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A mentor website using LinkedIn to connect professionals with youth in need of creative confidence.

It Takes a Village website is dedicated to building creative confidence in the youth of today. This is accomplished by connecting a young person with a LinkedIn professional to give guidance through the challenges in their current creative projects.

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Written by DeletedUser


The formula for this project has three main ingredients: mentors, proteges and a project.


The process of mixing this formula begins when LinkedIn professionals connect to the website using their LinkedIn credentials. The site stores their professional background, companies they have worked for and location. In addition, they will be given a survey to gather information on specific areas they feel they can give the most benefit in, and how much they want to be involved.

At the end of their profile creation, they will be given a short tutorial to show how the process works with a strong emphasis on being constructive in criticism and reiterating the concept of building creative confidence.


The youth also creates a profile, including a questionnaire about themselves and what they are looking for from this program.


The protege will create a project entry starting with a category (Examples: design, illustration, finance, literature), a summary of what they are working on, where they would like to focus, and any additional goals. This could be a school project or independent in nature. Included with the project can be images, sketches and any information on where they are in the process.


The website then mixes the formula in the background to find an appropriate mentor. It does this by using the data from the profile information from LinkedIn, the youth profile and project entry. Both the mentor and the protege will need to accept the project connection before they start working together. Once they’ve connected, they can communicate through the websites project entry via images and comments.

As the website grows the social aspect can be integrated. These relationships can also be used as referrals in the youths professional life over time. There can also be an aspect of the website where the proteges can connect with each other, relate with each other and share their experiences.


LinkedIn gives us an existing pool of legitimate professionals to pull mentors from. We can't ignore that current mentor programs are hard to commit to, based on the level of involvement or one thinking they wouldn't be a good mentor. This program would allow people to choose their level of commitment, and over time get more involved. This indirectly allows the mentor to work on their own creative confidence. 

All mentors will be added to the “It takes a Village” LinkedIn group. The group will in turn be displayed on the mentors LinkedIn profile promoting the project and helping to gain new mentors.

LinkedIn is a platform that we can stand on to promote creative confidence locally and globally. This allows these skills, once learned, to be integrated in all aspects of life without ridicule. 


I feel that creative confidence is something achieved over time with exposure, experience and connection. This program could give them a chance to see success, understand process and learn by example. This also creates connections to others with similar passions. We can help support our youth with a huge database dedicated to connecting the existing and future professional world. 

UPDATE 11/18

There have been a lot of great ideas surfacing. It always helps me to get them down on paper in a couple of different ways. First a list, second a mind / site map to visualize how this program can be built and materialize. This program already has so much potential and with that a lot of details to perfect. Please feel free to help me organize. Big thank you to all that have contributed. 


< Statement of Purpose > 

< Terms and Agreement > Guidelines, rules and regulations.


< Your Role > Video tutorials and what your responsible for.

< Rating > The process, public, positive feedback only.

< Expectations > Different levels of commitment = different hourly commitments.

< Training Tutorial > Mandatory, clear message of what the organization wants to achieve, program rules, and regulations.

< Who can get involved? > Mentors must be LinkedIn members. If your apart of the local or global communities you can get involved by creating paid for jobs to post on the Job Board or provid spaces for group projects to take place. Teachers, Social workers and parents can also help by promoting the ITAV to their students in need.


< Create Profile > Connect your LinkedIn profile. Include your interests, expertise, and experience along with specific areas you would like to mentor in. Fill out a questionnaire to help select and match you to your Protege.

< Choose level of Involvement / hourly commitment >


< Create Profile > Include your goals, interests, current projects, age and skill level. Also include specific areas you would like to focus on in addition to what you are looking for or hope to achieve. Fill out a questionnaire to help select and match you to your Mentor.

< Choose level of Involvement / hourly commitment >

THE COMMUNITY - you can be apart of "It takes a Village without becoming a mentor but provide support through jobs, project space, or by helping direct youth to the program.

< Businesses > Provide jobs.

< Universities > College prep.

< Social workers, Teachers, Therapists, & Residence > Provide space for group projects or connecting youths to the program.

SUSTAINING OUR VILLAGE W/ INCENTIVE - Shows in your profile. 3 Stages w/ skills and advantages to graduate and excel in.

