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Building 3G Connections

Community-Building & Training Strategy for Better Mentorship

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SWAN 3G is s a transformative mentoring initiative of connection and support across three generations founded by the creators of Sesame Street to tackle the unprecedented levels of loneliness and isolation from Generation Alpha to Baby Boomers. Our project is a response to SWAN 3G's call to scale their program, and started as the founders came to us to help them scale the mentoring program. However, upon thorough analysis, our team recognized the pivotal need to strengthen the existing mentoring program before strategizing to expand its reach.



Our focus shifted towards a preliminary strategy aimed at how we could escalate community building and enhance onboarding and training across thee three generations of mentors and mentees. We crafted a product roadmap encompassing these two areas of intervention successfully guiding the path for a further business strategy. 

My Role

Strategic Designer
UX Researcher

Methods

User Personas
Qualitative Research
Go-To-Market Strategy

Team

Camila Ordonez
Anaab Ibrahim
Bernardita Lira 
Bhumika Keswani
Louisa Buck

Partner

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1. Exploring the Status Quo and Current Mentorship Landscape

The SWAN 3G founders provided a wealth of information from the pilot mentoring program, showcasing foundational challenges in the organization. The design challenge sought for us to create a scalable program. However, we realized that prior to working on a GTM strategy, it was necessary to help them understand the core issue they are tackling, their ultimate goal and how the three-generational program can achieve it.


























 

We engaged in interviews with pre-school teachers, seniors, and teenagers and collected insights that redefined the problem framework, now focusing on enhancing the community-building experience across generations:

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How might we create a scalable platform with accessible curriculum, mentoring, and training, so that partners and end users are able to easily adopt the solution as well as customize it for their particular context?

How might we enhance the community building experience to strengthen connections between members, creating a solid foundation for the overall journey and program growth?

2. Building a Human-Centered Strategy

COMMUNITY BUILDING

Despite the limited 4-week timeframe of our design sprint, recognizing the importance of understanding the mentoring program's gains, pains, and needs, we engaged with a total of nine users. The resulting personas illustrate our primary findings and help showcase our insights.

We crafted user personas to understand what drives our target users to partake in the SWAN 3G experience, seeking to understand what the seniors, teens, and preschoolers worry about, and what they really need from the mentoring program.

These personas guided us to develop a "North Star" framework to develop the Community-Building &
Onboarding & Training strategy for everyone involved in the SWAN 3G mentoring program, to ensure we hit the 
sweet spot of connection and learning.

I love when we talk about cool things, but sometimes I get lost in big words.
-  Parker, Preschooler

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Seeks to...
* Enhance Social-Emotional Learning through fun activities.

Fears / is frustrated by...
* A vocabulary gap in discussions.
- Maintaining focus & concentration.
- Lack of incentives to talk about content.

Needs...
* Guidance to bridge the vocabulary gap.
- Tools for improving focus & cognitive engagement.
- Tactile experiences to enhance learning.

I feel more confident chatting with my grandparents now.
-  Tanvi,
Teenager

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Seeks to... 
* Be recognized for the program's impact on her college application.
- Develop a sense of leadership & confidence.

Fears / is frustrated by...
* A vocabulary gap in discussions.
- Lack of understanding with her grandparents.
- Being judged and misunderstood.
- Lack of tools to explore impact beyond SEL.

Needs...
* Program certification for college applications.
* Support in addressing the vocabulary gap.
* Calendar invites & reminders for participation.
- Tools to explore impact, fostering leadership & confidence.

Being part of this program has brought purpose and joy to my retirement.
-  Sovann, Senior

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Seeks to...
* Stay active/engaged in meaningful activities.
- Build connections & combat isolation.

Fears / is frustrated by...
* A vocabulary gap in discussions.

* Tech challenges blocking participation.
- Feeling irrelevant.

Needs...
* Guidance in addressing the vocabulary gap.
* Effective mentoring preparation & tech tools.
* Calendar invites & reminders for participation.
- Skills to handle tricky situations & ice breakers.
- Opportunities for personal growth & connection.

* Areas where we sought to intervene with our design solution.

3. North Star Framing

To address these challenges and guide SWAN 3G to achieve its mission, we mapped the program journey, identifying key milestones crucial for success, and proceeded by creating a North Star statement to holistically address the user pain points and align the program with its overarching objectives:

COMMUNITY BUILDING

ONBOARDING & TRAINING

A 3-Generational community founded on trust and safety strengthening human connection and leading to build a society to help them thrive. 

North Star

This helped us identify opportunities and prioritize the foundational areas, leading us to focus on:
Community Building and Onboarding & Training. 









Proceeding from our research and interviews with the participants of SWAN 3G's pilot program, we found how Community Building and Onboarding & Training enhance retention, engagement, and commitment among mentors and mentees given we learned how - 

Community
Building

Onboarding
and Training

Curriculum

Recruitment

and Matching

KPIs Definition

Monetization

Effective community, communication, and training serve as the cornerstone for a successful user journey.

