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Lifting off into (Pre)flight

What an experience! Participating in the youth employment challenge has helped me grow, learn about my passions and work with incredible people. The community has pushed this idea forward, and I've loved turning an abstract idea into a concrete plan. I'm excited to keep moving forward and start implementing Preflight in schools!

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The Story

Two months ago, I stumbled upon this OpenIDEO challenge from an online Coursera class about global issues. The challenge looked interesting, so I submitted my story in the research phase. I wasn't expecting much to come of it. A few people commented on my contribution, and it was fun to have conversations with them. I knew I wanted to keep going.

The beginnings of Preflight started with a conversation in the research phase. I wondered how all students could get a glimpse of the opportunities provided by an internship in a low-stakes environment? What if this program could be implemented in schools, where it could give meaning to seemingly boring topics?

On the first day of the ideas phase, I submitted an idea called “Real World Challenges Visit the Classroom”. In the following weeks, I was blown away by the contributions and insightful feedback from the community. They challenged me to think deeply about all aspects of the journey, from the user experiences, to possible partnerships, to the expected outcomes and how to get schools and professionals interested.

The idea continued to evolve and take shape with help from the team. Even the name “Preflight” and the logo came from the community!

What have we learned?

The OpenIDEO community challenged me to get out of my comfort zone and talk to teachers, students and professionals about the idea. The feedback from all three groups was very positive. Here’s a glimpse of what we learned:
  • Teachers loved that the idea connected their class to the real world, but wondered how the challenges could fit into busy class schedules.
  • Professionals were very interested in speaking to bright students about their careers, but some wondered about the time commitment.
  • Students were excited about meeting professionals, but some wondered if the professional was just using them to get work done.

These insights have helped to shape the idea into one that accommodates all three parties. The OpenIDEO community has been extremely gracious in sharing their feedback as well, from all three perspectives.

What is the goal?

The goal is to empower students to pursue a career that interests them by giving them connections, experience and opportunities through Preflight challenges. 

We can measure this impact with numbers: students, challenges, ideas, professionals... as well as student stories. 

Click here to add your thoughts to the idea page!

What's next?

So much creative thinking has helped shape Preflight- it’s time for action. In order to move forward, I’d love to work with interested professionals, organizations, teachers and students in building specific challenges that we can test in schools. Are you interested? Let me know!

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Photo of priyanka botny


As promised, this is the plan @ Bangalore, India

Photo of Luisa Fernanda

Hi Priyanka,
This seems very exciting. Can you share a bit more info on this for those who weren't as involved int his conversation? Also if you give us some details and this relates to the Youth Employment Challenge we'll love to support you spread the word.

Photo of priyanka botny


It is simply providing a platform for education, observation, internet availability, the natural design thinking process, collaborative work, STEM learning by experimental leadership where we will be using mobile phones, computers, etc., in a country like India, we are made available of resources to the growing demand but the spread of resources are lacking. Young adults aged between 10 to 20 years, living in the low-economic urban areas will be considered for the 2 month program. This plan will help us navigate us to the end individual goals.

The end goal - Youth Employment !
To achieve this goal, we need to provide them with opportunities (the plan) that helps them to view these ideas as tangible benefits. A class problem discussion may transform into a business tomorrow, a pop-up bike in a low-economic community can spread awareness in youth, if Social Getwork has to be successful, then we need to create an internet base and tell them that "internet- a reach to the www" is available. Adopting open-business models can help youth to transform their study place into a real life challenge solving space where teachers will be engaged to invest in the youth's progress.

All in all, we can quantify the ideas on the platform, the learning outcomes from Stanford. D. School students in the usage of the OpenIDEO platform into tangible benefits. By starting somewhere, we all will stay focused and I see Gavin very excited to help. Ex: Gavin can make time for a Skype call with these students who are of his age here in Bangalore, India where they can discuss about the cognitive based leadership that they can take up from today and at the moment. This is feasible, viable and the question is if it's desirable?

Please let me know what are the thoughts. I was impacted by the learning outcomes of the D.School students while they shared their suggestions with me. I will update the results on the impact page, asap. Guess this is where change can begin in one of the ways...

- Pri

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