Design Thinking

Design Thinking

In this episode of Startup Hustle, Lauren Conaway and Panela Leung, Program Director and Lead Educator of World Builders Academy explore design thinking together. Discover the philosophies behind this interactive and dynamic approach to solving problems and how the design thinking process produces such impactful results.

Covered In This Episode

Why is creativity important in business?

Design-led businesses dramatically outperform their competition and enjoy higher revenue growth and market share. Creativity indeed churns out superior and more profitable ideas. Companies who foster a creative approach understand their customer’s needs better. 

On that note, today’s society deals with a different set of problems compared to the previous generations. Therefore, we would need a different approach to solving these new issues. We are in dire need of critical thinkers who can look at things from a new perspective. 

Get Started with Full Scale

Developing Creative Minds

What is it truly like to learn in the Information Age?

Our way of learning must adapt to modern times. The digital age requires a different set of skills and expertise. And in order to accommodate society’s needs, we have to develop future innovators. Promoting creative problem-solving methodologies is exactly what today’s guest is passionate to accomplish through the efforts of World Builders Academy.

Learn the Ropes of Building a Business

Design Thinking in Education

Design thinking is an iterative process of systematically extracting techniques to solve problems in creative and innovative ways. It is learning through exploration.

The five phases of Design Thinking:

  1. Empathize
  2. Define
  3. Ideate
  4. Prototype
  5. Test

Highlights

– Education is not known for innovation (02:53)

– Teaching Math, Concepts of Learning (09:47)

– Tactical ways to get through students and get them to where you want them to be– involves design thinking (28:35)

– Design Thinking Process (31:22)

Key Quotes

Learning has to happen when you’re ready for it and when it’s intuitive to you.

We need people who can evaluate themselves and the community behind them. And more importantly, we need people who know how to learn.

We have to create an environment where our students have the grace and space to understand that failing is often just another way that something didn’t work.

Get inspired and dig into this “Design Thinking” episode.

Rough Transcript

Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.

00:00.00

Lauren Conway

And we are back. Thank you for joining us for yet another episode of the Startup Hustle podcast. I’m your host Lauren Conaway, founder and CEO of InnovateHER KC.

Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is sponsored by Canva. Canva is an amazing tool and resource. You can go and collaborate to create amazing graphic designs for free. Whether it is a presentation to share an idea a video to launch your business a social post to start a conversation with Canva you can design pretty much anything. They have all of these amazing templates. They have all of these assets that you can use to very easily create beautiful stunning materials to share with your audiences to discover the magic. Ah, visual communication and how Canva helps you create a lasting impact today. Visit http://canva.com to learn more.

So, we have with us a guest that I am very excited to talk to. I always love talking to folks from the Kansas City area I always love talking to innovators. You know that’s where my heart lies. But another interest of mine is education and so today we have with us Panela Leung, Program Director and Lead Educator of World Builders Academy. So we are going to be talking about some exciting stuff. But first things first, Pan, thank you so much for being here with us today. You know I’m super psyched. So I’m just gonna go ahead and kick it right off. This is gonna be great. So I’m going to ask you my friend to tell us about your journey.

01:35.14

Panela Leung

Thank you for having me.

01:47.35

Panela Leung

Hi! My journey. So, I began World Builders Academy in my home on my kitchen table. I’ve always wanted to sort of be an entrepreneur that started something from the kitchen table and went up from there. And the whole reason for it was because I wanted to bring Kansas City the kind of school and the kind of learning environment that I just wasn’t finding available to me in my area. And seven years later, here we are. We are in our own space. We went from the kitchen to commercial space. Now, our own building with two acres that we are living in and fleshing out and learning how to love so that we can grow and do all that sort of groundwork. So you’re catching us at a very exciting time.

02:33.10

Lauren Conway

I love it. And we are definitely going to dive down deeply into the I guess pedagogy or the philosophy of World Builders Academy but first things first, I want to talk to you. You said that you started a business at your kitchen table and that essentially you started a school at your kitchen table. So I want to talk to you about that and I want to drill down on that a little bit now. I’m gonna be perfectly transparent with you and I’m gonna tell you that in my world in my paradigm…

02:51.34

Panela Leung

Yes, yes.

03:07.83

Lauren Conway

Education is not known for innovation. You know by and large we are educating students in very similar ways we did a hundred years ago when we were an agrarian society. Or when we were a manufacturing society.

03:26.81

Lauren Conway

And now we’ve kind of shifted to this like service economy and technology economy. And so I want to ask as an entrepreneur because that’s what you are as well as an educator. What has it been like to create a learning environment that is unique and pushing the envelope and testing boundaries?

03:46.70

Panela Leung

Well, there’s so much to touch on there. So I mean to go back to what you’re reflecting on about, a sort of antiquated way of approaching education. Yeah, the education system we’ve had, and it’s not a new idea that’s out there. But some of my favorite educational thinkers have discussed this widely and expressed widely that the industrial revolution brought about a major change in inhuman and our and social evolution. But it has ended. I think it is it is agreed upon that we have now entered a new age that I think most people are calling the digital age and we are well into that.

04:21.45

Lauren Conway

Oh yeah.