< Stage 1 > - Getting Started  Build your profile, connect to mentors and create your skill set. 8 skills, 4 that are chosen and 4 that you choose.

< Stage 2 > Apply and Repeat  Apply to paid for positions through local or global businesses and also your local community. Create and conquer a new skill set(s).

< Stage 3 > Sustain and Deliver - Protege becomes the Mentor.


<Video or Written Tutorials> 

<Open Forums> Created by proteges to connect to each other and share experiences. 

In this challenge, we want to create ideas with young people, not for them. Outline how you’re planning to involve young people or other end-users (parents, teachers, etc) in designing, iterating or testing your idea during the Ideas phase.

In addition to the LinkedIn, mentor, and youth being involved, I think people with access to youth in need of guidance such as therapist, social workers, teachers, and parents should encourage participation in this program. A beta would also be beneficial in developing its success.

How might you envision your idea spreading across geographies or cultures so that it inspires young people around the world to cultivate their creative confidence?

LinkedIn is global. The second that people start reaching out to each other in different countries, it becomes global.

What skills, input or guidance would you like to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

The Reward We all want to be acknowledged and praised. It's a human condition and there's nothing wrong with it. So of course it would be smart to have goals within this program. I would love advice on how to do so. Mentoring is great, a reward in itself, but lets expand that idea more. Also would love technical and design support in getting the website up, working and consistent. There are also other questions and issues involved that may require a parental guidance feature.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Kelly. I like this idea. I have used it as a build for a concept I put up, "SEED". Take a look if you have a minute and let me know how you think I can best utilize your ideas for mine. Like you I believe we should utilize professionals working in the fields of positive youth development to post these mentoring projects, to know about them, and to encourage them to kids. These fields are waiting to be tapped into. They need to know what and where these programs are. Resources! So important when working with and caring for kids. (I have worked with kids and teens in the inner city as a pediatrician for many years. As a community we counsel kids all the time about education, goals, passions. This is part of the psychosocial aspect of care. The more resources the better!)
An idea for you - THE REWARD -
How about an annual conference. Youth participating in The Village come together somewhere in the world to meet each other, present their projects, brainstorm on how to perhaps build on each other's projects going forward. A trip is always a reward in my book. If cost is an issue, for some of the participants, perhaps a scholarship program can be set up with contributions from companies that have participating mentors.

Photo of Saskia Baard

Hi Bettina - I posted an idea to create a creative confidence conference - maybe we could use some elements of that to build a conference:
I really like the idea of a conference - travelling and meeting up with young people around the world (or even in own country). Some of the mentors might be speakers, together with proteges and outside speakers.

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Hi Bettina!

When I was in 4th grade, I had problems taking tests, it was about how I comprehended the information. For my next test, as an experiment, I sat in the back room and read it to myself aloud. I did great on that test and many to follow. I have to admit though, it was a little embarrassing and not really solving the bigger issue that everyone learns in different ways. Imagine how programs like yours can help.

Recently I saw a couple of concepts that suggests changing the way schools teach creative confidence. I really see your idea flourishing here. I can imagine this tool along with others quickly spreading among students and teachers allowing a creative language for expressing what one learns and comprehends.

I think integrating a mentoring program to support your concept is a great idea but in conjunction with school systems. It would take care of a few issues I am having integrating platforms, tools and vetting. If the mentoring were to take place in a classroom or apart of a school system, a lot of these issues would be resolved.

I think the "See one, do one, teach one" idea is a great way to sustain the program. It's similar to ITAV in the different stages mentees go through before becoming a mentor themselves. I really see our concepts supporting each other. This is exactly the type of program that could support my offline community and possibly more. I and the 4th grader in me really loves this concept Bettina. Combining efforts is key, but I'm starting to think I might need yours more than you need mine. ;)

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Kelly.
Wow! Thank you for sharing your story with me/ with everyone here. Thanks also for the thoughtful and kind feedback. It feels great to have engaged the fourth grader in you!
It is so interesting to me that you read my concept and identified that it would work well in a school system. It is based on an educational model, medical education, so it makes sense. This would be the time for me to start talking to some teachers and principals to get their input. Thanks for your insights around this.
A symbiotic relationship? Let's keep the conversation going.

