What if Tulsa’s brightest and most innovative professionals came together to help nonprofits solve problems and provide creative solutions? That’s exactly what happened at Family & Children’s Services Women in Recovery (WIR) program when six Fellows from The Mine were placed as consultants and tasked with designing a token economy for WIR to reinforce positive behavior.
The Mine, a program that began in 2013, provides top professionals with a distinctive yearlong social enterprise development experience providing problem-solving and strategy skill building, and resources for increased community impact. Each year, community members are selected from a highly competitive applicant pool to participate in The Mine Fellowship.
The Fellows are divided into two project groups, and over nine months, each project group is allotted $10,000 to launch a social innovation project that benefits the community. Throughout the nine-month Fellowship, participants receive leadership development training and problem-solving methodologies that advance their careers and projects.
Working on the WIR Token Economy project were Hannah Arnaud (Teach for America), Sam Davidson (formally with Tulsa Public Schools), Lacey Taylor (Resolute PR), and LaBrisa Williams (currently in the Peace Corp). The team was led by Ilana Shushansky (now with Third Sector Capital Partner and Mine Fellow alum). The program was managed by Hannah Ralston (Director, I-CCEW Tulsa and The Mine).
The team began work with WIR in October 2017, conducting interviews and focus groups with all WIR staff and 35+ clients, to understand the unique needs of the program as well as researching other token economy models. The team found that social services lack a way to consistently track and reward positive behavior. The team created and piloted an online behavior tracking system, creating the opportunity for improved outcomes and data-driven decisions. The Mine teaches innovation and creativity to help fund nonprofits to solve some of their hardest problems and deliver innovative service solutions.
The Mine is powered by The Forge, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, The Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation and the University of Oklahoma Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth (CCEW). CCEW operates day-to-day operations of The Mine.
The Mine’s mission is to equip Tulsa’s entrepreneurs, creatives, non-profits, and developers with the skills and resources to create a better world. It’s part prestigious fellowship, part curated programming and all impact. Thanks to this generous donation from Acrobat Ant, the project now has the opportunity for full implementation.