Wandering Challenge: Inspiring youth toward a path of passion, purpose and persistent actions.

At City Wanderer, we guide young people to develop the inner spark in their eyes and cultivate skills to pursue their dreams.

Photo of 御廷 楊
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Eligibility

  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Sunny Yang

Initiative's representative date of birth

1991.08.20

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Woman

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • Taiwan

Where are you making a difference?

Taiwan, Japan(Kobe, Kanagawa), Hong Kong , China(Chengdu), Malaysia(Johor, Penang)

Website or social media url(s)

http://www.citywanderer.org/ (Mandarin) https://www.facebook.com/citywanderer (Mandarin) https://www.asiatour.citywanderer.org/ (English) https://hundred.org/en/innovations/6-city-wanderer-wandering-challenge (English)

When was your organisation founded?

04/2013

Focus areas

  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce

Project Stage

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)
  • Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways) 

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $250k - $500k

Organisation Type

  • Non-profit / NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

Spring of 2013, a group of 6 college students were sitting in a classroom, scratching their head about how they could come up with a project that addresses a social issue for the semester course. There are so many problems in the world…which one should we focus on? They decided to go out and ask around, which led to a discovery that most college students were confused about their future. Many disliked their majors but didn’t know what else to do, many were lost about which direction to go into after college. Hearing these anxiety, they thought… What if there is a way to encourage students to step out of their comfort zone, to explore more possibilities and seek inspiration from the real world? That was the birth of Wandering Challenge.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

The fast-paced technology made it hard to teach students all necessary knowledge for future; they’ll need to learn new skills on their own. However, many schools still use the banking education, teaching rote memorization such that students don’t learn how to think and often get lost about what career to go into because they don’t know who they are and what they’re passionate about. They lack motivation to learn, let alone learning on their own.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

City Wanderer believes the solution is to guide young people to develop their passion and purpose, so that they will continue to pursue their goals despite different challenges, and they will adapt and learn necessary skills as the world evolves. To prepare students for the future job market, they need discover why they should learn and develop an inner motivation to learn, and we do so through the innovative model called “Wandering Challenge”. Wandering Challenge designs for 3 students to form a team, challenge themselves to complete 30 missions within 3 weeks. The challenge encourages them to step out of school, make the city their classroom and create meaningful learning and growth through interactions with the real world. The missions are categorized into 4 dimensions: Self-awareness, Adventure & challenge, Connection rebuilding and Social participation. They guide students to dig deep about who they are and find their own why, develop courage to step out of comfort zone, cultivate perseverance in face of hardship and listen to people from diverse minority groups. Through the challenge, young people develop a sense of purpose and responsibility to make the world better.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

Wandering Challenge incorporates elements of gamification and experiential education: 1.Curiosity: Without knowing the missions beforehand, students choose to start the journey because they are curious in exploration 2.Freedom: Students could start and end with any mission, so the learning journey is customizable 3.Creativity: All missions are done in the real world, thus there is no standard process or a correct answer to solve the missions 4.Choice: It is hard to complete 30 missions, but by giving options students can learn to set their own priorities 5.Reflection: Each mission is designed with relevant guiding questions for students to develop deeper learning and independent thinking after their mission experience.

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

We design missions to be fun and challenging, yet meaningful and reflective. In “Self-Awareness”, we have missions like writing your own eulogy that push students to form a habit of introspection. In “Adventure & Challenge”, we have missions like planning a trip with zero dollar that cultivate students’ courage to step forward in uncertainty and foster problem-solving skills when they face rejections and failures. In “Connection Rebuilding”, we have missions like writing heart-felt letter to parents that encourage students to communicate across differences. In “Social Participation”, we have missions like preparing a meal for the homeless and sit down with them to exchange life stories that guide students to develop empathy and critical thinking. All of these are necessary skills to be successful in future careers, and more importantly they would lead students toward a path of purpose.

