Mentors are an important part of #ChangeTheNow. They volunteer to support participants, often students, to complete their #ChangeTheNow innovative response or idea to address the calls to action under the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Mentors share their knowledge and insights with #ChangeTheNow Innovation Teams and have the opportunity to build their own capacity to better understand critical competencies around Flourishing, Systems, Design Thinking and Sustainability. Below outlines a few of the Frequently Asked Questions about the role of a #ChangeTheNow Team Mentor.
If you have not signed-up to be a #ChangeTheNow Mentor you can do this here:
MENTOR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Am I qualified to be a mentor?
- YES! A common misconception for #CTN Mentors is that they need to be “experts”. If you want to have a positive impact and can offer students insights taken from your professional, academic or lived experience, then you are the ideal person to mentor #ChangeTheNow Teams as they create diverse and innovative solutions to complex problems.
- #ChangeTheNow Mentors can be Georgian College staff, community partners, Georgian alumni as well as current (and future) changemakers outside the Georgian College community. Mentors can be from anywhere in the world!
What is #ChangeTheNow?
- #ChangeTheNow is a global movement that embraces the idea that small acts can lead to big change. At its heart is community collaboration that gives students an opportunity to build the digital collaboration literacy, soft skills and key competencies of sustainability as part of a changing workplace.
- Each Mentor Pair will be assigned three to five #ChangeTheNow Innovation Teams each made up of four to six students. Each Innovation Team will be assigned a pair of Mentors who will then support them as they work collaboratively to better understand root causes to a complex problem and then pitch a solution related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Innovation Teams will complete their project by applying newly acquired skills to unlock the future they want to see in the world.
- The #ChangeTheNow experience will enable both students and mentors to better understand a complex problem through a systems-thinking lens and learn new problem-solving methods such as design thinking.
- Students will also learn new online collaboration and visual communication software. Finally, students will explore 21st Century employability skills, learn how to promote their skills in the job search process as well as gain a better understanding of the changing world of work, social innovation, and changemaking through sessions and workshops specifically designed to support their #ChangeTheNow journey.
What are the SDGs?
- The 17 SDGs are an action plan for global change on a local scale. These 17 global goals are part of a collective initiative to redirect humanity towards a sustainable path to allow us to thrive together on this planet now and into the future.
- For more info you can visit the UN SDGs website
What kind of support is being offered to Mentors?
- There are a few different levels of support offered to mentors. The Mentor Onboarding and Training program is designed to ensure every mentor feels confident and empowered to effectively support student teams.
- Each mentor is assigned a Lead Mentor, who is a subject-matter expert in the field of Human-Centered Design Thinking and the process of #ChangeTheNow. You will be able to connect with Lead Mentors to answer your questions, receive guidance and exchange ideas.
- Each mentor is also teamed up with a co-mentor. We understand that you have other commitments. Having a co-mentor allows you to share mentorship responsibilities and bounce ideas off of one another.
- Mentors are invited to join a Global Mentor Community of Practice (COP), a designated virtual meeting space where mentors from around the world connect to network, share experiences and ideas.
- Each mentor is offered full training through our mentor onboarding process. Within this process, you can join a virtual Mentor Training Session, access a Mentor Guide that gives an overview of lessons along with helpful hints in supporting your #ChangeTheNow Innovation Teams. Finally, to help amplify your knowledge in Human-Centered Design Thinking and the UN SDGs, mentors can access these micro-lessons.
What is the Global Mentor Community of Practice (COP)?
- Part of the value of mentorship also comes from networking and building relationships with other mentors.
- Each mentor is invited to join the Global Community of Practice (COP) to network, exchange ideas and share learnings with other like-minded individuals. The Global Mentor COP will be hosted by the Centre for Changemaking and Social Innovation at Georgian College.
Who will I be paired with (co-mentor)?
- Mentors can be from within or outside the Georgian College community. Mentors can be from anywhere in the world!
- Your co-mentor will serve as a sounding board throughout #ChangeTheNow, and you can offer each other “back-up” in case an unforeseen/urgent event requires you to miss a student team mentoring session.
Who will I be matched with (#CTN Innovation Teams)?
- Each mentor pair (mentor + co-mentor) will be assigned to #ChangeTheNow Innovation Teams. The role of the mentor is to support teams through the process and in building their professional skills to work collaboratively.
What would a typical week look like?
