The structure for the Ambassador position draws upon Collective Impact significantly—because so many organizations, both on and off campus, alumni, administrators, foundations, and the government are so interested in working towards supporting first-generation college students, how can many conversations happening across them be accessible and informed by students undergoing the experience?
In order to do so, they will critically engage in what Stanford Social Innovation Review calls the “Five Conditions of Collective Impact:[i]”
1. Common Agenda: “All participants have a shared vision for change including a common understanding of the problems and a joint approach…” to solving it. As part of the Mobilizers task, they will need to conduct qualitative research around what problems stymie first-generation college students at these universities. Ambassadors must create conference content and connect with organizations and institutions to share the Mobilizers’ findings.
a. Ambassadors are responsible for communicating these findings to the larger stakeholder community. How are students responding to current interventions? How are organizations talking to one another? Transparent communication is vital in every encounter, such as when Ambassadors ask for sponsorships, identify administrative support, or look for conference partners.
2. Shared Measurement: The research conducted must be understood across all major stakeholders. Ambassadors will be responsible for familiarizing themselves with current research landscape in order to contextualize and communicate the findings of the Mobilizers. They are responsible for packaging it in a way that gives 1vyG credibility, and engages multiple partners.
3. Mutually Reinforcing Activities: All activities must reinforce the final vision or solution. They need to tailor the conference to fit with the larger change-maker society, and connect students to other organizations that can take the messaging from the conferences to other spaces (such as volunteering, post-grad plans, etc.)
4. Continuous Communication: Ambassadors facilitate the communication between internal 1vyG work (i.e. the Mobilizers and Leaders) and the outside world (i.e. the media and partners.) They need to be effusive and transparent about the current work that is conducted, as well as inform our work based on what they learn from key partners.
5. Backbone support: The Ambassador team ultimately serve as the centralized staff that coordinates so many disparate connections to 1vyG—from our sponsors, to the foundations or centers we work with. They are responsible for navigating all of those communication responsibilities and connecting the right people together.
The job of an Ambassador can be as simple as coordinating the logistics for an event, or it can involve coordinating a national conversation around first-generation college student. It can be extreme on both ends. Regardless, it is in the organizational DNA that this team is responsible for understanding the various opinions, data, and communication that is unearthed or created by 1vyG and FLI Conference. They package these ideas into the Spring 2015 conference, but ultimately work to inspire and connect students to the resources to best enact change.