Fun Fact: Either the school you are currently attending or the last school you attended
During week one of Disrupt Summer 2019, students were visited by local entrepreneurs, business owners and innovators. These wonderful guest speakers shared their wisdom and expertise to help students sharpen their entrepreneurial vision as they prepared to travel to Silicon Valley and return with ways to improve Hawaii’s socioeconomic landscape.
Of the eight guest entrepreneur speakers, we begin our story highlighting Ignacio Fleishour of Makana Ranch House and Tiare Thomas of Aloha Dreamboard. Their work with the students centered around respecting and incorporating culture through sustainable innovation and unleashing one’s own passions, motivations, and professional vision through thoughtful, active reflection.
By the end of Disrupt Summer’s three week program, students presented an original business, product, or service that demonstrated disruptive innovation and addressed a local issue or concern. Disruptive innovation is no easy task. It involves looking at the everyday and improving upon our world in ways previously unimagined.
With Aloha Dreamboard’s help, students were able to discover what matters most to them, thus allowing them to approach disruptive innovation with a grounded and personal vision. Tiare presented each student with a board, dozens of curated magazines, and a mission: identify what makes you, you. Students combed through these images selecting the ones that resonated the most with their passions and identities.
With Tiare’s guidance, they were then able to identify the issues and local problems they felt most connected with and why they wanted to impact change on these specific areas. Owen Lai, pictured above, discovered how his love for the ocean could be translated into activism for issues such as shoreline and water pollution. Koe Kapua, pictured right, saw how he could take being raised in Hawaii made him better able to build local networks and work to solve problems such as air and beach pollution.
After Aloha Dreamboards visit, students had a board full of images, ideas and conversations that inspired them. More importantly, the students recieved the catalyst they needed to go forward with looking at the world and problems they understood in a new way, personal way. Through Tiare’s mastermind sessions, where the students brought up issues and solutions, brainstorming and building on one another’s ideas, they were able to tie in their lessons of business models, customer innovation-optimization, emerging product design, revenue models and more provided by Computational Thinkers lessons earlier in the week. They were confident in their ability to enact real-world change and enjoy doing so, as well.
Chef Ignacio “Iggy” Fleishour of Makana Ranch House equally sparked the student’s commitment to innovating with Hawaii and its people in mind, leaving us with one of the most memorable quotes of the program, “Do not create to destroy.“ Chef Iggy’s speech addressed the painfully obvious but often unspoken food waste and sustainability problems of our islands and the need for students to connect with nature and one another. He emphasized how vital it is for any local entrepreneur to be aware of their available resource, highlighting local efforts such as the Albizia Project.
Overall, Iggy’s talk and group discussion allowed the students to think deeply on the social responsibility, ethics and environmental necessities which must be acknowledged as they move forward as young entrepreneurs in the state.
We would like to take this oppourtnity to thank Ignacio Fleishour of Makana Ranch House and Tiare Thomas of Aloha Dreamboard, as well as our other guest entrepreneurs for their commitment to our state’s future, our youth and for supporting Computational Thinkers’ overall goals with our Disrupt Summer program.
We had the mission to teach some of Hawaii’s youngest members to be disruptive innovators who could bring innovations to the islands that both respect our culture and the growing changes in a technologically driven world. We could not have completed this mission without the help of these amazing community contributors.
Stay tuned for more posts about our other guest speakers, our trip to Silicon Valley and more!
Mahalo nui loa!