Empowering Young Social Innovators

 
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Aug 11, 2014

The Inaugural Sprout Ideas Camp!

The Inaugural Sprout Ideas Camp!
The Inaugural Sprout Ideas Camp!

TakingITGlobal has introduced a fresh new program to bring opportunities and resources to empower young people.

The Sprout Ideas Camp is an opportunity for campers ages 8-12 to engage with new technologies and pressing global issues in a live setting for one week. TakingITGlobal lauched this camp by hosting it for two weeks at the Ontario College of Art and Design’s Inclusive Design Institute, with support from Apple, Promethean, and Pearson Foundation.

The camp design drew on TakingITGlobal’s rich diversity of programs, including the Sprout e-Course, as well as in-house knowledge and skills. The camp delivered an innovative program model integrating these themes and focus areas: digital games, social entrepreneurship, project mandates, team building, coding, logo design, 3D printing, prototyping, storyboarding, and presentations and public speaking.  The first week’s campers formed teams which selected as their issues, Homelessness, Mental Health, Animal Cruelty, Cyberbullying, World Hunger, Animal Poaching, and Child Labour. The second week’s teams focused on Aboriginal Children’s Rights, Smoking, Alcohol Abuse, Child Marriage, and Global Warming.

Sprout Ideas Camp participants benefitted from the insights of a variety of expert mentors from industry and academia who shared their time and expertise, including individuals from Apple, Promethean, 500px, Offshoot, OCAD University, Functional Imperative, Bellmedia, Zoku, McMaster University, Humber College, and many more.

Your support makes these great experiences for young people possible, so we want to thank you and invite you to learn more! Please follow this link to explore the prototype games campers developed in Scratch, and check out this video which summarizes one of the week-long camps!

Links:

May 5, 2014

Conversations on Social Innovation: A New Website Section and Video Series!

Alison Burkett, co-founder, Write to Remember 1994
Alison Burkett, co-founder, Write to Remember 1994

We're thrilled to announce the launch of a new section on our website and a new video series!

Our members inspire us, and we’re always trying to come up with ways to inspire them and even given them an edge as they work on their social innovations. We’ve launched a new video section, Conversations on Social Innovation, to exhibit the stories and lessons of our members.This series will bring both young people and guest experts into the conversation so that young social innovators can learn from a range of experiences. Check out the new section and read on in this report as we highlight a series of videos focusing on Sprout alumni.

Alison Burkett is a graduate of the Sprout e-course that guides and supports project development by our members. Alison was inspired to develop her project Write to Remember 1994 and we’re featuring her story in this video. Write to Remember 1994 was founded to help Rwandan genocide survivors document their stories of tragedy, grief, and survival in a safe and supportive environment for healing. Alison is an educator based in Toronto, and she believes that sharing these stories is not only key for the survivors but also for the "outsiders". These stories have the potential to connect new generations of youth from vastly different walks of life "to the human heart,” Alison says, “to the resilience of life and to our collective responsibility in the face of crimes against humanity." Learn more about Alison’s story here.

David Um is a Sprout graduate based in the Philippines who founded a media project Video For Life – an educational tool that aims to help youth learn through the use of video media in the Tagalog language. Daniel’s success story highlights his use of local resources, overcoming unexpected setbacks, and how he stays motivated. He explains that his teams’ skills in organization, research, and creativity were directly linked to the success of his project. Take a moment and watch the story of Daniel Um and his project here.

Thank you for your time in reading this, and thank you for supporting young social innovators!

Daniel Um, founder, Video for Life
Daniel Um, founder, Video for Life

Links:

Mar 26, 2014

Sprout Ideas: Past and Future

Sprout, a program of TakingITGlobal
Sprout, a program of TakingITGlobal

TakingITGlobal’s head office has been busily bringing new opportunities and resources to young people to help them act on issues that are important to them. With your support, TakingITGlobal connects young social innovators to Sprout Ideas [www.sproutideas.org] and delivers the Sprout e-Course to new groups of young people. We are continually improving the program with more emphasis on new video content, mentors, guest experts, and internal curriculum reviews.

The Equinox Fellowship, in partnership with Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI), recently completed the e-course – a cohort that saw 36 students registered. Participants are from North America, Africa, and the Middle East. Those completing the course are given the opportunity to apply to further opportunities in the Fellowship, such as mentorship and seed funding for their projects. These participants are all pursuing innovative projects in the field of education.

A large cohort of young people is starting Sprout presently, once again sponsored by Microsoft YouthSpark and donors to this page on Global Giving. Of these 47 young people, 27 are from the TakingITGlobal online community as well as the Microsoft Innovate for Good community. The remaining 20 people are from 4 winning teams of Imagine Cup, a global student technology competition by Microsoft.

These 4 teams are the 2013 Imagine Cup Grants winners, whose projects are generally in the areas of health, and leveraging technology to improve life for other people. Teams are from Slovenia, Taiwan, Australia, and Ireland. We’re honored to be working with these teams. We’re currently matching these Imagine Cup teams with experienced employee mentors, who can give general professional, project-related or technical advice based on their careers in the technology sector. This value-add of matching young people to mentors builds off our previous experience running a program to match about 70 young people to mentors. We think this kind of support will be very valuable in helping the winning teams of Imagine Cup succeed with their projects.

Sprout now has a presence on TakingITGlobal’s homepage, which links to a new domain for Sprout Ideas [www.sproutideas.org].  This new site exhibits this program more fully: There’s a video describing the course and including some testimonial from past graduates, and information on the Sprout e-Course, Sprout Self, and customized cohorts of the Sprout e-Course. We’ve also recently partnered with a professional video studio in Toronto to help us create high quality video content for participants in our programs as well as anyone who finds the TakingITGlobal! We’ve recently interviewed Justin Hanna (Manager at Kids Help Phone, and advisor to DoSomething), and Frances Edmonds (Dir. Environment Programs, HP Canada), and look forward to doing many more of these interviews in the months ahead.

