Over lockdown, EthosVO adapted its peer-to-peer work system so that young adults were able to start socially valuable work quickly and receive income for doing so. This scheme, which we call Ethos Young Leaders, has quickly become a new driving force of Ethos – a hugely exciting, energising and productive venture. How were we able to deploy thirty young recruits so rapidly while building their confidence?
Right from the beginning, our 10 year Ethos Work Platform experiment was designed to expand, create and manage work for all participants. Young Leaders was the acid test to see if we could add thirty young people to the system and enable them to be productive almost immediately.
The positive impact has become clear with our Young Leaders showing every sign of enjoyment – setting and achieving their own personal and collaborative goals. The basis of our success is, we believe, is our Value Exchange Dynamic, a simple process that can be rapidly scaled to offer opportunities to many other young people.
Personal Stories Build Value
At Ethos, engaging new partners has always started with a Value Exchange – an exchange of views and information about what is ‘good’. By identifying our common attitudes, beliefs and values then work to converge on what we could achieve together. This process can take hours or weeks, depending on the participant, so we refined and systematised it to enable us to rapidly recruit young people.
Our unique process continues throughout our working relationship as we log and share our ’valuable outcomes’ . These are stories of success as we progress on our journeys toward our stated goals. What is termed as ‘success’ is measured not only in the benefit of our wider community and our environment but in the positive effects we have on others, as co- workers, and the workplace as a healthy functioning ecosystem. To do this we request input from others in the form of “Value Recognition”
Initially, sharing happens every month, moving onto a three-monthly cycle when work is secure or familiar. This is called our Value Exchange Dynamic.
By recording each and every interaction we are creating an immensely rich database of social value narratives. Our Young Leaders, with their openness and creativity, have inspired us to capture and share these experiences, which were hitherto kept pretty much in the private realm.
Experiencing the Future Workplace
Here are two short films created by our Young Leaders.
What’s it like to be a Young Leader?
Young people discover a new way of working.
Starting out in your career
Freely envisioning an ideal world of work.
So where next?
Our pilot cohort of 30 is now expanding. We have already secured funding for a further 100+ places. We have designed it with capacity to grow by around 100 or more each month. Through intensive networking, we have reached out and identified partner employers, recruited external mentors and continued to automate our recruitment and onboarding processes for Young Leaders. Moreover, we are starting to see how the employability support we offer creates pathways for them to transition into sustainable employment.
Abundant growth forecast
Our system could complement government-funded initiatives like Kickstart and be replicated through charitable and philanthropically-funded parallel systems.
Starting in 2020, we followed a hunch and funded some Young Leader partners ourselves even before this round of government stimulus was released. We were therefore ready to move quickly when the time was ripe. Now, a year on as we emerge from Covid-19, fresh new approaches and realisations are emerging around innovative concepts of ethical wealth, including environmental and social capital, such as those being explored by the Management School at Sheffield Hallam University among others. (see below *)
We are exploring several new avenues to social and ethical work creation including Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), Income Share Agreements, Blockchain tokenization of social value and value exchange (we have been running an experiment with Ethos Coins – our own internal currency) amongst other forward-thinking ideas.
If you would like to partner with us in a new value creation system for the future world of work, call us, talk to us, join us. Even better – invest in us. We have an urgent need for working capital support. Ultimately, we think our business model will make so much sense that it will no longer need any government or charitable support, but we may need you to help us get there.
Read my bio to see why I became an ETHOS Young Leader.
If you would like to partner with us in a new value creation system for the future world of work.
Young Leaders Three Month Pilot January to March 2021: A report for the Department of Work and Pensions.
References and inspirations:
Humanocracy.com – ”Humanocracy” by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini – a passionate, data-driven argument for excising bureaucracy and replacing it with something better.
SimonSinek.com – “Find Your Why ” the secret to being more inspired at work, and how to bring it to life in careers and organizations.
Rory Ridley Duff, Professor of Cooperative Social Entrepreneurship at Sheffield Business School and a research leader in the Department of Management Six Forms of Wealth Post Covid*