04:22.99

Panela Leung

Um, a decade. Maybe even 2 and the idea that what is needed in the industrial age is not what is needed now necessarily. And what I mean by that is I tell my prospective parents all the time is um, really what is this about in a nutshell. Well if this was 1980, which I am the child of the 80’s. And when you wanted information you had to go to the library. You had to learn how to walk your fingers down a filing cabinet. You know a little card catalog and find the book you were looking for. [You] get that book, go home, and take the time to read that book and do research that way. And frankly, that’s just not the way we learn anymore from every age, top to bottom, we are learning how to do things without a lot of what we would call sort of what would be traditionally called foundational background information. I have one of my mentors Don Marinelli over at the Carnegie Mellon School of entertainment technology. He said this to me one time; he said they’re making expertise not a commodity anymore. And what he means by that, I think, is that you don’t have to be a woodworker for 20 years to understand how to put together a cabinet.

05:28.25

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

05:37.76

Panela Leung

We can just go on to Youtube right now and any child can type the word in “make a cabinet” and maybe they wouldn’t be able to do it depending on their age because of the tools involved. But it’s all out there and so to present education in a linear fashion all the time. It’s not really…

05:46.35

Lauren Conway

Right.

05:55.59

Panela Leung

A match to what is available because while a teacher in an Authoritarian position might be able to say you need to do a BC and D while any child can go right home to their device or to any of their resources and just skip straight to G and by then you know and they’re bouncing back What they do G first then they do a then they doc.

06:07.70

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

06:14.19

Panela Leung

Then they have to go back and maybe pick up B if it’s fundamental and on the go. And so the kind of environment we need to create for education for forward-thinking students is got to be responsive to our environment.

06:27.23

Lauren Conway

Sure? No that is fascinating, and I’ll be honest, I haven’t even thought about it from that particular point of view. You know this wealth of information that is available to us at our fingertips. You know specialization is becoming Rarer like we’re seeing more and more generalists. People who are able to access lots of different kinds of information. Um, so so that’s really interesting how I’m am very curious about your education Philosophy. What would you say?

06:58.11

Panela Leung

Who.

07:02.40

Lauren Conway

Is kind of the primary bent or drive for World Builders Academy like if you were to talk to a parent or talk to a student and say this is what we do? What do you do?

07:11.11

Panela Leung

I tell parents this all the time, and I also tell my students when the time is right because we do have students that are in the grades as well as the early education stages of life. But when they’re ready for it when they start questioning the validity of the work that we’re doing and they start asking me for grades we don’t do grades. And the reason why that is is because learning has to happen when you’re ready for it and when it’s intuitive to you I can tell you that I want to teach you the letters today, but that’s not where your head is then I can throw all the worksheets all of the cartoons. All of the games at you that I want. But if you’re not ready to accept that information into your mind then it. It could be like, you know, ah a large what engineers would call loss of energy in that transfer right? I put out 100%. You maybe got 5 but when your mind is in the right place and the right position to learn and that is where we are in terms of educators here at this school. Our jobs are to observe and watch.

07:54.57

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

08:10.32

Panela Leung

Children be with them be present be mindful and teach them through mentorship through just modeling How to be mindful of where they are. And as facilitators, we give them the opportunities that we feel like that they’re ready for with our eye on you know.

08:12.60

Lauren Conway

The hand.

08:26.78

Panela Leung

Logical progression of how you gain information because there is a system you know? So yeah I would say that our yeah, go ahead.

08:27.57

Lauren Conway

Share Well Well I was just gonna say I love that and if you don’t mind I’m gonna share a personal little anecdote and see kind of how this fits in So I. I am not now nor have I ever been a stupid person but math has always been a little bit of a struggle for me and I remember very clearly like I was fine at math you know I’ve always been better at English but I was fine at math and then you hit.

08:52.77

Panela Leung

Yes, yes.

09:03.46

Lauren Conway

Third grade and in came the multiplication tables and I understood the concept but for whatever reason, I couldn’t grasp it as easily as my classmates seemed to and it just took it took a minute and I think that that set me up.

09:04.34

Panela Leung

And.

09:19.96

Lauren Conway

For a lifetime of failure and frustration and fear of math because I was presented with information that I wasn’t ready for wasn’t receptive to wasn’t able to I Guess. I wasn’t able to figure it out and so then anytime math would come up I would immediately throw up a wall and throw up resistance to that learning is that kind of what you’re you’re alluding to like let’s present the information. So.

09:42.51

Panela Leung

Well, we well let’s do his math. Yeah, let’s use math as a kind of as a construct for what we do here? Math is actually one of the skills that my children boys or girls um are the most strong at they do very well with that and it’s because our approach is um.

09:48.16

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

10:01.72

Panela Leung

Different than what say a larger public you know education system might be public education systems have other demands. They’re asked to you know present children to be able to at the end of the year pass certain you know milestones and tests such as being able to add to 20 or subtract from 1 to 20 whereas. Our approach is more about.

10:16.90

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

10:19.81

Panela Leung

Understanding numbers understanding what they are and what they do seeing the patterns in math particularly is seeing patterns and that’s something that children are particularly good at doing so there’s a lot of stats out there saying that girls fall off in math by third grade and and boys excel more even though girls are stronger earlier on.

10:26.19

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

10:38.93

Panela Leung

And what we have found is that when you teach them the why of why things are and you take the time to do that that I tell my kids who are in first and second grade all the time. Get these fundamentals down just these things get really fluid and we take a year to do what most.

