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Avenues Seed Bank

WORLD CHALLENGES

The world’s problems will be solved by audacious and courageous young people. Seed Bank is a global program for Avenues students in grades 6-12 to start or continue their journey of making the world a better place. Students apply through a process that prepares them for future funding meetings, pitch competitions, and accelerator programs. Upon acceptance, students receive funds, a host of services, mentors, and a real opportunity to understand and solve global-scale problems. During the program students both participate and lead an incubator-like experience as they translate an idea to impact.

PROJECTS

Students will be divided into cohorts that will work and learn together as they develop their ideas. These cohorts are divided into two different tracks.

Rights of Nature & Global Health

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These issues challenge our perceptions of the fundamental nature of beings on this planet. These include (but are not limited to) racial equality, poverty, access to quality education, animal rights, gender equality, global health, and nutrition.

Imminent Global-Scale Problems

These are problems that are systematic and immediately threaten our world. These include, but are not limited to climate change, artificial intelligence, nuclear disarmament, and government accountability.

PARTICIPANTS

Any student grades 6-12 in the Avenues ecosystem is eligible to apply for Seed Bank. Students can bring ideas incubated in classes or clubs, and they can apply with or without a faculty sponsor. Students applying from outside classes should schedule office hours with someone from the Seed Bank team to get feedback on their application so they are on an even playing field with other students. To be in Seed Bank, we just ask that students are passionate about a problem, are ready to contribute to a community of supportive and equally passionate people, and are interested in developing a solution that can grow to make a lasting, positive impact.

PROGRAM

Students enter the program in the fall and join a community that helps them succeed in developing and implementing their solution. With the support of the Seed Bank team, students will conduct beneficiary/customer research, develop their theory of change, conduct pilots to test hypotheses, and monitor and evaluate their impact. The ultimate goal: students build and grow an organization through this program and see that they are capable of developing solutions to the pressing problems of the world.

Throughout the year stu*dents can access services and support, including:

Funding
Participants receive access to prototype and acceleration funding to build initial ideas and help them flourish. New teams in the initial stage receive funds to support customer/beneficiary research and to manifest their ideas as proof-of-concept prototypes. Teams with traction and evidence supporting their projects receive funds to support implementation, program delivery, and pilot studies.

Community
Students are part of a global cohort of other Seed Bankers working on similar issues who can offer support, differing perspectives, and cross-pollination of ideas.

Space
Students have access to a supervised space during and after the school day to meet with partners, stakeholders, mentors, and others.

Guidance
The Avenues team and mentors provide students with expert mentorship and programming.

APPLYING TO SEED BANK

  • Download and read the application prep packet.
  • Complete and submit the application below—including the video pitch—by October 1, 2020.
  • The Seed Bank panel will review the application and provide feedback.
  • Students who are eligible for accelerator grants have individual meetings with the panel.
  • Students eligible for prototype grants enter the program.
  • Students are accepted and enter program on October 15, 2020.
  • Students test, iterate and scale.

Leadership Team

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Jeremy Bhatia
Manager, Global Social Impact

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Drew Edwards
Contributor, Global Social Impact

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Sylvia Guimarães
Director Community Engagement, São Paulo

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Morgan Jones
Director Community Engagements & partnerships, New York

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Steven Dracht
LX Designer & Faculty, Avenues Online

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