Where will we find tomorrow’s innovators?
A post on GOVERNING, by Jim Balfanz, President of City Year, Inc. and Jim Emerman, Executive Vice President of Civic Ventures, helps answer this question, sharing their thoughts that the path to future innovation starts with national service. Whether its mobilizing recent HS and College grads with City Year, or with Civic Ventures, who are putting the the talents and expertise of the growing number of retiring baby boomers to work in our communities, we “need all the help and new ideas we can get to tackle today’s challenges.”
They identified 4 strategies to help make this happen:
Find the right people: Diversity is keys when finding new ideas to solving old problems.
Identify the right work: Provide the best volunteer experience possible when working with professionals with specifics skills. Volunteers need to be adding value to organizations, and organizations need to provide flexible work environments for professional transitioning into retirement.
Develop the right capacities: Volunteers can’t just give back, they need to “become a significant force in solving problems.” Organizations need to be mission driven and set volunteers up to have an impact on the problems facing our communities.
Create the right culture: Change the perception of taking time off for service. Volunteering needs to be viewed as a rite of passage, for both our younger and older generations. Volunteering will better prepare the youth for future careers and education, and give our newly retired “a stepping stone to highly meaningful work.”