The NOW App, created by the Swiss organization NOW aims at measuring and tracking 21st century competences that are acquired during volunteer engagement, youth exchanges or non-formal education programs. Competences such as empathy, creativity or complex problem solving become more relevant in our time. The app will allow to make those 21st century skills visible and allow young people to use them when applying for jobs. Like that, we can boost the recognition of volunteering.
According to the WEF's 2016 report "the Future of Jobs", between 2015 and 2020 more than 35 percent of the most important skills for the labour market will change. Emotional and social skills such as "solving complex problems", "critical thinking" and "creativity" are becoming increasingly important. It is precisely these skills that are in demand when it comes to tackling the challenges of the 21st century - such as climate change, the digital divide or a dividing society.
Even though competence-oriented curricula have become standard practice, formal education is still not geared to promoting competences for the 21st century. According to research an individualisation of learning goals, challenges and support is necessary to successfully promote the development of competences. Besides, a supportive environment and constant feedback cycles are crucial for the development of competences.
Volunteering has the potential to enable precisely this type of learning process and to complement formal education in the development of competences for the 21st century. In civil society organisations people of different ages, qualifications and talents work together, implement projects and take responsibility. Associations and NGOs also offer non-formal education and training that promotes the development of these competences. However, there are no tools to measure and more consciously support competence development so that the above-mentioned prerequisites are fulfilled. If competence development could be made visible through social commitment, this could contribute to a great growth in the recognition and attractiveness of volunteering. According to the Volunteer Monitor of the Swiss Non-Profit Society (2016), social and professional recognition is one of the motivations for social engagement, which is becoming increasingly important.
With the NOW App, NOW is developing a platform that enables civil society organisations to make the development of skills within volunteer projects visible. Mentors or volunteer coordinators can use the NOW App to individually support volunteers in their personal growth. Through a gamified app, volunteers can see their development through their engagement and what competences they acquire. At the end of their engagement period, they can download a personalized certificate that they can use for job applications.
Support the NOW App with your skills:
- UX support especially with a focus on gamification: help us create a truly engaging experience
- Product Management support: help us understand how to manage, position and sell our app so that we can ensure its future
- Help us create a digital marketing strategy for the App