energy and time towards making life’s journey a fun and fulfilling one.

A Declaration is made

What had begun as a shared mindset of annoyance at the adult world inefficiencies was now becoming a more definitive promise. Kids proclaimed their sovereignty as a group united in purpose and announced their immediate independence from the adult world.

In their willingness to act upon their hopes and dreams the kids were already practicing an important right: to Be. They were thinking and acting independently; what had begun as a shared mindset of annoyance at the adult world’s inefficiencies was now becoming a much more definitive premise. Kids had defined their 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.

The spirit behind the kid’s thinking reminded them of the many independent thinkers in history who had deviated from the conventional way and defined their own futures. 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 decided to mark the moment and make their wishes known by writing an official Declaration of Independence. This declaration proclaimed their sovereignty as a group united under one purpose and announced their immediate independence from the adult world. 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!

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. While the exact year and birthplace of this declaration is uncertain due to the inadvertent smudging of the document’s location and date, the day itself, September 10th, is undisputable.

Long before their first community was ever formed, kids were already celebrating this date as their Independence Day. The declaration’s signing has been commemorated ever since in a National Monument called The Independence Fountain to offer passersby inspiration from the passion, wisdom and solidarity of purpose.

A Nation is Formed

The spirit that drove the kids to want to take action was the same spirit that ultimately drove them to call themselves a Nation: their ideals were universal, where no geographical boundaries defined them, physical borders were nonexistent and no cultural differences restricted them.

The kids shared a fellowship that was uniquely timeless. And they chose the name “KidZania”, a name that captures the spirit and purpose of their Nation and identifies them as a land.

All kids were drawn together by this firmness of purpose. The Declaration of Independence had proclaimed their RightZ and established their independence, now it was time for the group to declare their sovereignty.

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 and a lot of rooting around, the kids agreed upon the name for their Nation: KidZania. Roughly translated it means Land of Kool Kids. This made sense to the kids since they wanted their Nation to be first and foremost about kids. A name like KidZania captured the spirit and purpose of their Nation in addition to identifying them as a land. It was perfect, KidZania the Nation was a land of kids that spanned the whole globe!

So KidZania became the name of their Nation. 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 get ready for a better world. The world they envisioned demanded their preparation. This required the creation of a special place just for them. They had already declared their independence. Crazy as it sounded, now they would found a City.

They chose the idea of creating their own City because Cities are places where people live, interact and work independently while contributing to a greater whole. Surely their world would want to foster a similar degree of cooperation and interaction. 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. Of course, being crafted by kids, it would also need to be firmly fixed in the notion that life and learning can and should be fun! To settle on a design and determine a location the children got together and talked amongst themselves. 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.

Some drew original illustrations to depict their perfect place, while others referenced existing places to describe what they wanted. Inquiries were also made to adults with experience in design and programming specialties that would be relevant to their cause.

Ultimately, however, it was the kids that guided 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 perform as if they were adults.

A City is founded

The first KidZania City was founded in Santa Fe, Mexico City on September 1st 1999. While KidZania is for every kid, everywhere and for all times, it was built in this City first because Mexico City has the largest population of children in the world. No other place in the world has so many kids living and interacting in one location. This KidZania City is nowadays known as our Capital City.

The City incorporated all of the founders’ ideas. Kids could be prepared through training in dozens of different industries as either workers or customers. They could experiment with new technologies and test out new ideas in a variety of different mediums.

The day the first City was founded thousands of children 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 established to be celebrated each year on the day of the City’s momentous beginning. This tradition was repeated when the next KidZania City was founded and is a practice that continues to this day. Whenever a KidZania City opens its borders to tourism, that date becomes a local holiday to be celebrated annually by the City’s KidZanians.

A Government is Established

In establishing a system of government, the founders of KidZania were looking to regulate the operations of their Cities and the interactions of its CitiZenry. They knew their Nation needed a structure for governing and that they themselves needed to learn more about how governments really work. Therefore, with the help of adults in tune with their passion and purpose, they devised a democratic system of government.

This democratic system of government was defined to work in two branches:

Legislative

CongreZZ is the Legislative Branch of KidZania. It operates at the City level of government under the care of twenty appointed KidZanians aged seven years and older, who are naturalized CitiZens charged with keeping the City’s adult ministers and bureaucrats in touch with the welfare of the community. CongreZZ kids as they are officially called, meet to discuss current cultural trends, new technologies and the likes and dislikes of their CitiZenry. The story behind the composition of this body of government came about like so many other decisions in KidZania’s history: it evolved from the kids’ desire to be heard.

Administrative

The administrative branch is KidZania’s chief directorial body and is the larger of the two branches. It is staffed by adult government collaborators and is structured to administer into three levels of Government.

There is the Central Government housed in Mexico City that is led by KidZania’s Chief Executive called the President of KidZania; there are the State Governments organized per country and led by Governors; and there are the City Governments that operate at the local level and are governed by a Mayor.

  • President: As the head of the Central Government, the President’s main responsibility is to ensure that the Nation and its CitiZens act in compliance with KidZania’s fundamental RightZ. He represents the Nation at the international level and is required to incorporate new States to KidZania, as well as to look for the prosperity of the Nation.
  • Governors: responsible for how the State is run overseeing the incorporation of Industry Partners, the development of new Cities and regularly reporting to its CitiZens and Government collaborators on the State progress.
  • Mayors: representing not only the CitiZens but the different industries and collaborators working for the City, have the responsibility of providing a detailed service to tourism and its CitiZens and of supervising the proper operation of the City and guaranteeing high quality resources.

These three levels are further organized into a system of authority.

There is an Executive level for senior officials that comprises the President, Governors and Mayors. There is also a Ministry level for departmental supervision, which directs operational areas such as the economy, culture and urban planning. And there is the Bureaucratic level of functionaries who perform the City’s operational duties. These include the Zuperviors that guide the activities at each of the City establishments. An oversight council called the KidZania Presidential Advisory Council advises on fiduciary matters and various investigative commissions counsel on interests of National concern.

A Declaration is Made

What had begun as a shared mindset of annoyance at the adult world inefficiencies was now becoming a more definitive promise. Kids proclaimed their sovereignty as a group united in purpose and announced their immediate independence from the adult world.

The spirit that drove the kids to want to take action was the same spirit that ultimately drove them to call themselves a Nation: their ideals were universal, where no geographical boundaries defined them, physical borders were nonexistent and no cultural differences restricted them.

The kids shared a fellowship that was uniquely timeless. And they chose the name “KidZania”, a name that captures the spirit and purpose of their Nation and identifies them as a land.

A City is Envisioned

Once the idea of KidZania moved from being a mindset by a group of similar thinkers towards a fully formed Nation, it became clear that they would need to develop a City, and this kid’s City would be founded for purposes of preparation and social interaction.

A Government is Stablished

In establishing a system of government, the founders of KidZania were looking to regulate the operations of their Cities and the interactions of its CitiZenry. They knew their Nation needed a structure for governing and that they themselves needed to learn more about how governments really work. Therefore, with the help of adults in tune with their passion and purpose, they devised a democratic system of government.