Hi Karen, thanks for the detailed answers and sorry for writing back with such a big delay. I didnt' know about http://middstart.middlebury.edu/; it is good that somebody is already doing it and that it works, it is a proof point :-)
Re diversity 1) it is a buzz word, it looks good on brochures and it starts to be taken seriously (eg my ex-director had a target, and was also paid bonus, according to the number of women at middle-manager level). As you said it may start small, but if it catches on, it will be big if taken really seriously 2) it can work when the corporate giver has got plenty of money and resources (internet, banking, oil, telco); in other industries I think no matter the color, age, gender, the skills are what drives the "hiring decision". --> The problem is that skills are a derivative of how the person is raised, the family and education it gets so, not sure this is the forum for this debate ;-) 3) foundations are great - get for example Melinda and Bill Gates foundation in, the others (including corporates) will follow; I would spend a lot of time in this area! 4) genial the idea of allowing communication only via the platform - genious!
Hi Mary Jean, I have just filled in your survey - I hope you get many responses with thoughtful insights.
I understand what you mean, my mom has been always keen on adoption and I was lucky enough to be given the gift of an adopted brother from Chile when I was four and other three long-distance adopted brothers and sisters... Going back to the individual giver, I see similarities with long term adoption but also a big difference, the medium of interaction in the case of 1st gen students will be internet/video/ in person; with long-distance is instead still pen/ picture/ in person (maybe). There is an adoption gap in my view if the giver doesn't have mental flexibility.
On the work side, until last month I was working for Vodafone (a large European telco), that is why I wrote all the questions about corporate givers, the first one is a real bottlenecks to me. That is because in large corporates the decision maker wants to shine with his/her boss and the reward here will arrive too late.