Integrative Community Ventures: a Human Capacity Development Professionals enterprise.

What if parents were trained, equipped, connected & employed as human capacity development professionals in their homes/communities?

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Founding Story: Share a story about a key experience or spark that helps the network understand why this project got started or a story about how you became inspired about the potential for this project to succeed.

ICV evolved while I was exploring new economy models. Projections show about 30% of people being employed/financially secure & 70% not. The idea of hiring Human Capacity Development Professionals solved two major issues--employing many from that 70% group AND using resources more effectively to improve child well-being. So, instead of paying professionals to come in to ‘fix’ the family, why not make the parents the professionals? Using a whole person framework ICV hires and trains HCDPs.

Which categories describe you? (the answer will not be public)

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French, Caucasian)


Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [State]

  • North Carolina

Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [City]


Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

For years I've listened to social service agency professionals say—‘If only the parents knew how to help their children better, much of our work would be unnecessary’. The epiphany for me was to realize that ‘fixing kids/families after they’re broke’ was a tremendous waste of resources producing marginal results. So, instead of paying professionals to come in to ‘fix’ the family, why not make the parent the professional?

ICV is an entrepreneurial business that hires and trains parents to be “Human Capacity Development Professionals’ using the whole person framework of the Life Puzzle. They work in neighborhood teams.  They are highly trained in whole person development—first for themselves—and then bringing this to their children.  This solves two major problems for the changing economy—it could potentially hire millions of people within the 70% of under-employed and it would increase child well-being as children are raised within an integrative and supportive community fostering whole person development.

We designed ICV to be ‘integrated’ with the local business community and universities to create a financially sustainable model.  As well, it is a replicable model—because the Life Puzzle is a universal model, it can be adapted to every community/culture by the team of HCDPs using it in their neighborhoods.

Is your model focused on any of the following traditionally underserved communities?

  • Communities of color
  • Children who are differently abled
  • LGBTQ or non-binary individuals
  • Religious minorities (non-Christian)
  • Low-income communities
  • Other

Does your model work within any of the following sectors?

  • Childcare
  • Child and Family Services
  • Community Development and Empowerment
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Mental Health

Year Founded


Project Stage

  • Idea (poised to launch)

Example: Walk the network through a specific example of what happens when a person or group engages with your solution.

In the design of a pilot project, ICV will hire a core staff that will train a team of 30 HCDPs in whole person development. Their primary office is their home with a central gathering space within a one mile walking radius of all team members. Using the Life Puzzle whole person framework, the team designs their daily, monthly and quarterly work focus to address the needs of all the children/development stages within the team's management.

Impact: What was the impact of your work last year? Please also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

ICV remains in the idea stage but the Life Puzzle has been actively used since 1995. This pilot project works off the success of an earlier project called the CART program--"Creating a Responsible Thinker" which was a parent/teen program designed as a 'diversionary program' through the Florida court system. We had excellent outcomes with that program and two centers continue to use it. ICV has been designed to gather qualitative and quantitative data. ICV will be partnering with local businesses and local universities from the outset and all of the organizations will design the research component before the actual hiring/training of HCDPs begin.

Organization Type

  • for-profit

Annual Budget

  • $1mil - $5mil

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is your solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

A pilot team of 30 HCDPs requires an initial investment of $2 million. Most funding is for salaries and it will significantly increase the GDP of the local community. We designed ICV to be integrated with local businesses and HCDPs 'spending' of this $2 million circulates primarily locally. Subsequent years would find financial support from the local businesses in a closed loop system whereby each need the other for services and success.

Unique Value Proposition: How else is this problem being addressed? Are there other organizations working in the same field, and how does your project differ from these other approaches?

I have actively used the Life Puzzle framework since 1995. In and of itself, this wholeness framework is quite unique. It is a concrete, tangible framework that is also a universal model that can be adapted to a diverse population. ICV however is a unique delivery model for Life Puzzle. Training, creating teams and compensating parents as HCDPs is something that's never happened before. It creates a new job category for the emerging economy and at the same time improves child and adult well-being. It is a replicable model that could be customized to every community using it.

Reflect on the Field and its Future: Stepping outside of your project, what do you see as the most important or promising shifts that can advance children’s wellbeing?

We are in as large an economic change as when we left the agricultural economy and became an industrial economy. Next up is an "Integrative Economy". It has the potential for creating the most vibrant economy ever imagined. But only if all human beings have the opportunity learn how to become whole human beings and participate in this new economy. And that can only happen if we ensure that all parents are Human Capacity Development professionals. Yes, this is a major shift, but one that is possible and if we achieve it, it is a win-win for children, families, community and the world.

