AIME will continue to make space to change the way the world works and our alliance with Salesforce will help power this by unlocking technology as well as people’s time, knowledge, and networks”

Jack Manning Bancroft | AIME Founder & Head of Design

AIME partners with Salesforce to build bridges to a fairer world

AIME was established in 2005 with the purpose of alleviating educational inequity for marginalised kids. Faced with Aboriginal and Torres Islander disadvantage in Australia and inequity globally, founder Jack Manning Bancroft (JMB) set out to design a fairer world — one where people saw each other not from the perspective of where they’d come from, but where they could go.

This ambition gave rise to an imagination-fueled mentoring program that builds bridges between the power-holders of today and tomorrow and those at risk of being left behind.

Taryn Marks, AIME's General Manager, said that from the outset, the program had two connected aims: one was to unlock educational pathways for students, enabling their journey after school into university or work; and the other was to strip away the layers of shame that often burden historically marginalised communities.

"At AIME, we focus on the ecosystem to support the next generation of Elders and global thought leaders. That they grow up strong in themselves, fulfil their hopes and dreams, and continue to carry the languages, cultures, and community stories," said Taryn.

Independent research has shown the program to be effective in improving school retention, school completion, and the success of post-secondary pathways.

Driven by the success of its model, AIME expanded outside Australia to reach people from other diverse, historically marginalised communities. It delivered programs in South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and the US, before launching IMAGI-NATION {University} in 2021.

Powered by Salesforce, the virtual university provides students everywhere with the skills to make change in their own lives and within society more broadly.

"We have opened a new university… for marginalised school students to rise up as entrepreneurs and show they are not the problem to be fixed but the solution, for university students to organise change, for teachers to teach with imagination, for executives to fast-track diverse leaders into senior management to level the organisational playing field, and for citizens to use their imaginations to transform their local communities," said JMB.

A digital sprint

AIME has always been experimental in its approach, and with COVID-19 impacting over one billion  students globally, it was quick to pivot its programs digitally. A mere week after the pandemic was declared, AIME launched IMAGI-NATION {TV} (since put on the honorable mention list of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas in Education 2021) which took world-class mentors directly into students' homes and e-schools.

AIME then looked at how to package its learnings from the last 16 years and make these more accessible through an online university. This led to a meeting with Salesforce which demonstrated how they could fast track the launch of the virtual university using the myTrailhead learning platform. In addition to offering pre-built templates to publish content and get started quickly, myTrailhead provided a way to motivate students by rewarding them with badges.

Soon after the initial meeting with Salesforce, AIME launched an expression of interest form for IMAGI-NATION {University} on its website. The form was set up using Pardot with pro-bono support from Salesforce and provided a quick and efficient way to capture leads for the university’s first intake. This initial build, and outreach via partners, allowed AIME to quickly have a pathway for enrolling hundreds of students from 54 different countries.

AIME then set to work with Salesforce and PwC, including PwC Indigenous Consulting. Together, they designed and built the technical foundations for IMAGI-NATION {University} in just three months. The quick pace of the implementation meant the university was ready to launch at the start of the 2021 academic year.

"We move quickly at AIME, and this was a time for us to move even quicker as the need was evident. Together with Salesforce, PwC Indigenous Consulting and PwC, we achieved some remarkable and complex things in a very short time," said Parul Punjabi Jagdish (PJ), AIME’s Head of Education.

Opportunities for everyone

IMAGI-NATION {University} is now open with 430+ students enrolling for 2021. Students come from all over the globe with 54+ countries represented and there are dedicated learning opportunities for school students, university students, school teachers, organisational executives, and everyday citizens.

Prospective students apply online through a portal built on Experience Cloud. The prospective students’ details are captured in Sales Cloud and they are kept engaged using personalised nurturing journeys powered by Pardot. This has enabled a conversion rate of over 60%, and strong engagement thereafter.

Once accepted into IMAGI-NATION {University}, students are provided with a personalised homepage on Experience Cloud which serves as their secure gateway into the university. There, they can access over 90 online community groups to connect and exchange ideas with other students. They also use the homepage to access the university’s learning content which has been published on myTrailhead, allowing for limitless scaling potential.

AIME has designed 21 learning trails, and growing, which build on the organisation’s previous learning and mentoring framework and equip students to make positive change in the world around them. The learning is delivered in a unique way with puppets as professors and is gamified with badges to maximise engagement.

"Often, as soon as you see a person, you make snap judgements about who they are, but with puppets that judgement is suspended. The Professors (puppets) help us to bring complex topics like racism or inequity to the forefront and have meaningful yet fun discussions on topics that people may not otherwise engage with," said Vanessa Ellis, Head of Puppetry at AIME.

Just four months since the launch of the university, students have unlocked 2,146 badges, and the majority of students are set to graduate with a custom AIME hoodie featuring the badges they have unlocked by 2022. As at June 30, 2021, 264 different project statements have been submitted to kickstart new initiatives that help address inequity around the world and emerging insights indicate huge community benefit with ripple-on effects.

AIME is now leveraging the IMAGI-NATION {University} platform to streamline the experience of volunteers who sign up to its original mentorship program. Similar to the university students, mentors complete an expression of interest form on the website. They are then directed into a self-service application portal built on Experience Cloud and complete their mentor training on myTrailhead. This has helped remove the manual handling required for the thousands of mentor applications received each year. It also allows anyone to look up nearby mentoring programs and sign up immediately.

Looking to the future, AIME sees IMAGI-NATION {University} as the central place for people to access its learning and mentoring resources. It also anticipates that by 2023, IMAGI-NATION {University} will have enabled education equity for 100,000+ young people worldwide.

"AIME will continue to make space to change the way the world works and our alliance with Salesforce will help power this by unlocking technology as well as people’s time, knowledge, and networks" said JMB.


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