10:41.25

Lauren Conway

Like this.

10:55.79

Panela Leung

Most schools and most systems take maybe two or three months to really do and then the rest they gotta keep going right? We gotta keep going but I said if you get these skills down then by by by the time you get it down every math thing you have to do is gonna be so much easier and it’s the same with learning how to read? um.

10:58.70

Lauren Conway

Right.

11:09.21

laurenconaway

For sure.

11:13.89

Panela Leung

Ah, we do a lot of like I hear a lot about sight words get these kids to memorize as many words as they can well. The human mind can only memorize so many words before you hit a kind of a cap with that. Why don’t we teach them How to think about letters and how letters play with each other so that they can tackle certain things that happen.

11:21.64

Lauren Conway

Sure.

11:28.53

Lauren Conway

The act.

11:30.33

Panela Leung

Sort of go back to your original question. What is the point of the school I tell the parents? It’s not to get your kids into ivy league. It is not to get them to become lawyers or doctors. It is to get them by the end of their eighteenth year to be able to say I tried some things I’ve failed at some things I know I’m good at these things. And more than that, I know a little bit about myself and I don’t need to be sold I don’t need to be sold. Ah, this program’s going to lead you to success because that’s the kind of thing that we did when my generation we were told to go to college and do the right thing. Check all your boxes get all those a’s and your life will be easy and here we are.

11:49.16

Lauren Conway

Oh me, um.

12:01.25

Lauren Conway

Has.

12:07.30

Panela Leung

Frustrated having experienced at least b at least 3 major yeah at least 3 major economic slums that have really killed our productivity as adults and none of it was exactly any singular person’s fault but we were promised something and we all.

12:09.42

Lauren Conway

Overworked overtired stressed out unhappy. Yes.

12:24.71

Panela Leung

I worked for it and then to have it kind of come out now. We’re all kind of like what are we about right? That’s a generation and but I don’t want that for my children I don’t want that for anybody’s children because the and the resources are out there but you have to be able to know how to ask the questions and if you were trained to just follow directions for 18 years

12:27.90

Lauren Conway

Oh, man.

12:38.31

laurenconaway

For sure.

12:44.35

Panela Leung

All the way up until you get kicked out at high school. How do you know anything about yourself? Do you even know what question to ask? What do you want to do when you grow up. And most kids are like I’m trying this you know, I had a college buddy who literally threw a pencil at the ah college catalog to decide her major because she was she just didn’t know.

12:49.50

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

13:03.77

Panela Leung

And I thought I don’t want that and I can empathize with that because I felt that too.

13:07.63

Lauren Conway

I actually picked my college major based on the fact that I own I was an English major and I chose that because it was the only major in which I only had to take one math course. And then something called an applied logic course and I was like okay I’m out.

13:13.25

Panela Leung

Ha.

13:23.56

Panela Leung

Now.

13:26.16

Lauren Conway

You know I don’t want to do that. Well, that is fascinating and so for our listeners, I want to point out there. Yeah, I love this concept that you’re introducing. Because in education there is a concept called Scaffolded learning the fact, the acknowledgment, that in order to learn deeply about any subject you have to start at a base and build a strong foundation.

13:41.16

Panela Leung

I.

13:49.67

Panela Leung

Over him.

13:51.61

Lauren Conway

And then have a logical progression of knowledge that comes based on that base. So like when you’re learning the alphabet. First, you learn your letters and then you learn short words and then you learn more complex words. And then you learn sentences and how they tie together Then, you learn so you have to figure out…

13:58.24

Panela Leung

Um.

14:08.64

Lauren Conway

What that progression looks like. And so what you’re talking about is getting right to that source getting right to that foundation and building up building it up strongly and creating a foundation of understanding rather than rote memorization or um, you know, just you know.

14:17.12

Panela Leung

Um, and.

14:27.69

Lauren Conway

Spitting out numbers or spitting out letters. Is that correct?

14:28.29

Panela Leung

Yeah, yeah, I would say that sometimes ah because we are a private school that um, that people kind of automatically throw us in the nutshell people are antithetical to public systems and all of the beautiful research that has been done in education. And I would say that we definitely are not against any of that we believe in the science. Yes, there is a progression to how people learn in terms of stages like you had just outlined so beautifully. But there is also the element that cannot be easily quantified because we are human beings.

15:02.31

Lauren Conway

Right? right.

15:03.83

Panela Leung

And we need to remember that when we teach we are teaching human beings and what that means is that while you’re learning your letters. How are you learning to deal with your frustration? How are you learning to deal with it when a friend doesn’t do exactly what you want? How do you manage it when you’re the leader in this moment. But no one’s following your directions or vice versa if you’re not the leader. How are you being a good team member while you are learning how letters work together? This has to be together. This has to be fundamentally grown right now. The system is built to educate the masses and what that means is that you’re heating milestones in these.

15:26.51

Lauren Conway

Yeah, yeah.

15:37.50

Lauren Conway

Great.

15:41.96

Panela Leung

Quantifiable you know, ah marks can they write letters. Yes, can they can they read 3 letter words but they’re not as able to integrate that or braid it in beautifully with how are you growing as a person because it matters less to me as your facilitator here at my school.

15:51.10

Lauren Conway

Right.