- In your first 2 weeks, you will focus on completing your onboarding and training while connecting with your co-mentor and lead mentor. You will also be asked to schedule and host your first meeting with your student teams.
- During Changemaker-in-Residency Week (CRW), you will have the opportunity to join as many sessions/workshops as you would like to both further your own professional development as well as to gain insight on what your student teams will be learning.
- For the remainder of the commitment, you and your co-mentor will meet with the assigned student teams as one group weekly, offer insights, get status updates and help them troubleshoot as needed. Ideally, the student teams can learn from one another during this weekly check-in.
What might a typical mentoring session look like?
While every mentor pair is welcome to approach and facilitate their sessions in whatever way is best for them, a typical mentoring session might follow this kind of framework:
- 5-10 minutes: Check-in to see how everyone is doing – first as people, then as participants
- 10-15 minutes: Teams share what they worked on that week and some of the challenges (and breakthroughs) they experienced
- 15-20 minutes: Mentors offer feedback, insights and ask questions, based on their perspective and background to deepen the level of exploration for the student teams
- 10 minutes: Debrief the session to review what was discussed and ensure there are no other questions or concerns
- 5 minutes: Ask each team to confirm next steps and when next meeting is scheduled.
What if one of my teams doesn’t show up for a meeting?
- You and your co-mentor would relay the situation to your lead mentor, who would let the appropriate Georgian College department know to follow up with the students.
- Mentors share their knowledge and insights with Student Innovation Teams, building their leadership and professional skills in the process. You are NOT expected to “manage” your student teams – you are there to enrich each other’s experience and learning.
What if I have to cancel a meeting due to an unforeseen/urgent circumstance?
- We completely understand that sometimes “life” happens and can disrupt previous commitments and best-laid plans (this happens to students too!)
- Ideally, your co-mentor would be able to step in and cover off your student team meeting so that the students can keep their momentum. Failing that, it is also acceptable to reach out to your student teams to see if the meeting can be rescheduled (note that many students are also working full-time, so rescheduling might not be viable).
- We ask that you inform your lead mentor if this happens, so that they can relay to the appropriate Georgian College department who can follow up with students to ensure they understand the situation and that you are still their mentor and will be back the following week.
When does my onboarding begin?
- Your Welcome Email will contain the information needed to 1) register for the live virtual Mentor Training Session, 2) join the #ChangeTheNow online community to create your profile and Changemaker Avatar, and gain access to the Mentor Guide and student lessons.
- The week of July 5, you will meet your Lead Mentor and co-mentor and be invited to join student teams in the CTN Community Network.
How do I access the onboarding module?
- Your Welcome Email will provide information on steps to access the onboarding process, training session, Mentor Guide and student modules.
What if I don’t understand something?
- Your lead mentor is always there to support your understanding on a particular topic and/or a challenge with your particular student team.
- You can also visit the training modules/videos as they will remain available, asynchronously, throughout the duration of #ChangeTheNow.
What is Changemaker in Residency Week (CRW)?
- Changemaker-in-Residency Week (CRW) is our touchstone event, held three times a year in Fall, Winter and Summer, to help unite the global #ChangeTheNow community
- 5 days of 60+ interactive virtual sessions
- An exploration of 21st Century “Soft” skills (Ashoka Competencies)
- Networking and learning with experts to support #ChangeTheNow projects
- All in remote conversation around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
How do I sign-up for Changemaker in Residency Week (CRW)?
- As a mentor, you are invited to participate in as many CRW sessions and events as you would like.
- As soon as our CRW Summer 2021 website goes “live”, you can expect an email containing all of the information and direction you will need to sign-up and attend this celebration of changemaking.
What technical requirements do I need to be a Mentor?
Each mentor will need a computer, reliable access to the Internet and have the ability to communicate with student teams using a video communication platform such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Skype.
Where will the student projects be showcased?
Final projects will be displayed on the #ChangeTheNow YouTube channel and showcased at a future Changemaker-In-Residency Week.
How are mentors recognized for their efforts?
- At the conclusion of #ChangeTheNow, you will receive communications on how to sign-up for and access your digital mentor badge.
- You will be able to apply that certified badge to your LinkedIn Profile page, as well as other digital portfolios to use for your own professional networking.
How do I sign-up to be a mentor for the next #ChangeTheNow?
- You are part of our #ChangeTheNow mentor community. You can watch out for future mentoring opportunities.
We would love you join us and help #ChangeTheNow. Become a Mentor now!
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