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Hi Bettina

I wanted to connect you to this concept, I think the two of you could collaborate.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Kelly. Thanks for forwarding this!
I just found out that I was shortlisted for refinement with my concept HipTrips. It is a tour guiding concept. I would love it if you would join my team and help me build this idea. I could really use your graphic design talents. Think about it. (I am actually in shock but totally excited.)

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Hi Bettina

I would love to join the team, what kind of design services do you think you will need. I will do my best to help.

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And congrats!!! Don't be too shocked silly, you had some great ideas.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Kelly. Thanks for the team spirit! Do you have any ideas for a logo and a brochure/flyer?
Maybe we could share ideas on that.

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Is there a way I can contact you to discuss ideas? I tried to find you on linkedIn or facebook to send you a message but didn't see you. I'm on both if you want to shoot me a message, we can exchange info and design ideas.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

contact me at
Thanks for getting in touch.

Photo of My Ratarasarn

Hi Kelly, I really love this idea of connecting students with professional. It's very smart how you use the platform that already available. You might like to check out this idea from Diverse Minds. They got an interest method for mentorship and project management.

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Thanks My. Such a great way to build ones confidence, especially when trying something new.

Photo of Michelle Blanchet

Hi! I like this idea and would love to implement it into our STO program. We definitely need more mentors!

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Hi Michelle, I would love to implement this concept with the STO program. How do your current mentors connect to the program and how does it work? I would love any feedback based on your experience.
I also want to introduce you to Bettina, see our discussion below. Here is her concept,
I really see her ideas flourishing in school systems and some of the learning tools she is creating would be awesome to test out in your existing classrooms.

Photo of Saskia Baard

Hi Kelly
So nice to see how this idea evolved! Really like the clear structure you added in the text above to show who's involved, and what the steps are through the site.
Erica mentions tools available - I think it's necessary to not only think about the technology / facilitating tools like chat, forums, etc, but also tools for the mentors. You mention and information station above - what type of content do you think would be necessary, if any, to supply to guide mentors?

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This is an exciting concept. I have also been working on a project to connect mentors or teachers who have a particular expertise with learners who need guidance, as part of a Media Lab design course on new learning platforms (, so I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this topic. I have a few questions for you, some based on issues I’ve also been grappling with.

I do think you’ll need some kind of vetting process for mentors if you’re hoping to make one-on-one connections between youth and adults. That’s tricky territory, even if the interaction is online. To build successful relationships, you’ll need to ensure the safety of the youth and set some expectations about the quality of the mentorship. James Sowden’s suggestion to partner with universities — you could also consider partnering with companies and community organizations — might be one way to ease the vetting process.

I also wonder to what extent you’re thinking about structuring the interaction between the mentor and the mentee once the connection is made. What tools will be available in the interaction — will there be private messages? live chat? I wonder if images and comments alone will be enough to foster a meaningful interaction. If the main mentorship function is commenting, why limit input to a single mentor instead of opening it to the entire community?

How will you encourage people to participate, both youth and mentors? Does this platform respond to an existing need? Assuming you can recruit enough mentors to volunteer their time to support the system, I wonder if youth will feel comfortable sharing their projects online. It would be great if you could speak to youth to find out if they would use such a tool and see what kind of support they need before designing the mechanics of the platform.

Can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

Photo of DeletedUser


Hi Erica

Thank you so much for joining the conversation! These are key ingredients to making this program work and haven't been given enough attention. So much that I might have to think about it for a couple of days. ;)

My initial thoughts.... Vetting, mmm, yes, possibly a must now that I think about it. At the start of this concept I included the question of needing a parental guidance feature but I think that idea might only go so far. I agree, its a touchy subject and I don't want to alienate the program because the commitment turned from easy to invasive.
Right now the program hasn't been organized based off of the level of commitment, its just an option to define expectations and hourly requirements, but maybe we can use this as a stepping stone.

For instance, to start mentoring, your involvement is only through online open forums, job boards, and group discussions like you had mentioned. This would be public and have the feature to add images, videos, anything pertaining to projects or for inspiration. I think this would be a good first step for the mentee as well. They can choose how and when they want to be involved in the discussion. I think being aware of ones hesitation to contribute is smart and further research is needed. Maybe there is a way to ease the pressure.

