Project Everest

Blocks for SoCon

On the 8th of February we travelled to Suva and were faced with some challenges which will redirect our path for the month. On the same day, the remaining members of the team facilitated the first two SPBD workshops in the Lautoka offices. From this events, we came into a number of blocks, which we are now negotiating in the latter half of project.


Block One - Accreditation Process


Our first meeting was with Linda from FHEC and David from TCF. The January team established these relationships and proposed working with TCF to deliver business modules to compliment learned technical skills, however in the meeting it was quickly clarified that SoCon modules were not yet at the standard to deliver to the Technical College. FHEC oversees this accreditation process, which can be completed by delivering the following:


  • Alignment of courses with FHEC requirement framework to be overlooked by a program specialist

  • Qualified educators with a defined learning style

  • Stakeholder engagement with at least two stakeholders to prove a need and desire for our product in the market

  • Responses to the workshops delivered/ outcomes


The process will take up to 12 months and therefore any relation with TCF would have to be reconsidered in the future. Accreditation is therefore something that our team will start and that future teams will need to continue and monitor. Despite this block, many questions and uncertainties Linda and David had about our business and its objectives were answered which we believe will benefit our relationship in the future. It was also suggested that we align ourselves with an organization that is already established such as the Ministry of Sport, which is something we will be looking into.


Block Two - Intern unreliability


While also completing these meetings in Suva, SoCon conducted our first workshops for February. We started the day with the aims of trialing our intern and provide her with an MoU to state the terms of our relationship. At the start of the month, SoCon decided our internship program will aim to test the feasibility of hiring interns to conduct workshops when we are out of country. The process of recruitment started off by conducting phone interviews with individuals who responded to our Facebook advert. Out of the twelve EOIs, we were able to contact six, and eventually schedule four face-to-face interviews. Our first roadblock occurred during our interview process, with only one individual attending the interview. However, we were quite pleased with the one of our applicants, and as a result, created an MoU and welcome pack for her to join us.


The plan was for our new intern to attend our second workshop in Lautoka on Thursday, allowing her to help facilitate workshops. Our second roadblock became apparent when our new recruit never showed up, and has since been unable to contact. As a result, SoCon is required to review our intern strategy. We still think it’s possible to hire an intern, but it will require us to brainstorm new ideas on who we are targeting and our process of hiring. Consequently, we have altered our monthly goal, to have translators join us for the next two weeks whilst creating a internship plan for July team to follow up.


Block Three - Fiji Time


After arriving at the SPBD office in Lautoka, we set up our workspace and registration area. Our first roadblock was as a result of Fiji Time, in which our workshop began forty-five minutes after scheduled time, due to late arrivals. Furthermore, out of the scheduled five people, only three attended. However, we were able to make light of the situation, and conduct the workshop in a collaborative manner, discussing concepts together in a circle, rather than a classroom style. The intimate nature used allowed us to create rapport with all the attendees. Feedback received was positive, with clients saying they would be interested in attending more workshops.


Similarly, our second workshop started later than scheduled, with five people attending out of seventeen registered. Likewise, we conducted the class in a collaborative manner, having facilitators work individually or in small groups with clients. Some constructive feedback received was the need to provide summary documents or a review of concepts, as clients found it hard to write quickly or memorize information.

Even after implementing the $15 price point for early arrivals and $20 for attendees arriving after the scheduled start time, delays have significantly reduced the productivity of the team and project.


For those who have done projects in Fiji, is there any way to minimise Fiji time and guarantee attendance? Please give us feedback on our suggested solutions, and on how you see SoCon moving forward in the future.

Dolly Phiri Feb 14, 2018

Hi Christina, sorry to hear about the roadblocks but amazing that your team is still powering through! In regards to Fiji time, maybe offer a discount for those that show up on time or earlier (e.g if normal price per workshop is $15, then say they will pay $10 if they show up early. This may be viewed as a loss but it could also help attract more customers on time. Also with numbers, offer a discount if they bring a friend. This could encourage them to invite more people and therefore you will generate more revenue anyways.

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Christina Gell Feb 14, 2018

Hey Dolly! Thanks for your support. Our current model actually does this already. If an attendee comes to a workshop before the start time, they are charged $15, and any time after that $20 - but currently this is proving insufficient! Thanks for your ideas though.

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