1. What are you most excited about accomplishing so far as a HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition winner? How has winning this award helped your project accomplish this goal?
The most exciting aspect of receiving this award is that it has allowed us to expand and enhance our existing social networking platform. Specifically, the award has funded the construction and integration of an Idea Incubator. This platform will allow our whole youth demographic, comprised of young change makers to post innovative solutions to critical societal problems. These problems could be at the community level, country level, or even global in scope. Once posted, the networked community has the collective opportunity to evaluate, comment, rate, and workshop each idea. Ideally, after undergoing this “workshop” experience, ideas could potentially develop into concrete projects ripe for seed funding.
Primary among YouthActionNet®’s program goals is connecting, supporting, and advocating for young social entrepreneurs around the world. The virtual Marketplace and the Idea Incubator are vital resources in achieving those goals.
2. What are your goals for the next three months?
The Idea Incubator, when launched, will reside within the YouthActionNet® Marketplace. Our immediate goal for the next three months is to successfully launch the Marketplace and begin actively building our member community. To that end, the launch will be supported by SEO efforts, profile development and participation on other networks, as well as having our existing YouthActionNet® alumi Fellows begin posting their user content. In two months, construction on the Idea Incubator will have advanced to the beta stage. At that time, formal launch becomes imminent!
3. Is there any kind of assistance, advice, PR, communications, networking, or any other kind of support from fellow Digital Media and Learning Competition winners or HASTAC staff that could help you with your project in any way?
YouthActionNet® would be interested in utilizing existing or planned mechanisms to:
• Post questions and challenges to the winners and HASTAC staff during the construction period
• Tap the winners and HASTAC staff networks to contribute content on various issues via blogs, forum participation, informal interviews.
• Help broadcast the Idea Incubator launch and other key announcements to winners, HASTAC staff, and their extended constituencies.