Friday, December 30, 2011

Sharing ideas. World-Wide Network-Building.

This year has been one of disruptive change for me and the Tutor/Mentor Connection. I turned 65 on Dec. 19 and while many of my peers are retiring soon (or already retired) I'm launching a new business to support the growth of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in high poverty areas of mega cities like Chicago.

I created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in July after the Board of Cabrini Connections voted to discontinue support of the Tutor/Mentor Connection in April 2011, after 18 years of operating as a local-global non profit. The change left me with a vast network and a library of resources but without an organizational structure or nonprofit status to recruit talent and dollars that had helped me grow the T/MC since 1993.

While my focus has been Chicago, the maps below show that my network and sphere of influence is the world.

This first map shows participants in the Jan 15-21, 2012 JellyWeek co-working event organized by a group from Germany. I've been contributing ideas to this group and on Jan 19 I will be part of this group's event. I've posted my own vision for a Chicago-based Jelly Week team/project here.

I met David Price, Co-founder of Debategraph in September and with his help launched this planning portal. Anyone who is interested or involved in helping kids born in poverty get the support needed to move through school and into jobs ---over a 20-25 year period, can add their ideas to this platform. They can also take these ideas into work spaces such as JellyWeek or the Tutor/Mentor Connection forum on Ning.

I was a speaker at the National Drop Out Prevention Conference in October 2011 and will be attending the National Mentoring Summit in January 2012. I use maps to show how these efforts should be connecting and working collectively to assure that all young people in poverty or distressed economic situations can get the support systems they need to grow up and thrive as adults.

While I've posted my ideas on this blog and in the sections of the Tutor/Mentor Institute site, I keep looking for more ways to share these ideas and find partners, volunteers, sponsors and benefactors to help me do this work. I began posting essays at in October and already have recorded over 2,000 reads. That number can grow to over 10,000 in 2012 alone.

While I build this network of world-wide partners and friends I look forward to continuing to find people who will help grow this network and apply the ideas in Chicago.

I keep looking for new ways to attract sponsors so that I can stay in this game. If you value what I'm doing and want to associate your brand with my efforts, why not become a sponsor?

Every major city in the world has areas of concentrated poverty and needs a new operating system to engage those who don't live in poverty with those who do. Out of this world of need I hope that I can not only offer ideas that others can use but fund people who will help me develop these ideas in 2012 and 2013, and then take responsibility and ownership of them in future years.

1 comment:

Kylie Anderson said...

Thanks for sharing this ideas! J And R Tutors