Monday, March 30, 2020

Create Visual Blueprints

As you look at this information, think of 

a) how do these ideas apply in my community?

b) how do these ideas apply to COVID19, climate crisis, public health issues, poverty, the digital divide, violence, or other issues beyond raising kids?

c) how might you share these ideas via your own blog, concept maps, visualizations, social media?

If you browse many articles on this blog you'll see that I'm committed to visual thinking, via concept maps, graphics and geographic maps.  Here's an example:

This Mentoring Kids to Careers cMap shows a variety of supports kids need at every age level as they move from first grade through high school, post high school and into jobs.  If you look at the lower left part of the map you'll see that I believe volunteers who get involved with youth in organized, volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs represent a form of "bridging social capital", meaning they connect kids and families to resources beyond high poverty neighborhoods.  The value of these connections grow the longer they last.

Mentoring Kids to Careers - click to open

Below is the same concept map, except I've enlarged one segment to show the supports needed more clearly.  My maps is just a "starting point". Others could create a similar version and add more nodes onto the map.

Below is another graphic, that shows the "mentoring kids to careers" idea on the left, and at the right, shows a much larger range of problems that face kids and families in many high poverty areas.  All of these need to be address on a concurrent basis, which represents a huge challenge.

View this concept map - click here

These concept maps are a "hub and spoke" design. The hub is the issue and the spokes represent sub issues and solutions.   Below is another graphic, where I emphasize the timeline of 12 to 20 years that it takes to help kids through school and into jobs and careers.  Few funding streams last this long, which is one of the challenges we need to overcome.

In these graphics you can see a small map of Chicago, with areas of high poverty highlighted. Below is a screen shot of the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, created in 2008-09 using a contribution from an anonymous donor.

Screen shot of  Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator
The Program Locator was an on-line version of a Directory that the Tutor/Mentor Connection began producing in 1994, based on survey data it began collecting in January 1994.  The first on-line search page was launched in 2004, then this map based version was created in 2008.  Note: due to lack of funds the Program Locator is now out-of-date and serves only as a model.  See updated map at this link.

The graphic below shows the purpose of the maps and Program Locator.  If an intermediary, such as the T/MC shown in the blue box, gathers information and shares it in a web library and on-line directory, as I have done sine 1994, then anyone can reach out to "all who can help", represented by the list on the right, and pull them to the directory and the library, where they learn where help is needed, who is providing help, and what they do, based on information on their web sites.

Build information libraries to connect resource providers and service providers

Then they can decide who to help, how, and how much, without waiting for a grant proposal. Just send the contribution or an email to make a connection. Do it every year.

Let me summarize. Blueprints like I've shown at the top, need to be created to show all work that needs to be done, and how that work needs to sequence in order for it to be done right. For instance, if you're building a tower, you don't do the fourth floor, or install the electricity, until you've laid the foundation and built the first three floors.

Kids need strong foundations, then continuous support, then people who help open doors to jobs, careers and life-long learning.

The organizations who provide that help need consistent, flexible funding, as do the intermediaries who support them.

4-part strategy
I could add  more and more, but instead, I encourage you to browse other articles on this blog, on a regular basis, not as a binge.

Visit this page and read about the 4-part strategy that I launched in 1993 and have been following since then. It's an information-based strategy that also focuses on the public awareness and knowledge building that need to be included in any long-term problem solving.

Then spend time going through other sections of the web site to know what's available, just as you would when going to a new shopping mall.  Bookmark the pages of interest and then return often for deeper learning.

Here are three other concept maps to review:

Dashboards:  This concept map  points to a variety of data information dashboards.  One thing others can do is aggregate their own library of information and share it using concept maps, like this one.  View articles on this blog tagged maps, media & violence to see how I put maps into stories.

Information Libraries - Issues that need to be addressed: This concept map shows issues that need to be considered in closing the Digital Divide. 

Who is already involved? This concept map shows intermediary organizations in Chicago who focus on  youth well-being. Getting them regularly connected to each other is one goal.

A map like this could identify people in a neighborhood who need to be connected.

These are part of a collection of concept maps that I've created since 2005. Others could create their own collection and use it to draw people together and build shared commitment to common goals.

And, how might you support Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, to communicate these ideas more effectively, or embed it into my institution?

I'm constantly looking for volunteers, partners an investors to help create these maps, the Tutor/Mentor web library, and the articles and social media activity where I draw attention to them. 

I look forward to connecting with you on one of these social media pages.

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