"Generation M" The largest Russian charity project using digital tools to provide equal access to creative education for children across the country, organized in partnership between businesses, regional authorities and NGOs
By PJSC Mobile TeleSystems (MTS Group)
Due to the current economic situation, Russian families have limited opportunities to nurture their children's talents. In order to change it, MTS has created an online platform where children from all over the country can develop their creativity under the guidance of famous Russian cultural figures. The most talented children get unique opportunities: admission to creative universities, the chance to exhibit their work in the Tretyakov gallery, etc. By developing their own talents, participants of the project save the lives of their peers. MTS counts every activity on the online platform of "Generation M", transfers them into money and donates it to fund urgent surgeries of Russian children
Implementation of the Project/Activity
A system of partnerships with clear roles has been created to implement the project: • MTS (project initiator) - application of digital expertise for the introduction of new educational tools, main resource support, general project coordination. • Creative partners, celebrities – creating of educational content, working with children, engaging the audience through communication on their own sites. • NGOs – providing treatment for children, interacting with parents. • Regional authorities – resource support for the project in the Russian regions, including the organization of offline events (communication with educational institutions, provision of free-of-charge sites for the events, involvement of volunteer organizations). • Business partners – resource support for events in their respective territories, raising additional funds, raising additional funds, getting employees and partners involved in the project. • Volunteers – help in organizing online and offline events, spreading the culture of charity. The main platform for implementing the project is the online platform pokolenie.mts.ru, as well as social media networks popular among Russian teenagers (Instragram, TikTok, VK). Using these platforms, children study, interact with mentors and participate in creative competitions. To support/promote the online activities/platform, and with the aim to further encourage creativity in Russia’s territories, MTS organizes large-scale educational events in which celebrities participate. This gives the locals the opportunity to meet famous Russian cultural figures in person. The event includes educational activities for children, and preserves and promotes local cultural heritage.
GOALS 4, 10, 11:
• Over 30 million children from all Russian regions participated in the project's online educational courses • Over 2000 offline educational events held in the Russian regions and reached over 3 million people • 638 talented children from 68 regions (including residents of remote territories and rural areas) selected by the project masters for further development, received creative opportunities and continued to develop under the guidance of the masters
• Children are mentored by 250 professionals who participate in the project for free: celebrities, representatives of major cultural institutions and well-known figures in the field of art • The project's volunteer team has exceeded 5,000 people GOAL 3: • A large movement of young philanthropists has been formed. In the frame of the MTS targeted support program, funds were allocated for the treatment of over 250 seriously ill children
Enabling factors and constraints
The use of digital tools, non-standard charity mechanics, as well as the participation of celebrities allows for the continuous increase in interest and involvement of the audience, and the expansion of its geography. For effective project management, MTS has a special team that includes employees of the head office, regional specialists throughout Russia, as well as volunteer groups. The project involves top managers of the company. The company consistently allocates a budget for project implementation. Collaboration with the government, businesses, and NGOs allows MTS to optimize costs by using partner resources.
Sustainability and replicability
Six years after its launch, the project has become the base for an ecosystem of social and environmental services of the company. With the help of partnerships, established within the framework of “Generation M”, and existing online and offline infrastructures, MTS has implemented a set of projects in the field of sustainable development aimed at promoting eco-tourism and eco-education, preserving cultural and natural heritage, education, etc. For example, in 2020 MTS launched an ecological stream of “Generation M” to promote a responsible attitude towards nature using creative tools. Together with well-known cartoon characters, participants of “Generation M" learn how to sort garbage, upcycle, and create short films about their experiences. The Moscow Zoo educates children about rare animal species and ways to protect them, having the youngest children create miniature habitats depending on the needs of the animal.