15:59.97

Panela Leung

That you can get all your timetables memorized if you are not a good team member if you don’t understand that after 5 minutes you need to get up and walk around the room because your body needs that energy to be expelled in that way in a productive way. How are you? How are you when you fail? That’s so important to me because sometimes we get people who come in from.

16:09.86

Lauren Conway

Right. Yes.

16:19.80

Panela Leung

Public you know a public system. They join our school and we spend almost like I would say half to 3 chors of the year just reprogramming the I can’t or they tell me what to do attitude when the question is what do you want to? Do you have this available to you? We have all of these lab pieces available.

16:34.95

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

16:39.51

Panela Leung

But if you are not used to again asking the questions of yourself understanding yourself I’m sitting in this chair but I really need to get up because I have you know, um, a need in my brain to get up and shake my body but I’m being told and I’ve been trained to sit in this chair and be miserable. No. Look at you and we say if you need to get up then get up I’ve looked at children I’ve said you have 20 problems to complete to practice this skill but know yourself I’ve observed that after 5 problems your brain needs a break so go and take that break come back and finish. But.

17:00.27

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

17:17.32

Panela Leung

Depending on their age, especially as they get up to 8 and more, I start putting on them their own responsibility. It is up to you to tell yourself to come back because you’re old enough now that you know that you’re taking that 5 problem break you got to come back and it takes off of my plate as a teacher of being a micromanager.

17:30.80

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

17:36.70

laurenconaway

Sure. So.

17:36.83

Panela Leung

Of people, I don’t have to say what I tell you? No sir! I trust you because you are capable and you are allowed to fail here. And I will be here to help and that’s what scaffolding means to me in terms of.

17:48.44

Lauren Conway

And you said you just said something really really interesting to me and I’m gonna tell another story here. It comes I have so many stories. So so when I.

17:56.91

Panela Leung

Um, yours I love them.

18:04.56

Lauren Conway

I think I told you I used to work for an organization that did a lot of work around experiential learning and project-based real-world education and I and I loved my time there but 1 of the things that we did is we had a I guess it was an experience. It was like a field trip day.

18:10.90

Panela Leung

Never.

18:24.44

Lauren Conway

But the intent was to connect students with entrepreneurs and have them solve a problem we would present them with a problem that was that was given to them by a community organization and they would have and a certain amount of time to work with this entrepreneur to come up with a solution. And to pitch and then they would pitch to a panel of judges and the hope was that we would help these kids kind of get out of their own boxes and it was really interesting to me because more often than not When. We would first present the problem to the students and we gave them a lot of latitudes and a lot of freedom to kind of decide how they wanted to move forward. The objective was always to have the students leading the process rather than the entrepreneur the program facilitators but what was fast.

19:09.42

Panela Leung

Right.

19:12.33

Lauren Conway

Fascinating as we would when we would first present the problem and just be like okay go you have you know 3 hours 4 hours or whatever. There was always this look of panic like ah, I have no idea what to do here and so it’s speaking to your point.

19:18.85

Panela Leung

Um, and will have and.

19:26.89

Lauren Conway

You know when we’re talking and again I’m going to hearken back to the Agrarian industrial society that we have kind of built our education system on you know we hear this concept of teaching to the test. You know we are wanting to hit those milestones making sure that we have all of these very rigid.

19:37.50

Panela Leung

Boom.

19:45.94

Lauren Conway

Set of expectations based on grade level age experience all of that good stuff. But what happens there is you lose out on critical thinking and as we’ve moved to this digital age. You know we have robots these days that can handle a lot of that industrial stuff.

20:03.98

Lauren Conway

What we need are critical thinkers. We need people who can evaluate themselves and evaluate the community behind them and more importantly, we need people who know how to learn. Um, you know.

20:17.50

Lauren Conway

To your point to your earlier point. We have all of these mechanisms for people to get information. We need critical thinkers who are able to say this is a problem. This is what I need to learn and here is how I go about finding that information and then applying it and so it’s just really. I Loved it because you’re essentially setting students up for that kind of experience and that’s where you see a love of learning I mean that’s like pure opinion but people love learning when it is a fun and interesting and safe process for Them. You know you said you you give them the freedom and the latitude to fail you know, of course. When you’re new at things and just learning things, you’re gonna fail, and we have to create the environment where our students in our youth have the grace and space to do that and understand that failing is often just another way that something didn’t work. Try again, you know.

21:11.60

Panela Leung

That’s right and failure is such a negative word. But I think you know we’re in a state of I think in our society where I feel like we’re transforming Meanings of words and I think failure has got to be on the table because failure is not negative. You’re not a loser if you fail and they’re still so pervasive.

21:28.76

Panela Leung

But this idea of teaching confidence is something that we have to do early and we are inspired by a respectful infant educating philosophy. We are inspired by the reg you Amelia philosophy and both of those philosophies are surrounding um the principle of.

21:48.56

Panela Leung

Respect and respect of the child respect of the teacher respect of the families and that these are sort of threefold um pieces major pieces of the learning environment. It’s not just how come my teacher isn’t teaching my kids what they need to know how come you’re not doing your job. You know.

22:08.48

Panela Leung

And then the teachers may turn on say how come you’re not doing your job at home and it and it creates this dichotomy that is not um, accurate. We all work together in community and this idea of standardizing things. It’s so silly because you can’t we do cooking classes here. And we sometimes we make dumplings for instance and that’s a new experience for most of our kids we can’t tell the kids everybody make this dumbling at this in 5 minutes every one of you whether they’ve done it or not and expect that outcome to be exactly the same and be rigid and there’s a way to get them to do it. But it’s not joyful.

