One Day

Get Young People in Contact with Passionate Professionals



“One Day” is an online platform that gives young people the chance to get in contact with passionate professionals, active in a field they find interesting, to meet up with them -on the job- for one day and see for a day what it would be like to actually have such a job and find out how they managed to get there, while widening their networks.

The project initiated as a local challenge of OpenIdeo, which is an open innovation platform of IDEO for social good. With One Day project we were working in Barcelona on the following challenge: “How can we help Gen-Y in Barcelona exploring their options to follow their passions in a meaningful way?”

One Day helps 16-18 year olds to make their own well-informed career decisions at a young age, preventing youth unemployment at a later stage.

With One Day, we participated in the 2014 Youth Unemployment Challenge and were selected by IDEO and the Clinton Global Institute (CGI) as the winners of the challenge.

We started off with a number of interviews and developed empathy maps of different local Generation-Y people, in different stages of their life and career. Later on in the process we also organised a co-creation session in the city, which gave us more insights in the challenges Gen-Y face in Barcelona.

The insights we derived from our resarch:

– Gen-Y who are still studying or at the beginning of their career are far less worried about their future career steps in comparison to those with working experience.

– Gen-Y with work experience on the other hand, are often searching a balance between growing, learning and doing new things on the one hand and financial and social stability on the other.

– Doing something else for a living than what you studied for is by many Spanish people perceived as failure: you choose the wrong education. Which is why people stick too long to a job they very much dislike or more often they become unemployed.

– The higher education in Spain also has a strong theoretical focus on the memorization of knowledge rather than the development of skills such as independency, self-confidence and decision-making.

This is why people feel stuck in a job they very much dislike or more often they become unemployed. Many of the unemployed then find fault with the system, the economy, political corruption or any other cause outside of their control. This enlarges the lack of self empowerment. In this sense (the wrong) education choice is limiting ones´ possibilities to develop a career rather than creating opportunities to benefit from and further develop skills.

With the help of the co-creation session that we did with youngsters, we defined the above mentioned challenge:

“How might we help Gen-Y in Barcelona exploring their options to follow their passions in a meaningful way?”

One Day gives the possibility for professionals to share with young people what they are passionate about, explaining what they like about it (and what not) and to support and inspire young people to find their way to do what they are passionate about.

At the same time they get to know passionate young people who are interested in their field of work, who might become their colleagues in the future…. One Day, or their clients.

The homepage of the online platform provides users four possibilities:

A matchmaking search engine to find people with the professions and passions you are interested in

A random overview of people with a description of their professions and passions you can swipe through to get inspired and click on for further details and contact information

An exploration test that helps you better define what you would like to be doing, in case you don’t have such a clear idea yet

A roadmap that shows the steps you have taken with us so far in exploring your options to follow your passion and what other steps you could still take (up to inspiring others!)

When a user has found an interesting profession on the website, he/she can get in contact with the passionate professionals executing such a job, so called “buddies”. They can first chat online to learn a bit more about each other and the profession of interest, followed by scheduling a first meet up together through the website.

Prior to spending a full day, people can first meet for e.g. an hour to simply see the workplace and talk more in depth about the job and each others background etc. The next step is to actually try out the job. The user is received by the professional, shown around and after a short explanation regarding the activities planned for the day and some shadowing of what the professional does, its time for some action! Ideally there are always a couple of tasks that can be done by the young person. We strongly believe in the principle of “Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I’ll remember. Involve me, I’ll understand”.

After the One day has taken place, a short evaluation email is send out to hear whether the One Day has gone well and whether the user got enthusiastic about the type of profession or would like to try out other jobs instead. This way we will be continuously measuring the impact of One Day.

In case the user is very enthusiastic about the profession, a next step can be made by talking about the type of education that is needed to get such a job in the future.

In case of slightly older users who already follow a relevant education, a conversation might be started between the user and the company about short internships etc. to have a bit more time to get experience and develop the required skills.

The One day experience allows users to experiment and explore different jobs without having to fear for making mistakes. There are no wrong choices; e.g. finding out that being a doctor is very different from what you thought, making you decide to do something else with your life, is a very good result of participating in One day!

It also gives beautiful showcases of people who manage to find, or create, a job that they really enjoy doing and examples of people who manage to balance their working life with their private life in such a way they can do what they are passionate about.

Here you can have a look to an example user experience map.


In this project, the members have slightly different roles depends on the phases just like idea creation, validation and implementation. I was responsible for user research, co-creation facilitation in different phases and preparation of pilot project with a local high school.


Tags:  Etnographic Research, People-Centred Research, Co-Design Workshops, User Experience and Service Design

Team: This project is realized with Anneke Stolk, Ivanel Perez Bolivar, Marta Michalowska and Sena Partal.

Awards: OpenIdeo  and Clinton Global Initiative Youth Unemployment Challenge Winner, 2013


Duration:  (November 2013- January 2016) as the first project delivered by OpenIDEO meet-up group.

Speacial thanks to: OpenIDEO

Launch website