News & Updates
November 24, 2021

Building a mission first community at ADPList

Building a mission first community at ADPList

Every week at our team All Hands, we review our Mission (what we’re trying to achieve) and our Strategy (how we’re going to get there). Towards the end of Q3, I reviewed our values, principles, milestones and lessons learnt — the things that defined our community as a whole.

One of the questions I often hear from people is, “How does mentorship empower education as a system?” This is a great question and I want to share my thoughts with all of you.

TLDR; Our core vision is to democratize mentorship for all, this is so it increases education freedom globally — and solves many shortcomings of current education system that hinder the choice to pursue potential career paths.

What is education freedom?

Education freedom quantifies the accessibility for people to be educated according to their personal views or choice. Education freedom varies dramatically across the world, and while our access to better tools and institutions increase globally, the government still has significant control over some choices (eg. supply-demand in workforce, limited cap in studies, etc). Lower education freedom is only often due to simply due to weak infrastructure for access.

A new economy and reskilling landscape

The COVID-19 recession is likely to accelerate the polarization of labor markets, as companies tend to deploy more automation during downturns. In July 2020, two-thirds of executives said they were stepping up investment in automation and AI either somewhat or significantly. The result is reduced economic opportunity and social mobility for the less educated.

We believe that this moment presents a unique opportunity to build shared and modern learning system that works for all.

In September, ADPList crossed over ~300K minutes/month of 1:1 sessions happening globally and ~80% of which are cross border mentorship.

Why is mentorship so uniquely positioned to increase education freedom? Because it has these inherent properties:

Mentorship builds an open, global community

Mentorship networks are open, removing the barriers of borders. It allows every person in the world to learn in shared community. More importantly these mentoring sessions are not controlled by anyone that can use their “connections/monies” to hinder education freedom. This design principle leads to more inspiring conversations and increases more quality purpose-driven learning sessions.

Mentorship is unbiased

Mentors are amazing people. They don’t care where you live, what your race or gender is, or who you know, what you can afford. Unlike the current education system they are inherently open and unbiased. Anyone with an internet connection can find, and meet a mentor or even join in group sessions which provide more access to learn from more people on a common topic of interest — an even greater degree of freedom when it comes to inclusion.

Mentorship enables mobility

There are important components of education freedom that mentorship can’t directly benefit (e.g., government system, policies, etc.) However, mentorship does provide the conditions for social mobility by reducing friction to access for career advice, knowledge sharing and. allowing people to do that at scale cross border; by significantly reducing access to mentorship and sharing your knowledge to the global community.

The next and beyond

As you can see, mentorship can impact many of the factors that lead to more education freedom and increasing social mobility. It can both help build better-functioning system in countries with less education freedom, and make it easier to pursue to a better career and life eventually. This is why our core thesis as a community is that greater exchange and learning through mentorship will increase education freedom in the world.

What does this mean for ADPList?

Mentorship is in many ways still nascent. Our strategy and roadmap is geared towards solving these challenges: We’re focused on building easy-to-use platform that abstract away the complexity of mentorship. We still have a long way to go, but the future is bright.