EPIC-WE introduces cultural game jams, culture- and value-sensitive game-making and games through and for culture as a novel approach to empower young people as co-creators of European culture and shapers of their own futures in society, cultural institutions (CHIs) and creative industries (CIs). The backbone of the project is the EPIC-WE helix ecosystem - a transferable framework where youth, CHIs, CIs and higher education institutions (HEIs) cooperate as actors in the ecosystem. Together EPIC-WE engage in cultural games jams to create games through and for culture inspired by cultural heritage. The framework explores the potentials of this approach as a method for strengthening European values, belonging and cultural participation. Through game-making activities, EPIC-WE will equip youth with cultural-creative imagination and competencies to face societal challenges with curiosity, creativity, agency and imagination – what we call Empowered Participation. The project is carried out as an ambitious Design-Based Research and Innovation (DBR) action across three European sites, where EPIC-WE ecosystem actors co-create, and through this, develop, implement and evaluate the proposed framework. The validated DBR innovations are presented as accessible resources that enable organisations across Europe to replicate the EPIC-WE ecosystem, formats, and methods. Through extensive research, capacity building and policy advocacy activities, EPIC-WE will ensure that the project’s results reach a wide range of European CHI, CI and HEI actors, including the game industry, civil society organizations and youth. The consortium is in itself a helix ecosystem, bringing together leading research, cultural and creative sector organisations with multidisciplinary excellence in DBR, participatory and value-sensitive design, game design and youth engagement to empower youth as future culture-makers and game-makers in CHIs, CCIs and HEIs and as value-sensitive agents of change in society.