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OpenIDEO: A Youth Mentor Challenge

Atlanta Life@50+ event, Anijarae Dade helps seniors use tablet

Mentor Up volunteer Anijarae "Rae" Dade (center) helps participants learn to use a tablet at a recent AARP Life@50+ event.

How might we inspire and engage young people to support older adults through mentorship? Good ideas can come from anywhere or anyone. That’s why AARP Foundation is collaborating with OpenIDEO to launch a challenge specifically focused on engaging young people in supporting and mentoring older adults. The challenge will bring many new, unique and innovative ideas of how to connect with inter-generational audiences and engage young people in service and volunteerism through our Mentor Up initiative.

Get Involved: Participate in the Youth Mentor Challenge

The Youth Mentor Challenge has three phases: research, ideas and evaluation, which will help to gather innovative and new inter-generational concepts for AARP Foundation moving forward. During the research phase, people participating are invited to share stories and existing examples relevant to the challenge; the goal is to offer inspiration. Then, during the ideas phase (which begins June 17), participants submit their solutions to the problem, and everyone is encouraged to build on those ideas and refine them. OpenIDEO and AARP Foundation will then create a shortlist of the best ideas, and in the final evaluation phase, participants comment and vote on their favorites, with OpenIDEO and AARP Foundation making a final selection of "winners."

OpenIDEO community members contribute to the design concept in a variety of ways including helping to select the winning idea. OpenIDEO is the Social Mission arm of IDEO, the award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow. IDEO is well known for creating the first mouse for Apple, and Harvard Business Review and Business Week have referred to the company as "The Power of Design Thinking Firm."

AARP Foundation is encouraging everyone to share their insights, thoughts and ideas about the challenge.

Kamili Wilson is the director of Strategic Positioning and External Relations at AARP Foundation.

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