Inventing: OSCEdays Mentorship Program for the Event June 2016

(Background: In the BoST call from Feb 1 Gien came up with the idea of an OSCEdays mentorship program. Lars and Gien have volunteered to push the idea further. Feel free to join us in this experiment! – Everone – become a membership programme coordinator.)

Hi @gien +

What do you think, how should we go about the Mentorship Programme? How should it look like?

Here are some ideas from the top of my head:

##A Call
We would of course need a Call for Mentors – a brief text explaining the job. And than onboarding calls or emails with them, answering their questions etc. A bit similar to the onboarding with cities.

##Presenting them on the Page
We would than present them on the page much like our faces. I would suggest to add next to a picture just the
(1) The name / and profession or job
(2) Three hashtags about the expertise – this is what you can ask the guy: #materials #circularbusinessmodels #productdesign #opensource etc.
(3) And a date, when he is online available for questions.

##Designing the interaction

###Present at a local event
First of all I think, the person should be also on site in a local event. So in case, there is nothing to do online he can go around there too and help people. Therefor it is easy, we can send out a call to the local organizers, asking them, if they have an expert for the list. There can be exceptions be made though, with really good experts.

###A topic as CHAT
My first idea was, the person could be available for let’s say 4 hours in an hangouts online stream. But this is not a good idea. Because he would have to sit in front of a computer, hangouts is required, bad connection, and MOST IMPORTANTLY: The answers are not searchable afterwards. Exchanged knowledge is lost. Noone watches 4 hours of shitty video.

Instead I came up with this: There should be a topic with each expert. When we onboarded him we create this for him. In the main topic we introduce him briefly and his expertise and say, when he is available and invite people to post questions already in the weeks befor the actual event. During the event, the questions will be answered in the 4 hours the expert is online. (And maybe also before or even after :-P). In the chat. You can engage in asking extra questions live. That way the whole exchange on #materials is recorded and searchable. And when nothing happens the person can walk around at the local event or search the forum and comment on other parts.

Plus VIDEO? – Here is a little extra idea that would be definitely nice but extra work. When we onboard them, we ask them to do a very quick intro via Hangouts about themselves. We record this via Google Hangouts On Air. A 2 to 3 minute video where we ask them:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What are you doing/what are you interested in?
  3. What can people ask you?
  4. What do you think about Open Source Circular Economy Days? Why did you join it?

That way we would have amazing videos to put in the topic of each mentor and also something super cool to announce everything.

##Materials for them
What we would need next to A CALL FOR MENTORS and a structure how to display them publicly and organize everything in the back for us is a topic where we explain the mentors the tech: How to sign up in the forum. How to reply to questions. Maybe how to use google hangouts.

It is one hell of a task, a lot of work. But I think an excellent and powerful thing if we manage to set it up and keep it running. Maybe the best thing in this years OSCEdays. And I think it is also great because it is tailored for your best talent @Gien – reaching out to people and inspire them for interaction. :slight_smile:

The only thing in the scenario above I wonder is if sitting infront of a computer for 4 hours answering questions in a chat is something attractive for an expert. Of course she or he is also displayed as an expert on the webpage and stuff. And she or he can learn a lot from the interaction. I think, it should be enough.

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Hey Lars,

Good start. I think 4 hours might be too long. What about a few 1 hour sessions and then, if there is a queue for more questions, the mentors can play it by ear. I think that, in the spirit of open source, we describe and put out a call and then we can work with them to see what works for them. What is the most flexible schedule for them? Heck, just ask some of the people on the board of Stewards like Sharon or others to see what would be most convenient IF THEY volunteered as mentors.


Jeap, we can offer them more flexible spots.

I think we should ask at least for a minimum of 90 or 120 minutes - to give people time to ask second questions.

We can say: You can do 90 minute or 3 hour shift or so. But @sharmarval what do you think?

Let’s put the question to our board and see what they would do if they were hypothetically acting as mentors…what would be convenient for them?

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I think we should have a few simple and clear ways that mentors can get involved.

A mentor can choose to:

  1. Be online via skype (or other) to respond to questions from the global community and give feedback on projects for 90 minutes at a set time during the Days
  2. Give a talk at a local event – streamed
  3. Prerecord a video (though I don’t really see this as mentoring personally)
  4. Choose a project that they love and say why…

I think if you ask them to do too much it could be off-putting. I think three hours is quite a long time to ask someone to be online for. Better to do 90 minutes (perhaps some people will be happy to do two shorter sessions).

Hi @Gien and @sharmarval – I’d suggest we bring the discussion, if there is enough time, to the BoST meeting tonight and if not all questions are solved then we get together for a 15 minute call soon to answer the questions.

Quick response to Sharon:

  1. via Skype we will have no recordings to search and use afterwards, noone is watching a 90 minute hangouts video
  2. A streamed talk would mean that there is someone that organizes this. As that is not trivial I don’t see it really happen. Who will take care of it at the local event?
  3. Prerecord … not really mentoring. Not interactive.

The cool thing about getting them to answer questions for 90 minutes on the forum, as I already wrote above I guess, is that we have recorded and easy to search knowledge! And when there is no questions, they might click through the forum and find something, that really inspires them and gets them engaged even after the event.

I think registering on the forum is a barrier to participation (from the perspective of the mentors)…for those of us that are less techy and less familiar with forums. I’m regularly on the forum and still find the content confusing / difficult to locate.

Jeap, We have to improve the forum more.

I think the conversation with the mentor would be tagged with “materials” for example. So you can find it. We can place it prominently as we prepare documentation etc.

And, yes, we would have to give them a basic tutorial. Well written. But it is not much:

(1) Create an account (we could even do this for them)

(2) Go to your thread, click “Reply” and write down your answers.

(3) Here are more options to the forum, that are optional.

I know, it can be difficult with the forum, especially when it is new. But it is the method for self-organization we use. We do not have the resources to “hold hands” with mentors that much. If they can’t understand the forum, than it is maybe not right time for them to join … :frowning: I know, that sounds somehow strangely hard. But given our resource situation … And I think, for a mentor it can be an interesting experience too, stumbling through a forum for 90 minutes engaging with …

If we sell it nicely and explain it well and make not false promises, it can play out well for all. It can be exciting for them too! I am sure we can make it exciting for them too!

Hey @Gien what’s your experience from last year? :slight_smile:
I think you must have learned a lot coordinating all those videos!
I think the forum is a good option for some people…I think it would be nice to offer a few ways to get involved.

Hi, i just got off the phone with Belinda Li who will create the event in Vancouver. And she is a consultant and expert in waste management and circular economy questions. I told her about the mentorship program - and she definitely liked the idea. So we would have our first mentor already :slight_smile:

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I was testballoning the idea of OSCEdays mentorship with some potential candidates – asking them if they could imagine to interact with our community in a written thread. Everyone I asked liked the idea. In theory.

To make progress with this I created a full first version of the whole Mentorship-Program infrastructure – a complete workflow with all necessary resoruces. Everything is up for debate of course and testing. I hope you can find the time to check and give feedback soon.

###We have:

(1) A Call for Mentors (to publish on the website)

(2) A Mentors ONBOARDING topic – where the workflow is documented and where we can keep track of who was onboarding whom. (So this is the internal part for us.)

(3) A Topic to explain the mentors the technology they will use.

Especially the ONBOARDING topic is important to check I think. Would be great if we could share the work and do Onboarding with mentors.

Feedback and Stuff we can discuss here.

@Gien @sharmarval

Resolved And Closed. The Actual Mentorship Program ended up being different. Have a look here.