Teodora Berkova / Pearson Education
Who are you?
Experienced changemaker focused on purpose-led innovation, with experience at the intersection of private sector & intl development. Currently crafting new business models with social impact at their core.
Where does your fire come from?
My family, past experiences and the knowledge that we can always do better and work toward a more equitable and just world.
What three issues are you most passionate about?
Education, the environment, and economic equality.
What is the name of your project that you are working on?
Tomorrow’s Markets Incubator (TMI).
What is the problem you’re trying to solve?
While Pearson is a leader in the learning marketplace, it has not yet solved the challenge of reaching the four billion low-income and emerging middle-class learners that sit outside of Pearson’s traditional customer base. Pearson’s challenge was understanding how to think about effectively reaching new markets and new customers in a way that would increase its social impact and further advance its existing strategic priorities.
What is your intervention?
The TMI is an internal innovation platform designed to support the development of long-term business opportunities within low-income and underserved communities. The incubator provides resources (by way of funding, coaching, etc.) for venture teams to research, prototype, pilot and scale new business models that profitably deliver products to underserved learners. Ultimately the incubator’s impact is three-fold: offer new career development opportunities for Pearson associates, foster a social innovation mindset throughout Pearson, and increase Pearson’s social impact.
What impact have you had to date?
More than 276 ideas across Pearson’s global offices and business units have been submitted to the incubator over the past two years. Of those ideas, there are currently 13 ventures being incubated – all in different phases of the venture development journey. The incubator is divided into three phases: Ideate, Explore, Validate and teams move to the next phase of the incubator by successfully pitching to the internal appointment investment committee.
What do you need to get the project to the next level?
Growing TMI requires re-evaluating how Pearson’s thinks about both social innovation and early-stage innovation more broadly. In addition, the incubator requires a substantial amount of support that is currently provided by internal and external subject matter experts. Incubator teams are also still required to execute their standard business responsibilities. If TMI were able to provide increased financial investment along with dedicated, full-time support to the overall program and to the teams, the incubator would significantly increase its ability (efficiency + effectiveness) to deliver social innovation and impact at scale for Pearson.
If you’d like to connect with Teodora or would like to offer your support with her project, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you in touch!