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 four Fellow from The Mine were placed as consultants, designing a token economy for WIR to reinforce positive behavior.
The Mine, a program that began in 2013, provides top professionals 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. The Fellows meet every other week for an afternoon at The Mine convening at The Forge. 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 (Tulsa Public Schools), Lacey Taylor (Resolute PR), and LaBrisa Williams (Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy). The team was lead by Ilana Shushansky (WIR Data and Systems Administrator and Mine Fellow alum). The program was managed by Hannah Ralston.
The team began work with WIR in October, 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; an online token economy system allows for consistent behavior tracking and rewards, creating the opportunity for improved outcomes and data-driven decisions. Throughout the course of the work, the team has created an online behavior tracking system, piloted the system with all WIR staff and clients and identified a market of other potential users of their token economy system.
The Mine teaches innovation and creativity to help nonprofits to solve their problems and perform their best.
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.