Associate Director, Innovation Lab (EO) is a national nonprofit building a movement to tap the skills and experience of those in midlife and beyond to improve communities and the world. Originally called Civic Ventures, was founded in 1997 by social entrepreneur Marc Freedman and grew out of a desire to transform the aging of America—one of the most significant demographic shifts of the 21st century—into a powerful, positive source of individual and social renewal. Our ultimate goal is to create a better future for young people and future generations.

The Campaign for Children and Youth is launching a five-year campaign to mobilize a million adults 50+ to dedicate their time, talent and experience to help children thrive.

While the United States is among the world’s richest countries, millions of children in this country live in poverty and lack the resources and support they need to live fulfilling, successful lives. Reversing this trend must become a national priority—and a key resource for this effort is hidden in plain sight: The millions of Americans moving into their 50s and beyond who want to leave a positive legacy for future generations. Encore’s latest research indicates that 29 percent of adults 50+ are very/extremely interested in participating in the campaign, translating to a receptive target audience in excess of 30 million people.

These two groups—children in need of supportive adult relationships and adults with the time and inclination to fill those roles—fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The campaign will bring them together through three complementary strategies:

  1. We’ll mobilize the million.
  2. We’ll build a cross-sector network of organizations, to help us mobilize the million, and to serve as thought partners in identifying and solving the big obstacles that stand in our way.
  3. We’ll change the narrative around aging in this country, so that service to children and youth is embraced as a compelling—and highly accessible—pathway for adults 50+. 

The Position: Associate Director, Innovation Lab, Campaign for Children and Youth

This position reports to the Vice President and Director of the Partner Network, and is a full-time, exempt position. seeks an exceptionally creative, seasoned, self-directed and organized professional with formidable skills in rapid prototyping (e.g., Lean Startup), facilitating learning networks, and knowledge capture and dissemination, to serve as the Associate Director, Innovation Lab, for the Campaign for Children and Youth. The Associate Director will lead an intensive-but-nascent Innovation Lab to discover and disseminate practices that yield the greatest leverage of adults 50+ working in support of children and youth. Working with a small number of geographically diverse communities and organizations (each with its own unique culture and specific goals), the Associate Director will be responsible for prototyping different models for engaging adults 50+ to help children thrive, facilitating innovation and agile learning among partners, distilling essential design elements necessary for success, and diffusing/disseminating learning to maximize its spread across relevant networks and fields.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work with up to a dozen identified communities and youth-serving organizations beginning immediately, adding others during the campaign, to prototype the most effective means for leveraging adults 50+ in service of children and youth.
  • Create and facilitate a learning network across youth-serving organizations and communities to rapidly distill and spread best practices for leveraging encore talent (including regular face-to-face check-ins and group webinars, as well as support for data collection/display and measurement of progress).
  • Share learnings through multiple channels to the rest of the campaign, and to hundreds of communities and youth-serving organizations, so that they can learn to better leverage encore talent in full coordination with the overall campaign.
  • Represent the campaign and at regional and statewide conferences and seminars, including public speaking engagements. 
  • Ensure linkage of prototyping activities to all campaign activities and work areas, and to other work.
  • Assist in the recruitment of partner organizations that can join prototyping work or otherwise contribute to the efforts of the campaign.
  • Support the broader partner network strategy and team.

About You

You are passionate about the aims of the campaign. You are committed to building sincere relationships with partner organizations based on shared aims. You are skilled at seeking and finding win-win situations in order to bring partner communities and organizations on board. You are a great listener and you’re able to create an environment that promotes curiosity and experimentation. You have the ability to rapidly switch gears from being focused on developing relationships to being equally disciplined about figuring out what works. You have an eye for elegance and efficiency in designing systems that work for people and organizations.

Key Qualifications

  • Strong interpersonal skills with a high-energy, outgoing personality; demonstrated negotiation, mediation and listening skills; a good sense of humor; and experience building strong professional relationships with diverse colleagues.
  • Track record of demonstrating sound judgment by making appropriate decisions, knowing when to take the initiative to anticipate problems and innovate creative solutions, managing complex situations with discretion and tact, and prioritizing and completing tasks in a skillful and timely fashion.
  • Exceptional communication skills; demonstrated excellence in public speaking and writing.
  • Strong project-management skills, including being detail-oriented and managing toward aggressive timelines.
  • Skill in process-level thinking (i.e., ability to optimize systems and resources and anticipate critical next steps).
  • Experience in field organizing and/or facilitating a learning collaborative desired.
  • Familiarity with rapid-cycle prototyping of new approaches and innovations sought.
  • Solid quantitative skills (familiarity with statistics and statistical process control a big plus).
  • Prior experience in one or more of the fields in which the campaign will operate (e.g., early childhood, K-12 education, youth development, aging, etc.) a big plus.
  • Working knowledge of (or ability to quickly learn) Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Webex, Salesforce, and familiarity with online collaboration tools (e.g., Google Docs, Google Hangout, Box).
  • Willingness to travel domestically approximately once per month.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and minimum five years of professional experience.

How To Apply

Please submit your resume in Word or PDF format, along with a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, by July 1, 2016. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please respond to these two questions in your cover letter:

  • What excites you about the campaign?
  • What experience do you have facilitating learning and testing across multiple, geographically distributed organizations?

Please note: Cover letters will be judged as writing samples; no application will be considered without a cover letter. Please send your resume and letter as one document to [email protected]. Name your attachment with the format: “LastName Campaign ADIL 2016 Application” (for instance, “Madison Campaign ADIL 2016 Application”). Applications that do not follow this format may not be reviewed. 

It is’s policy to employ, compensate and advance personnel without regard to race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, height and weight, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, partnership status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, military status, arrest record and any other characteristic protected by law. We are an Employer of National Service: AmeriCorps, Peace Corps and other national service alumni are encouraged to apply and to tell us how your service experience has shaped your career.

We are seeking to develop a multigenerational and diverse team. Qualified people of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Open until filled.

A Note on’s Culture

Our staff members are part of a social movement that challenges old norms and seeks to establish a new definition of success in later life. We are a small, geographically distributed team, committed to making a significant impact. We attract people who think about how small investments can yield big results in the service of’s mission.

We work hard, and we value our colleagues and the causes we dedicate time to outside of working hours. We understand the importance of commitments—family and otherwise—beyond Vacation time is meant to be used.

As an organization focused on deploying human talent in innovative ways, we try to walk the talk. We strive to have an intergenerational team. We also encourage and sometimes require flexible work; results matter more than face time. Many positions require some or a great deal of travel; all require the use and mastery of a growing array of virtual tools.

Perhaps most important, is in a period of transition and growth. We work in a dynamic environment that values mutual respect, rapid response to changing conditions or new opportunities, flexibility and intelligence, as well as a sense of humor and humility. Those who thrive tend to be creative, entrepreneurial types who are dedicated to our mission and who know how to execute ambitious plans in a lean environment.

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