Source: How did you hear about the Children’s Wellbeing Challenge? (the answer will not be public)

  • Word of mouth

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka, who was it? (the answer will not be public)

Jamie Cousins

Evaluation results

4 evaluations so far

1. Relevance: Does this project seem to help children (ages 0 to 12 years) develop a strong sense of self, belonging, and purpose?

5 - Yes, this is great! The project lays out a strong, compelling case for how its model nurtures children’s wellbeing. - 0%

4 - It seems like a good fit, and the model talks explicitly about children’s wellbeing. - 0%

3 - I think so. The project seems related to children’s wellbeing, but the logic is vague. - 100%

2 - Not sure. The project doesn’t have much to do with wellbeing, or it doesn’t give enough information. - 0%

1 - Nope, this project definitely doesn’t fit the challenge brief (e.g., It doesn’t help kids younger than 12, isn’t in the U.S., etc.) - 0%

2. Innovation: Does this project tackle children’s wellbeing from a new angle?

5 - I loved this! The project describes a novel model that addresses important cultural or systemic barriers. - 0%

4 - This is pretty cool. The project is addressing an important problem in a new or compelling way. - 75%

3 - I feel like there’s something there, but I want more details about what makes it distinctive. - 25%

2 - It’s a good project, but I’ve seen others like it before. - 0%

1 - It was confusing or hard to tell what it made it different. - 0%

3. Social Impact: What is this project’s potential for creating positive social impact?

5 - Lots of potential. This project is achieving impressive results, and it’s growing quickly. It could absolutely inspire changes in the ways we approach caring for kids nationally, across sectors (e.g. childcare, healthcare, education). - 25%

4 - Pretty good potential. This project demonstrates significant positive impact so far, and it could scale regionally or nationally one day and fundamentally change how a system operates (e.g. childcare, healthcare, education). - 25%

3 - Budding potential. This project is creating local impact, but it would take a few adjustments before it could scale. - 0%

2 - Some potential. This project demonstrates some initial positive impact, but it would require major changes before it could scale. - 25%

1 - Limited potential. This project has great intentions, but it looks like it does not include key drivers of a shift towards children’s wellbeing. - 25%

4. Overall, how do you feel about this idea?

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 0%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 50%

3 - I think the idea is great, but it needs some work before it moves onto the next round. - 25%

2 - I liked it fine but preferred others. - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. Needs significant revisions. - 25%

5. Offer some feedback. Where should this participant spend some time revising?

DEFINING THE PROBLEM. Make sure to articulate the root causes or main barriers of the social issue your project addresses. (Founding Story, Problem, Solution). - 50%

CLARITY OF MODEL. Make sure to mention (a.) the beneficiary, b) the main activities, and c) how those activities drive social impact. Keep it streamlined! - 100%

MARKETPLACE. Make sure to research other players in this space and articulate how this project is different. I didn’t get a complete sense of how this project compares to others. - 50%

IMPACT POTENTIAL. Make sure to use specific numbers to describe what your project has achieved so far! And consider how you might scale the model or its insights, through partnerships, trainings, or franchising. - 75%

WRITING STYLE. Try to stay concise and make it vivid. Avoid jargon. - 25%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ivette Guillermo-McGahee

Ann, thank you for this interesting contribution.  Would you be able to provide me with a better understanding of specific differences between providing parents with parenting training and providing them with human capacity training?  Additionally, in what ways will the trained parents interact with local businesses?  Thank you again!

Photo of Ann

Parenting tends to be focused on discipline and helping parents understand developmental stages of children.  HCDPs on the other hand are learning to see themselves and their children using a 'whole person framework' which includes much of what we would teach in a parenting class but goes far beyond it.  For example--nutrition--very few parenting classes teach parents to be experts in good nutrition.  Yet, we now know that if we want our children to achieve their full potential, it is really important to understand good nutrition and how to bring it into the daily life dynamic.  So, HCDPs would be very aware of and implementing a high quality nutrition plan for their children while also teaching their children how important good nutrition is on a daily basis.  
Another example--very few parenting classes focus on areas such as financial responsibility, community connections, environment stewardship, how to create healthy relationships as adolescents or even ensuring that exercise becomes a consistent part of a family's life.  
Typically when we do a parenting class--parents go through a 2-6 week program and then head home to implement it--some do, some don't but there's no way to measure implementation levels, outcomes etc.  It's different when we hire HCDPs because this is their work requirements/outcomes and just as you go to work each day to be the best at what you do, so true for the HCDPs. 

If we can get this pilot off the ground, HCDPs are professionals who are like other professionals who work in a business and have relationships with many other business owners.  The key here is that while all HCDPs may be parents, not all parents are employed HCDPs!  You really have to wrap your head around dropping the term 'parents'....and shift it to employees who are human capacity development professionals who work within their home but also are teamed with other professionals who co-support, encourage and are focused on the outcome of ensuring that children learn to build their own whole lives.  

Does that answer your question?

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