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The Portfolio Pipeline (UPDATED AGAIN)

The Portfolio Pipeline educates, inspires, and empowers young creative thinkers to showcase their creative work over time, harnessing their creative energies to achieve their educational and professional goals.

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FINAL PITCH:
A great idea is only as good as your ability to COMMUNICATE it.  

A creative mind is only as good as your ability to APPLY it.  

The goal of the Portfolio Pipeline is threefold: 
1: To educate young people on the importance of communicating and displaying their creative energies.

2: To inspire young people to engage in more creative projects.

3. To empower young people to apply their creative energies to whatever course of study or work that they eventually choose.



UPDATE 1:
First of all, thank you all so much for your feedback thus far.  Since being shortlisted, I've had the opportunity to discuss this concept with professional designers, educators, administrators and students.  With their insights, and yours, I've put together a preliminary site map, and a basic mock-up of the home page.  My goal is to keep the site as simple as possible, so that even the most timid creatives will not be intimidated by the interface.  I've heard the savvy designers at Google refer to their site as "a Swiss-Army knife with all of the tools folded in"...and that description has served as the basis for my approach thus far.

Please feel free to offer your insights, comments, and critique on site map and mock-up homepage.

In the meantime, I have sent brief surveys to a number of educators and administrators to solicit specific feedback on what they are looking for in a college entrance portfolio.  I will share their responses as soon as I received them.

Many thanks!

ORIGINAL POST:
I've attended many college fairs as a representative of the Tulane School of Architecture, and I'm always surprised by how many young, ambitious, inspired high school students suddenly freeze with panic and fear as they timidly ask:

"Do you guys require....a portfolio?"

As creative and accomplished as some of these young students are, for some reason the idea of trying to represent their creativity in a portfolio seems overwhelming.  But it shouldn't be. 

Portfolios are not precious artifacts that will be critiqued soundly and left for all to see for eternity.  They're merely a snapshot of your creative energies over time.  The best portfolios are living, breathing, evolving collections that showcase your creative process and your artistic interests.  And they're crucial for giving a potential college or employer a glimpse into your creative mind.

The Portfolio Pipeline would be an online source for helping young creatives assemble their work.  As a simple online platform, the Pipeline would make it easy for them to upload and format their work.  An "inspiration" section would challenge them to add even more projects.  A "share" section would let them seek constructive criticism from the community, so that they could improve their work over time.  With specialized tips and resources for artists, designers, inventors, musicians--every kind of creative personality--the Pipeline would inspire confidence and allow their creativity to become a tangible asset in their lifelong endeavors.

The second goal of the Portfolio Pipeline would be to connect these young creators to schools, colleges, and job opportunities.  Online tools would make it easy to attach their work to an applications, or send their portfolios directly to schools, colleges or companies.  By seeing the vast array of opportunities waiting for them in creative fields, young students will be motivated to hone their skills, explore their artistic vision, and use their talents to craft a better future.

*New* Refinement question: What will the future look like with your idea in it?

To solve the world's most difficult problems, we need the world's most creative minds. Far too often, young creative people don't quite know how to channel their creativity into something productive. Portfolio Pipeline will educate and empower these intelligent young minds to seek careers in the creative fields that will have a tremendous impact on our future. Architects, engineers, urban planners, film makers, inventors, scientists, entrepreneurs....all working together to make the world a better place.

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.

By partnering with local schools, we can identify the types of projects that young creatives are typically involved in and design the tools around them. We can test beta versions of the user-interface on students of all ages to make sure the process is intuitive and streamlined. We can talk with students to find out what additional features would be helpful, so that we can completely remove the "intimidation factor" of assembling a portfolio.

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?

As the site is launched in different countries, we can showcase cross-cultural portfolios on our homepage to provide unique inspiration from across the globe. The site could also be used to facilitate international collaboration between people interested in the same types of projects.

We could also potentially develop a Portfolio Pipeline Facebook app, allowing young creatives to showcase their work to a select support group.

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 biggest challenge for this proposal would be awareness. There is more than enough expertise in this community and in my own professional network to build the tool and launch it online. But how would young creatives find out about it?

My initial instinct would be to partner with a great organization or even a university that already has access to students. Perhaps a seeding program could be implemented to introduce the Portfolio Pipeline through a handful of schools before rolling it out nationally and internationally.

Any additional input would be much appreciated.....thanks!

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big truth: A great idea is only as good as your ability to COMMUNICATE it. A creative mind is only as good as your ability to APPLY it. I really agree with you with these statements.
And it is a good idea to learn youth people how to communicate their ideas, because most of us need help with that.

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