Mentor FAQ

Hi! We regularly update this page with answers to your questions but if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, just get in touch on hello@thebigidea.ie and we’d be happy to help.

Mentoring will take place between the 22nd February and 25th March this year. To accommodate much busier Transition Year schedules in 2022 we are providing more flexibility with deadlines, and a longer mentoring window, to make sure students and teachers are getting the best out of the programme. This means we can’t give you an exact date just yet! Mentors will be notified during this period when their pitches are up on their dashboard and you will receive all of your pitches together.

We still have a number of schools left to update pitches so there will be more assigned between now (March 15th) and March 21st.

You will be sent an email by one of The B!G Idea team to make sure you know that your student pitches have been uploaded. We are working hard behind the scenes to make sure we get the best matches for our student teams (and Mentors!). Thanks for your patience.

This is expected as there will always be a wide range of levels in pitches and B!G Ideas. Our students will have different backgrounds, learning levels and capabilities that will feed into this. Some may not not have engaged with the programme as much as others and others may be behind on B!G Idea lessons due to super busy TY schedules. Also, this is a new way of learning and a completely new mindset for our students and confidence in this way of thinking and doing will play a big part. We have tried to make sure each Mentor receives pitches on either end of the scale.

Some practical advice:
→ You could quote the brief back, even breaking down the wording of the brief so, for example, if it’s a campaign, explain what a campaign is, what a campaign should look like, important things to consider in creating a campaign etc.

→ Be direct in suggesting ways to expand on adapt or modify their idea (which is important to them) into an idea which responds to the problem posed.

→ Refer them back to their hero, their research, the problem they are solving and how their solution will address this.

Click here for some additional guidance in this situation.

All the same reasons apply above as to why this may be the case and the same Mentoring guidelines can be applied. Click here for some practical Mentoring guidance in this situation.

Mentoring – 22nd Feb – 16th Mar – Approx 2-3 Hours

In late Feb or early Mar (during the Mentoring window) Mentors will be sent about 3-5 projects to review, feedback and advise on through their dashboards. Our 2021 B!G Mentors spent a half day at most working through their projects and with your personal dashboard the where and the when is up to you. This year, to fit around busy TY schedules (yay to students getting the full TY experience this year!), students will upload their pitches on various dates for review and Mentors will then be assigned their pitches altogether during this window. Everyone will be notified when they are live on their dashboards!

 

Judging – May 11th – 16th Approx 2-3 Hours

The second phase will take place in mid-May where our B!G Mentors can put on their Judge hats for the students’ developed B!G Idea. Lots of support is provided for you at this point and it is a great opportunity to see how your support has contributed to the students’ experience of the B!G Idea process and their incredible B!G Ideas. 

 

Showcase  20th May → ½ Day (morning)

This is a totally optional but amazing opportunity to bring the B!G community together and recognise the achievements of our superstar students! With inspirational speakers, lots of awards and the chance to celebrate the B!G Impact you’ve supported, it’s definitely one for the diary. 

Our mission is to empower the next generation to tackle big, local to global challenges using creative thinking. We believe that EVERY student deserves to learn the skills to unlock their inner potential! 

Our programme gives access to innovative methodologies to all schools from across the education sector, from rural and urban schools to voluntary secondary, ETB and DEIS schools. The only way we can achieve our mission is to keep the programme FREE for students, schools and parents. The benefits of creativity are for everyone. We need your help to do this.

For every €200 investment we receive, €174 goes directly to the programme. It includes:

  • Two places for students on the programme 
  • All learning materials supplied to the students in our custom swag bag
  • A percentage of the activity materials for their teacher and class

The other €26 helps us roll out the programme and the running of our non-profit organisation, which helps keep the bright lights on! 

Your contribution to The B!G Community to support two students can be paid in one lump sum or monthly over 12 months. (Please note that your payment contract is full and binding and payable even if cancelled during the 12 month period).

We understand that life sometimes gets in the way and you may not be able to take part in all mentoring and judging activities during the programme. If this situation does occur and you need to cancel once signed up, you will continue to be charged up until the end of the 12-month period. Your contribution will directly support two students on the programme and once committed it cannot be refunded. To cancel any aspect of your commitment to the programme, email: hello@thebigidea.ie

Our swag bags are the innovation packs that each student receives when they start the programme. They contain all the elements they need to help them on their learning journey. One of the founding principles of The B!G Idea is inclusivity. We want to give the opportunity to every student to have access to the equipment they need so they can experience The B!G Idea equally. 

