The Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation
The Pearson Foundation has been a proud supporter of TakingITGlobal since 2008, funding the initial development of the innovative Sprout E-course and – more recently – sponsoring the organization’s Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation.
Both initiatives exist within the framework of the TakingITGlobal social network, an award-winning online community of youth who are working for change by addressing issues of economic opportunity, education, health, human rights, access to technology, and the environment. This “social network for social good” has more than 300,000 members from literally every nation on Earth. Through these members and their projects, TakingITGlobal reaches millions of young people worldwide every year.
The Sprout E-course
Available worldwide, the Sprout E-course helps young people imagine, plan, and develop effective and scalable social innovation projects. Since its release in 2008, the Sprout E-course has given young people from more than forty countries access to training in essential skills, including team building, project management, communications, and the ability to leverage technology.
Since 1999, one of the missions of the TakingITGlobal network has been to assist far-flung and often isolated youth activists. With the Sprout E-course and the Pearson Fellowships, TakingITGlobal has been able to offer these dedicated young people a richer learning experience, one that gives them the tools and resources they need to turn their ideas for social innovation into reality. Sprout students are highly motivated and often overcome great difficulties just to find the Internet access they need to take the course. For these participants, Sprout may represent the only opportunity they have to gain the skills they need to carry out their plans.
Divided into four modules focusing on four essential skills – Design, Plan, Connect, and Assess – the curriculum guides students through a step-by-step process of designing a community service project. The E-course includes online lessons, lectures, and class discussions that take place in virtual classrooms, or “webinars.” At the end of the course, students each create a project portfolio detailing the plans for their social innovation project, which is the basis for their application for the Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation.
Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation
The Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation supports exemplary young leaders around the globe who are using their ingenuity, passion, and energy to build better lives for themselves and their communities. The awards are granted to the most promising community service projects developed through Sprout.
Two International Fellows each receive $5,000 to help launch their projects. Ten additional Regional Fellows receive a $1,000 award. All Pearson Fellows also receive one-on-one mentoring from experienced social innovators who consult with them as they implement their project plans. Integral to the program is a special online community where the Fellows can network with and learn from their peers, and where they’ll have access to special online materials and training designed to help them take their projects from planning stage to reality.
More information about these initiatives can be found at www.sproutecourse.org.