Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to keep stakeholders involved for many years.

I posted this article yesterday showing how I think events like #ETMOOC can provide a learning process connecting authors of books in a library, or links in a web library. Today, I’m headed out to Washington, DC for the Mentor Summit, but wanted to post this follow up.

While natural disasters like the Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti motivate millions of dollars in disaster relief, after a while the attention turns to another tragedy, and the donations dwindle. Yet the work of rebuilding still needs to continue. Sean Penn, a famous actor, is still on the ground working to re-build Haiti. Visit this web site to see how he is “keeping the spotlight on Haiti”.

Every day the media remind us of urban tragedies, but few leaders are making enough of a commitment to bring needed resources to ALL of the high neighborhoods where poverty is a root-cause of violence and mentoring is a strategy that can help young people choose not to be part of the drop out crisis and culture of violence.

Thus, while yesterday I talked about how we need to connect all of the people in the movement with each other, and with ideas that can be used to constantly improve and finance their efforts, today I want to stimulate thinking about “ways to keep the attention focused” on a continuous way….the way corporate advertising keeps attention focused on their stores, products and services every day.

Thus, as we talk about MOOCs, let’s think of who we need to get into the learning network and how we keep them engaged.

This map is one I’ve created after attending events like the National Drop Out Prevention Conference. It shows people I’ve met in workshops, at the trade fairs, and through networking --- and it provides links to their web sites. While I’ve connected with all of these people, it’s unlikely that each of them have connected to everyone else on this map.

While the MENTOR Summit may have more than 500 attendees, few participants can ever connect in face-to-face learning and relationship building with more than a small fraction of the people and ideas that will be represented at the conference. MENTOR has created a Facebook page and a Twitter feed -- #NatlMentoringSummit -- to encourage people attending the conference to connect with each other.

This chart is one of many I’ve created visualizing the “birth to work” pipeline and emphasizing that it takes 12 years for a youth to move from first grade to high school graduation, and then more years to move through college or vocational school. Hopefully by his mid twenties he’s found work that can become a career, with income that allows him to raise his own children out of poverty.

What are all the challenges a young person faces if he grew up in poverty? What are all the challenges an organization that connects youth and adults needs to have on a continuous basis to keep youth and volunteers engaged for more years?

Here’s an article showing a planning process.

Here’s an article showing infrastructure needed to support on-going tutor/mentor programs.

Here’s a site showing learning done by interns who have been focusing on the role intermediaries like Tutor/Mentor Connection need to take.


A map can work like a blueprint. What are all the things we need to know, and all the resources we need to provide to help a youth move from birth to work? Mentoring to Career cMap - http://tinyurl.com/TMC-K-Career-Mentoring

By using maps to show where participants come from, or what issues they are interested in, or what talents and resources they have, we can show what part of the knowledge galaxy someone is from, or what part of the library they specialize in. Appying such data analysis might provide a form of navigation for anyone sailing through this ocean of knowledge and networks.

We can also see what groups are not yet involved in the conversation. In most on-line discussions we have providers talking about the benefits of mentoring or tutoring, but we don’t have resource providers, business, philanthropy or government consistently involved. They are the ones who need to be working to make high quality mentoring, tutoring and learning programs available to youth in more places.

Without the network analysis it’s difficult to know if we’re getting these people involved. Without the MOOCs its difficult for busy people to expand their depth of understanding and thus grow their involvement.

What do you think? Can we do this?

1) How do we mobilize people in MOOCs into volunteers, donors, leaders who work together to solve complex social problems?

2) How do we know we’re connecting people from the many different segments of business, philanthropy, government, community, etc. who need to be part of solutions to problems?

3) How do we keep people involved.

I hope that through the MOOCs and conferences I attend I’ll not only find people who share the same vision and strategy, but who will use their talent to help communicate these ideas in more creative, thoughtful and meaningful ways.





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