Pioneering an Experiential Approach to Higher Education
Empowering people to be the change they want to see in the world
Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)
1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."
“How can we contribute the MOST to the world?”
This question gave birth to Changemaker Residency. In pondering it over and over, we realized that the most social impact we could have is to make 10, 100, or even 1000 people ask themselves what they want to contribute to the world and then equip them with the tools, resources, and network they need to bring their projects to fruition!
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
84 percent of millennials say that “helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition” (Bentley University’s Center For Women And Business), in other words, they aspire to be changemakers. The problem is that they face societal cynicism with regards to this aspiration and are pushed to enter a "normal" workforce sometime foregoing their dreams and values of wanting to make the world a better place.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
We are launching a new experiential approach to higher education that helps fellows combine their interests, strengths, and the causes they care about into world-changing project idea and then empowers fellows with the “how to”--the skills, the tools, and the mindset--to take their ideas to action. We developed a curriculum that draws inspiration from innovative practices from around the world, including U.N.-mandated UPEACE in Costa Rica, ImaginEx Japan, Stanford Design School, Watson University, and College of the Atlantic. We are now forging partnerships with existing organisations with whom we will strive towards developing changemaker educator training, developing a Watson-inspired semester program for changemakers, and running programs year round in different locations around the globe. To create a world in which everyone is a changemaker--making the change they want to see in the world.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
Our Ikigai (reason for being) workshops empower people to combine their strengths, interests, and the causes they care about in the world into world-changing project ideas. After running a condensed version of the workshop at the Maine Environmental Educator Association conference, one of the participant came to us and said: "Thank you so much, your 50-minute workshop made me realize that I have been aligned for a career that I really don't want to do."
Our leadership workshops empower people to adopt the right leadership style and skills for the right situation while also helping them accelerate their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. After giving a half-day workshop for a students studying entrepreneurship at Sherbrooke University, a student came to us and said "I wish we could do these kind of activities all the time, it's way better than classes!"
5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Synergies--our curriculum draws inspiration from global leaders in educational and social innovation. It was designed after conducting research in 10 educational institutions, and conducting over 70 interviews with educators, researchers, and students exploring: “How to spark one’s desire to contribute to a better world” and “How to equip students with the skills, tools, and network to make positive change?”
Personalized--thanks to two business incubators with amazing networks, we are align our workshops and intervention specifically to our fellows interests and learning goals.
6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
We've already reached over 50 individuals through our leadership and ikigai workshops. This summer, we will shape our first 10 changemaker fellows through our intensive program for which we are currently developing an impact and personal growth assessment strategy.
One of our main sources of inspiration is Watson University in Boulder, Colorado.
In 5 years, this university model has graduated 103 scholars who have created over 500 jobs and fundraised over CAD$ 43 million to launch social impact projects. On the long run, we plan to track similar measurements: number of changemakers, social impact projects launched, and jobs created.
7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
Our pilot projects aims to create partnerships and build towards:
-Running various programs to empower changemakers around the world.
-Developing a Changemaker Educator training
-Developing a Changemaker Semester
8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?
The key areas for which we are seeking support:
-Funding: We want to make our educational experiences available to all regardless of socio-economic backgrounds.
-Recruitment: We would like support in recruiting aspiring changemakers.
-Team: We already have an amazing team and board of advisor, but we want more people to join us to cocreate this new approach to higher education!
9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
Donations less than $100
Donations between $1k-$5k
10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.
People have been so excited about our project that we've had strangers reach out and say they would like to contribute their expertise for our pilot program! Please check out our website for details about our team and board of advisors: www.changemakerfellows.com
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
Self-identify race, ethnicity, or origin: (5)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community
How did you hear about this challenge?
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?