Tuesday, May 02, 2006

German Initiative D21 (their experince)

I contacted the German Initiative D21, a public private partnership for the information society, and have received a very positive responce from Katharina Ahrens (who is Head of Press and Public Relations of the Initiative) with useful comments and additional info, which I'd like to quote below:
The overall idea to combine partners from business and science to inform
students on future skills and to offer project work/training to them is

However, the experience at D21 shows, that there is no
such thing as a “Self-Organizing” project.
You always need a few leading companies, that are interested in the project, commit themselves and are willing to finance.
Also, you need someone who coordinates the project, communicates
internally with all stakeholders, does the necessary research
and continually communicates externally with your target groups.

For your Education Environment Project, I’d say, you’ll need:
  • two or three leading IT-companies who have an interest in the CIS development (finance, project ideas),
  • a couple of local companies (i.e. from the university cities, that you may find most attractive)
  • a consulting company (organisation, including internal communication, research studies and PR),
  • a market reasearcher (to conduct an annual survey on the skills companies expect from students),
  • some universities (partners)
  • some political partners (local, regional and/or national/ promote the idea and help to spread the idea)

    Furthermore, it is essential that you define your focus area – do you want to reach “all” students or just students in a particular field (i.e. IT & Telecommunications)?

    Additionally, it might be furthering your project, if you organize it as a non-profit project. This is important for image reasons and will help you a lot to convince partners from the public sphere.

    Concerning a roll-out: The D21 experience shows, that it is
    helpful to start at a local/regional level and then spread the idea from there.
    There might be a high-tech area in the CIS where you find the top
    universities and successful local companies.

    There is a similar project in Germany, called E-Fellows. http://www.e-fellows.net/ It is an online-platform that was founded by three leading companies and it’s aim is to bring students together with companies.
    They do various training events, have a constant e-mail communication, comment on students’ cvs, publish job offers, help students to find partners or even placements in companies or other universities, etc. You may find some expert to talk to there (D21 is not involved in this project).

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