Think Unlimited commits to building Jordan's first program to educate and equip young people to become the social innovators of the Arab world. The organization will partner with local universities to develop and implement a year-long for-credit course entitled, ?Critical and Creative Thinking for Social Innovation.? Think Unlimited further commits to developing competitive funding opportunities, mentorship opportunities, and other support structures for program graduates, which will improve the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Jordan, thereby helping young people to turn their ideas into real, scalable ventures.
By equipping and empowering Arab youth with skills and strategies that enable them to engage critically and creatively with their world, Think Unlimited provides learning experiences that build achievement motivation and cognitive skills and encourages young people to apply those skills through social innovation.
As part of this commitment, Think Unlimited will provide timely, concrete, and culturally sensitive educational interventions that capture the energy and imagination of young people and turn it into the fuel for change and development, rather than merely protest and unrest.
September, 2013: Hire and onboard an Innovation Team-a staff of curriculum developers who will create, field test, and refine the Critical and Creative Thinking for Social Innovation curriculum.
October, 2013: Solidify local partnerships and sign memoranda of understanding with two pilot universities
November, 2013: Field test curriculum and activities with university student focus groups, and continue to refine the program according to lessons learned
January, 2014: Hire and train facilitators, who will join the Innovation Team in implementing the curriculum
February, 2014: Implement a semester-long pilot of the curriculum in two universities
Summer, 2014: Continue to refine the curriculum and begin building extra-curricular support mechanisms for program graduates
September, 2014: Launch full curriculum in four universities
June, 2015: Initiate full review of university program and plan for scale-up
Fall, 2015: Scale up by adding additional university partners and additional course sections in current universities
In the Middle East, youth under the age of 30 represent an astonishing 70% of the population, making the Middle East the youngest and most demographically unstable region in the world. Some 25% of college graduates are unemployed, and degree holders usually search two to three years to find their first job. Youth civic participation in the form of voting and volunteerism are also disappointingly low throughout the region, as outmoded education systems leave youth uninspired and underprepared for work, citizenship, and independence.
Arab youth are increasingly connected to the globalized world, and are waking up to their lack of opportunity and lack of voice. As a result, the Arab Spring protest movements have been overwhelmingly driven by disaffected youth demanding a brighter future. However, these youth now face the enormous challenge of turning revolution into real progress. When the educational experiences of young people in the Middle East have left them ill-prepared to think up the future and make it a reality, how will Arab societies move beyond the old and succeed in giving birth to the new?
Think Unlimited envisions a rising generation of Arab youth equipped and empowered to become proactive citizens, social innovators, and change-makers in their communities, their nations, and the world.
Think Unlimited is seeking unrestricted financial resources to implement this commitment. While local partners will help fund the cost of implementation, Think Unlimited, a nonprofit organization, must fund the curriculum development, staffing, and general operating support required to fulfill this commitment.