TeenTechSF's Innovative Entrepreneurial Organizational Structure

By Marc Robert Wong, TeenTechSF Founder & Global Chair

A core value for TeenTechSF is that we are "run by and for teens." The focus on the leadership team is to empower students to be entrepreneurial and use tech tools to turn as many of their ideas into reality as possible.

  • I wanted to formalize a flat and flexible, entrepreneurial/start-up structure for TeenTechSF GLOBAL vs. a traditional rigid, pyramid-shaped hierarchy. I also wanted to emphasize the "fractal" nature of our organization and chose a box-within-a-box structure. I love math and thought I had invented applying a fractal structure to organizations. Sadly, an internet search showed that someone else had beaten me to it! If you are interested, here is a good slide show on: "Fractals, Innovation, and Organizations."
  • Each member of the core leadership team is responsible for building up their own team from our TeenTechSF community and their own network. If you hover on the TeenTechSF Core Leadership box in the organizational chart, you will set the outline turn blue. If you click on the blue outline, the box expands to an EXAMPLE of how each member of the TeenTechSF Core Leadership team is also the leader of their own team. 
  • Another important aspect of the TeenTechSF leadership team is that each team leader is responsible for training someone to take over their position before transitioning to another position or graduating. This kind of self-replication through time is necessary since high school students have a shelf-life of 4 years, and is also another kind of chronological fractal. Not shown is the blow up of the US and Global chapters which form their own geographic fractals.
  • Since it is difficult to manage communication while living the frenetic life of a teen balancing school and many priorities under the best of circumstances, I had to look for a new communication platform to support our innovative, entrepreneurial, organizational structure. Slack.com provides different channels so that everyone on the Core Leadership Team has access to all the plans and information, but it also allows you to send instant messages to flag and share specific posts or receive instant messages when their are new posts in the channels that are most relevant to you. Alerts can be sent to your phone and email address.