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Youth Employment Challenge – Tips for Refinement

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Our Youth Employment Challenge has been a rich and dynamic conversation around opportunities for young people. With 176 ideas at the close of the Ideas phase, we have been so inspired by the energetic collaborations, thoughtful deep dives, vibrant visuals and impressive prototypes. As we celebrate and support our 22 Shortlisted ideas, let’s take a moment to familiarize ourselves with our evaluation criteria and prepare ourselves for the Refinement phase.


As the Ideas phase wrapped up, the OpenIDEO Team met with our sponsors and experts to narrow down which ideas best tackled the challenge question. We were particularly interested in ideas that showed a potential to meet our evaluation criteria. Ideas will naturally evolve at different rates, but our team was looking for an organic potential to meet these criteria through participation in our iterative and collaborative refinement process. 

For this particular challenge we also took into account our sponsor’s focus on their Commitment to Action model. The Clinton Global Initiative goes beyond simply discussing critical global challenges – they make firm commitments to take action on these challenges. Commitments made through CGI adhere to three specific tenets: they should be new, specific and measurable. 

Inspired by this model plus our core OpenIDEO values, we applied the following evaluation criteria to our Shortlist decision process:


1. The idea has the potential to create positive impact for young people
The idea focuses on creating more employment opportunities and/or improving the journey to employment for those who might be less prepared for the 21st century workforce.

2. The idea has the potential to be implementable 
The idea can be piloted by defined players and within a specific timeframe.

3. The idea is unique to the context in which it’s proposed
'Unique' does not imply that ideas may never have been done before – ideas should explore a fresh approach to the challenge question.

4. The idea improves through collaboration and iteration throughout this challenge.
The idea evolves over the course of the Refinement phase, based on feedback, experiments and collaborative insights shared on the platform.

For more detailed descriptions, check out this post on our Evaluation Criteria.



Let’s get specific
Let’s put the users at the center of our ideas. Check out our User Experience Map toolkit to get inspired by this process. We also have three new questions on our idea contribution form for shortlisters in our Refinement phase to consider. Be sure to add this fresh content to further clarify your ideas.

Let’s continue collaborating
There are many ways to play a role in the Refinement phase. OpenIDEO is rich with designers, social entrepreneurs and other professionals with a vast knowledge base. Whether it’s your idea in need of dynamic skills or you have skills to offer, let’s take this opportunity to open a dialogue and embrace the collaborative nature of the platform. Grab more tips on our Lowdown for Refinement.



Our evaluation criteria for Winning Ideas takes it a step further. In addition to focusing on impact, implementation and a unique approach, we are also looking for ideas that have clearly defined what success looks like, how it will be measured and next steps. As we continue to prototype, iterate and develop our ideas during the Refinement phase, we ask the OpenIDEO community to help these 22 ideas reach these goals. 

So with that it’s time to dig in! Let's head on over to the Refinement phase and make these ideas the best they can be.


1. LifeLeap – Sergio Marrero – US

2. Delfee – Daniel Kolodziej – US

3. Closing the Summer Achievement Gap – Susan Reckers – US

4. Cathy – Rehmah Kasule – Uganda

5. Change, the Game – Libby Falck – US

6. Co-creating the future – Khin Tye – UK

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