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Crowdsourcing Mentorship

Develop a mobile app with an accompanying website on which anyone can post a challenge they are facing. E.g. "I can't turn my iPhone on" or "How do I fix my bike chain?" Users of the app/website can post answers, videos, or visit the person asking the question to show them how the task can be accomplished. Hopefully this might begin a longer dialogue.

Photo of Aaryaman Singhal
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How would you describe your idea in one sentence?

Connect people with questions or challenges with others who know the answers.
I think this will succeed because this idea already exists. Youth will know what I mean when I say that Google, YouTube, and online forums are great ways to learn how to solve your problem. These platforms enable knowledge sharing and problem solving because people are genuinely good and want to help one another out. 

People will use the app/website because they will see how they can help others and benefit from using the app/website as well. 

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to test any assumptions you might have about your idea?

Run a trial version on my university's campus. Create the app, advertise it through student organizations, and encourage using the app for help with campus-related issues (where should I eat lunch? Where is this building? etc.)

What aspects of your idea could benefit from the input, skills or know-how of our OpenIDEO community?

All of them. Any feedback is welcome. An idea is only as good as the feedback you receive to improve it and then the help you receive to put it into action.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Shruti Ojha

Hi Aaryaman! Nice idea. The app will help the youth who are willing to help old people in solving their problems. However, specifically focusing on the case where old people are not very well acquainted with the new technology - mobile applications, internet etc ( Trust me I've seen my professors facing challenges in using them!) It will be a good idea for the youth to teach old people using latest technology. This will lead to their empowerment especially in countries like India where old people have not much to spend their time with. As an example, I will tell about one of my online courses, (actually all of them) having many old people, even over 80! They have not been a student in that field even, few of them not much educated, but they want to learn and they are learning. Can we think about such thing in India?

Photo of Aaryaman Singhal

Hi Shruti,
Although I'm of Indian descent, I don't live in India so I am not the most knowledgeable about what might be a good implementation plan there. I can say that my grandparents in India have and use iPhones. They started using these devices at the suggestion of their kids (my parents) and it helps them keep in touch with us (iMessage). When I do see my grandparents, I often am able to show them some functionality on these devices that seems basic to me but is very powerful for them.

I think close familial relationships in India might be leveraged to create mentorship opportunities since families live close to each other compared to the U.S.
Perhaps you can develop an idea for an app in India.

Photo of BK Veda Vyas

Good Idea Aaryaman
It would be even more relevant in off campus communities where significant seniors exist and will appreciate such help from campus students we can make it work in broader sense.