November 19th, 2021
Incorporated in 2021, The Knowledge Pledge (TKP) was created to unite global experts and mission-driven entrepreneurs to share knowledge and co-create solutions that will accelerate progress on the world’s most pressing issues. Founders Alain Chetrit, Pierce Dunn and Abhijit Pawar, experienced global executives and active YPO members, believe that by bringing together insightful leaders that The Knowledge Pledge calls Signatories with high potential social ventures, TKP will accelerate making the planet better for all people. The Knowledge Pledge accomplishes this by offering connections, catalyze sessions, circles and multi-month projects to facilitate knowledge sharing.
The Knowledge Pledge's Project Review Panel identifies social ventures creating significant impact in their communities but could use additional knowledge from global experts on how to expand their significance. When Education For Employment (EFE) met with The Knowledge Pledge, it was an easy decision for The Knowledge Pledge to engage in a multi-month project with this remarkable organization.
EFE: Reshaping the future
For young people, finding a job can be a frustrating, trying experience. But for youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the frustration often morphs into hopelessness as the region has had the highest youth unemployment rates in the world for the last 25 years. In MENA, the youth population is three times more likely to be unemployed than older adults.
Hopelessness has turned to hope for more than 129,000 youth in MENA thanks to Education For Employment. Founded in 2006, EFE’s mission is to create economic opportunities for unemployed youth in MENA so they can create a brighter future for themselves, their families and their communities. Over the past 15 years, nearly 3,000 companies have partnered with EFE to hire youth who are trained and ready to enter the world of work.
The Knowledge Pledge/EFE collaboration
While EFE has had significant impact in MENA, their leadership knows there is more work to do. The EFE 2025 Strategy Innovation Task Force realized they needed outside resources to reach new goals but this kind-of expertise from the private sector consultancy sphere was beyond what they could afford. Fortunately, EFE reached out to The Knowledge Pledge to tap into their team of pro bono experts eager to share their knowledge.
From their initial meetings, the EFE and The Knowledge Pledge teams agreed that Signatories would focus on providing support to EFE’s demand and supply aspects of their organization. On the demand side, The Knowledge Pledge team was led by Aaron Rodal, Vice President, Finance and Operations, for ITS InfoCom, an organization that has been providing technological solutions to the Latin American market for more than 20 years. Together, Rodal and EFE developed a strategy for determining the best available business intelligence (BI) tools to forecast labor market demand. Working with the internal EFE team, Rodal shared new approaches, a data strategy framework and encouraged the team to pilot a variety of BI tools. The pilot is currently running, and Rodal offered to help EFE process the pilot results and make recommendations in 2022.
To support the supply side, Thomas Ng, Founder of Genashtim, a certified B-Corp that leverages technology and the internet to connect marginalized communities to the global economy, led The Knowledge Pledge team. Ng offered Genashtim’s team to support EFE’s learning management system, which provides training curricula for EFE trainers. The future curricula will include a unique feedback system for students to give insights on trainers. “Volunteering with EFE was very invigorating,” says Ng. “For me, it has also been a learning experience.”
For EFE, there have been many positive benefits of collaborating with The Knowledge Pledge that go beyond the strategies created. With the insightful, enthusiastic guidance of The Knowledge Pledge Co-Founder Dunn, the EFE team has developed their leadership, brainstorming, trust and prioritization skills. “What’s really unique about working with The Knowledge Pledge is it’s helped us be more organized and thoughtful,” explains Jasmine Nahhas di Florio, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Partnerships and Communications, at EFE. “We’ve learned to pause, slow down and determine if we are asking the right questions before we do a deep dive into a new problem or project.”
Ron Bruder, Founder and Chairman of the Global Board of EFE, is very enthusiastic about his organization’s collaboration with The Knowledge Pledge. “TKP’s generosity and expertise are making a real difference to EFE. As The Knowledge Pledgehas collaborated with our staff, we’ve come up with fresh new ideas to help us reach our 2025 Strategy goals.”
“We are thrilled that one of our inaugural projects connecting expert leaders with a high impact social venture to share knowledge, insights and connections has been a success for all involved,” says Elaine MacDonald, The Knowledge Pledge CEO. “In our initial year, The Knowledge Pledge model is already driving impact.”