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I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help

This pledge has been successful and is now closed. However the project is underway and you can find out more about it and how to get involved by going to

Pledge “GlobalMentoring”

"I will mentor a minimum of two people in the developing world in the area of my skills base and expertise (media, communications, broadcasting , democratic media building, participatory media, community video). I will do this for free for a minimum of six months (in my free time). The mentoring will be in person or via email/skype and the mentoring connections will be established by a website and database that I am willing to take responsibility for creating but only if 250 other people will mentor a minimum of two people in their skills."

— Lucy Hooberman

Deadline to sign up by: 15th January 2006
349 people signed up (99 over target)

More details
This kind of idea has been around for a while, and it surfaced again for me at TED last year at a big brainstorm. It would be great finally to launch it. 250 people will give us enough critical mass to offer, at launch, a really compelling collection of mentoring topics to people in the developing world. From there the idea could spread to become something really big.

This pledge has now closed; it was successful!

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Comments on this pledge

  • Lucy,

    I think this is a wonderful iniative and I would like to talk with you about it further. You can reach me at

    Bill Sobel, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I only see one pledge on pledgebank so far that has succeeded in pulling in this high a number of pledgers. And that one didn't involve as much of a commitment. Nonetheless, I predict you'll do it... testament to the power of the idea, the growth of pledgebank, and (I hope) backing from TEDsters. Proud to support you, Lucy.

    - Chris
  • A great idea! I'm in.
  • Lucy,
    I'm in - my skills are patent development, manufacturing and new product marketing. I will mentor two people in the process of taking thier idea to the marketplace from inspiration to market by sharing with them my knowledge and some contacts (only those that agree) to further their goals. I will also send people to your pledge to assist you in your goal.
  • Chris,

    I'm a TED WANNABE so I've been subscribing to your newsletters which is how I found out about this wonderful idea.

    Since launching in January of 04 I've been fortunate to have had my thoughts + product connect with people all over the world and I can't think of a better way to share what I've learned in the process with others.

    I can't wait to get started.

    - Thanks Chris! Jay
  • Lucy,

    What a wonderful idea and I look forward to getting started. My background in is Design, Marketing, PR and Product Development, basically bringing ideas into reality.

    Please feel free to reach out to me if you think I can be of service while you're getting things up and running.

    Thanks, Jay
  • Fabulous idea Lucy! I'm happy to give back (I was a TED fellow in 2003). My expertise is in online course development and helping teachers transition from teaching in the classroom to teaching online.

    Thanks for providing the opportunity!
    Patricia Delich, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I'm in. Good idea.

    Frank Brunner, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Wonderful pledge. Compelling.
  • There have been many people in my life who have helped me and given freely of their time, insight and skills. It feels good to be able to do the same.
    Count me in!
    Warm regards,
    Gary Haslam, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Lucy,
    I have always wondered what we, as simple citizens, could do to help individuals in developing countries in a sustainable way (as opposed to sending a shot of money or actually going on "assignment"). Skype & co open up a whole new range of possibilities, and your website will provide the missing link by connecting skills and needs. Your idea is great, I wish that you succeed and am looking forward to be part of it. I am proud to support you by joining your pledge.
  • Interesting idea...I'm a visiting scholar this year at Stanford through the Center for the Study of Language and Information and the Reuters Digital Vision Program ( which is focused on social entrepreneurs primarily from developing countries. If you need help finding mentees, I can be of assistance.


  • Congratulations on a wonderful idea, Lucy!

    Mentoring can be so very powerful.

    We've established a global mentoring website called Women With 2020 Vision to provide mentoring to girls in developing countries so that they might start businesses in 2020 after having been coached, encouraged, and mentored through the years - I have found that the most successful mentoring is long-term, several year process.

    I'd be happy to work with you on this.

    Sarah McCue

    Founder, Women with 2020 Vision
  • Hi Lucy

    This is a fantastic idea and I'd love to be involved. I don't know how useful I will be - I am a professional opera singer, working in the UK and internationally, but I'm also a qualified Sound Healer and workshop leader, working with people to uncover their natural voice. I have a lot of experience working with children and am developing a self empowerment workshop for children who have experienced the trauma of war / displacement using singing and the visual arts. If I can be of any help to someone in a developing county I would jump at the opportunity and I will send this link to other people who I think would have great mentoring skills.

    I'm very excited to see this pledge succeed!

  • Count me in. This is a gutsy idea and knowing TED, it will be executed well. I look forward to it.

    Robert Debelle
    robert debelle, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I look forward to being able to do something that takes relatively little time, but has such tremendous return for the world.

    My background is in IT Leadership and Technology Solutions (most specifically in how they relate to Higher Education).

    Ashi Sheth, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • My mentors were invaluable to my own development. When I asked them why, they simply replied, "Because I can."

