International Competition for the “iDream Award”
The “iDream Award” Award competition is designed to stimulate innovative thinking about helping children achieve their dreams and embrace a hopeful outlook on life. While the initial stimulus for considering this goal came from the observation of children impacted by disasters and other adverse life events, the desire is to develop a more generally applicable approach to achieving the stated goals.
A current “iDream” initiative in Chengdu, China has sought to help children gain a better understanding of how to achieve their dreams. The program began following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and has a strong emphasis on exposure to those who have experienced success in life. The aim of the exposure to successful individuals is to demonstrate how people achieve success and importantly to provide information on the reality of achieving goals. For instance, some children give up the idea of going to college because they think that it would take an unrealistically long time. A fuller explanation of the current “iDream” program is appended.
The “iDream Award” is offered to stimulate thinking about how children understand the life trajectory leading to success and hope for the future. There is a literature from neuroscience, social ecology, trauma recovery, identity formation, spirituality and elsewhere that the Award Committee wishes to see synthesized to provide a solid rationale for the ongoing interventions noted above. In broad terms, the goal of the literature search and analysis is to provide the scientific underpinnings of the observation that providing children with hope and a realistic understanding of what is achievable is beneficial for the overall wellbeing of the child/adolescent and leads to successful life outcomes. It is recognized that the experience of gaining hope may also be a protective factor against potential adverse experiences during development.
The Award has three components:
1) A literature review and annotated bibliography of the peer reviewed literature;
2) a fully developed scientific paper suitable for publication based on the literature review. The paper should bolster the argument that the “iDream” initiative is the operationalization of proven concepts of development; and
3) a fully developed conceptual paper thinking about possible future initiatives without financial or other constraints, i.e., what would you do to achieve the goals of “iDream” under ideal settings on issues relevant to the concept of hope and future orientation in children taking into account the elements noted above.
In all products there may be many aspects of the concept and its operationalization that could be explored. What do we know about motivation, needed support, how to take first steps? Is there a skill set necessary for success? What are the cognitive elements necessary for program development? How can success be sustained? Is there a role for mentoring? Do neuroscience findings contribute to our understanding of the concepts and interventions?
Proposals may be submitted in English and/or Chinese
Award Terms and Conditions:
There are two phases to the award competition. Three winners for the best submitted literature review (completed) and outline for phases two and three will receive US$ 5,000 each. The final products will be reviewed and the three winners of the initial round will enter the second round where the three products are expected to be completed. The final products will be ranked. First prize will receive US$ 20,000, second US$ 10,000, and third US$ 5,000. The initial literature review and draft outline must be submitted by January 15, 2015. Notification of the three finalists will be in March, 2015. The final products will need to be submitted by June 1, 2015 and the final award notice will be August 1, 2015. Interested colleagues are required to send a letter of intent to be submitted by October 15, 2014. Failure to meet the deadline for submission of the final products will forfeit the award. The initial products will remain the property of the “iDream Award” committee and the sponsoring foundation.
The award money is provided by a private donor through an established foundation Bao Bao Bear Care Foundation Limited (BBB) with no government, religious or other compromising affiliations.
The “iDream Award” competition is open to graduate students (masters and doctoral level) in all disciplines and to faculty with or without student participation.
It is expected that the literature review will reference all relevant literature published in the Chinese languages as well as the literature published in other languages. Grey literature, internet source documents/media and other relevant media materials should be included. Source documents should be held for inspection.
The products will become the property of the award sponsor (BBB), but with the sponsors permission scientific and public information articles will be permitted and, in fact, encouraged. “iDream” and the Foundation reserve the right to use the literature and review paper in its program literature and future grant applications and will give recognition to the authors, but no further financial remuneration. The “iDream Award” bears no legal responsibilities in relation to the products developed or the use of the materials submitted.
The “ iDream Award” submissions will be judged by a panel consisting of the sponsor, representatives from the academic community and individuals who have had experience with the current program.
Professor Myron L. Belfer at Myron_Belfer@hms.harvard.edu
Need to send in both electronic copies and hard copies as follows:
Send electronic copies to both Myron_Belfer@hms.harvard.edu and firstname.lastname@example.org simultaneously. Judging will be based on electronic copies. Deadline will be based on date of electronic copies received.
Mail hard copies to Bao Bao Bear Care Foundation Limited, 3 Lockhart Rd, 19F, Wanchai, Hong Kong. Hard copies are for backup and will not be used for judging purpose.
Current Program Description:
The BaoBaoBear Care Foundation Limited was founded in 2008 following the Sichuan earthquake to facilitate the provision of programs to students in Sichuan. The Foundation is registered with the Hong Kong government as a non-profit foundation. The Foundation is funded with philanthropic donations from a single Hong Kong family.
Since 2009, the Foundation has installed six multimedia libraries in Chengdu, Sichuan Province and surrounding areas. From the initial experience and ongoing involvement with schools, it became apparent that students could benefit from knowing about more options for their future and how to make informed decisions. The goal was to try to give the students a sense of “hope”.
The ideas derived from the experience of talking with students and educators, and initiating practical exposure to those who could offer guidance on future opportunities and decision-making led to the “iDream” initiative. The goal of “iDream” is to inspire, encourage and explore possibilities in finding and achieving the vision/dreams of the students and to help ensure a positive future orientation. The program, which involves interactive media presentations with individuals coming from various fields and in class interaction with volunteers to lead discussions about future orientation issues, has been very well received and is expanding. “iDream” now maintains an office in Chengdu with full time staff and over 200 volunteers from Sichuan, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and elsewhere.
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