Sunday, August 02, 2015

Visualizing New Ways To Solve Social Problems

The graphic below is from this animation, created by interns from IIT in Chicago during 2008-09 internships. The goal was to share the vision and four-part strategy piloted by the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) since it was launched in 1993.
Since 2005 a number of interns have worked with T/MC. They've all been challenged to find new way to visualize and communicate ideas originated in Tutor/Mentor Connection blogs, aiming to increase the number of people working to help programs grow in high poverty neighborhoods that expanded the network of adults helping kids move through school and into jobs and careers. This page shows projects that have been done.

Yesterday I was encouraged to view a TED talk by Bret Victor, a technology visionary who has helped develop some of the tools we use today. I was awed by the work he has done and his vision of the future. Below is a video from his bio page, that shows creative ways to represent ideas.

My goal is that youth in k-12 schools, colleges and non-school programs look at the work interns have done with me in the past, and the ideas I keep adding the MappingforJustice blog and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC* blog, then challenge themselves to find new ways to communicate these ideas to the people in their own family/community network. The result will do the following: a) increase the number of people looking at these ideas

b) increase the range and number of people giving time, talent and dollars to help high quality, mentor-rich, programs reach youth in under-served areas with supports that help those youth move through school and into 22nd century careers

c) increase understanding of youth who work on these projects of the infrastructure needed to build and sustain long-term programs, and the ways volunteers, donors, youth and others can proactively support such programs in all parts of a geographic area

d) expand youth understanding of spatial mapping and dynamic communications tools

e) expand growth of information-based intermediaries like T/MC in other cities of the world, and apply this problem solving strategy to other social/environmental issues

f) create a future generation of leaders who use information and networked-learning consistently to innovate solutions to problems and use dynamic communications to share solutions in ways that build and sustain support from a wide sector of people for these solutions.

On this wiki page I describe how this might become a competition that involves a growing number of young people and volunteers.

As more youth become involved in this work, and learn from people like Bret Vector, we'll create a future generation of leaders who apply these tools to visualizing and shaping a brighter future for the world they will inherit.

*The Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC was created in 2011 to continue the work of the Tutor/Mentor Connection in Chicago, while helping similar intermediaries grow in other cities.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Visualizing ideas. The Role of Intermediaries

I encourage you to view this animated video, highlighting ideas from Robert Putnam's book titled Bowling Alone.

Once you've viewed the video, visit the blog and see how they are creating a wide range of videos and blog articles to share big ideas.

Then look through the blog articles posted here, and think of how students, volunteers and professionals could repackage some of the work done by interns, and other ideas shared on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site, so more people would understand and apply these ideas in their own communities.

Work done by young people in middle school, high school and college, and by volunteers with professional communications skills, could draw more people to information libraries where they create a deeper understanding of complex problems and begin to look at how some people are solving those problems in some places, which are ideas that could be borrowed and applied in other places.

If you're interested in doing this work, why not join and introduce yourself in the Tutor/Mentor Connection forum.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Visualizations converted to YouTube

During her Jan-Feb 2015 internship with Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, Wona Chang created two visualizations using Prezi. In this one she showed a "learning path" that guides visitors through the different strategies and resources offered by the T/MI and Tutor/Mentor Connection. In this one, she showed different sections of the T/MI web site.

Then she converted these to YouTube. Below is the "learning path" video:

Below is the introduction to the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site at

Hopefully these will be used by thousands of people who are looking for ways to help high quality, constantly-improving tutor/mentor programs grow in big cities like Chicago. As I've said in the past, I think youth in high schools, college and other non-school tutor/mentor programs could be doing the same type of work as Wona and past interns have done, helping others in their community find and use ideas that help great programs grow in ALL of the places where kids need extra help.

If you're doing this work, or want to do it with the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC please introduce yourself.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Introduction to Tutor/Mentor Institute web site

I created this graphic to help people understand the information available on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site.

Wona Chang, the 2015 winter intern from IIT and South Korea, created the introduction shown below.

I wrote this article focused on deeper learning in 2012. It emphasizes the many hours of reading and reflection needed to understand issues before being able to lead and innovate solutions. The work Wona and other interns have done illustrates a learning strategy that could be duplicated in many places. Spend time browsing information related to an issue that is important to you, then create your own visualization to guide others through the same information.

If more people do this for many years we can change the way we solve problems in the world.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Follow this Learning Path to Understand Tutor/Mentor Connection strategies

For the past 9 years interns from South Korea, China, India and US universities have spent time with Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) in Chicago working on projects that help communicate the ideas and strategies T/MC has developed over the past 40 years. The January 2015 intern is Wona Chang,from South Korea. Below is a presentation she created over the past two weeks, to provide a different guide to this concept map.

In this page you can see other projects which were also done using Prezi. However, Wona is the first intern to figure out how to create a sound track, where she guides visitors through the presentation. She also put in web links pointing to some of the same sites the original concept map points to.

In addition to creating an English language version, Wona created a Korean language version. Since every major city in the world has areas of concentrated poverty where people live more isolated from the rest of the community and its resources, the T/MC strategy could be duplicated in many countries. Thus, finding ways to creating versions of the blog articles and web presentations in different languages will help leaders in other countries find and adopt these ideas.

Wona and I share ideas in this on-line forum. If you'd like to work on one of the T/MC visualizations, join in.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Intern helps launch 2015

Since 2006 interns from various universities have spent time helping communicate ideas and strategies of Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute.

Each intern starts with an introduction. You can see many from past interns on this page.

Our newest intern is Wona Chang, from South Korea. She created this Prezi presentation to introduce herself. She said "It was the first time that I work on prezi, so what I first did was learn how to use it. I had a lot of fun learning new skills."

Thanks one goal of this internship. Students should learn new skills and have fun doing it. While Wona works with me in Chicago, others are invited to join our Tutor/Mentor Group and do similar projects from where ever you are.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Intern Visualizations help communicate ideas

In this post on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC blog I showed how I scratch out ideas during meetings, then later convert them into visualizations. In the article I illustrate how interns have taken the graphics I first launch as a blog article or a power point visualization, and create new interpretations using their own talent. Here's an example.

This is an image I created many years ago to illustrate the need to support youth from first grade through high school and into jobs. It show three time frames in the day, including after 5pm when workplace volunteers would be more readily available for weekly involvement in non-school tutor/mentor programs. It shows that while parents, teachers, mentors and tutors are "pushing" youth to make decisions that have a positive influence on their lives, the business community could be "pulling" youth through school through the involvement of volunteers as mentors, and their workplace as opportunities for job shadowing, apprentice programs, part time jobs, and entry points to careers.

This graphic is from an animation created by an intern from South Korea (via IIT) that communicates this idea in a new way.

At this link you can see a wide range of visualizations done since 2006. If you'd like to do work like this introduce yourself on Twitter or join the Tutor/Mentor Connection Forum and introduce yourself.