GSB Goes to Sesame: View From The "Street" with Sesame Workshop COO, Steve Youngwood MBA '97 | Summary and Q&A

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December 10, 2020
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Stanford Graduate School of Business
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GSB Goes to Sesame: View From The "Street" with Sesame Workshop COO, Steve Youngwood MBA '97

TL;DR

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street, has overcome financial challenges and transformed its brand to continue its mission of providing educational content for children.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Sesame Workshop navigate the changing media landscape?

Sesame Workshop recognized the need to adapt to the digital age and invested in building its digital presence. They leveraged research on child development to develop interactive apps and games that engage children while promoting learning.

Q: How did Sesame Workshop address its financial challenges?

The organization formed strategic partnerships, such as partnering with HBO and Apple, to secure financial stability. They also focused on building an earned revenue model, combining philanthropic support with commercially oriented endeavors to fund their mission.

Q: What is Sesame Workshop's approach to technology and app development?

Sesame Workshop leverages research on child development to ensure that their approach to technology and app development aligns with the educational needs and capabilities of children. They strive to create interactive experiences that promote social-emotional development and learning.

Q: How does Sesame Workshop measure its impact on children?

Sesame Workshop is committed to actual impact rather than perceived impact. They conduct research and evaluation studies to measure the efficacy of their content and interventions, ensuring that they are making a meaningful difference in children's lives.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Sesame Workshop was founded in 1969 with the goal of using television as a medium to educate children and bridge the educational gap.

  • In recent years, the organization faced financial struggles, declining viewership, and a degrading brand image.

  • With the help of new leadership, strategic partnerships, and a focus on financial stability and brand elevation, Sesame Workshop has turned its fortunes around and continues to make a positive impact on children's education.

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