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Speed Dating /Networking Legacy & Launches (A Match Making Site for Seniors and Teens)

A great way to build a mentor mentee relationship is for everyone to come to the table with something to offer. You don’t need to spend hours trying to figure out if you have a match, if your skills and beliefs are organized and presented in a clear system, that uses some simple analytics to find likely connections, and then organizes a “Skype Speed Meet”. Like a Match.Com for mentoring.

Photo of Kenneth Walton
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How would you describe your idea in one sentence?

This is a match making site for seniors and teens that uses dating site like analytics to help make a good match.
I think to kickstart the effort we could enlist local schools and senior center to build out a test scenario using data cards, and do an actual speed date night, and then use that experience to build an online or mobile experience. 

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

Enlist local schools and seniors centers to build a test scenario using data cards, and do an in person speed date

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

I think it would be great to have a programmer / developer build out a prototype site


Join the conversation:

Photo of Damien Lapray

Hi Kenneth,
I liked the idea at first glance but I have the feeling that this is using a tool (speed dating) that neither generations (15-24 and +50) are used to.
I might be wrong though.
Pursuing on your idea, don't you think that a "speed dating" with an older adult and a skill could be more powerful.
Each skill being associated to a young person but he/she would only be the means of it. The bind would be made by what can be learned from this experience and not who participate in it.
There would be maybe less pressure on both sides to engage in a mentor/mentee relationship?

Photo of Kenneth Walton

You have very good questions, I don't know if speed dating is the correct analogy, but I do understand where you are coming from. I think what you are asking is can two people several generations apart; really make a meaningful connection in two minutes? I don’t think the two minutes will give you anything other than a very superficial understanding of the other person.
But dating sites have their participants fill out a very detailed description of themselves, and it is from that data that the participants are pre-matched. So some qualitative reduction of non-compatible mentor / mentee connection has been done. The two minute conversation then would be to make a personal connection. The participants could then select their top three mentors or mentees and try each other out.
The speed dating concept I think is easy to explain, and a funny video could be created to help with that.

Photo of Paul Reader

As I said in Selina's concept I like the speed dating analogy although I think it would need to be modified both in time and name. I do think participating in a structured exploration of mutual interests could produce some surprising and beneficial results.
As an alternative structure perhaps a range of configurations could be trialled - small groups rather than pairs, designated spaces for broad interest categories, 10 minute rather than 2 minute timeframes etc.