22:41.18

Panela Leung

We’ve learned that we have to be able to teach them personal confidence early. We started with sort of the standard Pre-k age in my home and then I realized we needed to go younger. And in fact, I used to work in college level.

22:56.10

Panela Leung

Um, learning, and I was walking around several sort of ivy league campuses that I’ve had experience and I looked around at the kids there and I said to myself. What’s different from like what makes these children distinguished and they are distinguished I mean to get into a good institution like that I think you you have to be to some measure what makes them different than what you know. Someone might say with a lower toe state school kids and I was a state school kid that were community college kids and really there’s no difference. The only real difference though if there was 1 is perhaps they were given latitude and the freedom to experiment they were given the ability to observe others in action.

23:35.42

Panela Leung

Dentists’ children become dentists that kind of thing, right? They just see it. They see the world, and they understand it from that View. We don’t ask them to understand more than they’re capable I started saying to myself. No, no high school. We need to go back to high school so that they can be enabled by college then I said no-no. Middle school and I very quickly Learned. No No earlier earlier earlier and that’s where I discovered Rye respectful infant educating it really goes back to the very beginning and when we train our infants in what we do and it sounds silly right because they’re infants. Most people think just change your diaper and feed them. They’re Happy. No.

24:12.71

Panela Leung

There’s another element there. We must feed into and that is to make themselves aware they are going through a journey of discovering the new world that they are in and they don’t need to be rescued out of every situation you create a safe environment for them and allows them to create confidence within their own bodies children who grow in confidence do not.

24:32.21

Panela Leung

For example, hurt themselves as men as much. They don’t climb up to heights that they are not capable of climbing down they they understand their own body cues as to oh this feels like danger to me and that is the seed that grows into a child that becomes confident to say I’m trying this thing. It’s frustrating me.

24:51.69

Panela Leung

Can’t do it is what I hear a lot, but then a child in confidence goes I’m gonna try again and that’s really where it starts, and that’s why we go to the ages that we go to? yeah.

24:59.14

Lauren Conway

I love that? Well so that you’ve just made like 20 different powerful statements and I like just a little.

25:11.17

Lauren Conway

Note for you like I do I think I told you in our pre-show prep like I have this notebook here and I write down the things that I think are interesting and the things that I want to drill down on and you are the the first entrepreneur in a while the first guest in a while where my page is already completely covered with notes I’m just like oh there’s so many things you want to talk about.

25:30.16

Lauren Conway

Ah, but one of the things that I want to talk about right now is just… I want to remind our listeners that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is sponsored by Canva. 

With Canva, you can design your ideas with ease. You have total control. All it takes is you just whatever you can imagine. You can get it down onto you know onto your digital asset. You can get inspired. They have over 500000 free templates. They have a rich content library I personally love doing. They have a bunch of really cool videos I found a really neat Shark one. 

The other day, I used it for something that was so fun like they have all kinds of cool stuff I’m constantly finding new tools. New assets to use and integrate into our digital marketing. All of these things can help you and your team achieve your goals I think we all know that content marketing is kind of the wave of now and the wave of. Future that we’re writing and Canva helps you do it easily. It helps you create beautiful assets definitely sign up and start designing for free at http://Canva.com 

Now Pan, you said that you had used Canva before right? What’s been your experience?

26:34.15

Panela Leung

Yes, I did. You know I’m a designer by trade. So I used to do interactive children’s museums and educational spaces like that all the way to theme parks and such I appreciate a beautifully designed thing that I’m asked to look at so when it comes to.

26:52.33

Panela Leung

Boring 90’s PowerPoint no more we use Canva all the time for when we want to make presentations and I again I learned about it in college. And I haven’t stopped using it since and that’s been some years so they’ve gotten their time with me.

26:59.41

Lauren Conway

Yeah, yeah, it’s it’s been. It’s like a thousand steps above the clip art of you of old that we remember like yeah yeah. I mean just super slim lean design stuff and I’ll tell you that I I do actually talk to folks in the innovator community.

27:08.34

Panela Leung

Um, if the Cs yes living no more.

27:19.60

Lauren Conway

On a regular basis and anytime somebody asks about graphic design. We have people coming and be like use Canva I’m like heck yeah, use Canva It’s amazing. It’s so easy, all right? Well So so folks we are here with Panelo to learn of World Builders Academy we are. We’re talking.

27:26.84

Panela Leung

That’s right.

27:38.16

Lauren Conway

About all kinds of things. But really, we’re Talking About. We’re talking about the power of teaching our youth and fostering and facilitating our youth loving themselves knowing themselves and helping present their selves to the world. In a useful and happy-making way and I love that because I think you’re absolutely right I feel like that is kind of the foundation of creating fulfilled satisfied productive people.

28:10.78

Lauren Conway

You know, and like I said, really like critical thinkers learners, people who love who learn because they love learning rather than because they were forced to, you know? and so so I love that. Now, I want to ask you this I want to talk to you about your very specific. Tactics because one of the things that we talked about in Pre-show Prep. We talked a little bit about design thinking and I think you and I share an interest and an appreciation for that. But can you talk to us about. Ah, some of them I guess the tactical ways that you engage with students to get them where you want them to be.

