ONE OF THE GREATEST RESOURCES WE OFFER IS THE LIBRARY OF LINKS AND IDEAS WE HOST
"When nonprofit and community leaders share ideas, insights and information in ways that promote social impact…knowledge-sharing can improve organizational effectiveness. When we share what works and what doesn't… it results in accelerated learning, less reinventing the wheel, better service, and measurable results." 2003 quote by Mr. Tim Wilmot. Chief Knowledge and Evaluation Officer, Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation
In this 2013 YouTube video, Victoria Vrana, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, says "if we know who does what, when , where and how, we can join together to actually make progress in a collective way." (this quote is at the 7:46 minute portion of this video)
This image is one of several that illustrate the 4-part strategy of the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LL.
The Tutor/Mentor Connection's focus has been to collect market focused data that shows where youth need extra help and shows what organizations are working in those areas, what they do, how they are organized, what is working, why, and what challenges need to be overcome to sustain constant improvement in every program already operating, while helping new programs launch by borrowing from the knowledge of what works at every other program.
All problem solving and innovation is enhanced when there is a greater pool of knowledge to draw from. The Links Library has more than 2000 links while the library of essays on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site and on Scribd.com have more than 50 articles.
Concept maps have been used to show the visual organization of information in the library. A few of the maps are shown below.
Library cmap (non animated) http://tinyurl.com/TMC-library-CMap
Mentoring to Career cMap - http://tinyurl.com/TMC-K-Career-Mentoring
Research concept map http://tinyurl.com/TMC-research-map
Homework help map http://tinyurl.com/TMC-HomeworkHelp-map
Dropout Conference map - http://tinyurl.com/2011DropoutConf-Network
On many of my concept maps the nodes link to a web library with links to web sites related to each node.
The goal of these maps is to create "buckets" of information related to each age group, and each node within each age group. Thus, if you wanted to find ideas to help a third grader, you would click into the nodes in that section of the map and find ideas and discussion forums, and even donor lists, specifically focused on that topic and that age level.
Instead of constantly reinventing the wheel, people should learn to borrow ideas from others and innovate improvements on them.
In order to populate a map like this we'd need a) tech support; b) facilitation support; c) visible champions to help create public awareness and draw people to the map.
I think that if we could pilot this it would provide on-going information anyone can use to see how people in some places are solving a problem with an idea that others could use in other places.
As use of such a map grows, it would seem that others who want to solve a problem could use the template and example to build their own "what do we need to do" map.
Finding capital and philanthropic partners to support this part of our work can yield the greatest benefit.
This information needs to be constantly monitored to assure that all links work. In addition, new links are added on a continued basis. It would be very difficult for anyone else to recreate this library from scratch, but it would be extremely simple to add a link to the T/MC library to your own site, and as a result dramatically expand the range of information you make available to others.
Hosting the information is just one part of the KNOWLEDGE STRATEGY.
In other parts of this planning wiki we describe strategies that would increase the ways the information is displayed, using maps, visualizations, etc.
We also discuss ways to increase the number of people to are encouraged to look at this information daily, as well as ways groups of people could look at the information, discuss and reflect, then act upon it each week, in the same way that faith groups read and discuss scripture each week.
Finally, as a result of better understanding of the information and ideas, we seek to motivate people to use the maps and program information to become volunteers, leaders, donors and advocates for individual programs or groups of programs in a neighborhood, or an entire city.
The manpower to manage this process needs to be distributed through many partners and owners, not just in Chicago, but in cities around the world. On an informal basis this is happening.
One email from 2012 said, "One of the programs the Eau Claire Shalom Community offers is Tutor Eau Claire (TEC). I have shared a number of T/MC's resources with TEC and other literacy partners in Columbia, and would like to know if there is a way to adapt these resources. One resource in particular is your GIS mapping capacity on T/MC's website."
If we can implement many of the other strategies described in this wiki we can expand the use and impact of this knowledge to help people in all parts of the world.