Rethinking Civic Engagement with Tech Innovation

Earns

+400 Points

Coming Soon: March 4 - April 5, 2024!

Get ready for some political fireworks with the presidential election just around the corner! This Challenge is all about how technology can be used to light up the world of civic engagement. Election season can be a polarizing time, for example: left vs right; Democrats vs Republicans; young voters vs older voters. But, does it need to be? How can technology be used to foster healthy dialogue and engage in political action? Get those creative juices flowing, as you brainstorm out-of-the-box ideas for products, businesses, and marketing campaigns that use emerging technologies to transform youth civic engagement. Pitch your idea to Lenovo with a 3-5 minute video and win big $$$!

In this Challenge, you’ll address the question:

How can we leverage emerging technologies to help more young people get involved in civic life (e.g. vote, run for office, etc)?

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Skills you'll develop

  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Social Awareness
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Focus

Feeling like an expert yet? No worries if not, but you should have a good grasp on this matter. If not, keep on exploring! Let's now piece together all the info and give it a fresh spin to create something truly unique.

By the end of the Focus phase, you should have:

  • Identified the specific problem you want to solve

  • Selected your Big Question

  • Created a User Persona of an example user

Understand the Focus Phase

⏱️Time: 1- 2 Hours (during Week 2 of Challenge)

✏️Use the optional KNOtebook to record notes and questions

💼 Mentor: Get feedback from a mentor on your Big Question

🎯 Future Ready Skills: Problem Solving

See an Example

Focus Example

Watch the video to see an example of the Focus phase in a classroom. Note that you will be doing this on your own or in a small group.

Step 1: Choose a Tool

Now that you're up to speed on the problem, let's get down to business and organize what you've learned. Take your pick from the awesome tools below or use your own approach to sort through the research. If you're unfamiliar with the tools, you may want to watch the tutorials on the tool websites! Flip the cards to learn about each tool.

Optional Tools

mirox (1)

Miro

Miro

Miro (miro.com) is an online collaborative whiteboard tool. It includes digital sticky notes, diagrams, icons, emojis, and more for you to work creatively with a team without being in the same room.
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Mural

Mural

Mural (mural.com) is an online collaborative workspace used for virtual collaboration. It includes fun visual features such as sticky notes, shapes, and images.
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Jamboard

Jamboard

Google's Jamboard (jamboard.google.com) is another whiteboard collaboration tool. You can write, draw, and add notes on a shared whiteboard.

Step 2: Clarify the Issue

It's time to roll up your sleeves and piece together all the juicy findings you uncovered in the Explore section, highlighting the key bits that will help solve a specific angle of the larger issue. Whip out your handy tool of choice and let's get crackin'! Select each tab to learn how.

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Identify Key Information

So, what did you learn about the problem? What made the strongest impression? What was shocking? Upsetting? Annoying?

Consider: Review your notes and and if you’re working in a group, share stories, especially if you explored different resources or if you talked to people or did your own research.

Jot: Use your brainstorming tool to write down key information that you found most interesting, shocking, surprising, or concerning–this may include quotes, facts, data, or your interpretations. You can even add photos, drawings, or words.

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Cluster to Find Themes

As you look at your brainstorming, you’ll likely see common themes or topics emerge. Do you notice patterns? Repeated information? Surprises? What feels important and meaningful?

Identify: Look for patterns and relationships and group the stickies together.

Organize: Discuss, arrange, rearrange and see what’s emerging. In the end, you should have clusters around a few themes that represent opportunities.

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Draw Insights

Select: Choose a theme or topic that you formed a cluster around that interests you. Consider or discuss the following, if you are working in a group:

  • What were you surprised to learn in this theme area?

  • What’s important in this theme?

Make Insights: Insight statements explain the most important "lightbulb moments". Write out a few insight statements.

Step 4: Create Your Big Question

Get ready to come up with a Big Question based on your research to narrow the issue.

Help with Your Big Question

It's time to develop your Big Question! Start by creating a list of questions, then narrow it down to one. This will be the question that guides you in addressing the issue at hand. Follow these steps to create your list of questions, based on your insight statements and the specific aspect of the larger issue that you want to tackle. Select each starter to see examples.

Big Question

Steps for Coming Up with Your Big Question

Step 5: Choose Your Big Question

Consider which questions allow for a variety of solutions. If they don’t, you may need to broaden them (but not too broad!). Your final Big Question should make you think of a lot of wild ideas in a brainstorm.

Student KNOtebook: Select Your Big Question

Step 6: Create a User Persona

You may have decided on the group you’d like to be the focus for your solution. To help you come up with a solution, it’s useful to have a specific person or people in mind. You can create a persona for this.

A User Persona

A user persona is an imaginary person that would fit into a focus group for your idea. Personas help us to get to know these users, create awareness and a shared opinion about who our users are, their needs, life goals, characteristics, traits, gains and pains. As you come up with a solution, you’ll find that personas will be helpful throughout all aspects of the process.

KnoPro Assets (1)
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Mentor Moment: Get Feedback

Did you know that there are professionals standing by to help you? They will also be judging your final pitches, so be sure to take advantage throughout the Challenge and post your questions.

Share your brainstorming question and get feedback from a mentor or ask them a question.

Next Steps

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Review the Final Pitch Score Sheet

You'll probably be starting to think about your final deliverable: a 3-5 minute pitch video. The video will be judged by professionals using the Final Pitch Score Sheet to evaluate your project and determine the winners. Select the checklist button to guide your work and prepare your final pitch throughout the KnoPro process. Good luck $$$!

Ready to Move On?

Do you feel prepared to move on and start answering your brainstorming question? Did you do the following? If you did, yay for you! Great work taking a big problem and narrowing it down. Flip each card to check yourself.

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Insight Statements

Insight Statements

Did you come up with insight statements that helped you narrow down the issue?
Brainstorm Questions

Big Question

Big Question

Do you have a strong Big Question that: Brings up a lot of ideas? Makes you think about the problem in a new way? Is objective (not influenced by your personal feelings or opinions)? Is not too broad and not too narrow?
KnoPro Assets (1)

User Persona

User Persona

Did you create an imaginary person, or a user persona, that helps you get to know your users?

Ideation Time!

It's time to brainstorm a solution to your big question!