28:46.44

Panela Leung

Well, we’ve talked a lot about it already I think so again as a designer I have a real appreciation forum, anyone who’s taken the time to sort of quantify what it is this this sort of ethereal Blob of how do you get people to understand themselves and one of the ways that I Think. Helps us answer that question is the design thinking process designers have to look their first step is to look at what is there, right? and that is something that I think many grownups could get a lesson In. Don’t try to wish things to be there that aren’t there. You need to just work with what’s there. We are limited resources.

29:21.86

Panela Leung

As they are you as you are, you wish you were smarter faster, brighter. But maybe you’re not, and so you’ve got to start there then you have to ask the question of what you’re trying to achieve that helps you gain focus and help you gain understanding after that you break it down in steps in iterative processes of trying something.

29:41.71

Panela Leung

Failing trying again testing it asking others What they think again that community that feedback being a team member and then doing it again and that is so important that in particular is what is different about looking at education from a non-design approach to a design approach because lessons. Are linear in regular schools aren’t they they go from this to this and every science experiment is successful because it is designed to be so there is no variation in your you know in your circumstance. So Everybody’s ah you know vinegar and baking soda will always fiz right on Q whereas if you have to iterate through that process to get that to happen.

30:01.11

Lauren Conway

Right.

30:20.11

Panela Leung

It teaches you that failure is not negative that it is just the next step to the next step and all say that’s right and also that there is no end. We always think of things with end graduation. It’s an end and we win but there is nothing like that now and certainly, the world doesn’t support that anymore.

30:23.93

Lauren Conway

Right? It’s a progression or an evolution for sure. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

30:40.00

Panela Leung

So design thinking, I think is a powerful way for and there are a lot of schools and a lot of public districts and a lot of initiatives to kind of get that. But I think we’re in a shifting moment where people are still being taught how to be teachers of that sort of antiquated system. But then they’re all so so invested as Well. Every teacher I know. Wants to do this other thing and they want to be able to quantify it and make that measurable so that it can be passable to the powers that be so um, yeah, So I think that it’s really the way forward whether you’re a design person or an artist or someone who thinks in that realm or not.

31:19.44

Lauren Conway

For sure. Well so just a little context for our listeners at home when we’re talking about design thinking which is exactly what pan is talking about here. There. There are 5 different stages. And I’m not going to go into super deep detail but you first is empathize researching your user’s needs and defining the problem this one is really interesting to me and I’m going to give you yet. Another example so I told you about this competition that I used to help kind of facilitate.

And so this was really interesting. We were working with a financial institution, and when we went in they the question that was being asked was how do we or how might we because that’s how you know state the problem but how might we engage youth to use banking products and what was fast.

I think all of us the adults, the facilitators. Then the folks from the financial institution were all expecting the kids to come up with like apps and you know different banking products and things like that. But what was fascinating was the empathizing and the research phases and the ideation phases of this process. We found that the students more often than not were asking the question why has no one taught us financial literacy at this point like you’re asking us to talk about banking products but we don’t even know.

32:38.86

Panela Leung

Myth.

32:42.85

Lauren Conway

What a Cd is and we don’t know the process of starting opening a savings account and we don’t know about interest and we don’t and so so what was fascinating is the problem that this institution thought they had was not the problem that they actually had.

32:42.90

Panela Leung

First.

32:56.67

Panela Leung

You have.

32:58.98

Lauren Conway

And that came out during the empathy and the definite like defining the problem defining the user’s needs. We figured out that what they actually needed was financial education. They were like hey bring us pizza at a lunch break at our school and teach us about financial topics. You know that’s actually what we need.

33:03.42

Panela Leung

Yes.

33:13.22

Panela Leung

Here is.

33:16.95

Lauren Conway

And so we were able to like kind of circumvent I think that the bank was planning on doing like all of these very expensive products and technical tools and really all they needed to do was engage around this topic with these kids and teach these kids you know this is what these things are this will set you up for financial success.

33:33.43

Panela Leung

Right.

33:35.90

Lauren Conway

And so that that definition of the problem is hugely important, then you have a stage 3 which is ideation. That’s where you’re coming up with ideas. No, no idea is bad. There is often ah a germ of truth in the ideas that you come up with even if they’re silly I mean you could be like hey I want to have you know giraffe butlers on Mars.

33:52.41

Panela Leung

Number 1

33:54.54

laurenconaway

All right? Well, maybe there’s something in there like maybe what it is what you actually need is capacity building. That’s what the butlers bring um I don’t know ideation prototyping you know coming up with a test of your solution like what is the best way to bring that solution to market or to use it in your life.

34:01.80

Panela Leung

And it’s just there.

34:12.98

Lauren Conway

And then trying it out does this work. What doesn’t work? What can we fix? So so that’s kind of the design thinking process that we’re talking about here and you mirrored that process just beautifully, but I wanted to name the steps really quickly.

34:23.92

Panela Leung

No, and it’s yeah and it’s a word to note that you know it when I was in my youth, my college. There wasn’t anybody really using that term but it is now it’s ah it’s a real word I mean it’s a webster verified design thinking is a word so your listeners can definitely look into it. Yeah, it’s now it’s something established.

34:40.10

Lauren Conway

It’s a real thing and well it and it’s fascinating. Yeah.

