Ground Chai is a social enterprise that lets cafe consumers contribute to Australian youth’s work and life readiness, in the age of globalisation, automation, and work transformation. Think: commercial sales of amazing chai funding workshops for rural and regional schools and communities on entrepreneurship, communication and leadership for the changing world.
For the past 8 months we have been working closely with the CEO and Founder, Mikhara Ramsing, to develop, design and strategise Ground Chai’s impact, and we wanted to share a bit about the organisation. Read this to know more about what incredible projects exist in this space of helping youth transition to job-readiness, and where good design can help projects and organisations as they start out or transition to new spheres of influence.
Case Study: Ground Chai
The premise behind Ground Chai was simple:
Ground Chai is a social enterprise providing the grounds for connection over chai.
So, we designed a website around two themes:
With economic forces transforming work through globalisation, automation and more flexible work, young people need the skills to navigate this new world of work. The Foundation of Young Australians found that nearly 60% of university students and 70% of VET students are currently studying or training for occupations where at least two thirds of the jobs will be automated by the time they graduate. Keeping up with the rapid pace of change is a big problem. For schools, the job is difficult, particularly given the sometimes slow-moving nature of the education system in which we currently educate, prepare and empower our youth. The space for innovation here, is huge.
Enter Mikhara and Ground Chai. We first came across Mikhara in 2014 when she was part of the organising team for the IMPACT Youth Social Enterprise Conference. Taking this depth of experience, and 10+ years working with youth across Australia, India, Nepal and Tanzania, Mikhara is using Ground Chai in a unique way to connect youth + skills needed for the new world of work + a sustainable business model, which also happens to involve delicious chai.
We’ll get onto the amazing chai she makes, but at the heart of the work Mikhara is currently doing is empowering youth with real skills enabling them to be resilient and adaptable in a changing world. Currently working with schools in regional NSW, Ground Chai is going national in mid 2017. The dream here, is big.
This is where the potential of our work really kicks in. For social enterprises or projects where social impact is important to the values and activities of the organisation, getting the design right is important. Unlike traditional business, the aim is not just to sell, but to demonstrate impact. Part of this includes consistently working with Ground Chai to maintain their website and design presence. However, we’re also using interactive storytelling to document the process as Ground Chai’s impact spreads, and the community of adaptable, work-ready and confident individuals grows.
Interactive storytelling is a way to use more than static design, websites, videos and marketing to tell your message. It may involve games, interactive and embodied design, and any combination of new and emerging technologies. For Ground Chai, the sky is the horizon, as we canvas ideas and look to forms of poetry, art, in-person connection, physical platforms and online spaces to promote and empower young Australians with the skills for a new world.
In the meantime, watch this space. We’re excited for the incredible change Ground Chai is to bring, and as the Social Good Outpost design company, we’re excited to be the ones showing just how incredible the impact of this is.
If you want a workshop for your school, check them out here.
If you want a workshop for your community, check them out here.
If you want to support Ground Chai in another way, why not send a message of support, a recommendation for a school to reach, or any hot tips and events to Mikhara while you’re at it.