The next step would be for someone that wants to participate further through working one on one with a mentee. To do this, you can apply for it, a similar process to getting a job with references and in association with your current company. I will come back to this idea.

Getting people involved... I think one of the long term goals for ITAV is to place these graduated mentees into paid positions. A lot of jobs today are filled through references. Also a lot of companies put new hires on a probationary period to ensure a good fit. If this program could start exposing youth to professionals and their companies early, a lot of time and energy will be saved. This will motivate both companies to get involved and mentees to stay in the program with the hope of industry access. I think this idea is far from perfect, I would love your thoughts on this, its a hard one to figure.

Asking ourselves "does this solve a problem" is huge and should be our motto when building this program.

Photo of Jordan Kraft


I think this is a beautiful idea! I think mentors are absolutely critical for developing creative confidence (if you want, check out my little graph from the Inspiration Phase:, I think your concept really addresses the low point in the graph). Also, using LinkedIn as a pool for mentors sounds like a brilliant move in terms of rapid adoption and scalability.

I read a few of the comments, and I had a couple of thoughts:

1. The Rating System:

A rating system seems to be important for the website, but I wonder if it needs to be implemented with the first iteration of the site. Would anything crucial be lost if the first prototype was only about (1) mentees building their profiles, (2) the LinkedIn interface to mentors, and most importantly, (3) the connections between mentees and mentors?

2. Managing Mentor/Mentee Expectations and Time Commitments:

I volunteer as a mentor for a local non-profit called The Matthews House that provides resources and support for at-risk kids between 16 and 21. Each mentor must complete a short training before beginning the mentorship. In this training, The Matthews House staff express (1) the ethos they want to cultivate in their organization (they want to cultivate a community of inclusion and understanding without enabling bad behavior), (2) the rules for engaging with the kids (time spent with mentees cannot be in the mentor's home, etc), (3) and the expectations for the mentors (we are expected to commit to spending two hours a week for six months with our mentees).

I think it might be handy to have a clear statement of purpose for the organization prominently displayed, and maybe a short video that shows exactly what's expected of each party (as well as how the site works). Maybe there can be an agreement that states that each mentor is expected to spend x hours per week (month?) interacting with their mentee, and that the mentee must spend an additional x hours per week working on their projects.

3. Other Handy Online Platforms

Accredible is an organization that helps people document their accomplishments for other people to see (mostly for MOOCs). Eventually, would it be valuable to see if Accredible would be interested in making a little box that showcases what people achieve through It Takes A Village?

Also, I wonder if Maven ( could be a source of inspiration. It's a place where professionals post their areas of expertise in a profile, then people with questions search through the profiles for people with relevant expertise. Maven then brokers a conversation between them and charges the question asker a consulting fee, most of which goes to the professional being consulted. It's a highly skilled, diverse community that becomes powerful because of the searchability of its user profiles.

Photo of Saskia Baard

Hi Jordan, wow, great input!

Rating system:
You have a very good point about the rating system - it doesn't have to be implemented in the first iteration of the site. But do you think it's possible to introduce it later, once people have already signed up? I'm not sure. Maybe not if it's done in a positive way like Kelly and James describes in previous comments. What do you think?

Managing expectations and time commitments:
It's great to hear your personal experience with volunteering as a mentor! I think you highlight two very important things which could be incorporated:
1. Training: It could be beneficial to have a short "training" to become a mentor. Maybe this is in the form of a short video with a questionnaire, plus some guidelines. What would you suggest are key things to be included for the mentors?
2. Expectations: Again, I think this is necessary, especially if working with vulnerable young people and the contact isn't live, but online, it's easier to not show up etc. I like your suggestion of having set hours expected, from BOTH mentor and mentee.
Maybe we could have a number of different bands which mentors could choose from in terms of commitment: e.g 1 hour/week; 2 hours/week; or only written mentoring vs chat / video? Same for the mentees: in amount of hours or in type of mentoring: a specific project, general, job hunting advice, university advice, etc.

