Highlights from #FUSE16 Day One

Our school hosts an annual conference on design thinking called Fuse. Educators come together from all over the country to experience design thinking, or human centered problem solving. 

My top takeaways from today’s flash lab and MoVe talks…

  1. The steps in design thinking can take any form that works for you or your school/organization. We follow the DEEP method (discover, empathize, experiment, produce) but there are countless variations that may be more conducive to other environments. And in fact, we can distill the DEEP methodology into two main buckets: empathize and produce, or prototype. The driving force behind design thinking is knowing your user (empathy) and creating a solution to their problem (prototyping). 
  2. Okorie Johnson (okcello.com) performed at tonight’s MoVe talk sessions and he was absolutely outstanding. Not only is he an incredibly talented cellist, but he has a gift for storytelling as well. Okorie did something really innovative while playing the cello and telling his story: he would record himself playing a melody and loop it back while he played another melody, a few times over. This created rich and powerful music that sounded like 6 cellos were in the room, when really it was just Okorie. But “just Okorie” masterfully shared his story with us tonight and I so enjoyed learning from him. I’m still processing the idea about how layering pieces of a song is representative of how we grow and change over time as learners… I’ll continue pondering the idea while I listen to his album I just downloaded.
  3. I’m looking forward to learning more about Refuge Coffee, one of the nonprofits that we are partnering with tomorrow and Friday. Kitti Murray, the founder of Refuge Coffee, shared a bit of her story with us tonight, and I was inspired. She talked about coffeehouses as an extension of our living rooms, as a place to gather. Since there doesn’t seem to be any coffeehouses in Clarkston, where Kitti moved to in order to help serve a significant refugee population, she started Refuge Coffee as a coffee truck to help address that need. Coming from a community that probably needs to feel acceptance and love more than anything in the world, Kitti left us with a question to consider: How might we “welcome more?” I’m excited to discover more about Refuge Coffee’s needs as we work to design potential solutions this week.

More to come tomorrow!

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