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Youth

Possibilities

101

For many of our colleagues, connecting with disadvantaged youth across the world is an opportunity to have the Future as a client.

Oliver Wyman brings together 3,000+ highly educated men and women whose business is to create positive change for clients, industries, and society. At the other end of the spectrum are millions of undereducated young people with little chance to be the heroes of their own lives — let alone leave footprints on their world. They have little to look forward to in the form of employment, and that is more than a waste of talent. It is an active danger to global prosperity.

Source: World Economic Forum

Many of our colleagues engage disadvantaged youth directly as volunteers with organizations such as Junior Achievement and Enabling Enterprise. Others use their skills to strengthen the nonprofit organizations that serve them. Still others equip young people of promise with the practical knowledge to shape their world as we do, by giving them the tools necessary for entrepreneurial pursuits. Here are some of their stories.

Enterprise Taught Here

The future of the global economy begins with the students of today. Will they be innovators? Or will they be unemployed?

Kids on the Case

What consulting experience can do for London’s students.

A Haven from the Streets

A little inspiration goes a long way in Rio de Janeiro’s biggest slum.

An Army of Change Agents

What does it take to help 3.6 million low-income children catch up in school?

Selling Literacy

Books are the easy part.

Enterprise Taught Here

The future of the global economy begins with the students of today. Will they be innovators? Or will they be unemployed?

Photo Courtesy of Junior Achievement

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Enterprise Taught Here.

The future of the global economy begins with the students of today. Will they be innovators? Or will they be unemployed?

About 300 million young people — over 25% of the world’s youth population — have no productive work, according to World Bank estimates. Young people are vulnerable to being entrapped by either long-term unemployment or the inability to move on from low-quality and temporary or part-time employment.

A world in which 300 million young people have no stake in economic and social institutions is a dangerous world. Creating a path to prosperity for youth is one of the central challenges of our time. And it’s one we take up as a firm in partnership with Junior Achievement.

Junior Achievement connects high school students around the world with business executives and entrepreneurs, helping young people develop their potential to earn, build careers, generate savings, and create new enterprise. At Oliver Wyman, enterprise is our business, which makes Junior Achievement a natural fit. We work with Junior Achievement at every level, from helping to shape and fund the global organization to working face-to-face with students from Chicago to Toronto to Dubai.

What it takes. In the Middle East, where Junior Achievement is Injaz Al-Arab (and in Europe, Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise) Oliver Wyman’s Dubai office introduced a dozen students to the world of management consulting. The young men and women shadowed our colleagues for a day and attended sessions focused on what skills and experience they’ll need to work in the global economy.

In Toronto, Oliver Wyman consultant David Washburn teamed with colleagues from Marsh & McLennan Companies to help middle school children master basic financial management skills. Marsh & McLennan Companies is a major sponsor of Junior Achievement around the world, and Oliver Wyman’s Chief Marketing Officer Partha Bose serves as one of the organization’s 25 Global Governors.

In New York, Junior Achievement is a client. Recently, Principal Chris Schrader and his team helped reconfigure the worldwide organization, literally re-drawing the map. Working pro bono, the team also designed an improved funding mechanism to ensure that Junior Achievement can sustain its work into a future that sorely needs what this organization delivers.

Enterprise Skills

For the World’s Students

Here are some of the skills that students are learning in Junior Achievement

  • Accounting
  • Analytics
  • Career Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Literacy
  • Market Segmentation
  • Pricing
  • Starting a Business
  • Work Readiness

Junior Achievement

By the Numbers

10 million students

in

120 countries

taught by

500,000 executives and entrepreneurs

Kids on the Case

What consulting experience can do for London’s students.

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Kids on the Case

What consulting experience can do for London’s students.

In an Oliver Wyman conference room at 55 Baker Street in London, a team of consultants is racing the clock to save a failing airline. In two hours’ time they will present their turnaround plan to the CEO of United Jetways. The plan has a long way to go, and the consultants are feeling the pressure.

Only a few of these consultants work for Oliver Wyman. Most are students getting a taste of strategic thinking in a Challenge Day put on by an unusual nonprofit called Enabling Enterprise. The failing airline was invented by Oliver Wyman five years ago, and since then 1,200 London students have come up with dozens of different plans to save it.

The point of this case — and others developed by leaders in manufacturing, retail, technology, and banking — is to bring the world of enterprise into London’s schools. More than 100 Oliver Wyman colleagues have participated, working with some 50 schools.

These Challenge Days are well-named. Wrestling with business dilemmas helps the students sharpen problem-solving and presentation skills, learn to assess solutions, and produce original work as a team — all in a single day.

Our connection with Enabling Enterprise is personal. In 2009, Oliver Wyman consultant Jenny Fitzgerald developed a strategic blueprint for the organization in collaboration with a group of teachers. Now she’s its head of operations, putting her own plan into practice.

Leading Enabling Enterprise is extremely rewarding as well as great fun. In each session, we are privileged to help a new group of students to develop a whole host of skills — from teamwork to creative thinking, from math to public speaking. The students always find their visit to our offices very exciting, and the teachers are always impressed with the level of engagement they see from the students. We hope that by enjoying their first taste of consultancy and completing their challenge, we can inspire them to succeed.

Dawn Kelly

Consultant in our London office; leads our relationship with Enabling Enterprise

Our engagement with Enabling Enterprise has “connected the dots” of so much of what we do in our London office.┬áBy initially collaborating with our alumna who established the organisation on a Consultant and Support Professional volunteering programme, and then more recently delivering a “Social Impact” pro-bono consulting project, we have developed a great partnership that really delivers on our values of making lasting contribution to societies.

