The Project Commons
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The Agility Advantage inspires individuals to have the flexibility to see opportunity where others may see challenges. A great example of the Agility Advantage model in action can be found with The Project Commons, an initiative developed this summer by the KC Social Innovation Center. The Project Commons was a 4-week program designed to accelerate internship readiness for high school-aged students through participation in real-world learning projects. With support from The DeBruce Foundation, The Project Commons was incubated in the Goodwill building in KC’s Keystone Innovation District. Local innovators and entrepreneurs from Hollis + Miller Architects, LaunchCrate, and BrandLabKC were recruited to mentor student teams as they developed innovative solutions to three challenges facing their program: spatial, marketing, and audio design. Participating students took full ownership of the challenges, collaborating with peers from across the region, and leading the work effort from beginning to completion, culminating in a successful Demo Day on August 1, 2019. The motto for the summer was “Greatness is Coming!”
The KC Social Innovation Center’s mission is to create environments that serve as a community lab for strategies that inspire and advance innovations in education, learning, and workforce development. Executive Director Kari Keefe describes their work as “a sandbox of technology, community, investment, education, and business networks – all coming together to explore and catalyze solutions to bring growth, prosperity, and inclusion to Kansas City.” As part of their workforce development initiatives, KCSIC also manages Hire KC – the signature youth employment program established by former Kansas City Mayor Sly James. Hire KC provides real-world learning through internships with businesses across the KC Region, with participation open to all high-school and college students from the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area.
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