Prioritizing Strategies to Support Homeless Youth

The most rewarding part of distributing Feedback Frames is seeing all the ways they support inspiring organizations that make positive impacts in the world. 

One example is the Accelerator Program (acceleratorproject.xyz), a grassroots initiative in Toronto which aims to help homeless and at-risk youth escape the cycle of poverty by helping them to use tech skills to advance their employment, entrepreneurship, and personal goals.

workshop presenter

The Accelerator team brought together 25 participants from Toronto’s tech industry and social services/non-profit sector to a consultation and co-design session on how to remove barriers for homeless youth in accessing the tech job market.

The two-hour workshop was planned in two parts.

Part 1: Identify Barriers & Challenge Assumptions 

In small groups, participants were encouraged to discuss their biases and assumptions about why young people who experience homelessness are prematurely dismissed by employers. Groups used a mind-mapping with sticky-notes exercise to share their opinions and examine the relationships, trends and insights among them.

mind map sticky notes group facilitation technique

Part 2: Ideate Strategies to Overcome Barriers

Participants worked in pairs to come up with ideas of potential solutions to the challenges recognized in Part 1.

Participants generated 15 unique ideas.

Each idea statement was placed in front of its own Feedback Frame.  Each participant then dropped one token per frame to rate their level of agreement with each statement on a five-point scale.

live voting using using Feedback Frames
live voting using Feedback Frames

Group Decision-Making Made Easy

Participants appreciated the fun process that avoided peer pressure and groupthink. On revealing the results, it was obvious of the 15 ideas which were the collective priorities they needed to focus on.  It gave an amazing sense of united direction. 

example of live voting result using feedback frames
Two examples from the 15 prioritized ideas
example of live voting result using feedback frames

The top solutions revolved around mentorship, soft-skills training, appropriate hiring partners, social systems and programmed support for basic necessities.  

These results from the Feedback Frames activity have become an important foundation for the project moving forward, laying the groundwork for future consultations, research, and co-creation.

See the results summary 2-page report here and learn more at acceleratorproject.xyz

Thank you to Dilini Kurukulaarachchi who facilitated the event with other volunteers, and shared her experience with us. Photo Credits: Fitz Roy Powell (@focusbydesign_ / @fitzpowell)

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