Our swag bags (packed with love) include:

  • A custom t-shirt
  • Journal looking forward to being filled
  • Pen for purpose
  • Pencil of power
  • Post-it notes to capture thoughts
  • Lego (yes lego, lots of systems thinking opportunities)
  • Lego glasses ( for empathy tasks and more, we love Lego)
  • Scissors, chop chop!
  • Sellotape – you know what that’s for
  • Pencil case (for guess what)
  • The B!G Idea project brief’s overview
  • All snuggly housed in our custom-designed swag bag so students can use the same resources week to week.

Lots! Take a look below…

  • Our Future – Empower two students with creative skills for life. 
  • Mentor – Share your experience and expertise to open ears.
  • Demystify – Be part of our collective drive to promote the value of creativity to all sectors of Irish society.
  • Learn – Engage with the next wave of future innovators, a great touch point for future thinking.
  • Judge – See the projects and experience the impact you have made in their development. 
  • Bio – Control your story with a new dashboard feature on our website with your bio and headshot.
  • PR Machine – Choose to get directly involved with our PR roll out, B!G 5 interviews and new blog series.
  • AGM – Vote and get involved in the development of The B!G Idea. 
  • Board Seat – Get into the action with an academic and industry Mentor representative on the B!G board.
  • Network- Build connections with like-minded individuals, be a part of a network of industry heavy hitters.
  • Profile- Be showcased as the best of the best in Ireland and internationally.
  • Community – Collaborate with leading creative peers in a curated community space and events.
  • Proud and Loud – Display your involvement with a badge of honour.
  • Discounts – Get exclusive discounts with our corporate partners.

The B!G Idea team gets a payment ping and once you’re approved, you’ll get an email from us to say a B!G welcome (check your spam for this)! Once you click YES to confirm your email preferences we can contact you.

When we check you are not an alien, it’s a done deal – you’re officially part of the B!G mentor gang!

We’d love to be at the top of your inbox but our welcome emails can sometimes go astray – rule of thumb, always check your junk mail! Still can’t find it then just get in touch on hello@thebigidea.ie and we can get it sorted.

Our students work in project teams and typically our B!G Mentors will work on 3-5 projects giving written feedback, advice and general support to students through their personal dashboards. 

You will control everything through your own dashboard but you are never on your own. You will be part of a community of awesome people and The B!G Idea team is never too far – just an email or a message away!

We have designed a super simple mentoring system with lots of tips on how best to support students through the B!G Idea process. We have guidelines on moving through the various grading bands and how best to communicate feedback  to our superstar students.

We have a slack community for our B!G Mentors to connect and we will host weekly drop-in sessions where you can meet the B!G Idea team and other B!G Mentors, get some guidance on how to mentor and ask any questions you might have. We love a good Q&A. All access details are on your personal B!G Mentor dashboard.

It’s a really easy process. We’ll send you a number of projects to review and grade, and you can simply log into your B!G Mentor dashboard and work on them as and when you want (there will be a deadline which we will let you know about). We’ll provide tips, great project examples and a really easy to use grading system. Don’t worry if you have never judged before! You can even select a potential B!G winner and leave some words of wisdom and support for our students!

Nope – you can just be a Mentor or wear both hats – up to you! You have the control over how much you get involved and you can change your settings at any time on your personal B!G Idea dashboard. 

This year we hope to add even more opportunities for Mentors to support schools; lots of Mentors from 2021 really wanted this option. Watch this space as we will be working with schools to see if this can happen. 

Sure, we would love that. In fact, why not get the whole team involved! Mentoring the next generation, empowering them with in-demand creative skills, helping them to create impactful projects locally and globally – how could they not want to get involved? 

There are oodles of benefits to your company in getting employees involved – employee engagement, social impact, learning and personal development and of course, empowering the next generation of employees with in-demand skills!