Great example. I think we can learn a lot from this site. I think their conflict management section is really interesting, though I'm not sure if it would be possible to implement something like this from the start, not sure how complicated it would be to integrate as it looks like a very specific, specialised system? I do like how they very clearly set out how it works etc.

Photo of Jordan Kraft

Hey Saskia!

Thanks for the feedback!

With the rating system, I feel like it would be possible to incorporate it in a positive way after the initial launch and bug-fixing. What if we made the rating system private so that you could choose to add the comments you liked about yourself to your profile, but could still hear and take advantage of more critical feedback without making those comments public on your account? Maybe this kind of privacy would help?

As to Training, I think it should cover
1) The purpose and ethos of the It Takes a Village Community
2) How to use the site.
3) How to provide constructive feedback.

(Any other ideas??)

I LOVE your idea of time commitment bands. That way someone with a lot of time can really get in there, and someone who wants to dip a toe in can also help out, all while maintaining a stated level of commitment. I think that could really streamline the relationships between mentors and mentees.

I wonder if it might be valuable to leave it up to the mentors and mentees how they would like to interact (via chat, email, video, etc.). Maybe it would be useful for the prospective mentors to have a spot on their It Takes a Village profile to indicate their communication preference, then the mentees can choose what works best for them.

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Saskia & Jordan

Amazing thoughts and feedback, I love where this is all going. I am putting together a build that will incorporate these ideas along with others. The build will be more a mind / site map so we can start to visualize how the site will look and where it can go. (posting soon and would love feedback on places we can expand or refine.)


I like the idea of introducing the rating slowly. I do think it should always be included. More specifically, At sign up, one has to know that rating is apart of the process. However, the act of rating could apply in a later version. Does that make sense?

Jordan, I love your inspiration chart and have been thinking about children's engagement in addition to documentation of accomplishments. There has been discussion of a "reward" system and I think I have come up with a good foundation on how that could work. It would be in stages. Each stage would have skills to accomplish, refine and graduate from. These stages have no time limit or deadline attached to them. There is also no pressure to move on to other stages.

First stage - Could be a mix of skills that are generally good for you to accomplish along with a few that can be selected based off of your profile and what you hope to accomplish. Examples would be Concept, Briefs, Social Skill, Process, Presentation, Creativity, etc..

Second Stage - Apply & Repeat. Once graduated from the first stage, one could be applying these skills to real life paying projects that are provided by local business or communities. This stage would also add on new skills that could prepare you to take on additional projects, projects in groups, and or creating a business. This stage is definitely more in depth and further down the line but I feel its important to introduce tools for advancement if desired.

Third Stage - Sustain and deliver. This is where the protege could start to be the mentor. There is a part of this site that I wanted to dedicate to connecting proteges through open forums. They can share experiences, ask each other questions, and eventually have the ability to mentor other proteges. I think this could develop into something really cool, a full circle concept. This stage needs some ironing out but I think if there was a way to graduate them into becoming mentors, it would be influential to not only the program but also giving youth the power to shape and create what the program becomes.

SO many great ideas here ladies, hard to keep them all straight. I love it and will upload my build soon, looking forward to your thoughts.

Photo of Jordan Kraft

Whoa! The staging idea is SOOOO cool. I especially like that the third stage is turning the mentee into a mentor. Hurray for self-actualization!

You know, one of the things I really appreciate about OpenIDEO is the little pie-chart with points. It gives me a little kick of motivation when I see that my contributions have been recognized in that way. I also like that it's a circle chart, not a bar chart. I can feel good about however much I've accomplished, and I never feel sad that it's "not enough" yet (which might happen if it was a bar chart). What do you think of using a similar symbol to communicate mastery of your stages?

Photo of Saskia Baard

Hi Kelly

I really like this idea! I think this is interesting because you don't necessarily have to get mentoring from someone in your location, you could get different insights from around the world.

Maybe you could consider building a kind of rating into the site, a bit like the one one so that people take responsibility for their mentoring.

It might also be useful for once off connections too - eg young people considering a certain type of career and just want to talk to someone in the profession or living in a certain country.

Photo of DeletedUser


Hi Saskia

Thanks for the comment, I like a rating system and would love to expand on this. My first question is do you think it would discourage mentors from joining? The concepts content in nature is very subjective. I wonder, if young people are already feeling vulnerable and its a learning process, it seems it could be easy to give an un-warrented rating. What do you think?