When mentors are well-prepared, they not only engage more effectively during sessions, but also handle diverse situations with greater proficiency.

Establishing clear guidelines, setting specific goals, and communicating program expectations create a sense of community and belonging. 

4. Building the Community through Brand Identity

To advance community-building, we recognized the need to define the program's purpose, values, and guidelines, emphasizing the importance of a supportive and inclusive environment.

This involved:

Community, Purpose and Agreements

Regular Group Activities

Recognition and Rewards

Program Ambassadors

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COMMUNITY BUILDING

A clear brand identity and communication of SWAN 3G’s mission, vision, core values, and code of conduct is central for guiding participants toward common goals, fostering cohesion and accountability, and promoting inclusivity and trust. 

It
empowers participants, prevents conflicts, and inspires motivation, all while reinforcing a commitment to eradicating loneliness and building meaningful cross-generational connections in the digital age.

Brand Identity

Mission

We're on a mission to create a nurturing and inclusive cross-generational mentorship community to combat loneliness and isolation through genuine human connection in a safe, respectful, and supportive environment; where individuals of all ages learn from one another, share experiences, and build meaningful, lasting connections.

Mission

Values

Core Values

  • Inclusivity

  • Respect and empathy

  • Intergenerational Learning

  • Safety

  • Accountability

  • Commitment

  • Feedback

Vision

A society where individuals across generations come together to learn, grow, and support one another, harnessing the power of technology to build authentic relationships and a compassionate, interconnected, and harmonious world.

Vision

Code of
Conduct

Code of Conduct

  • Openness to Learning

  • Community Building

  • Respect Differences

  • Active Listening

  • Be Patient

  • Celebrate Achievements

5. Onboarding and Training

ONBOARDING & TRAINING

Our second focus for the SWAN 3G Platform, encompassed three main stages: Onboarding, Training, and Key Questions, with the following considerations:

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User-Friendly Interface
For all age groups, prioritizing accessibility features, larger fonts, and simple navigation, to cater to seniors and preschoolers.

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Age-Appropriate Content

Tailor activities to suit different age groups, providing materials & interactions for a diverse user base.

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Gamified Experience

Engagement elements, e.g. a point system where users advance via training steps, leveling up until they are ready to become SWAN 3G mentors.

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Support

A system with features like a FAQ section and technical support for users facing difficulties.

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Training & Orientation Resources

Easy-to-follow training materials & tutorials, including orientation sessions for mentors & mentees.

6. Product Roadmap

We identified and analyzed key considerations at each stage to guide our development process. In the initial stages, we sought to establish a community-centered foundation for each participant inclusive of onboarding, training, and feedback. In the following stages, we mapped out key training modules necessary to succeed in the mentoring program. To conclude, we close the roadmap with the next steps to join SWAN 3G.

 

The deliverable was a detailed explanation and concepts to approach each stage.

Onboarding

Training

Key

Questions

Orientation

Mission & Vision of SWAN 3G

Age-specific Guide to use the platform

Step-by-step age-specific Handbook

Training resources + Toolkits

Skills Development

Post-session Impact Evaluation

Debrief with their generational cohort

Option to extend Training

1 - 2 days

1 - 2 weeks

1 - 2 days

*Start here

Community values + Code of conduct

Support

Learnings

In order to really make a difference in any segment, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of the problem being solved. This means constantly evolving one's knowledge, ensuring to remain relevant and in tune with the ever-changing landscape. However, it is not enough to simply be aware of the new developments in the field. It is equally, if not more important, to understand how these changes are impacting the users or customers.


To achieve this understanding, it is important to stay in constant contact with the target audience. By actively engaging with them, one gains valuable insights of thee needs, pains, and passions. This knowledge should be at the forefront throughout the entire lifecycle of a project. It should guide the decision-making process, ensuring that the solutions created really address the challenges the audience faces.


By mastering the true needs, pains, and passions of the target audience, one can create products or services that resonate deeply with them. This not only establishes a strong connection and trust between you and your customers but also sets the foundation for long-term success. This customer-centric approach ultimately drives the project's success and makes a lasting impact in your chosen space.

About Swan 3G

Swan 3G is an educational media and technology startup, introducing a mentoring program to foster SEL (social-emotional learning) among seniors, teens, and preschoolers. Leveraging Sesame Street Workshop's media assets, the program aims to improve communication, connectedness, confidence, and creativity.

The project has been piloted in Texas and California, with the aim of offering a turnkey approach for communities worldwide. They prioritize simplicity and resilience in our operations, taking into account stakeholder roles, delivery methods, mentorship dynamics, scheduling challenges, and a framework for feedback and evaluation. 

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