SparkPath Challenge Program
SparkPath was created by Jean-Phillipe (JP) Michel to help young people create extraordinary careers by exploring the real-world challenges that inspire them. By changing mindsets through innovative programs, coaching, and career tools, SparkPath helps the next generation discover their values, interests, and talents and visualize how they can make a real and unique contribution to the world.
Transitions Canada Coalition and SparkPath explored a partnership to bring a new generation of this engaging, and effective resource set to classrooms. The project is currently on pause.
What are Challenge Cards?
Challenge Cards is an innovative career development tool used by academic advisors, guidance counsellors, and teachers across North America to prepare students for the future of work. Simple, visual, and tactile, the cards encourage young people to think beyond traditional job titles and focus on the challenges, problems, and opportunities that exist in the world.
Economic, technological, and societal changes are making the concept of job titles obsolete. To prepare young people for the new world of work, academic advisors, parents, teachers, and counsellors need to move away from considering only the traditional list of jobs and careers, and direct their attention to the challenges, problems, and opportunities that exist in the world. Enabling this shift will allow students to approach the new world of work in a more effective way.
How can we help other young people focus on challenges? Parents, teachers, and guidance counsellors can use Challenge Cards. This deck of 30 cards covers challenges in the future of work in the areas of health, technology, society, environment, and the economy. The Challenge Cards were presented at the Career Pro Conference 2016, at Disrupt HR Ottawa 2016 and at Cannexus 2017. You can also see the Challenge Cards being used on Rogers TV on Ta carrière, ton histoire or CBC Radio
What is the Challenge Mindset?
One approach that moves us away from focusing on jobs is the Challenge mindset. This approach helps youth see the bigger picture: the challenges, problems, and opportunities that exist in society and the world of work. While jobs and careers are likely to change, the challenges we are trying to solve will remain. In fact, as our perspective on certain issues evolves, new challenges to tackle will emerge as well.
Examples of the most important challenges we will continue to face in the future include: redesigning the health care system, collecting and using big data, and managing the planet’s waste. These opportunities have the potential to create meaningful work for youth. When students identify and understand these challenges, they will open up their world and prepare to make a significant contribution to the workplace
The Challenge Program is a self-guided, interactive course designed to help young people discover new ways of looking at themselves and their future. By flipping the traditional approach to career development, the Challenge Program helps young people focus on real-world challenges, not job titles.
The program brings together a curated selection of the best inspirational and informative content, exercises, and resources to help students navigate the journey, including videos, quizzes, self-guided study, journaling, and one-on-one coaching sessions.
JP Michel is the founder and head coach at SparkPath and the creator of the Challenge Mindset, the Challenge Program, and the Challenge Cards. Since 2009, JP has leveraged his experience coaching high-performing leaders to help hundreds of high-school students develop their potential, set ambitious career paths, and accomplish their goals. He is an award-winning career professional and a sought-after speaker who frequently appears in the media and at conferences.
What are people saying about us?
I've had the pleasure of not only using the Challenge Cards in a variety of settings *Middle Schools, Elementary Schools, High Schools, Alternative Schools, etc), but also to have JP join us on our Career Day to further immerse us in the Challenge research! I've found that the cards have their place in jump starting younger students' thoughts about their careers, and future job trends, as well as giving my high school students a more innovative and flexible view of their career/life path. As a Guidance Counsellor and Teacher, I would high recommend the cards to anyone!
- Laura, Jun 18, 2019
Wouldn't it be incredible to have a meaningful conversation with high school students about the directions they want to explore for their professional endeavors? This card deck offers a springboard to a new and insightful conversation with students about the impact they want to have on the world. Instead of focusing on what they're good at or their passions or their favorite classes, you can look at purpose and contribution and meaning (things that really matter to them!) and explore possibilities from a new vantage point. If you're tired of the same-old, same-old pathways for career exploration, you've come to the right place. Get ready to tap new avenues and expand the career conversation.
- Maggie Graham, Mar 13, 2019
I got a set of the cards at the National Career Development Association conference in June. I LOVE THEM! I have used them a couple of times and they are so fun and really open people up to think about possibility. I have used them with people of various ages its not just for young! Looking forward to using them in many ways!!!
- Amy Frost, Jul 30, 2018