    For the last 15 years I have mentored dozens and dozens of students of Architecture to repay this debt. Why? Because I can.
  • Great idea! My expertise is in problem solving acceleration through complex, large group collaboration and work design.
    Daniel Rose, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I look forward to helping. My skills are in the area of running not for profits, network creation and support, small group facilitation and business development.
    Buddy Teaster, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Lucy,

    I would like to mentor two Native American writers. Not sure if this meets your criteria of the 'developing world.'
    Julie Hebert, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Lucy,
    I want to tell you and others about a project that I founded in 1995 in Seattle, WA called The Alliance Community Psychotherapy Clinic. We developed a win-win-win model. People seeking affordable psychotherapy are matched with a volunteer therapist who in turn are provided mentorship by a senior psychotherapist. That means people can receive high quality treatment while therapists gain access to intimate personalized mentoring and mentors have the opportunity to pass on decades of clinical wisdom to a new generation. We have provided tens of thousands of hours direct service and mentoring and are still growing.
    Jeffrey L. Eaton, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Lucy:
    Here we are with a chance to be all we can be and not give up our souls doing it. I'm in. A very large gesture of kindness - I like that.
  • This pledge is a dream come true - I have always wanted to do voluntary service overseas, but because of personal issues I can't - this way I get to do something akin to it and make a real contribution

    Thanks Lucy
    Katey Nixon, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • This is a splendid pledge, I know soemthing about simplicity. The more you give the more you get. Thanks for the idea
    Johan DHaeseleer, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Dear Lucy,

    I would be able to tutor in mathematics and statistics up to undergraduate level (I do it as part of my work already) and could probably tutor scientific subjects (except for biology) up to A-level grade.

    I would also be happy to tutor in English.

    However, my work can make me very busy at times, so an email only scheme where I had a week to respond to queries would suit me best.

    Could we arrange a central scheme of giving notes and problem sheets but then mark and tutor in these individually? I am happy to help a little in discussing and organising effective schemes, ideally for teaching of mathematics.

    I will be happy to tutor by email for the forseeable future as long as I could find a workload to suit my diary. If that sounds good enough I would love to make a pledge.

    Please get in touch,

    Niall Cardin, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Great stuff Lucy,

    My expertise is in Internet Business Development, helping small businesses in the UK to profit from the web.

    I am happy to provide the same for a small cluster of entrepreneurs in the developing world, via Skype and email.

    Looking forward to it.

    Richard Maddrell, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Great idea! I am really pleased to see how many people support it! I guess, I can partially represent mentees here. My country in Eastern Europe is not developing, strictly speaking, but rather in transition. Please, keep in mind that:

    1) computer technologies are not easily accessible to many people, especially in the rural areas, the prices are high and the Internet connection is not very good. That can be frustrating.

    2) not many people speak fluent English, even though almost everybody studies English at school. If some of the mentors speak other languages, it would be nice to somehow let potential mentees know about that. If the language barrier is not going to be a problem, you could potentially reach broader auditory, not only those who studied, worked, lived abroad, or majored in English.

    I have an online mentor myself, I think it's great to talk to a real person who is knowledgeable and friendly.

    I am signing in because I could provide you with access to potential mentees, activists and concerned citizens, who have Internet access and speak English.

    Good luck!
    Olha, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • i can mentor on website creation, database driven websites, writing for the web, and online activism.
    i can do this in spanish or english or both!
  • I believe this is a fantastic idea and would like to be involved if possible. I am a teacher of technology after working for 13 years within the IT industry. I have little idea how or where my skills will fit in but am willing to find out if I can be of use.
    Gary Newport, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I'm hoping this isn't going to fail because of the lack of 250 people..I have posted about the pledge everywhere I can think of...maybe we could somehow drop that 250 people to 200? I'm sure we would'nt mind a bit of cheating LOL
    Debbie Watson, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • now at this moment is the time to share the things together...
    in a world of communication
    with respect for everybody's live...
    let us give eachother the things we have to share is also given unconditional to us and it is cold love...
    henk van telgen, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Great idea!

    I'm a musician/sound engineer/sound tech teacher and would like to give some of my knowledge to people in developing countries.

    Thank you
    Pedro Gonçalves, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • What a lovely idea. Am excited to be a part of this. My skill set is in TV Commercial Production. And i look forward to mentoring a couple of people. Giving back is what its all about. Very cool idea!
    Karen Silver, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • We've all learned from those who've mentored us. Via this, we can formally help others. Thanks for initiating this wonderful movement!

    My "mentor lens" includes development of emerging media & technology, physical & experiential environments, and event & broadcast management.
  • I just returned from a two week workshop on Design for Kids with Special Needs in Armenia. A group of 20 designers and educators from around the world worked with kids in special education or medical settings to design toys and learning aids to facilitate their growth. Organized by a German non-profit org, we observed children in their context of living and medical assistance and than designed for their specific needs. The results will be available for parents and educators to copy.

