3. Create teams
Ok, once you've got the agencies, the student coaches and the teenagers to sign up, it's time to divide them all into creative teams. When administrating 300 teenagers, 50 student coaches and 50 agency mentors you need to get organized. There are a number of tools available but we used a Google spreadsheet to assemble all contact information and created a shareable document which was both easy to follow and gave a good overview of all participants.
When creating the teams it is important to build them around the greatest common devisor. In our case this divisor was their suburbs. Despite each teenagers age, gender or lifestyle preference they all came from the same suburb, thus making them local experts. So with the greatest common devisor in mind we put together teams consisting of:
1 student coach
1 agency mentor
= The team
When your teams are set you can start informing the agency mentors and student coaches about their specific team members. We sent out material containing the team, contacts and more detailed information like important dates, structure of the weeks, FAQ and so on.
Prepare the student coaches
To make the student coaches feel well prepared before Stockholm Open we had a one hour get together where we went through important information and talked about their role in the project. For us it was of value to gather all student coachers involved in the same room to create a sense of togetherness – especially since they had signed on as volunteers.
This get-together was appreciated amongst the student coachers. However, we feel that it might have been even more successful if the agency mentors had been invited as well. In that way everybody would have received the same information and the risk of miscommunication would have been minimized.
We also started a Facebook group for all student coaches. It made it easy to spread information and remind them of important dates. We wanted to make them feel like they were part of a community, and we cheered them on and used it as a tool for quick communication.
To amplify the feeling of the student coaches being part of a community, and also give them something back for working without pay, we organized an afterwork at a roof top bar in Stockholm. This took place during the second week, and was also a way for us to see how everyone was doing midway into the project.