15 May 2023

Press Release


New Digital Interactive Experience encourages users to think about a gender equal world. Young people co-design new interactive experience. Launches online and at The WOW Barn on 12th May

Leeds 2023, WOW - Women of the World, Four and The Space have come together to produce a Digital Interactive Experience that asks users to respond to the question ‘What would a world designed by women and girls look like?’

Digital studio Four have worked with a group of Year 8 students aged 12-13 from Trinity Academy, Leeds on the project, entitled One Way or Another which aims to encourage young people to explore gender equality issues.

In the experience, users are presented with a number of scenarios and asked to answer questions relating to topics including personal safety, attitudes, environment and health.

An example scenario relating to ‘attitudes’ is:

A girl arrives at school and goes straight to her form room. When she sits down, she can hear boys at the back of the room watching a video and making sexist comments. What should she do?

As users progress through the web-based experience answering questions, statistics from YouGov and information from Ofsted surveys are revealed, alongside information about initiatives such as The Everyday Sexism project. The questions and responses are intended to provoke conversations about gender issues and highlight the ways in which society is changing.

Four worked with the students over a 3-month period discussing, designing and exploring issues faced by young women today to pitch and co-design an interactive experience that other young people can play remotely or in a workshop setting.

One Way or Another will premiere as part of the LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture celebrations in The WOW Barn. The young co-designers will demonstrate the experience in person and lead workshops exploring the issues raised with other school students on 12th May. The experience will also be available online, enabling young people and educators from across the world to explore the issues in an interactive and playable way. one-way-or-another.co.uk

WOW will continue to use the Digital Interactive Experience in the autumn as part of their International Day of the Girl celebrations, around 11 October 2023.

Jude Kelly, CEO & Founder of The WOW Foundation said: “We're delighted to be launching One Way Or Another as part of The WOW Barn – we know it's going to provoke many conversations about what a gender equal world might look like. It's especially pertinent that it will launch as one of our project's schools' days before going online for everyone to discover. Young people's voices are always at the heart of WOW Festivals, and this innovative project is a brilliant way to spark imagination. The WOW Foundation exists to build, convene and sustain a global movement that believes a gender equal world is desirable, possible and urgently required and One Way or Another is an exciting way to engage people all around the world."

Kully Thiarai, Creative Director and CEO of LEEDS 2023 said: “We’re thrilled that One Way or Another will be launched at The WOW Barn, one of the signature projects in our Year of Culture. The WOW Barn is all about creating a one of a kind space for women, girls and non-binary people to explore gender equality, and dissect some of the issues we face in our society on a daily basis. This Digital Interactive Play Space will add to those conversations and live on as a legacy, once The WOW Barn has finished.”

Fiona Morris, Chief Executive and Creative Director, The Space said: “One Way or Another is a brilliant experience, that encourages and allows us to explore ideas around a gender equal world in an interactive and playable way.”


The WOW Foundation

The WOW Foundation was created by Jude Kelly CBE in 2018 to run the global movement that is WOW - Women of the World Festivals. The Festivals began in the UK in 2010, launched by Kelly at the Southbank Centre London, where she was Artistic Director, to celebrate women and girls, taking a frank look at what prevents them from achieving their potential, raising awareness globally of the issues they face, and discussing solutions together.

To date, WOW has reached over five million people in 30 locations on six continents, in locations including Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Finland, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somaliland, the UK and the USA.

Over the last 10 years the Festivals have developed a reputation as a space for world renowned artists, activists, thinkers and performers including Angela Davis, Malala Yousafzai, Annie Lennox, Patrick Stewart, Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Salma Hayek, to come and participate, alongside thousands of women and girls who don’t have public profiles but are doing amazing things. WOW provides platforms for people of all kinds, changes attitudes, brings communities together and provides a unique space for people to work together towards gender equality in their own communities. One example of the impact of the festival came in 2015, with the founding of the Women’s Equality Party by Sandi Toksvig and Catherine Mayer.

In 2018 Kelly left the Southbank Centre to run The WOW Foundation full time as a charity working to build, convene and sustain a global movement that believes a gender equal world is possible and desirable through festivals and empowering women and girls. The unique festival model creates numerous pathways for participants to take part in WOW projects, amplify their own causes, or start new initiatives which have a wide impact on communities. It is the biggest, most comprehensive and most significant festival dedicated to presenting work by women and promoting equality for women and girls.

WOW Festivals and events are presented by arrangement with the Southbank Centre. The WOW Foundation is supported by its Global Founding Partner Bloomberg.

The former Duchess of Cornwall was The WOW Foundation’s President.

LEEDS 2023

LEEDS 2023's ambition is to deliver a transformational year of creative experiences connecting and benefiting people now and into the future.

The planned programme will celebrate and transform the City’s identity locally, nationally and internationally – creating a lasting legacy of economic and social impact.

LEEDS 2023 is run by the Leeds Culture Trust, an independent charity set up in 2019 by Leeds City Council as part of its Culture Strategy and as a response to the cancellation of the UK's participation in the European Capital of Culture competition.

Leeds City Council recognises in a number of its key strategies the difference culture and creativity can make to a city and its citizens, and is the principal funder of LEEDS 2023. www.leeds2023.co.uk

LEEDS 2023 is supported by Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players for making this possible. https://leeds2023.co.uk/

The Space

The Space is the UK’s leading digital agency working in the cultural sector. Originally founded by the BBC and Arts Council England, the company supports arts, cultural and heritage organisations across the UK to build skills and produce digital creative content for online and broadcast platforms, as well as site-specific digital experiences. thespace.org | @thespacearts


Four North are an award-winning integrated agency that specialises in creating digital
experiences, bespoke platforms and innovative products.