Get in touch with us on hello@thebigidea.ie and let us know your company name, who to talk to (or even better introduce us) and we can take it from there

If you have led a team, managed a team member or helped out someone else in work, it’s likely you’ve got what it takes to help our superstar students bring their B!G Ideas to life! We are looking for forward-thinking innovators who have worked on bringing ideas to life and used creative problem- solving. You’ll get all the additional support you need along the way. You know what they say, there’s no ‘I’ in team and that’s what we are here at The B!G Idea! We are lucky to have people from a range of industries and roles, from recent graduates right up tp CEO level!

If you’re still unsure and want to have a chat with one of the team, just drop us a line on hello@thebigidea.ie or follow us on social media to sign up for one of our B!G Hello events when they go live and come and meet the team!

Absolutely! We are looking for a diverse range of individuals from all sectors across Ireland and beyond. We know that creativity and innovation are embedded in many industries and growing. Our B!G Mentors are creatives, educators, consultants, designers, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, innovators in the not-for-profit world, tech innovators and much more!

At The B!G Idea, we are on a mission to democratise creative skills for the next generation. Help us achieve this by showing them all the amazing ways they can use their newfound skills out in the world!

The more the merrier! If they want to invest in the next generation and impart their creativity and innovation wisdom to our students, we welcome them with open arms. 

We have B!G plans that can’t be achieved without our amazing Mentors – we need to bring on board 400 Mentors to reach our goal of 2,000 students minimum in 2022!

To get you signed up we just need:

  • Name
  • Email
  • LinkedIn URL
  • Your investment of €200

 

Once you are on board, we’ll prompt you to fill out the rest of the information needed on your dashboard. This includes:

  • Gender (so we can ensure a gender balanced panel of mentors)
  • Preferred category for Mentoring
  • Back-up category for Mentoring (just in case)
  • Communication preferences
  • Job title 
  • Industry you work in
  • Bio – Your professional story
  • Headshot (your face – we did a back of the head once haha)
  • Mentoring and Judging preferences

Your information will be hosted on our secure website and will be controlled by you. You can change your preferences and update your own information at any time. We will see your preferences so we can assign you projects and be able to get in touch to arrange PR opportunities (if you want – you will love it!).

We surveyed our students this year to identify the five local and global issues or that were causing them them most stress. These five issues are then matched with a creative discipline (category) to create the project briefs for student teams to choose from. Co-creation and student choice are core elements of The B!G Idea programme. This year our incredible students will be tackling the one of five challenges outlined below and developing their B!G Ideas.

Housing Crisis and VisCom
What B!G Idea campaign would communicate the need for affordable and sustainable housing for the future?
Mental Health and Spaces & Places
What B!G Idea would create a supportive space or place to encourage positive mental health among young people?
Equality and ICT/UX
What digital B!G Idea would empower people from diverse backgrounds to feel more included in society?
Climate Change and Product
What B!G Idea product would reduce your community’s carbon footprint?
Healthcare and Wearable
What B!G Idea in wearable technology would allow young people to manage their own wellbeing?

Some jobs and sectors lend themselves clearly to one category but others may not be so clear cut. Our five categories are linked to the five issues that students identified as causing them the most stress in their own lives. You can check out our five project briefs here. If you’re still unsure just give us a shout at hello@thebigidea.ie

We do our very best to match our B!G Mentors with students and projects in their chosen categories but this may not always be possible. As with everything in The B!G Idea we are very much student led so they have co-created the project briefs with us and they have chosen which issue they want to tackle. This choice is so important and empowering for students and means some categories may have more entries than others. Not sure it’s the best fit – just ask us and we can chat you through it! hello@thebigidea.ie

Absolutely! Our B!G Mentors really do provide a vital link between our students, their communities and Industry. We like to shout loud and proud about The B!G Idea and encourage our Mentors to do the same. Through your personal dashboard we provide you with all the tools you need to display your involvement on social media with a (literal) badge of honour!

Feel free to add your Mentoring role on LinkedIn!! You’re doing great things, don’t be shy about it!

If you are not getting the emails to reset your password please email niamh@thebigidea.ie and we can sort it out for you.

We would love to encourage the Irish connection, so if you are an Irish living abroad or a super star creative innovator from sunnier shores (yeah we know it’s pretty much sunnier everywhere else) and living in Ireland we would love to have you. If you are a brilliant English speaker and just want to get involved – do it! 

We would like to welcome mentors from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds and social classes – we want a true reflection of Ireland and the world today in our B!G mentor panel.