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

1. Self-Awareness: introspection and self-development 2. Adventure & Challenge: courage, grit & perseverance and problem-solving skills. 3. Connection Rebuilding: communication and interpersonal relationship skills 4. Social Participation: global citizenship, empathy and social responsibility. We measure students’ growth on these mindset and skills through self-assessment pre-challenge and post-challenge. Statistically they experience a growth of 5-11% on different mindsets and abilities after the challenge. We plan to develop long-term tracking of alumni development as well this year.

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Many organizations in the world focus on developing soft skills such as global citizenship and problem-solving skills, but relatively few are addressing the problem of young people facing difficulty to develop their passion and purpose, and not too much research was done on such topic. In Taiwan, some other organizations focus on demystifying different majors and career fields through vocational camps and after school clubs/tutoring, but our model is still unique since it employs a gamified challenge format and uses uncertainty of the real world to foster creativity.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We have held over 67 challenges in 25 cities in Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and the US, providing service to over 11,000 students. In total, they completed over 44,000 missions, impacting 220,000 people through their actions. They raised awareness and understanding about issues such as the environment, homelessness and migrant workers, they also brought positivity and warmth to this society. Hannah participated in 2014, and through the missions she gradually found connections with the society, so she began looking for ways to create impact. She found her passion in voicing for the ex-criminals and helping them return to the society. She founded “Free the Handcuff” project in 2018 and formed a team to work on the cause. She said “I went from not having any vision for my future to now working on things I’m passionate about, and City Wanderer was critical to my journey."

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

City Wanderer has a three-prong approach to maintain a sustainable financial future: grant, donation and collaboration project revenue. In the beginning we were heavily dependent on grant and revenue from workshops and speeches, over the last two years some corporations or foundations have reached out to us to develop innovative programs and projects for young people, and those collaborations brought steady revenue. In the future, we plan to keep a portion of revenue from grants to support Wandering Challenge, develop a portion of revenue from donations to expand internationally, and strengthen the revenue from collaboration projects to support the operational cost of the organization.

10. Team

Currently we have 12 board members as advisors, 4 full-time staff, 1 part-time staff, 2 interns and about 12 core volunteers. Board members are leaders from fields such as education, social entrepreneurship, design thinking, philanthropy etc. We plan to expand the staff team to 10 full-time staff in the next 3-5 years, where we would have specific staff on funding, alumni development, international network, human resource etc. Right now we all wear different hats to work in multiple capacities.

Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)

  • This does not apply to me

If you selected “yes” to any of the categories above, please explain how being a member of this group has impacted you and your work?

N/A

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Email

11. Bring it to life: Please walk us through a concrete example of how your solution will solve the problem you’re trying to address

Students form a team of 3 to sign up for Wandering Challenge, and they pay for a registration fee (16 USD) to participate. They then receive information to attend the opening ceremony, which gives them some team-building activities and they receive mission pamphlet to begin their journey. In the next 3 weeks, they use spare time after school to complete various missions on their own in the city. A spirit guide will be available to encourage them and answer questions throughout the journey via group chat platforms like Line or Facebook. As they complete the missions, they upload results online for evaluation and feedback. At the end, they attend a closing ceremony that includes reflection guidance activities to deepen their learning from their missions, keynote speech to encourage them, and provides future resources for them to continue taking actions and their exploration.

12. Skills Matching: HSBC Employees will have the opportunity to offer skilled-volunteering. If matched, which of the following skills would you be most interested in receiving?

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Planning & Strategy
  • Staff Development

13. Financial Sustainability – funding breakdown: please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating an estimated percentage that comes from each source.

Corporate contributions: 3 %

Individual donations or gifts: 9 %

Foundation or NGO grants: 32 %

Earned income (service sales, collaboration projects): 56%
*within which 6% from Wandering Challenge fees

14. Financial Sustainability – please tell us more about how you plan to fund and scale your project over the next 12 months.