Links:

Oct 10, 2013

Building Youth Skills, Projects, and Networks

Group of OSC students work together with a mentor.
Group of OSC students work together with a mentor.

Here’s a broad overview of the last several months of TakingITGlobal’s work to engage young social innovators, to build their skills and competencies while building their ideas into real, actionable projects. Since our last report, we have continued to deliver Sprout Unplugged and the Sprout e-Course with new audiences.

Sprout Unplugged was delivered in several new countries. At the Ontario Science Centre last June 2013, TakingITGlobal delivered Sprout Unplugged in partnership with Microsoft Innovate for Good, for 50 graduating high school students from the OSC. Sprout Unplugged is a team-based action learning program designed to bring large groups of young people into teams organized around an idea which is developed into a plan. Team members contribute their unique insights and abilities while exercising skills, through several modules of work which build a project plan. This curriculum was delivered in other countries, including Brazil, where our curriculum was translated into Portuguese and worked successfully for 50 participants as well.

One further cycle of the Sprout e-Course was delivered to 20 young social innovators from India, Canada, Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, China, and Thailand, who graduated having honed their skills, developed a project portfolio, and are ready now to launch their ventures. There are now 15 students who have just started the course, and a further 20 who are due to start soon, who are sponsored with your support along with partners like Microsoft, the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) Equinox Summit, and with youth participants from the WGSI fellowship, the Global Issues Network (GIN), and Ngee Ann Secondary School in Singapore.

Building off the success of our pilot program on mentorship last March 2013, TIG is expanding its mentorship program to match an initial group of 70 mentors. Mentorship can be one of the most beneficial and influential relationships in helping a young person develop in both their professional and personal lives. This program supports young social innovators with a structured introduction to a mentor, a written guide for them to use, and an expectation that a 1-on-1 Skype session will take place with their mentor, where participants can ask questions, get advice, and have a conversation. We’re matching our community of young social innovators with a wide range of professionals, including those from such fields as software engineering, project management, communications, and finance.

Thank you for taking time to read about our progress, and thank you for donating!

Sprout grad shares a still shot from a documentary
Sprout grad shares a still shot from a documentary
Jun 26, 2013

Bolstering the Success of Start-Up Social Ventures

This a short update on the activities and work being undertaken by TakingITGlobal to empower the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Your continued support is invaluable and we want to share with you some of our most recent programming outcomes.

Since the beginning of 2013, over 180 young people in Washington, DC, New York, and Toronto have participated in an event-based program called Sprout Unplugged - which in partnership with Microsoft Innovate for Good - has helped them learn and execute the building blocks of social venture development. This unique team-based action learning program was designed with the intent to bring together large numbers of youth to leverage the ingenuity within themselves and during the event, actually build the foundation for new social ventures. This event-based program has also been implemented at various Innovate for Good events around the world and facilitators within ech region have been trained on this exciting and highly-practical curriculum.

Through the delivery of 2 more cycles of the Sprout E-course, 20 social innovators from Argentina, Egypt, India, Italy, Philippines, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and United States, emerged having successfully completed the rigorous curriculum with readiness to embark on launching their ventures. Following the e-course, graduates shared their thoughts on the connection between the supports offered by TakingITGlobal and their enhanced ability to successfully implement their projects. Themes that surfaced from their feedback included a greater sense of self-confidence and empowerment along with the take-away of a practical toolkit of process and skills they felt they could transfer toward both personal and professional development.

In March 2013, a pilot program utilizing an innovative model of online mentorship was launched to support 9 of the best and brightest individuals and teams from the Sprout E-course cycles who required targeted guidance from experienced mentors. Mentors valued the opportunity to give back while mentees realized the importance of an objective third-party in further developing their projects toward effective launch.

Most recently, TakingITGlobal in conjunction with Microsoft Citizenship hosted a Project Launch Funding Competition whereby Sprout graduates from within the Microsoft Innovate for Good community could apply for a $1,000 USD grant, receive tailored coaching and access to a crowd funding opportunity - all to enable the implementation of their now polished social ventures.  A total of 11 entrepreneurs with projects based in Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, United States, and Vietnam have now received 8-weeks of coaching and advising. Of this group, 8 have launched crowd funding campaigns on Giveforyouth.org to raise key financial resources.

One such innovator is Ramses Lozano Rueda. Ramses is a tech-savvy socially-conscious youth from Mexico who is passionate about creating a culture of blood donation in his country. Hundreds of people die every day throughout the world because they are kept waiting for a blood transfusion that was never received. In Mexico out of one hundred and thirteen million Mexicans, 3% donate blood and from that 97% do it out of necessity. Solidariza-T is a mobile app that will help health institutions connect with prospective blood donors and offer cool rewards like discounts in restaurants, bookstores, cafes, and cinemas in order to raise the blood donation index. Ramses wants to break down the myths and fears about blood donation to ensure those who are in desperate need of this life-saving intervention can benefit. By giving rewards to donors, Solidariza-T will encourage people to donate, increasing the blood donation index and consequently, the capacity of hospitals to help patients.

Your financial gift has made it possible for young innovators like Ramses to create change in their communities. We are looking forward to sharing the outcome of their ventures with you. Thank you for your continued support.

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Organization

Taking IT Global

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
http://www.tigweb.org

Project Leader

Ryan MacLean

Toronto, Ontario Canada

Where is this project located?

Map of Empowering Young Social Innovators