This is a really interesting idea, Jes! I’d be inclined to think about the micro-consultants as your bench of individuals who are interested in learning about or perfecting a skill. Payment will be tough and you’re definitely addressing the issues of delivering a service versus delivering a social good. This may be something where you tier service fees based on the skillset (or mastery badges) of the micro-consultants. This is a similar concept used by consulting firms - your analysts are always cheaper than your managers.
This is a dual win. You’re showing how the individuals involved in Seed are building skills and capabilities. You’re also building a promotion/credibility hierarchy through the badges so you can begin to tier experience and capabilities to ensure you find the right fit for the client. While there are questions around what earns a badge, it’s certainly an idea worth exploring. Another interesting thought is how these badges could translate outside the Seed world so that the skills the micro-consultants are learning could be treated as a certificate or a brand for future employers?
In addition to the bench, it might be worth considering a small full-time component of the consultancy. You mention seasoned users as being the first line of client support, which is an interesting approach. What about having at least a couple of full-time Seed Project Manager who can oversee the project, ensure consistency in product delivery and quality? You’ll probably not want the client to get a constant deluge of e-mails or phone calls without some sort of individual who can be Seed’s focal point. Additionally, I see this Project Manager being a mentor who can share best practices and learnings from previous projects at a more macro level. This individual can also play a support role to the micro-consulting support that you’ve discussed in the original idea. This individual can also play a support role in identifying the appropriate “badge” level one earns after completion of his/her task.