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For more sites like Samasource, there's a huge list of microwork or crowdsource sites that was compiled on Quora.

One or more of those platforms could provide you with an easy way to test your idea: find a school interested in running an experiment, and use the platform(s) as a source for jobs to try. I imagine you could learn a lot about the worker side of the equation—how to do it a classroom setting, overseeing the work, necessary teacher support, etc.—without having to drum up the companies and projects, too.

Nice work!



Patrick commented on Preflight: Real-world challenges in the classroom


I think it's certainly possible that businesses would want to get younger people interested in their work, but I'd see it happening more at the individual level than the organizational level. Sometimes it's better to consider the individuals within a business rather than the business itself, or vice versa, as they respond to different motivations.

Also, is seems like the "Knowledge Relay" idea in the mentorship challenge has some elements that might be useful to look at it.

"'Knowledge relay' is a network where just retired people will transfer their knowledge and expertise to just graduated youngsters in order to help them finding a gap in the labour world."



Patrick commented on Preflight: Real-world challenges in the classroom

Awesome idea, Gavin.

Just to join this thread, I think you'll find that a lot of employers worry about the time-investment in hiring , training, and managing interns. Companies with large or frequent recruiting needs will often use interns as a trial period for prospective employee, but they'll want that prospective hire to be as well trained and as close to a hiring date as possible.

Will companies encourage employees to spend several days running a workshop for students who might be years out from hiring? I don't know specifically, but I do know that two-sided markets like this can be really tricky to get right if the benefits to both sides are not clear and compelling. In my experience you want to be able to see an excess of at least one side of the market: i.e. lots of students demanding these kinds of experiences, or lots of employers looking to get more people in their profession.

One alternative place to consider is industry groups, trade groups, or other organizations that want to promote the practice of specific professions. For example, the non-profit Black Girls Code runs a series of industry sponsored hackathons to get more girls of color (ages 12-17) into technology professions. There's also the online CS master's degree from Georgia Tech and Udacity that was heavily sponsored by AT&T (in part to get more potential engineers to hire).

Or maybe there are ways you can reduce the risk of the employer side of the "market". Rather than always being designed and run by a professional, would it be possible to create a database of design challenges that showcase different professions? The challenges could be used over and over again by different schools, and local professionals could act as judges to provide feedback. In some ways that's not so far off from the case method that many business schools use to simulate real world situations for MBA students.

One final thought is to try talking to some people who already doing this, but at a "premium" level. The Design Thinking Bootcamp class at Stanford used to involve an industry sponsor for their final class challenge: for example, in 2009 I know the final challenge was sponsored by Visa. If they're still doing industry sponsored challenges, they may have great insights for you on how to structure those kind of challenges.

Again, nice work!