Photo of Saskia Baard

Hm I wonder if it would discourage mentors from joining...

I agree with you that it can be very subjective and that false ratings may appear. My thinking was that it would be a shame if mentors signed up, and a vulnerable / unconfident young person relies on them, and they don't pitch up / take a long time to give feedback.
I would hope that mentors would be able to understand why such a rating system is in place - almost like a badge of honour rather than ratings.

- there could be a short explanation as to why there is a system in place when they sign up
- the system should be well designed and thought out as to not ask people for subjective opinions on the mentorship, but really more to flag up if something goes wrong
- maybe it's not a publicly visible rating on their profile, but a feedback form young people could fill in IF something goes wrong, eg if mentor is unresponsive? If eg three notifications are sent, the profile gets flagged up, or the mentor gets asked to adjust their profile settings regarding their time commitment.

Regarding expectations - Would it be necessary to create some standard boundaries for any connection made? I'm not sure how you would do this, if it were skype conversations you could measure it in not sure for posts. Just so it's clear to both parties what is expected, how long it will last, etc. Maybe this is on a case to case basis, but still, worth thinking about. Is it worth more if a mentor spends more 'time' with one young person, or a little less with a couple of more people? What would a young person expect? Would they be connected for three weeks or three years? What if the mentor wants to / has to step out?

I was also wondering about how we could measure the impact of this? It would be quite nice, and I think quite possible, to see the number of connections made, the amount of conversations, posts, etc. But can we also gather 'success' stories from young people? Maybe there is a feedback section where they reflect on what changed for them and what helped the most? This can contribute to refining the system and act as guidelines for future mentors.

Photo of DeletedUser



Within the online community there is always the risk of false ratings, however, the rating system can help to alleviate that issue (see the eBay Seller Rating, or even the OpenIDEO pie chart). LinkedIn can help determine the bona fida of the Mentors, and one can formulate a rating system for the Protégé at the conclusion of the project. I think the OpenIDEO system of allowing the user to determine whether or not to show their ‘rating’ (i.e. the Pie Chart) provides flexibility in that a mentor can either:

1.Be transparent and make it Public or
2. Make it Private until they are comfortable displaying it to the online community.

As far as measuring impact is concerned, this can be approached in different ways.


An agreed hourly rate is made for the Mentor based on their contributions to the project, which could be determined as the average wage for professional services, and the Protégé’s rate can be determined by the cost of taking an elective/extra-curricular activity at school (once again calculated on an hourly rate). Once “It Takes a Village” takes hold, this figure then can be used to say that “we have delivered US$XX,XXX worth of community projects during this period”. This figure would be easy for potential investors to understand, however, it does ignore the other aspect that is growing steam, which is the Social Return of Investment of a program.


There have been many studies in the past that highlight the advantages of early education programs, most notably the increase in confidence amongst candidates (e.g. Head Start). “It Takes a Village” can possibly measure their impact through the projects/clients that they work with. Whilst it can be hard to quantify more soft/social impacts of “It Takes a Village”, testimonials (as suggested by Saskia) from successful projects can help demonstrate the positive influence of the program. Also, some companies really target specific members of the community, where potential projects completed through “It Takes a Village” can help them either work more effectively or give the access to resources they could not afford (e.g. web design) – thus helping their cause. Whilst there could be a method of financially calculating the impact, stories and testimonials can be quite powerful as well.

I like Saskia’s idea of classifying projects, as it can help with ensuring that the right Mentor/Protégé team is gathered. If there is a short “What interests you” style questionnaire when people sign up, it would help with the allocation of projects. This would also be administered to companies that approach “It Takes a Village” with a problem. Yet, the system must be flexible, as the project’s scope can potentially change as it progresses. If this occurs, the Mentor should be able to contact the “It Takes a Village” team, so either more/more appropriate Mentors/Protégé’s can join, or they contact the company to review the brief.

Photo of DeletedUser


Saskia & James, thank you so much for the thought provoking write ups, go virtual team...woop woop!

I agree, I think if it's used tactfully a rating system has to be in place. It's smart and useful, definitely a good way to get people to assume responsibility. I thought about the private vs. public and I say go for it, make it public, if its going to be done, go all the way. I support transparency and think it cultivates confidence.