Jonathan Keane

Partner in our Manufacturing, Transportation & Energy practice group and head of the London office

It has been great to see the students working so well together from different schools and having such excellent volunteers sharing their expertise within each team.

Teacher

Laurel Lane Primary

A Haven from the Streets

A little inspiration goes a long way in Rio de Janeiro’s biggest slum.

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A Haven From The Streets

A little inspiration goes a long way in Rio de Janeiro’s biggest slum.

Photo Courtesy of Centro Educacional Cantinho da Natureza, September 2013

Thirteen kilometers southeast of the office in Rio de Janeiro, the community of Morro dos Cabritos clings to the side of a steep hill. It is one of the poorest and most densely populated neighborhoods in the city. The buildings are cement, most with plumbing, many with electricity, but for the families in Brazil’s most urbanized slum, opportunities are exceedingly rare. Most children have nowhere to learn or play but the street. It is for them that Fabrizio Bozzetto and Aline Dias climb the hill.

Fabrizio (a principal at Oliver Wyman) and Aline (a colleague at our sister company, Guy Carpenter) worked with Centro Educacional Cantinho da Natureza, a nonprofit that brings education and culture to the children of Morro dos Cabritos. They help the organization raise money — a constant challenge — and put together activities that widen the kids’ horizons: theater and art. The boys and girls know that these moments are not “real life” for them — but now they also know that their lives can be different than what they see in the Morro.

All of these initiatives have a common goal of making favela children feel like they live in a ‘normal’ neighborhood — at least in terms of peacefulness — and tries to provide them with life skills that they can then use to be integrated into society outside the slum.

Fabrizio Bozzetto

An Army of Change Agents

What does it take to help 3.6 million low-income children catch up in school?

Photo Courtesy of Teach First

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An Army of Change Agents

What does it take to help 3.6 million low-income children catch up in school?

In the United Kingdom, the land of Shakespeare, Newton, and Hawking, students in poor communities have a harder time catching up to their age-mates in wealthier ones than in almost any other developed nation. Statistically, the poor never catch up. They fall further behind, leading shorter, meaner lives. In 2004, Teach First was founded to bring change at a national scale: exactly the kind of challenge that Oliver Wyman understands.

The Teach First idea goes beyond simply training more teachers and installing them in the toughest schools. The mission is to reverse a widening education gap, and to do that Teach First is creating an army of change agents. This is part of the attraction for Oliver Wyman CEO Scott McDonald, who now sits on the Teach First board.

Photo Courtesy of Teach First

Much of the training is about leadership: learning how to innovate, inspire, and persist on the path toward ambitious goals. To this end, Oliver Wyman is providing eight coaches and mentors for teacher trainees and hosting a skills workshop at our London office. A group of Teach First interns will join us for three weeks in the summer as colleagues, staffed on a consulting project.

Teach First is now the United Kingdom’s largest post-graduate employer, and part of Scott McDonald’s role is to help the organization succeed in a dynamic operating environment. He has advised the Executive Team on managing through generational change, and is working to deepen the nonprofit’s connections with industry partners.

Teach First

By the Numbers

In its first 11 years, Teach First has recruited, trained, and placed

7,000 teachers

in

980 schools

helping

1,000,000 children

catch up.

More than 60% stay in teaching.

Others have gone on to found

38 social enterprises

improving literacy and work-life skills throughout the UK.

I wanted to get more involved with a nonprofit, and Teach First stood out as a remarkable group that appealed to me. The focus on equal opportunity in education and creating transformational change in the overall approach to education will benefit the students, but also everyone else, as we become more competitive. I’ve had the opportunity to advise the senior team on business issues, connect the organization with Oliver Wyman’s London office, and introduce Teach First to industry partners.

Scott McDonald, CEO, Oliver Wyman

Selling Literacy

Books are the easy part.

Photo Courtesy of Duncan McDougall, CLiF

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Selling Literacy

Books are the easy part.

There is no more essential skill for success in life and work than the ability to read, yet more than two-thirds of America’s fourth grade children are not proficient. In 1998, Duncan McDougall, a marketing specialist in our Boston office, left the corporate world to market literacy in the stony uplands of New Hampshire and Vermont.

Duncan’s calling is to engender a love of reading and get more books into the hands of children in struggling communities. His clients include students in schools with more needs than resources, families in public housing and shelters, refugee children, and the children of prison inmates.

Marketing is still part of the mix. Literacy doesn’t sell itself. Duncan’s Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) calls on professional presenters — authors, illustrators, storytellers, poets, graphic novelists — to bring words to life. Duncan himself is one of the most energetic presenters, to donors as well as to the children.

Where books are few, CLiF provides them. Year-long partnerships with elementary schools come with $25,000 in brand new books and programming to build a “literacy culture” that inspires kids to read more, write more, and share their discoveries. Duncan and his old colleagues haven’t lost touch. Many of the new books that CLiF provides to schools have been funded by our Boston Office’s annual charity auction.

Most nonprofits take on complex, important, seemingly intractable issues with very limited resources. It’s hard work. If a nonprofit’s mission doesn't get you out of bed in the morning, do something else.

Duncan McDougall

Executive Director and Founder, CLiF

Children’s Literacy Foundation

By the Numbers

$3.5 million in books donated

to help inspire

165,000 children

in

400 New England towns.

Results:

86% of teachers

in partner schools

see their students reading more.