Pathways: Communities Ensuring Learning & Work for Everyone
Pathways: Enabling communities everywhere to ensure everyone has opportunities to enjoy powerful, lifelong learning, supported by meaningful and constructive livelihoods.
Work is changing rapidly. Technological innovation is driving much of the change accelerating the march towards a single market for both the supply and demand of goods and services. Technologies are rapidly automating production, distribution, and service sector jobs. Basic services are increasingly being driven by artificial intelligence, data analytics, and algorithms. We are merely at the beginning of huge disruptions that are rapidly changing the ways we live and earn a living.
Those living in the poorest parts of the world are suffering the most. Fewer and fewer jobs that require relatively unskilled labor are becoming the only available source of income for most. Poverty, violence and climate change is increasing exponentially the numbers of those who leave their homes seeking a safer, better life elsewhere. Immigrating from a poor to a rich nations are being driven by global forces, many beyond our control.
The current model of top down educational systems is not capable of preparing communities for this rapidly changing reality. We need new approaches to education and learning. We believe that new global approaches can support broad access to learning and the knowledge and skills acquisition need to not only to survive, but to also thrive and contribute to their communities.
The OLE Pathways program provides a framework for the future of work. Pathways is predicated on three requirements for humans to thrive, Agency, the experience of having power; Meaning, experiencing value in what we do; and Connection, that we are part of a community and not alone. Pathways draws upon the powerful potential of Community Learning and Development Centers, with public libraries open to all and community college coursework with bridging agreements with national universities. Community development centers help communities and their nations become socially and economically healthy and powerful. OLE brings these opportunities to remote communities in Somalia, Ghana, and Nepal, and we are ready to scale this solution to others.
Pathways is delivered via OLEs open source learning management platform called Planet which runs on a Ras pberry Pi or any machine that running Linux, Mac, or Windows. When members login, they see a personal dashboard with the resources and courses they have downloaded from the local community library. Through the Planet platform, members have access to thousands of books, videos, manuals, and dozens of courses. Through their dashboard they can enroll in Pathways courses that enables them to acquire skills in basic literacy and numeracy, citizenship and personal purpose. After completing the core competency skills members can choose one of several career pathways to focus on including, health, education, technology and business. In Somalia, Pathways working with Mogadishu University in order to provide participants with a certificate of completion, and university credits that can be applied towards and associates or bachelors degree.
Pathways engages local communities, grounded and shaped by their own talent and resourcefulness, sustained largely with local resources, enabling everyone to experience personal power, meaning and connection. It is ready to be scaled worldwide.
Watch our elevator pitch:
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Cambridge, MA, USA
The dimensions of the Challenge our solution addresses:
If you selected other, please explain the dimension of the Challenge your solution addresses here:
Engaging communities to improve learning and work for all
What makes our solution innovative:
Pathways employs existing technologies in innovative ways to enable people in isolated locations to access and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to live and work. Although our solution can be delivered by just about any combination of laptop and rounder, we optimize around and advocate using a Raspberry Pi’s as the basic hardware component. Periodically the local server connects to a National Center via the internet to download learning resources from partner universities and/or the Ministry of Education and to upload user data and analytics allowing data aggregation and redundancy.
How technology is integral to our solution:
Pathways employs OLE’s Planet software (Personal Learning Accelerated by Network Empowered Teams) to enable the creation and maintenance of a personal plan for lifelong learning aligned with their interests, needs, and goals. OLE works Community Learning and Development Centers providing guidance on how to set up their low-cost Raspberry Pi. Server that creates an WiFi intranet cloud that can be accessed with any browser. Everyone has their personalized dashboard, downloading the resources and courses they need. When the Internet is unavailable, it works offline, periodically connecting to a national server for exchanging new resources and local activity data.
Our solution goals over the next 12 months:
Over the next year OLE will work in cooperation with OLE Somalia, and the Somali federal government, and UN partners to launch Pathways at two Community Learning and Development Centers in Somalia. In twelve months we will have completed two continuous improvement reviews and will be implementing their recommendations.
We are already in discussion with potential partners to offer the Pathways program to two neighborhoods in Mogadishu. Over the next two years we would like to expand to each of Somalia’s 18 districts.
Our vision over the next three to five years to grow and scale our solution to affect the lives of more people:
Over the next three to five years we anticipate that the Pathways program will be shown to be highly effective. Under our timeline, the initial communities will have become largely self-supporting, and the federal government will be able to scaled Pathways countrywide. Thousands of Somalis will be enrolled in Pathways career programs, and some will have continued their studies at Mogadishu University. Ghana and Sri Lanka will have launched their first Pathways communities and we will have reached agreement and initial funding to launch pilot Pathways programs in Ghana, Nepal, and one other country, possibly Sri Lanka or Indonesia.
