Dough – Stretch your potential

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Dough –
Stretch your potential

‘Dough’ is a digital peer to peer discovery app aimed at helping young people better understand themselves and others in the world of work.

We want to help to inspire young people that are trying to decide what they want to be in the future. The service will help young people imagine the future possibilities of work by showing them authentic and user generated videos of young professionals working.

MA2 – Team 6

Alison Rosam
Donglin Kim
Karen Rozenbaum


WHAT? 

Tell us what the concept is about. What are you designing? What are the key benefits?

Dough uses short videos created by young professionals to help inspire young people about the future possibilities of work by showing them content that is relevant, stimulating and informative, such as subtle details like the work environment, the team (that job descriptions don’t convey).

Unlike existing career services that require young people to have a certain level of understanding about themselves and often narrow down choices. ‘Dough’ intentionally opens up possibilities by not requesting any information about the user; aside from their name, age and email address at the point of sign-up. Therefore the videos that are shown to the young people are randomly selected, in an attempt to stimulate imagination and open up possibilities. And because the service is interactive, when a young person reacts to a video it begins to learn about the user.

The output of the service is presenting these learnings in a meaningful way so that the user can begin to understand what might be important to them and how they might like to work in the future. It is not a matching service and it does not provide any advice or recommendations. It is however the first step in the process of thinking what you would like to be in the future and can be used at multiple points, either simply for exploration or for reassurance.

We believe that ‘Dough’ has the potential to change the way that both young people and schools currently approach the question of ‘what do I want to be in the future?’. Changing the first step from ‘choosing a career’, to replacing it with ‘understanding myself better.’

WHY? 

Tell us some of the key findings of your background research and what is the problem you are trying to address.

From the research about the future of work we discovered that Generation Z’s aspirations and expectations of work are at odds with reality.Amongst our key findings were that despite the rise of digital technology and the fact that Generation Z are the first 100% digitally native generation they have little awareness of how jobs are changing. For example their ‘dream jobs’ have changed little from the previous generation.The ecosystem and the role they will play is also changing. By 2030, 43% of the workforce will be freelance and it is anticipated that they will have 15-17 jobs in a lifetime, yet some of this generations expectations seem to be at odds with the reality as they are placing a lot of importance on security.

The way we are learning is changing as well; yet these young people are placing increasing importance on their studies with little time or opportunity to develop other soft skills or learn outside of the traditional education system. Overall, what we learnt was that the future of work is already happening and that young people have to learn to be comfortable with constant change.

During our primary research we interviewed 17 young people and began to map out the moments and phases of the decision making process related to how young people approach the question of ‘what do I want to be’ in the future?.’

We found out that the the process of deciding ‘what do I want to be?’ starts after they choose their GCSEs subjects (approximately year 10), and continues until they make their final decision in year 12. It is a very stressful and anxious moment and it is at this point that they start to form a negative opinion about work, which is why we identified this as an interesting moment and space to explore.

We then ran a workshop with high-school students to understand the details of that decision-making process and the main insights that we identified were: Young people are struggling to envision what their could become in the future. They make decisions based on immediate priority and with a short-term view; only thinking about what they know, and what they are capable of now. They also choose a career first and then work backwards to understand the necessary academic and technical skills needed. Lastly they use negative language when describing what they think will make them happy at work. The only moment when they seem to have a more optimistic view, is during what we named the ‘pre experience’ phase, which is when they interact with professionals to compare their expectations with reality.

With these key insights in mind, we identified a clear opportunity where we could open up possibilities about the future of work. We want to empower 16-18 year olds to imagine their ideal future selves so that they can positively reframe the decision making moment by considering future possibilities.

WHO? 

Tell us something about your users and key stakeholders involved.

Initially we will focus on young people between the ages of 16-18 as they begin the process of thinking about what they want to be. We have identified schools as the most effective way of reaching them and have discovered that existing services that schools subscribe to, require them to have a certain level of understanding about themselves, which not everyone has, and according to schools they are vastly under utilised because they aren’t engaging enough. This is a challenge that our service could address.

The other side of the service relies on professionals to upload and share their videos and therefore we needed to understand if they had a motivation to get involved. For the first phase of the project we chose entrepreneurs because they are already working in an exciting new way that many young people aren’t aware of. After doing several 1:1 interviews, we found out they have real passion to inspire the next generation, and as a consequence there appears to be a genuine willingness to give back. We believe that the value to entrepreneurs is that involvement in ‘Dough’ enables them to inspire and ‘give back’ on a large scale without a big time commitment. We also uncovered the issue of recruitment, because of their size combined with a lack of time and resources they need to ‘find the right fit’ employee first time round. Our service could also generate brand awareness and provide them with live data about what young people are currently placing value on at work, which could help inform recruitment.

Finally, in order to reach a greater number of entrepreneurs and receive their support, we have identified accelerators and incubators as the most effective intermediary. We validated that hypothesis with Founders Factory, and discovered that an endorsement from them actually encouraged entrepreneurs to get involved.

WHEN? 

Give us an idea of the future scenario where your project will be working. 

We believe that Dough can complement existing services and is best placed to be used in the early stages when exploring what young people want to be.

Current services within this space often narrow down choices, because they very much focus on the ‘now’ both in relation to what young people know about themselves as well as the job market, with little or no consideration about how the world of work is changing.

Our service has a space to open up future possibilities. It could be used during this whole decision-making process in several subsequent moments, such as deciding whether to stay at school, go to college or apply for vocational training to choosing A-Level subjects and making the decision of going to university or getting a job.

WHERE? 

Tell us if you have thought of a specific location where to prototype.

Our MVP will focus on young people between the ages of 16 to 18 from a specific school. We could potentially work with the school that we worked with during the project or there might be the potential to connect with Telefonica’s Open Future Community or the (MOOCs) that they are currently working with.

In terms of the accelerator and entrepreneurs we could engage with the one that we have already been having conversations with (Founders Factory) or there could be the opportunity to work with Telefonica’s Wayra and its entrepreneurs.

HOW? 

Give us an idea of your strategy, your process, your prototyping plan and the next steps.

MVP – NEXT 6 MONTHS:
As a team we are all very willing and keen to continue with the project. We want to continue to explore and validate the desirability of ‘Dough’, by creating the MVP and determining the willingness of schools to pay.

In order to do that, we will need Telefonica Alpha’s support to develop the Data Science behind the service, particularly the data labels/ categories we have created that entrepreneurs will need in order to label and upload the videos. We will also need to work with a developer to deliver the actual ‘live prototype’ for us to test with young people.
Besides these professionals, we estimate that an Psychologist/ Behavioural expert will be important, as we are targeting minors, as well as a Lawyer to guarantee we are up to date with GDPR rules and privacy settings related to the video captions.

6 MONTH ONWARDS:
For the next phase of the project we expect to test the service feasibility and viability. In terms of the user, the plan is to expand our service to people up to the age of 24 and open up subscription to both schools and universities. We also want to expand the value proposition for entrepreneurs by creating a recruitment tool, allowing them ‘find the right fit’ employee for their start-ups.

In terms of technology, we will explore moving to a more sophisticated model of machine learning by using historical data, demographics and learnings from previous users of the service to map out and predict how someone will behave so that we can personalise the selection of videos sooner.

SCALABILITY:
We believe that ‘Dough’ has the potential to change the way that both young people and schools currently approach the question of ‘what do I want to be in the future?’. Changing the first step from ‘choosing a career’, to replacing it with ‘understanding myself better.’

We are confident that ‘Dough’ has great scalability and has the potential to be launched across several countries that Telefonica serves. Because the challenge of finding out what you want to be and linking it with the future of work is universal.