Harnessing the power of the networks is what will take the children as change agency movement forward beyond the SiS Catalyst project. Peer mentoring was the method by which this power was utilised to both extend and enrich the network under SiS Catalyst, as well as perhaps the major vehicle for innovation in the project. Peer mentoring on a global scale is a very powerful action. It enables partners to explore the work implemented by their peer in a different region, country and culture. Through the peer mentoring exchanges a pair of associates meets at each other’s institution to learn from the ‘Other’, and reflect upon the ‘Self’. The Mentoring Associate Programme enabled a group of 36 science organisations, universities, museums and other intermediaries in science communication to learn from each other across the whole terrain of the children as change agency ecosystem covering: governance and strategic alignment, program development and social inclusion.
We have used our own Mentoring Associates programme as a case study to inform guidelines for organisations hoping to facilitate peer mentoring in their own context.