We are excited to share our latest research report, the fourth in a series of interim briefs related to our Networked Innovation and Youth Trajectories strands of research. As we’ve mentioned before, HRL is committed to sharing, early and often, data and findings that we hope will feel relevant and useful to the Hive community.
In this brief, we discuss our recent work exploring how adults and peers have supported youth who participate in Hive NYC-affiliated activities. Drawing from interviews conducted with our case study youth (read more about them in our first Youth Trajectories brief), we articulate a set of 16 supportive roles—encompassing Material, Knowledge Building, Emotional, Brokering and Institutional forms of support—that our youth identified as being important to them.
We also describe how we developed visualizations of these supportive roles and the adults and peers behind them, forming maps of something we call a young person’s social learning ecology (SLE). These SLE maps may be used to better understand and characterize aspects of a young person’s SLE such as redundancy of support and diversity of sources that we hypothesize may be consequential to sustained engagement in certain activities. Also, comparing a youth’s SLE map at different time periods demonstrates the dynamic nature of social learning ecologies generally and how certain providers (and thus forms of support) may be more transient in a young person’s life than others. Overall, we hope the findings summarized here may provide the Hive community with some useful insights into how a young person’s social learning ecology, with Hive educators as a critical aspect of it, may intersect with one’s ability to engage in interest-related pursuits.
As always, we welcome any feedback, thoughts or questions you may have about this or any aspect of our work!
As many of you following our work know, HRL has been working hard to put together a series of interim briefs that allow us to make more transparent the research we’re doing within Hive NYC. We’ve released two so far, related to our Networked Innovation research strand, and another on our Youth Trajectories strand. Building on the first brief on innovation, which focused on innovations as “things” or products, this second brief on the subject moves begin conceptualizing innovation as a process, or, more precisely, as a set of practices that organizations engage in. We originally wrote about these practices here on the blog, and in the brief we refine our original framework, extended its discussion, and, most importantly, wrote up examples from the fieldwork we’ve conducted within Hive that give life to these practices. A big goal for us was to go from the theoretical ideas about innovation down to the practical level of what innovation looks like on the ground in Hive NYC. We hope you’ll read the whole thing, but as a teaser, here’s an excerpt from the introduction:
Hive NYC has as its tagline “explore+create+share”. It’s a sentiment that expresses many of the core principles the community holds in terms of its pedagogy – one in which youth explore interests and identities, engage in creation, production and expression, and then share this work in authentic contexts. But explore/create/share can also be seen as a loose framework for how those in Hive NYC, as educators, designers and activists, engage in the practices of innovation. It is these practices of innovation we focus on in this brief.
If course, if you have thoughts, feedback or questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch. Part of our work in these briefs is testing the waters to feel out what has utility for Hive members in their own organizations, so any and all thoughts are welcome.
As we mentioned in a previous post, we’re currently working on sharing interim briefs related to the Lab’s two research areas: supporting youth trajectories and pathways, and developing the Hive as a context for networked innovation. These briefs are based on early observations and conceptualizations and are designed to provide the Hive NYC community with ongoing frameworks, findings and recommendations as part of a broader effort to connect current research and emerging findings to issues of practical importance.
This is the first brief related to the YT strand and it generally serves as an introduction to our amazing “Hive Five,” a group of youth who have agreed to let us talk to them on a regular basis about their developing interests and the ways they are engaging with them. This brief provides an overview of how they discovered and got involved in Hive programs, what their experiences in these program were like, and what happened after the program ended. In future briefs, as we continue to describe the moves they are making to pursue their passions, we will pay particular attention to the ways they are leveraging their ‘social learning ecology’ (i.e, their circle of family adults, non-family adults and fellow peers) in order to do so.
We hope our briefs are useful to the Hive community and welcome any feedback to make them even more helpful in the future. We also would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Hive members who sat down with us and allowed us into their program spaces in order to help us round out the picture. Also, of course, it is such a privilege to be able to spend time with these incredible young people and to be let into a part of their lives. We hope you enjoy learning about (and from) them as much as we do.
Over the course of the coming weeks, Hive Research Lab will be releasing a series of interim briefs, short form writing based on early observations and conceptualizations that are designed to provide the Hive NYC community with ongoing frameworks, findings and recommendations related to the Lab’s two research areas: supporting youth trajectories and pathways, and developing the Hive as a context for networked innovation. The briefs are part of a broader effort to connect current research and emerging findings to issues of practical importance to the Hive NYC community in order to improve network activity. Recommendations are preliminary and based either on existing literature or observations of practice within the network, and we hope that they can serve to spark conversations both within member organizations as well as across the network.
Our first brief, which speaks to our Networked Innovation research strand, builds off of earlier work we’ve done to think about what counts as an innovation, but in it we take more of the perspective of what this question might mean for Hive members, as opposed to for our work as researchers. We include a set of “dimensions” that can be considered vis-a-vis a given innovation, consider how these dimensions might have import in the Hive NYC context, and provide a snapshot of things that might be considered innovations, broadly speaking, within Hive NYC.
Of course, thoughts and questions are welcome! Link to the brief is here.