AIME Mentoring

AIME: Using Structured Mentoring and Imagination for a Fairer World

Lead Organization

AIME Mentoring

Redfern, State of New South Wales, Australia

http://www.aimementoring.com/about

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

Welcome to AIME: https://vimeo.com/314670113/4c65eb3a7d From the oldest continuous culture, Indigenous Australia, with 60,000+ years of imagination at its heart, AIME was founded in 2005. In Australia, over 14 years, we’ve solved a previously intractable challenge: Indigenous disadvantage. We designed a solution that is scalable, cost effective, easily transferable and focused on unlocking the magic of learning. A structured mentoring model underpinned by “Imagination”. Because kids who everyone calls the problem, we know are the solution. This revolutionary fire of change that started in Sydney is now lighting up 5 countries across 3 continents. Since inception, 25,000+ ‘so-called-disadvantaged’ kids have marched through the program to end educational inequality, ably supported by 10,000+ university students as volunteer mentors (the largest such movement in Australia’s history). Having proven our ability to shift the imbalance of power locally, we are now ready to take on the challenge of global inequality, in education and beyond.

Problem Statement

In 2005, off the back of 200+ years of colonial oppression, the gap between Australia’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous people was remarkably wide in all walks of life (https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/social_justice/sj_report/sjreport05/pdf/SocialJustice2005.pdf). After billions of dollars and years of effort, the underlying zeitgeist was that the challenge of Indigenous disadvantage was intractable. Education, oft-quoted as the most-critical factor in bridging inequity, showed similar outcomes and the rift seemed ever-widening, especially for the country’s most marginalised kids (e.g. consider school completion statistics: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g7J_gG26YVno_0xedrS_NJQllTS0c5hX/view?usp=sharing). The kids we worked with initially told us that the systems were biased against them, and without ‘imagination’ in education, they were forever forced to the margins. Fast forward to today, and even in 2019 (after AIME’s critical work), the gap still remains shockingly wide in all areas, except educational outcomes. Zooming out to the world around us, almost all post-colonial countries are grappling with similar, seemingly unsolvable disadvantage for their First-Nations people. And the problem goes even wider as inequality is unfortunately a global epidemic, not limited just to First-Nations people: 1% of the world’s richest owning roughly half its wealth (2030 projections suggest 1% would own two-thirds of global wealth: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/07/global-inequality-tipping-point-2030). Revolutionaries such as Unaipon, Gandhi, Einstein, Ken Robinson (https://www.thersa.org/discover/publications-and-articles/rsa-blogs/2018/04/do-schools-kill-creativity), etc. have constantly reminded us that ‘imagination’ is the one critical factor that can create lasting change. And yesterday, on 05/08/2019, a historic declaration on imagination was made by young Indigenous leaders and AIME at Garma Festival, the epicentre of ingenuity and Australia’s version of Davos: https://mailchi.mp/aimementoring/applications-are-open-1376029?e=6d9a7e9c6e

Solution Overview

AIME is ‘imagination’. We took the age-old concept of mentoring and added systems design and engineering principles around it to build something unique - a structured mentoring model that unlocks imaginations of the young and marginalized in order to end inequality (https://vimeo.com/343592254/f8c667f08b), whilst mobilising a vast taskforce of volunteer mentors. The model works by:a) Handing power to so-called-problem kids: through our ‘Structured Mentoring’ programs (https://vimeo.com/220543875). We train young revolutionary kids born into disadvantage to mobilise their peers and mentor kids like themselves out of inequality, at University (‘Hooded Scholarships’) and school (‘High School CEOs’) campuses.b) Unlocking imagination: through AIME’s ‘Dream Factory’ (https://vimeo.com/342201014/6cf8ed3734). We’ve built our own apparel brand (designed by kids for a fairer world), our media platforms for good (AIME TV/Films, 60k+ people Sunday-Kindness mailouts, Radio, etc.) and an offline presence in 350+ educational institutions worldwide (AIME Assemblies, Program Days, etc.)- to amplify the voices of these kids on a global stage, and to keep imagination alive within education. If kids believe they can achieve anything if they’re willing to work hard, despite the situation they’re born into, we know AIME is working. By 2024, we commit to directly working with 50,000+ marginalised kids’ p.a. across 8+ countries through our ‘structured mentoring’ programs, while indirectly impacting 5 million+ lives through our ‘dream factory’. We’re here to fight for a fairer world for 100+ years and will measure success holistically - e.g. we are on a path towards nation-building/ reconciliation in Australia (and are planting the same seeds globally): https://aimementoring.com/story/aime-at-parliament-house

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Project Funders

  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia 2011 - Ongoing
  • Lend Lease 2011 - 2019
  • Crown Foundation 2015 - Ongoing

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