34:43.44

Panela Leung

Yeah, designers. Um and artists have been using this process. Um for for all of human history. But now that we’ve.

34:52.67

Lauren Conway

oh oh 34 56 wait

35:23.52

Lauren Conway

Can you hear me? I have no idea what just happened there. So I just wrote down at 34 56 that they’re gonna have to cut some stuff out in the middle. It’s fine. We’ll just go I apologize I don’t know what just happened you just like blanked out for me.

35:24.59

Panela Leung

Yes, I can hear you okay.

35:36.91

Panela Leung

No, that’s fine I’ve done radio before we just wait. We okay.

35:42.73

Lauren Conway

All right? So so when you got what were we saying just before.

35:46.55

Panela Leung

We were just talking about design thinking being a real thing.

35:49.83

Lauren Conway

Okay, so all right? So back to design thinking is like a real term like in the dictionary. Can you go back to that? Yeah, let’s just go back there, and then they can figure out where to cut it I was so sorry I don’t know what happened? yeah.

35:55.67

Panela Leung

Oh okay, do we lose all of them. Okay. Right? If you’d like me to start all just I do yeah I don’t know I was just like oh no and I lose her. Um, okay I’ll just wait a beat, and that way they’ll have something clean to cut in I’ve done radio before I was you know we’d done it before.

36:09.92

Lauren Conway

Perfect. You’re so good at this. Alright.

36:19.15

Panela Leung

So what I think is important is that your listeners can can know is it’s not like when I was a kid in college and things that design thinking wasn’t a real term. It was a process that has been used since the beginning of time by human beings by artists. You know, most most obviously and designers and and now it’s. We’re in in this exciting time now where people can actually Google the words design thinking and there are actually free courses in design thinking, and I think that you that you could use to apply to different points in your life and I’m I’m just thrilled to see that design thinking in this process is now sort of getting that c level recognition that um.

36:44.71

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

36:56.50

Lauren Conway

Yeah, it’s It’s definitely hit the the you know the worldwide global vernacular for sure. Um, yeah, well and ah what I love is you know it’s away. Well so design.

36:58.70

Panela Leung

I think it deserves.

37:03.99

Panela Leung

I think so yeah, absolutely.

37:13.10

Lauren Conway

Thinking is above all, it’s a problem solving Methodology. You know it provides a framework and so if you if you have a problem or if you have a challenge or an obstacle or an opportunity. Even you know design thinking is going to give you a a roadmap To. Or an option of a roadmap as to how to solve it and so so that’s what I love about it. You know because often it yeah you know.

37:36.85

Panela Leung

It’s really intuitive. It’s an intuitive ah approach you know I mean we all naturally kind of do it and and but to have it all quantified and and labeled and and understand so everybody’s sort of can be on the same page about where we are. It’s like no no, no, this isn’t the finished product I’m iterating.

37:50.38

Lauren Conway

Right? Yeah well and I mean to your earlier point it is never the finished product like there’s no such thing so in in Japan they have this concept called Kai Zen

37:51.73

Panela Leung

Like it’s It’s just very nice to be able to say you know I’m not falling. It is yeah right right? man.

38:03.34

Lauren Conway

And that that just means continuous improvement. The fact that you know once you you think you’ve finished you’ve never really finished because there’s always an opportunity to streamline and make it better and you know prototype test reiterate You know, figure out. It’s never going to be perfect, but you can always improve and I love that concept.

38:21.61

Panela Leung

Yes, yes, and and trying to bring that and you know down to the to the foot soldier to the foot soldier level of what we’re doing every day you know because all of these wonderful theories and philosophies and pedagogies that are being developed on paper sounds so great. But then we do the hard work of Implementation. And the implementation is where we are. We are iterating through implementation. That’s why we’re on startup hustle because we’re we’re just figuring it out, but we know it’s a good thing and we know it’s the way to go and if we can make it be something that is scalable that that is something that is sustainably stable that can be brought to a mass audience.

38:39.70

Lauren Conway

Yep.

38:48.66

Lauren Conway

Right.

38:58.44

Panela Leung

In terms of like numbers. Um I Just think that that can’t be anything but positive to start from respect and move forward from there. Yeah.

38:58.75

Lauren Conway

Yeah, absolutely well and to bring it all back around the full circle I Love the fact that you are equipping our youth from a very early age because when you started at early age. That’s when these concepts and that’s when these things these learnings get reinforced and then you continue to reinforce them over the course of a lifetime but you know you’re equipping your students and you’re equipping our children. The generations of leaders and folks that’ll be running the world someday you’re equipping them I mean well.

39:33.39

Panela Leung

Or not, you know it’s fine. What makes them find their joy? You know. So yeah later yeah.

39:39.22

Lauren Conway

They’re gonna be you know I mean I don’t I don’t care like you could be running your household. You could be running your car like it doesn’t even matter. But you know at some point these folks are going to have to be decision Makers At some point these folks are gonna have to.

39:48.17

Panela Leung

Yes.

39:53.11

Lauren Conway

Figure out what they want to do with their lives and who they want to be and how they want to be and take action and you’re you’re providing them with a really strong foundation for that like here are some tactics and things that you can do to figure that out and here are ways that you can listen to yourself in the world around you to.

40:02.30

Panela Leung

Um, yeah, yeah.

