Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Steps to the World we Want

I've been listening to the live-stream of the KennedyForum today and yesterday I viewed a lot of Tweets and FB post related to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In this morning's KennedyForum session the moderator asked "What's next? What's the follow up?" 

I hope you'll take time to view and think about the steps I feel need to be followed to create the world we want for our children and grandchildren, and for children growing up throughout the world.

First create a concept map, or blueprint, showing work needed to be done that leads to the problem you focus on being solved in many places.  In my case, I focus on helping kids from birth to work, so the cmap below shows supports kids need at every stage.

open map - click here
You can start creating these blueprints with a blank sheet of paper. As you think of more that needs to be done, add it to your graphic. At some point you might want to use a concept mapping tool, like cMapTools, or Kumu, to share your ideas via the Internet.

Next build a database showing organizations in your community who are already involved in doing this work. 

List of programs- click here   Map of Intermediaries - click here

I've been building a database of Chicago non-school, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs since 1993 and plot this on maps showing where programs are located and where they are most needed, based on indicators like high poverty, health disparities, poorly performing schools, etc. 

I've also been building a concept map showing others who focus on helping youth in Chicago. All of these organizations need to be talking and exchanging ideas with each other, on an on-going basis.

Create maps showing related issues.
While I focus on building youth serving programs I realize that there are many other issues that contribute to poverty and represent challenges to youth and families.  That's what the concept map at the right intends to show.

I combined this map with a graphic showing the United Nations' Global Development Goals. You can see it in this article.  This illustrates that the problems we focus on in Chicago are problems to people in many parts of the world. Our source of solutions, support and resources can come from anywhere.

There is a universe of information available about these issues and the organizations working to try to solve some of them. It's on the Internet. It's in local public libraries. It's in book stores.  One of our challenges is motivating people to find time on an on-going basis to read this information and then discuss it with others.  I wrote about this last week.

Generate resource flow.
Then we need to find ways to draw volunteers, operating dollars, ideas and other needed resources on an on-going basis to every program and organization in our database.


That means we need to help the great programs seving people in some places get the resources to stay great. We also need to help less well organizations in different places get the resources and ideas they need to become great.

Every neighborhood needs a full range of great programs just like contractor and worker involved in a building project needs to have the right skills and be paid to do their work.  

It's when we have great programs in more places that we begin to see stories showing how kids who have been part of these programs are now adults with jobs, raising their own kids, and hopefully, helping others overcome the problems they face.

This takes time. It takes many years for an organization to become great at what it does and it takes up to 20 years to help a youth move through school and into a first jobs. For some it take even longer.

It starts with gathering information showing where the problem is most concentrated and what work people are already doing in different places to try to solve the problem. The cMap below shows how I share some of what I've put in my web library. 

open map - click here

For every issue that contributes to poverty, inequality, social injustice, etc someone needs to be aggregating information, showing what they do, and what others do, then be sharing that the way I've been trying to do, so others don't need to spend time searching for ideas, but can spend that time reading, reflecting and connecting with others, with the goal of putting good ideas to work in more places.

The most difficult step in doing this work is pointing people in your network to others doing similar work. That includes pointing donors in your network to others who need the same help you do.

So far, very few take this role.

If you're one of those doing this work, share your link in the comment box and let's connect. Let's at least follow each other on social media and "like" and "re-Tweet" posts we each share. That's a first step of helping each other.

I've been writing this blog since 2005, so there are a lot of articles focusing on this work. Take some time to read them. Share them. Re-write them. Or reach out and help me do it better.

If you like what I write, and value the information I collect and share, make a contribution to help me keep doing this work. click here

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