There are seven steps that would launch a successful I2E model in a community.
1. Build Demand
Jobs are the first piece of the model. The demand side of the talent marketplace will be harder to fill. Starting with an industry focus would help recruit the initial employers. As an example, non-profits in a community could all be approached and invited to join.
The industry focus results in tasks that are similar to one another, for example creating a social media content calendar or helping with a fundraising flyer. With tasks that are similar to one another, it will be easier to organize and easier for students to complete.
As these businesses and organizations have success, more will want to join, filling the demand side of the I2E marketplace.
2. Post tasks
Technology shouldn’t get in the way. The I2E marketplace could start with something as simple as an Airtable
spreadsheet. However, numerous tools like DeWork
, and others could be used to quickly launch. Key features when posting tasks would be highlighting payment, categorizing based on skill level (easy, advanced, etc.) and skill type (marketing, admin, etc.) for easy searching
3. Create Onboarding
The goal of I2E is quickly getting students started. Onboarding should thus be commensurate with the tasks. To start using the platform, students should only be forced to do basic onboarding: learning about the platform, creating a profile, adding account for payment, adding a W9 in the United States.
Then, as students complete more tasks, they can complete additional onboarding tasks as needed. A tool like Teachable
, or Notion
would make it easy to post training and track completion. If working with marketplace tools in number 2, students who finish onboarding could receive a credential, such as an NFT. This NFT would unlock access to additional tasks.
4. Create Credential Model
Before launching, outlining outcomes for the participants will increase retention and conversion from micro-tasks to long-term contributions. Completing a specific number of tasks at varied levels within a track should lead to a certification of mastery.
For example, a student who provided marketing support at easy, medium, and hard levels would receive a certification or NFT to recognize their work. This becomes their ticket to opportunity as other businesses would start to recognize this as validated proof of their qualifications.
5. Build Payment Model
The I2E model could be done with low tech, such as Venmo and a spreadsheet. More advanced would be building this model using web3 tools so students would be paid in cryptocurrency and rewarded with tokens that unlock additional opportunities.
Most community organizations would opt for the former. However, an I2E marketplace would be a powerful incentive to onboard students to web3 and prepare them for the future of work in a meaningful and tangible way.
6. Attract the Students
Knowing the current problems in the internship model highlights opportunities for building the I2E model. Those typically left behind by internships - younger students, those who don’t have time for a longer commitment, those exploring what they want to do - are perfect users for this model.
Starting with an industry focus and transparent payment for tasks will help users quickly find opportunities that interest them. While tasks can help students get engaged with the community by helping in-person, having a number of remote micro-tasks will be important to help students find and immediately use the platform.
7. Measure the Results
The I2E model is built for iteration.
With small tasks and a large variety of opportunities, employers can quickly learn what works best while students can find their talents and interests. Anyone managing the marketplace can similarly optimize and improve, finding industries and tasks that are most enticing for their student body.