I would like to focus the rating formula more on the information / experience the mentor provided oppose to rating the person. I agree, the protege should rate the experience and further, themselves at each projects conclusion. This will keep track of there progress much like James suggested, like the openIDEO pie chart. I think this starts to address the tracking / refinement idea too which is also, great! Below is a start to a build.

THE MATCH - appraising your experience

Only positive feedback is shown. The positive feedback can also be calibrated and appear with the mentor's profile. The number of people the mentor has helped can also appear.

Was the information helpful and how?
How did this experience match up with your expectations?
Would you recommend your mentor? -only shows up if yes.
Do you feel you can apply the things you learned to future projects, experiences?


After rating the experience, they rate themselves. This information is collected over time and available to them as a visual representation of where they excel, what they can work on or get better at. Some categories can be, Growth, Presentation, Concepting, Briefing, Analyzing, Creative Confidence..etc


Impact -

Expanding into the community with projects that are for legitimate businesses that need resources they can't afford is awesome. It would also be a great reward system to implement for the program. The protege could graduate into real jobs once there skills have been attained. This stage of the mentoring could focus on taking the skills you learn and apply it to real life situations. The program could also introduce a whole new skill set to master. For example, client, content, or vendor management. Time management, scoping projects, and budgeting.

Photo of Saskia Baard

Hi Kelly, James

I like the idea of only showing the positive feedback on the site. Negative feedback can be used to give direct feedback to the mentor / protege, but it isn't necessary to show it public. I agree, rating should definitely be of the experience and not the person! I like that they rate themselves, I think this is important to get them to reflect on their own experience and growth - helping them to understand future experiences better and work through them on their own.

Applying skills in the community:
I like the idea of applying skills in the community, but I would be wary to work directly for free for businesses - this comes dangerously close to unpaid internships and can start a negative cycle. And there is the difficult aspect of how you measure which businesses can or can't afford things etc... Projects which are self-initiated or a group of young people working together on an issue in their community is maybe a different option?

Start out simple:
I think it's best to start out simple and keep the initial plan to connecting mentors to proteges, either within their own communities / in the same sector.

Categories / signing up:
One could even have a category for specific issues, so young people can connect with mentors who went through similar difficulties as they, so it's not limited to sector / community / interest

I still think there can be great potential to connect young people with mentors globally. In communities with few role models, ITAV can inspire and motivate young people, especially in resource scarce / poorer areas. This can also be valuable for young people who want to work in a specific sector or who has interests not well represented in their community/ area. On signing up, mentors could indicate if they would be willing to mentor for other countries.

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Great idea, as Jeff mentions in his comment, you are utilising an existing platform to source your mentors via LinkedIn where information can be easily viewed and candidates can be vetted.

Your website concept can be developed further via partnering with universities for credence of the service, and then "It take a Village" can commence approaching local community groups for appropriate projects. By using this method one can not only help the creativity of individuals, but also provide those community programmes that deliver essential services access to mentors that they could not normally afford. Another aspect of partnering with universities is that it could help with the recruitment of mentors via their alumni network.

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Hi James, thanks for your comment. I love the idea of expanding this into universities. I also love the integration of approaching local communities for projects. I feel this would be a great way to transition mentoring offline and in groups. It would also be a great way to graduate the mentors level of involvement.

Photo of Jeff Nagata

This is a great idea! I love how it takes advantage of a existing platform and network to direct it toward cultivating creative confidence. I had a similar idea about connecting the creative energy of youth to real-world problems that people are facing:

This also reminds me of another network-based platform, called Catch-a-fire. The website aims to connect professionals with skills to non-profits or other social enterprises that need pro-bono help. It's a way for people to give back to their community using their professional skills, without quitting their jobs or making any life-changing decisions.

Here's their website:

I thought it would be a good model to base the Linked-in group.

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Hi Jeff

Thanks for your comments and the link to Catch-a-fire It's a really interesting website and a great model to study. I will also check out your concept, it looks like a smart idea.

Photo of Brad Filice

Nice write-up. I like your insight about lowering the barrier to entry for professionals so it isn't such a big commitment.