Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Supporting America's Mayors

Today I listened to mayors of Chicago, Oakland, Minneapolis and Sacramento, in a session hosted by Taubman College at the University of Michigan.

You can listen to it yourself, on this YouTube page

In one segment one of the Mayors talked about how it's important that Mayors borrow good ideas from each other.  Imagine if someone were building a web library to help make this borrowing easier.

I've been building such a library since 1990s to help people do more to build mentor-rich non-school programs that help kids move from birth to work. This goal is shown at the top of this graphic.

At the bottom of the graphic is the library, or the knowledge base.  It's not just a collection of what I've learned, but a collection of links to websites showing what other people have learned, or what they are doing to reach this goal.  Rather than constantly starting from your own limited knowledge, problem solving should start by borrowing from the knowledge of as many resources as you can find.

I seek to influence change by a) collecting and sharing what I can learn from others; and b) sharing my own ideas of how this information can be used; and c) what an ideal mentor-rich non-school program might look like.

However, I don't try to be an expert on other people's ideas. Instead, if I see a website with interesting and related work, I add it to the library, so it's available to others who will dig deeper and build their own understanding and expertise.  I maintain an extensive list of Chicago area tutor/mentor programs so everyone can learn from each other. I point to similar groups in other cities for the same reason. View this cMap to find these links.

I show the four major sections of the Tutor/Mentor web library in this concept map

Here's an example of what I'm writing about. In today's event the Mayors talked about "spatial solutions" which involves using maps to understand where in a city's geography certain problems persist, then using that understanding to guild the distribution of resources and solutions to places where help is needed most.  Knowing what others are doing could certainly enhance the effectiveness of what Mayors do throughout the country.

In one section of my library I aggregate links to websites showing uses of maps. Then, I use concept maps to share some of that information. Thus, the map below points to a variety of websites which share data using maps.

concept map showing data platforms

Now, imagine a version of this concept map pointing to data platforms from 50 to 100 or more cities throughout the US and the world which are being used to reduce poverty and create greater opportunity, reduce hunger and provide more affordable housing and opportunities to jobs.

I don't know if anyone is building a library of such information or sharing it using concept maps.  However, I'd be happy to share how I've been building the tutor/mentor library, how I build concept maps, and how this fits into a four-part strategy that intends to share this information with a growing number of stakeholders and users.

I've been writing about this for past 15 years so on the left side of this blog you can find tags that take you into additional articles on learning, leadership, philanthropy, etc.   Feel free to share this blog with Mayors in your city or use it as a curriculum guide for a high school or college study program. 

I'm on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram (see links here) and hope to connect with others who are interested in using knowledge to help others solve important problems.

If you'd like to help fund my work, visit this page and use the PayPal button to send a contribution. 

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