How Rbean helped INCO Academy launch an acceleration program for underserved youth interested in tech.
INCO Academy is a non-profit organization aiming to inspire and empower all individuals to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. They are a member of INCO, a leading social and environmental impact organization that accelerates and funds high-impact entrepreneurs, and trains marginalized job-seekers, worldwide.
As part of their training activities, they wanted to build a short-term program to equip underserved youth with technical skills.
INCO Academy needed a one-month program that would yield the maximum benefits for their cohorts of 50 participants. They had ambitious KPIs: after the program, 80% of participants were to launch a new career within a year.
They also had a format constraint: the program had to be designed for blended learning, with two in-person, half-day workshops per week. They wanted to leverage peer learning to mitigate strong HR constraints.
With such ambitious KPIs, it wouldn’t be enough to equip learners with technical skills. We needed to help them figure out the best career for them - and give them the confidence to go for it. We needed a process that spurs learners into action and grows their do muscle.
The codes of the tech world are also quite peculiar; so we needed to acculturate learners to help them take their place in tech.
Finally, it was essential to support the development of a growth mindset. It would allow participants to keep growing after the program through the instilled habits of doing, getting feedback, and self-reflecting to improve. Lasting behavior change.
We built a 5-week acceleration program where learners do projects, connect with others, and re-define their future.
Get Into Tech doesn’t tell, it shows. Learners get to try on different professional hats over 7 small projects and 1 capstone project. They learn by doing the work developers, marketers, SEO consultants, and designers do. They meet inspiring professionals in those areas to discuss their learnings.
At the same time, they participate in personal development and career counseling workshops. This allows them to understand their unique strengths and motivators, and how they relate to different positions.
With in-depth knowledge of themselves and deep insights into different roles, they can devise a career plan that is right for them.
Peer learning is a major component of the experience - and the catalyst of learner autonomy.
While technical instructors provide precious technical guidance, what learners get from their peers is just as invaluable. They learn to give & take feedback. They actively coach each other through the acquisition of efficient work habits. They support each other on a self-revealing journey that can be uncomfortable at times.
The embedded inter-dependability ensures they are supported as they push through.
INCO Academy’s ambition to support youth in various countries called for a program that was well packaged and easy to deploy. We made sure that the program was thoroughly documented so that any instructor could pick it up in a matter of hours.
Each workshop is described to the minute. Everything is available on a digital platform. Multiple instructors over 4 different countries have been easily on-boarded over a few months.
And when COVID-19 struck, we instantly switched to online learning. Because the program was already designed around practical activities and participative workshops, it worked well online. Out of the box. (So much that the program is now exclusively run online!)
In 2020, more than 1200 underserved participants completed the program in France, Australia, Ireland, and Tunisia.
They are now embarked on purposeful career paths - some secured internships or entry-level jobs right away, while others enrolled in specialized learning programs to strengthen their technical skills.
The program has since been renewed and aims to train 10,000+ youth by 2023.
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