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Youth Mentor Challenge Opportunity Areas

Opportunity Areas
In the Research phase we explored many lenses on mentoring – from stories of personal transformation to analogous learnings from existing programs.  

On the back of all these insights, we’ve identified five opportunity areas that we can use as jumping off points as we brainstorm new solutions in the Ideas phase. 
            Tools for Connection
            Twist What Exists
             Surprise Us
Roadmaps to Get Started
How might we make mentoring feel less scary and more fun for everyone?

People are often eager to lend their help – but don’t always know what kind of help they can offer, let alone know where to begin. This can be especially true for young people age 15-24 who may feel uncertain about how much know-how or expertise they have to share with older adults. The truth is we all have talents, perspective, experience or even time that can be of value to someone else – we often just need a little help getting started. Whether it’s through onboarding roadmaps, assessments that uncover the skills we have to offer or outreach campaigns that raise awareness of the benefits of mentorship – let’s equip young people with the knowledge and resources they need to understand the potential of what they have to share with others and hit the ground running to engage in mentorship. 
Mentoring is like driving. Rules of the road help set expectations.
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Seeing what others have accomplished is inspiring.
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Uniting Organisations
How might we connect organisations together through a unifying network in ways that helps deepen their collective impact?

A number of organisations that draw people into mentoring already exist – but they often work in isolation. The same could be said for many university student groups, extracurricular clubs or senior citizen centres that individually advocate the benefits of community connections through mentorship to their discrete audiences or volunteers. How might we connect organisations together through a unifying network in ways that helps deepen their collective impact? What partnership models or alliances might enable organisations to cut across silos, share knowledge across programs, spread awareness and grow the pool of young people and older adults who connect through mentoring?
Comparing an airline subscription model to a mentorship network
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Programmes that focus on teaching & giving back to the community.
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Capturing the Value of Mentorship 
How might we design personalised, meaningful story capture tools to enable young people to keep track of, showcase and reflect back on their experiences as a mentor?

​When we take the time to share our skills, talents and time with others, we’re doing more than just helping – we’re investing in the relationships we have with other people. Inherent in these relationships is a value and story that we want to be sure to capture and hold on to, both internally for our own fulfillment and meaning and externally to signal to others our commitment to supporting our community in this way. How might we design personalised, meaningful story capture tools to enable young people to keep track of, showcase and reflect back on their experiences as a mentor? What tracking apps, recognition systems, certifications, badges or other signals might provide young people with the external validation they’d want when applying to college, looking for employment, updating their LinkedIn profile or in other ways showcasing their talents publicly?
Mentor Currency? Japanese caring relationship tickets
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Unleashing the imaginations of young people
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Tools for Connection
How might we foster unexpected connections across generations?

Many of us find meaning and a sense of purpose through the connections we create with each other – but we don’t always know how to connect with new people outside of our social circle or where to go to find others with shared interests. What tools – apps, platforms, websites, in-person meetups, community events or other vehicles – might help us meet people outside of our peer group, form friendships and mentoring relationships and share stories of how these connections have changed our mindset, behaviours or perspectives?
Tools for connecting people to people
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Tools to connect people to experiences
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Twist What Exists
How might we borrow from what already exists to create more connections between young people and older adults?

During Research we learned that some of the most successful examples of people connecting across generations actually are based on learning from what already exists and building upon it, rather than reinventing the wheel. Take, for example, the climbing gym that decided to open its space for professional coworking and student tutoring or the university that created a ‘school within a school’ to support older adults who want to continue their education – instead of starting from scratch, these organisations chose to adapt, build upon or pivot their offering to spark even deeper community connections and interactions. What unexpected twists might we put on existing programmes, spaces or relationships to bring multiple generations together in new and different ways?
What can a rock climbing gym teach us about mentoring?
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Extended opportunities for learning and accomplishment
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Surprise Us   
What have we missed?

There are plenty of ideas that won’t fall into these opportunity areas and are excited to see your out-of-the-box thinking come to life here. Surprise Us! Use this mission to share your ideas that don't fit into one of the five categories here. We encourage you to use these tools as jumping off points to get inspired and support your fresh ideas!

Inspired to contribute your idea? Go back to the Ideas Phase