Main funding of CW comes from earned income and grants. Since students have little money, most earned income comes from collaboration projects : corporations and foundations heard about Wandering Challenge and partner up and ask us to design more programs for young people. They provide funding for us to develop programs involving meaningful experiences in career fields, activities about community and cultural revival, and action projects with exploration on SDG goals etc. We collaborated with private sectors like Cathay Life and Hotai Motor, government sectors like ministry of education and department of cultural affairs. Each year, our budget allocates 40% on salary, 35% on collaboration programs, 15% on wandering challenge, and 10% on administrative operation. We seek to expand cross-sector collaborations in the future to create more meaningful programs that brings steady revenue.

15. Growth Strategy: What are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

1. International network

We want to spread Wandering Challenge by licensing the model to youth organizations in various countries. We will provide training to partners virtually and fly over to participate in ceremonies. We seek to build a global network of CW alumni who can spark further actions.

2. Domestic cross-sector impact

We want to increase the number and scale of collaboration projects, not only to bring steady revenue, but more importantly to influence the mindset of corporations, government, schools to truly believe in the value of developing passion and purpose in young people.

16. Activating changemakers: How are you giving people the power to control their own destiny and support other people to become changemakers in their communities?

Many missions ask students to engage in meaningful conversations with others, and the mission results often inspire more people to take actions. Once, a team exchanged life stories with the homeless and posted reflections online, inspiring many friends to care for homeless and led to a hot-drink giving movement. Last year, a team found out that an elderly care center needed help, so they visited every class in the university to collect coins for donation, not only did they raise almost 200USD, they also made a video about the center that now over 10,000 people have viewed, spreading impact. 

17. Awards & Recognitions: What awards or recognitions, if any, has the project received so far?


  1. HundrED Spotlight Employability Selection 2019 (Global)

  2. Peace Boat Global Seminar Speaker Asia Representative 2019 (Japan)

  3. TOP 100 Thinking of Big Education Innovation 2018(Taiwan)

  4. Forbes 30 under 30 Asia Social Entrepreneur 2017(Global)

  5. The News Lens 20 under 35 Becoming ACEs in Education 2016(Taiwan)

  6. Asia Social Innovation Award in 2015(Asia)

18. Tell us about how collaborations and partnerships would enhance the scalability and impact of your project

Collaborations and partnerships can help us build the international network or join us in projects that deepen impact with young people. Establishing a global network is a difficult task and takes a lot of strategy, so any partnership that could help us expand to the right location with sound strategy is welcomed. Creating new projects by partnering with another sector will help us design programs meaningful for young people to explore and grow further, deepening the impact.

Finally - Your Selfie Elevator Pitch: Share a 1-minute video that shares a quick summary of the problem you would like to solve, how you’ve chosen to solve it, and the impact you hope to see.

Evaluation results

2 evaluations so far

1. OVERALL Evaluation:

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 50%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

2. Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 50%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

3. Does this entry have SOCIAL IMPACT?

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 50%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

4. Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Yes/maybe - 100%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

5. Is this entry ACTIVATING CHANGEMAKING?

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 50%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

6. FEEDBACK: Highlights

IMPACT POTENTIAL: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) – and you have a concrete plan for future impact. You have specific tools for measuring impact. - 50%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful solutions - 100%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work operationally and financially in the present and future; your plan is specific and you value sustainability. - 0%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You have a good plan on how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 50%

Other option - 0%

7. FEEDBACK: Areas for Improvement

IMPACT POTENTIAL: make sure to provide specific instances of your social impact (or how you plan to measure impact) – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, the main activities/products, and provide evidence of (or plan for) impact evaluation - 100%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: make sure to describe how your solution is unique and innovative – it is helpful to include the research you have done on past solutions and how your solution is different from (and/or builds upon) these. - 0%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: make sure you describe your plan for how to empower others to become changemakers through your programming, service, or product - 0%

WRITING STYLE. Try to be concise, descriptive, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 0%

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

Other option - 0%

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