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How EY uses Arist to support the next generation of for-good entrepreneurs

EY Ripples supported a pledge to reach 1B learners by using Arist to boost course sign ups by >200%

EY is one of the largest professional services networks in the world. They are considered to be one of the "big four" consulting firms globally.


Role of learner
Entrepreneurship students

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“When it came to picking a topic to pilot text-based learning, entrepreneurship felt like the obvious place to start.” Global educational leader - EY Ripples


▶️ >200% of expected course sign ups
▶️ Robust learner data capture for course iteration and grading of impact
▶️ Preserved educational access to 9,500+ learners in Nigeria, Brazil, and Venezuela

The challenge

EY Ripples is one of the world’s most ambitious corporate responsibility programs in the world, aiming to impact 1 billion lives by 2030. Initiatives include reaching future and developing entrepreneurs, supporting the next generation, and the environment. In particular EY Ripples projects have helped to scale more than 500 businesses that support one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Like a vast majority of corporate learning, EY Ripples’ learning activities moved to primarily online delivery at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The move to digital preserved some level of access to education, however, many of the most marginalized learners as well as those without routine computing or broadband access were not benefitting. This was problematic for initiatives meant to build social good, particularly in marginalized locations.

As the pandemic continued, Anne Sawyer–- EY Global “Supporting the Next Generation” Leader— needed a learning solution that could help preserve the same or better outcomes for EY’s global ecosystem of social good leaders. All of this in a time of tumult and with a cohort of future leaders who often had lacking access to broadband and computers.

How EY met the next generation of social good leaders where they were

Workshops presented by EY Ripples seek to promote future-focused skills,  including creativity, innovation frameworks, critical thinking and problem solving, and communication and collaboration. Additionally focus areas include overview of new technologies, global sustainability challenges, and the role individuals can play in creating positive change.

While workshops were centered around conversations, messaging-app based microlearning was able to support conversational learning at much greater scale. Additionally, the digital formats utilized for workshops at the start of EY’s Arist engagement were not inclusive to all learners. By switching to messaging tool-delivery (with no learner app required) like SMS or WhatsApp, EY was able to further their mission of reaching 1 billion individuals by 2030.

For individuals without routine access to broadband, Arist courses continued to persist in messaging app memory, allowing students to revisit learning materials at their need in the future. Additional low friction touch points with learners allowed for greater data return to course administrators when compared to many workshop formats, allowing EY to iterate on their course as well as track outcomes at scale.

Learning snapshot

💭 The 4 key approaches we learned are:
1️⃣ Reframing innovation as a process, not an event
2️⃣ Testing, adapting and pivoting
3️⃣ Moving from caution and identifying the risks
4️⃣ Persisting through purpose and staying resilient
❓Which of the 4 key approaches do you feel most comfortable with?


🙏 Thanks for sharing! Some of these may feel more natural than others, so I'm glad you're feeling most comfortable with this approach.

Impact of Arist for global access to education

EY launched their initial design thinking and entrepreneurship micro course with the goal of reaching 5,000 learners. 6 months after launch, nearly 10,000 learners had completed the course.

Through an 8-day course students were exposed to new concepts, prompted to reflect as well as prompted to begin laying out plans for how they could identify and solve issues in their localities. Numerous young adults from the initial cohort — aged 18-22 — have gone on to begin their own social impact-creating ventures.


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