In the summer of 2011, 9-year-old Caine Monroy spent his vacation building an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his father’s car part store. Using discarded boxes and found objects, he built and designed every game complete with ticketing and prize redemption systems. The summer went by with no customers until Nirvan Mullick, a ﬁlmmaker, made an appearance to buy a door handle for his car. Mullick became interested in the cardboard arcade and basic business fundamentals Caine demonstrated at such a young age. After ﬁnding out he was Caine’s ﬁrst costumer he reached out to a friend and, with a little help from the internet, he was able to organize a ﬂashmob event at the arcade. The event was ﬁlmed by Mullick and turned into an 11 minute documentary that went viral shortly after, receiving over 10 million views.
The ﬁlm turned into a movement and with the help of educators and parents, the non-proﬁt “Imagination Foundation” came to life. This foundation fosters creativity and entrepreneurship in kids all around the world… just like Caine. The same foundation developed the Global Cardboard Challenge, which happens annually on the anniversary of Caine’s successful arcade day. This challenge celebrates child creativity by inviting kids to build anything they imagine using cardboard and recycled materials. Throughout the years, the Global Cardboard Challenge has engaged over 400,000 kids in 60 countries.
We’re starting the year off inspired by Caine, the Global Cardboard Challenge and the undeniable power of cardboard.