    This experience has taught me that the exchange of ideas, skills and opinions has a farther reach than money. Looking forward to continue!
  • Hi Lucy

    This is a fantastic idea.
    I am in a community group in a developing world- Kenya. In the group we have many job seeking members. My pledge this year is to mentor some of them to start their own business and to assist those in other proffessions to get mentors.
    My 'mentors lens' are business and security management.
    In Kenya we have so many unemployed people. If they can be mentored to start business, a big difference will be made in this developing country.
    Kennedy Moguche, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Dear Lucy, congratulations for your bright idea! I would like to apply myself to be one of your mentees, in order to help develop democratic media building and participatory media here in Brazil. I have a long, 30+ years of experience in Press and Public Relations, which I would like to put to service to NGOs and grass roots groups. Please let me know if you would accept being my mentor. Thanks a lot, and keep up the good work!
  • Great initiative for which I hope to be able to help out. Mainly in two fields: Media, especially publishing, as well as development of tourism.

    Proud to be part of the team...
    Stefan Moosleitner, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Dear Ms. Hooberman:

    This is a great idea and congratulations on your success so far. My area of expertise is information technology management and outsourcing.

    Thanks to Chris Anderson and Bill Jensen for spreading the news!

    Scarlett Hu
    Scarlett Hu, 16 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Fantastic to see someone pick this up and run with it. Is there a mailing list / site with more up-to-date information?

    Manar, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Its great to be part of such a good cause and to be able to give back, the lessons that the school called life has generously thought us. Mentoring is not only about sharing knowledge and experiences or building competencies, its more about creating that opprotunity for people to explore, discover and recognize their capabilities, potentials abilities at the same time us learning from them as well. Its an invaluable experience which I personally cannot put a price on.
    Belatchew Nadew, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Belatchew,

    Do you have more information on what happened to this pledge? Those of us who found it after the pledge had closed don't seem to be able to get any information.

    Many thnanks in advance,

    & hoping you set the "Email me future comments on this pledge" option and get this.

    Manar, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Awsome idea. Mentoring is among the best ways to learn
    ufc, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • During May and November each year since 1994 the Tutor/Mentor Connection, based in Chicago, and on the Internet, has hosted conferences to draw leaders of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs together for networking, learning, collaboration, innovation. In 2004 we began hosting part of this conference on the internet so that people from around the world could participate without the cost of travling to a distant city. I encourage members of this network to look at the conference agenda and econference at http://www.tutormentorconference.bigstep... and consider participating.

    I also encourage you to read the PPT essays at that illustrate ways programs and funders can collaborate to sustain the growth and constant improvement of programs that connect volunteers and youth in every big city in the world.

    In the Program Locator section of the same site you'll see how GIS maps and interactive databases can be used to show where poverty is most concentrated in a big city, and where exising programs are located.

    In my blog I write about why this is so important.
This pledge is closed for new comments.

Current signatories (Green text = they've done it)

Lucy Hooberman, the Pledge Creator, joined by:

  • Chris Anderson
  • Thayne Muller
  • Bryan William Jones
  • William Shipley
  • Bill Sobel
  • Tom O'Neill
  • Brian Hackett
  • Sharon Knight
  • Heather Perram
  • Patricia Delich
  • David L. Shearer
  • Tom Guarriello
  • Gwen Campbell
  • Moyzschya Belle
  • Jay Jacobs
  • Barak Kassar
  • Stuart Gannes
  • Ayelet Baron
  • Laura Zieger
  • Sandra Yingling
  • Frank Brunner
  • Nancy Lafferty-Wellott
  • Bill Jensen
  • Nikolaus Hafermaas
  • Ross Fubini
  • Tom Hughes
  • Dennis Yang
  • Nicole Scott
  • Jan Kingaard
  • michael devine
  • Kelly Ellston
  • Stein X Leikanger
  • Roman Lubynsky
  • Fredric Alan Maxwell
  • Aaron Huslage
  • John Clapp
  • Gary Haslam
  • Kelly Rice
  • Boaz
  • Raymond A. Lauk
  • Ross Whiting
  • Ken Kesslin
  • Steve Harmon
  • Dawn Wright
  • Allison Hunt
  • Shannaz Schopfer de Villarreal
  • Anne Marie Bellavance
  • Sirarpi Heghinian Walzer
  • Sandra Luzia Schafroth
  • mikey rhodes
  • Regi Thomas George
  • Renee Blodgett
  • Sidney Yuen
  • Belatchew Nadew
  • stefano boeri
  • Sharon Lalla
  • Ory Okolloh
  • Euan Semple
  • Darren Abrahams
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