global generation 6 – making an idea happen


In prior Global Generation discussions on plan of action I haven’t talked about specific tactics and implementation. So GG 6 is all about implementation. I know how to do it and pieces already exist and if pieces don’t exist they have been done before so no implementation aspects are “untried” or first time ‘pie-in-the-sky’ tactics. And I provide costs to implement. The costs are a ‘must read’ to anyone interested because the largest global education initiative (the UN Millennium initiative) is in need of a financial make-over (which I believe is actually a reflection of a need for a program make-over).

Quick overview on implementation (details follow):

–          The web platform: I have a service provider who already has a basic platform built and has so much existing content I would imagine 50% of the web platform is available with tweaking. This cuts expenses upfront. This cuts down timing to begin the initiative down (which also cuts expenses). This company’s existing content has ALL met published educational standards and has been approved by the education system. In addition, scanning existing content on the web there is at least another 25% of the content initiative available thru licensing or outright buying of existing work. This idea can happen efficiently. I have costs and they are probably on high end but I won’t take chances.

–          Distribution: I will cite examples of how cellular companies are already implementing grassroots ideas which are cousins of this idea. No reason they couldn’t help implement. In addition several organizations are already intent on “putting laptops on-the-ground” so tie-ins are available.

–          The ‘live-event’ aspect (to be explained later): it already exists. The technology has been built and tested and used effectively. I have incorporated some costs for translation to different languages and using a variety of multi lingual live event facilitators.

–          The on-the-ground facilitator support: I believe real people assisting the interaction and driving some usage is appropriate and I have average costs to maintain these facilitators on an annual basis in a variety of regions globally. And I know people who know how to manage these types of ‘placement and manage’ type programs.

So. Let me begin with how the web can fulfill its role in the education of this generation and assisting in creating the next generation of thinkers (and take on the “big issue” whenever discussing this idea with educators):

–          Is a ‘net education’ platform the best solution as a standalone? Nope (or I doubt it).

The best scenario would include a web platform that includes access to a global library (encouraging maybe not freedom of choice but understanding of choices). And supporting this internet platform/library with as much (and as often as possible) human interaction.

(Note: while I am a huge freedom of choice advocate I hesitate to impose my beliefs on other cultures and government platforms. To me it is more important to create an understanding of choices platform so regardless of individual culture/country choices derivatives/dictates at least there is some understanding of what other cultures have chosen/elected to do.)

Also. A note on “human interaction.” A small innovative children’s web based educational group I know already has developed an incredible ‘live teaching event’ interactive function that would be perfect to support a global web initiative and on-the-ground teaching support is just not viable.

So. You will see a web platform in the initiative as the “hub” of the children’s focused program with a variety of tactics to support the web based educational system.

The intent behind this global education for kids (this Global Generation) should be defining education in a different way owning a more expansive non directional (open ended culturally) perspective. This may mean a more practical approach to providing information and knowledge to children (maybe with more of a focus on critical thinking) focusing on more than test scores and “standards.”

Note:  In Global Generation 7, I take on the “web as the foundational element” and discuss some things I believe the current education system should consider.

The following diagram shows all the primary pieces to put the plan of action in place (of course there are moving pieces within the pieces).

–          Building the platform itself (kids content infrastructure – so they learn and have fun, educational content, call it an “kids infopedia”)

–          Building access to the platform (cellular and computer distribution)

–          Allowing access to the platform (defined – or finite – free minute access from cellular, online live event educational teaching classes, country support)

–          On the ground support

GG program tactics overview

Oh. Please note on my nifty hand drawn infrastructure I have reflected how I believe existing Human Rights initiatives “fit” into the grand scheme of an ongoing ‘anti-ignorance’ (or understanding of choices) initiative.

Funding the Global Generation Initiative

I would imagine the next question (beyond asking about specific tactics) is the cost to implement this type of initiative. Let me throw out a number. Let’s say $20 to $22 million over 10 years.

I imagine it could be done for less but I am assuming annual updates to keep technological interaction with kids relevant and up-to-date (so it’s not a Wikipedia flat copy driven content style) as well as I am assuming I am forgetting some costs (like staffing).

This number is a drop in the bucket for some of these larger organizations. More importantly this is a drop in the bucket if you are talking about influencing an entire generation of people and creating a behavioral change.

Oh. And I would maintain the initiative beyond 10 years but I also believe there are ways to create some revenue to have it pay for itself.

Some things to think about:

More dollars are always better for cooler or better content when talking about children and ongoing interaction and involvement.

These numbers assume some content is new and some is “licensed” from existing information.

Some expenses get less expensive if we build upon what already exists with the current provider I know.

Some specific costs:

Think an initial web platform build around $200 to $250,000

Think an initial content population around $250 to $300,000 (and this generates the minimum amount of content needed to make it worthwhile)

Think maybe $1,000,000 in licensing or buying of existing information/content to

Think translation to three additional languages – $75 to $100,000

Think live events at about $500,000 a year (that assumes a number happening in a variety of languages averaged over the length of the 10 years)

Think over ten years it is a minimum $1,000,000 budget to add and update content (but that is a minimum and more would be nice to make sure we keep up with technology).

Think about $400,000 annually to maintain 9 on-the-ground facilitators globally.

Think some cost to insure distribution (I cannot venture a guess here) but I also believe that over time this will change from an out of pocket expense to a revenue generator.

These are rough costs but gives anyone considering a program like this a starting point.

I included these costs not only to show someone how much money they would need to fund this initiative but also because the current global education initiative is struggling and needs a funding/financing make-over  (the attached link outlines a reason why the Global UN Initiative is struggling: )

The project Global Generation children’s education initiative can actually solve a problem (a good test of an idea).

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Written by Bruce