Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact
SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) was an organization located out in the middle of nowhere. All of the organization's files were stored in boxes in a garage. Through the yMedia Challenge, Anthea and Hayden, two students, went in and built the organization a beautiful website. The organization's leader cried when she saw it. Suddenly, this information was readily accessible through Google to any victims of SIDS. Anthea and Hayden both found full-time employment through the Challenge; and Anthea is currently one of the leaders of yMedia, 3 years later, helping to mentor other students who come through the Challenge.
By the end of this year, we would have helped over 150 students, and 50 community groups.
Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing
Students need work experience when they leave university. During a recession, they graduate with student debt, as well as a tough job market. Community groups need to know about the power of the web but often do not have the resource to implement such solutions. We teach students how to develop their skills and how to give back to their community in a tangible way, while being mentored by local agencies that otherwise might have offered them a less rewarding internship. We also help to bridge the digital divide at the same time, by bringing community groups further into the digital space of Web 2.0 tools through experience (not just lecturing them).
Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?
To make our innovation our success, we are:
- Introducing a new revenue stream, asking our community groups to pay a participation fee
- Actively seeking advice on a regular basis from our stakeholders, in a structured manner
- Consistently collecting feedback from stakeholders throughout the competition and recording it digitally
- Partnering with tutors to ensure that the competition can fit into existing curriculum needs where possible
- Partnering each student team with an industry mentor, so that the ratio of industry mentor to student is on average 1:3
- Putting together a judging panel of industry leaders to ensure that student projects are of the highest caliber and are judged independently of the yMedia management team
- Running an annual awards dinner to showcase students' work
- Meeting with national Ministers to build political goodwill and support
Our business model is currently a corporate sponsorship and grant-funded model.
Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible
Essentially ymedia is about providing community groups with the opportunity to increase their knowledge and use of information communication technology,
tertiary students the opportunity to implement live new media projects and gain tangible experience, and support from a dedicated industry professional to mentor each team.
Collective growth and shared learning is core to yMedia, therefore a series of workshops led by industry professionals is also run throughout the challenge. The workshops show how to develop solid brand messaging and make genuine connections with target audiences, and introduce online communication tools to build brands, grow audiences, and simplify operations. Over the next three years we expect the results to be:
- A stronger graduate talent pool
- A heightened awareness among young people in NZ that the community sector can provide them with valuable knowledge and opportunities
- A stronger, more informed community sector, on the potential of the web
- A broader web presence from the community sector in NZ
- A stronger alignment between the private and community sectors, in the marketing and advertising industries
2010: 18 teams participate in the yMedia Challenge, giving 18 community groups high-caliber web projects and increased digital knowledge, and over 70 students short-term, high-value community internships
2011: 20 teams participate in the yMedia Challenge, giving 20 community groups high-caliber web projects and increased digital knowledge, and over 80 students short-term, high-value community internships
2012: 25 teams participate in the yMedia Challenge, giving 25 community groups high-caliber web projects and increased digital knowledge, and over 100 students short-term, high-value community internships
If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?
We are investigating the intentions of government to increase digital literacy in the community sector, and how we can fit into this or provide material to be used in such workshops. If possible, we would prefer funding that goes towards increasing digital literacy, to be measured in terms of tangible projects produced through initiatives like yMedia.