Project #5: StreetSmart

StreetSmart contributes to development of self-sufficiency in homeless youth by training them to deliver professional development experiences to both business leaders and to professionals that engage with homeless populations based on their ability to survive life on the streets.

Stickiness

The core of the business is transference of skills fundamental to longevity in a harsh street environment – maintaining a positive focus, agility and resilience, proactive creativity and cooperative competition. Homeless youth will be fundamental to the design and delivery of the program. Leaders will work in interactive settings designed to encourage sharing of lessons amongst peers while demonstrating and applying the innate skills of homeless youth. This approach breaks with conventional orthodoxy about leadership and organizational development. The involvement of street youth is disarming – rather than challenge a guru or expert, participants will see their peers as the source of experience and life on the streets as the inspiration for new ways of thinking.

So What

By stepping out of the familiar patterns and approaches that have made executives successful in the past, participants will come to appreciate and adopt a non-conventional perspective in thinking about their organizational and market related issues. Using design thinking and proven workshop processes, StreetSmart will help leaders come to see new ways to understand, adapt and respond to today’s disruptive and dynamic business environment.

Scope

The enterprise will collaboratively design and provide the training, screen and prepare youth instructors, market the program, seek out donors and will partner with other social enterprises that engage homeless youth to manage and cater the professional development training events.

Proposed Program

A social enterprise that trains homeless youth to deliver StreetSmart developed courses2 to leaders (ranging from mid to senior level), professionals and students in professional programs based on a core competence of street survival skills. The enterprise will design and provide the training, screen and prepare instructors, market the program, fundraise and work with partner social enterprises to manage and cater the training events. StreetSmart will augment the programs of appropriate not-for-profit organizations and create a greater impact through creation of a trust.