Our promotional video:
The key characteristics of the populations who will benefit from our solution in the next 12 months:
The regions where we will be operating in the next 12 months:
How we will reach and retain our customers or beneficiaries:
Our growth model is predicated on finding or helping to create nation-based organizations committed to scaling the benefits our programs provide everyone in their nation. We work with our partners to advocate for our programs with government and non-governmental agencies so that the benefits of the program are understood and supported. We then work with our partner to demonstrate and document the program’s outcomes and effectiveness, usually over a three to five-year period.
How many people we are currently serving with our solution:
We support locally driven and owned programs capable of addressing local and national needs, with leadership that is supported by their communities and their governments, with a little help along the way from OLE and our partners. OLE supports localization of the Pathways program in Nepal, Ghana, Kenya, and Somalia where thousands of people are benefiting from our programs. For example, in the UNHCR Dadaab (Kenya) camps for Somalis, OLE’s Centers in the Dagahaley and Hagadera and Ifo camps have 15,660 members with 25,917 Center visits over the past 12 months, 40% of whom were by females.
How many people we will be serving with our solution in the 12 months and the next 3 years:
Here are estimates of Pathways' effects, based on OLE’s Dadaab experience, for the first five years in Garowe, a mid-sized town of 58,000 in northern Somalia.
Planet provides weekly data on levels and trends for the above results. In addition, Planet also has tools enabling periodic surveys of Community conditions. OLE uses the trends in these variables as reasonable indicators of short and long term benefits for Pathways enrollees and other members of the community.
How our solution team is organized:
How many people work on our solution team:
How many years we have been working on our solution:
The skills our solution team has that will enable us to attract the different resources needed to succeed and make an impact:
OLE’s strongest asset is our team’s accumulated years of experience living and working outside the “developed” world, learning what works to help people suffering from poverty and violence create their own personal pathways to health and prosperity. WE are committed to empowering learners with a framework and the tools that enable them to create a meaningful life. This approach has broad application in a world that is changing profoundly. We all need personal pathways for creating meaningful careers leading to strong, and connected lives for ourselves, our families and communities.
Our revenue model:
OLE’s revenue model is based on its theory of change. We understand that only the public sector is capable of reaching everyone in their country. The private sectors inevitably leave many out. But the public sector is often risk averse and slow to change. Thus, OLE works with nation-based non-governmental organizations to demonstrate and document the effectiveness of innovations that improve the general welfare. They then do the hard part of persuading the public and their governments to incorporate effective innovations permanently in their laws, regulations and budgets.
Thus OLE relies on receiving grants and contracts from governments, international agencies, foundations, and private individuals to create and prove the effectiveness of its innovations. Our experience is that, working as we do to help local communities become agents of change, it takes three to five years of technical and financial support for communities to become effective and self-sustaining with their own talent and the public and private resources they need to continue. At that point they become sources of talent and enthusiasm that, in many cases, become highly effective engines for nationwide change.
Why we are applying to Solve:
We all benefit from collaborative learning with Solve, MIT, and many of its faculty and staff share OLE’s commitment to use technology to improve the quality of life throughout the world. Our partnership with Solve and MIT has provided OLE with visibility and credibility. believing that can increase the value we receive from being a Solver. MIT faculty and programs are increasingly focused on the future of work. We can benefit from their substantial talents and connections.
The key barriers for our solution:
The major short-term barrier to our solution is obtaining the funding needed to demonstrate and document the effectiveness of this solution in multiple communities and multiple countries. The longer-term barrier is persuading the public sector in each country where we work that it is essential and possible for them to incorporate customized versions of this approach to work into their laws, regulations and budgets. It is not possible to reach all of those in need simply by relying upon the private sector. That change in attitude and framework is, by far, the largest barrier.
The types of connections and partnerships we would be most interested in if we became Solvers:
- Boyah J. Farah Program Adviser for Somalia, Open Learning Exchange
- Leonard Mensah 2182653 Tech Lead Africa & Senior Software Engineer, Open Learning Exchange
- RP Rory Phimister Program Director, Open Learning Exchange
- Richard R. Rowe Ph.D. Founder & CEO, Open Learning Exchange, Inc.
- Stefan Unterhauser Chief Technology Officer, Open Learning Exchange