YOUNG CHANGE AGENTS SEEK TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH A MOBILE APP
Six summer workers - four weeks - one mission! This year Stena Fastigheter launched a new summer initiative that challenges youth to undertake innovative projects and carry out their ideas. Gabriella, Ornina, Medra, Bruno, Hanna and Hanna were hired as change agents, with the task of preparing a proposal for a digital solution that would increase security and comfort for tenants.
”It has been such a great learning experience. We developed our entrepreneurial abilities, we worked well as a team and had fun on the job. It feels like the salary I earned for my work was just an added bonus,” says Gabriella Quintero, who is in her third year of technical-focused high school studies.
Gabriella Quintero, 18, and Ornina Zaytoun, 20, are two of the six youths that worked as change agents for Stena Fastigheter in Gothenburg this summer. All participants in this initiative are tenants in Stena Fastigheter residences, but they live in different parts of the city and bring different perspectives and knowledge with them.
”I knew right away when I saw the ad that this was a summer job for me. As a tenant, I could play a part in changing my situation and make my everyday life easier,” says Ornina Zaytoun, who studies human resources at university.
The idea of hiring young change agents originated with Sari Isberg, Relationship Manager at Stena Fastigheter Göteborg. The concept started to develop after she came into contact with The Role Models (formerly Young Action Force), an organisation that works to empower young people and create the conditions for their energy and passion to be utilised in society.
”One of our guiding principles at Stena Fastigheter is innovation and we wanted to pursue something different this year. We started a collaboration with The Role Models and we gave the summer workers a concrete task where they could develop ideas and solutions,” says Sari Isberg.
A MOBILE APP EMERGES
When the summer workers, aged between 18 and 21 years old, started their four-week-long summer job as change agents, they knew that their mission was to develop a proposal for a digital solution that could in some way increase security or create meaningful ways to spend free time for those that live in Stena Fastigheter residences. They didn’t, however, know what roles they would take on in the project. They would decide on that together. Based on the participants’ varying skills, they appointed two IT managers, a marketer, a secretary, a HR manager and a project manager.
”One of the reasons I applied for the job was that I wanted to develop my leadership abilities. I’ve never had a leadership role before and I’m glad I got to work as a project manager. It has been a good experience and definitely something I’m going to put on my resume,” says Ornina.
Every morning, the group held morning meetings facilitated by Ornina. Director Julia Hult from The Role Models was also present. During the meetings, everyone decided what should be done that day and before everyone went home, a follow-up meeting was held. Early in the project, the group had a brainstorming day where everyone wrote down their ideas. Many of the ideas came from the summer workers’ own experiences in their neighbourhoods.
”We interviewed the tenants and sent out questionnaires with questions about how they viewed security in the area. Then we decided to create an app that tenants can use. I was responsible for the technology and worked on designing the app, its features and interfaces,” says Gabriella Quintero, IT manager.
PRESENTING TO MANAGEMENT
The project culminated in the change agents presenting their prototype app, STINA, to Stena Fastigheter’s management group in Gothenburg. The app includes several features, among them the ability for tenants to book laundry times and sign up for activities in the area.
”If the tenants are aware of what is happening in their area and get good information, it contributes to both safety and comfort. Some don’t feel safe going downstairs to book a laundry time in the evening, so it’s a good idea to be able to do it digitally. Everyone forgets to read the information in the hallway, but would do it if they received a notification from the app”, says Gabriella Quintero.
Agneta Kores, CEO of Stena Fastigheter Göteborg, was one of the members of the management team who listened to the presentation.
”The change agents have given us very exciting proposals that we will continue to work with and I hope we can present STINA, the Stena app, soon,” says Agneta Kores.
Ornina Zaytoun describes the presentation as the highlight of the whole project.
”It was exciting, and felt good afterwards. The entire project has given me the confidence to find similar jobs in the future.”
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