In six years, Generation 3.0 has supported 74 organizations and started a change in education from below
The programme will be transformed in 2023. It will also support topics other than education. In 2016, the World Economic Forum began to talk intensively about the future of work and what skills young people should have to succeed in the labour market. At the Pontis Foundation, we knew that we had to start preparing young people directly in schools. Since the need for reform in education was only in a discussion at the state level, and we had known the third sector for a long time, we believed that we could bring about and accelerate such a change from below through civic associations and non-profit organisations.
We were convinced that through financial support and strengthening the capacities of the non-governmental sector, we could improve the dissemination of innovative educational approaches to schools. In this way, we would contribute to ensuring that every child and young person has the opportunity to develop their potential and acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for life in the 21st century. With this vision, we created Generation 3.0.
Comprehensive assistance to organisations
We first invited non-governmental organisations and startups for the last two years to the so-called EDUcamp. During the three-day event, experts from business, impact measurement and education helped the organisations identify strategies for dissemination to schools. The projects focused on the development of digital and entrepreneurial skills, critical thinking, and many more.
Selected EDUcamp participants advanced to the accelerator – a three-month mentoring-educational programme. We helped organisations set up the following:
- Measuring the impact of activities, as well as the progress of pupils and students for whom the organisation’s project was intended;
- Financing: we focused on various forms of fundraising – from corporate to individual donors and setting up business models;
- Overall functioning: team building, internal processes, project management, communication.
The organisations, therefore, received an impact measurement consultant, a financial grant and an individual mentor.
In six years, 74 organisations went through the programme. Financial support reached the amount of almost 324,000 euros.
Martina Králová, a senior consultant and co-founder of Sväg to Go, is a mentor who worked in the programme for a long time. The organisations such as M. Šimečka Foundation, Smart Up!, and DASATO passed through her hands in Generation 3.0. She started by mentoring the Institute for Active Citizenship (IAC), dealing with the challenge of the pandemic. However, the situation, which initially looked like an obstacle, developed unexpectedly: “Because IAC could not implement workshops in schools, it accelerated its digital transformation, which now represents 50% of its activities,” says M. Králová.
Martina enjoyed watching the participants of the programme progress and mature. She saw them as enthusiasts who brought valuable innovations to our education system. “In general, the non-profit sector in Slovakia often replaces public services,” she adds.
During the period of operation of Generation 3.0, 139 mentors and researchers provided 1,682 hours of pro bono consultations.
Events for the pedagogical community
We also supported innovative educational projects in their dissemination among teachers and schools throughout Slovakia. Generation 3.0, therefore, also included the so-called EDUpoints, in which the pedagogical community had space to meet and exchange experiences or to obtain inspiring information and approaches. Local availability was crucial. “We were looking for a tool to offer continuing education for teachers in our region effectively. Even though the Trnava EDUpoint started during the pandemic and most of the events were online, the response of the participants was excellent,” describes coordinator Michal Koricina from the Lifestarter organisation, which leads the EDUpoint in Trnava.
Generation 3.0 fulfilled its mission to reach approximately 20% of Slovak teachers. During the entire operation of Generation 3.0, we recorded more than 19,700 participations in educational events or activities intended for the pedagogical community.
Our assumptions that change can be started from below – through the projects of civil organisations – have been confirmed. To support them, we have created unique tools (bootcamp, accelerator, EDUpoints) to spread innovations in education. Hence, the participating organisations improved in all monitored areas after completing the programme, which were the following:
- Team stabilisation
- Internal processes in the organisation
- Effectiveness of project activities
- Expansion of the project to more schools/teachers/pupils
- System changes
- Impact measurement
- Increasing the impact of project activities
According to the programme participants, Generation 3.0 had the most significant impact on the area of the impact measurement of their activities. Jana Kostovčáková from Zmudri confirms this: “Thanks to the programme, we were able to pilot the impact measurement, and we are continuing with it. Connecting with the researcher, setting up the measurement process and improving it shows us what we can do even better within the framework of educational activities.”
For the graduates of the accelerator, we examined five indicators before and after joining the accelerator:
- The budget of the organisation
- The number of members in the team
- The number of cooperating schools
- The number of involved teachers
- The reached pupils and students
Data confirms that the organisations that have graduated from our acceleration programme show growth in all indicators. During the first wave of the pandemic, the organisations in the programme had the most challenging time (2019 graduates, see graph). They progressed in indicators, although the least of all graduates of Generation 3.0.
Creation of a new programme
Currently, non-governmental organisations need even stronger support so that they do not have to fight for their place in society. We would therefore like to use the proven approaches and tools (bootcamp, accelerator) with which we helped organisations grow and change education in Slovakia for broader support of civil society.
Therefore, from 2023, Generation 3.0 will be transformed, and we will create a new programme which will, among other things, also respond to current needs, such as the support of democracy and inclusion. We will provide more detailed information about it at the end of January.