40:12.48

Lauren Conway

Be better present and and so I just I Love the fact that you’re creating an environment I don’t I don’t think you’re getting too like stultifying or too prescriptive but you’re creating an environment that fosters those kinds of attitudes and that knowledge and allows it to flourish. So so good on you I’m I’m giving you a round of applause.

40:26.48

Panela Leung

Um, yeah, thank you when it’s like’s like clapping for someone in the middle of a marathon I Very much feel so I’m sweating it out I appreciate it. But I’m still running right now. So I will catch you on them.

40:31.96

Lauren Conway

I. Yeah, well for sure and I mean honestly I mean agree with that that I integrative process like the marathon is probably never ever going to be over, but you had you yeah I would say that you’re a pioneer.

40:45.62

Panela Leung

Yeah, yes, both.

40:51.69

Lauren Conway

Um, I mean I know that these concepts are starting to be talked about with an education but you’re already doing it. Yeah for sure I know I and I totally understand that too people are like innovators.

40:56.41

Panela Leung

On the shoulders of poyance on the shoulders of Jane but.

41:05.32

Lauren Conway

Movement and I’m like ah yeah, but we didn’t start it like we built on what was already there, and then at some point we’ll hand it off to someone else. Yeah.

41:08.14

Panela Leung

Yeah, yeah, literally list I’m hearing we didn’t start the fire and my yeah, yeah.

41:17.28

Lauren Conway

Well so so so that is absolutely fantastic and I cannot tell you how enthusiastic I am about you and the work that you do I hope you love it. Do you love it? Okay, yeah.

41:18.67

Panela Leung

Thank you.

41:25.49

Panela Leung

Of course, I love it. We are not. We’re not at the stage where we can do this and not love it, and I don’t think that that over happened you know the people. Yes, what about that safety course again, you were talking about? No um.

41:34.75

Lauren Conway

That’s right like if you got into it for the money, you got into the wrong thing.

41:43.23

Panela Leung

I Think what’s yeah I Think what’s incredible is that what we’re here to do is to build Frameworks We are not the answer. We are not going to solve problems that people might be looking for us to solve in the way that I think some people look at the public school and and again may blame and may point fingers. No no, no where we’re here to do is to create an environment where framework.

41:55.59

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

42:03.40

Panela Leung

Um, for someone because they’re not here forever and I tell them my old history is that I was like I can’t be next to you next year or whatever to answer this for you and then if they try to answer each other’s questions I’ll say are you agreeing to be with her for the rest of her life to help repel those words. No then you better, let her figure out how to do that because. You know, otherwise you’re signing yourself onto something else you know and so with that framework they can edit it. They can take away parts that they thought they knew about themselves and they can change it and they can grow in it and by the end I hope to meet a lot of my students again when they’re my age and and hopefully they can reflect back on the years that we’ve had together with. Positivity and oh I get it. You know, kind of Nis which is what I get to enjoy from thinking about my my influential teachers and educators in my past is oh they were trying to tell me something I get it now and and there’s joy in that as well and you know it’s just ties back into the joy of being alive. You know.

42:45.64

Lauren Conway

Sure.

42:51.67

Lauren Conway

Um, oh man that is the big that it that is that is a lovely lovely note to close out on like what what does the future look like and I love hearing that your ideal future is. Meeting your your students in the future and finding them where they want to be you know again like that that happy satisfied Productive. You know, knowing themselves and understanding the world around them having a deep connection to the world around them and you know figuring out how they want to show up in the world. That’s a question. I think every person should be asking themselves. How do I want to show up and what actions and what thoughts will it take to get me there. So So I love that I am I am going to ask you. The human question. Are you ready? Okay, so I’m going to go I feel like this.

43:41.62

Panela Leung

Let’s go. Yeah.

43:45.75

Lauren Conway

Kind of a softball but all right? So this is not the human question. This is a context question. But do you like music. Okay good, I was like so I actually asked this question once of a guest and they were like I don’t really listen to music and I was like I don’t know what to do with that now. But your question is what? what.

43:49.32

Panela Leung

Love it I was a musician.

44:04.50

Lauren Conway

Music are you listening to right now that is is bringing you joy.

44:05.89

Panela Leung

You know I just recently watched a movie that brought my Mariah Carey back into my academic life and listen my girls do Cindy Lapper Mariah Carey Whitney Houston we hit all the 90 s we haven’t got any further point I’m telling you anytime you want to rock out. Um I’m for it.

44:17.60

Lauren Conway

Oh, there are beautiful divas. Wait you’re gonna wait. You’re gonna get some Madonna in there though, right? like early like 80 s 90 S Madonna oh yeah

44:25.38

Panela Leung

90 s music all moment of course of course it’s just that I just watched a movie with Mariah Carey and it’s just she’s the only one spinning in my head you know? ah, I get read and look in panel I did not.

44:36.40

Lauren Conway

Where ready was it What was like maybe she was in was it glitter. Did you just watch glitter? Did you just watch glitter? Okay, okay, okay, well I’m going to have to check that out because I did well.

44:42.74

Panela Leung

Much good I Just watched a movie called free guy and it’s amazing. My one might my new favorite movie for the moment.

44:52.45

Lauren Conway

I just read an article that reminded me of glitter and I was like oh that was such a lovely wonderful travesty of a movie. It was so terrible. It was great. Um.

44:52.62

Panela Leung

You’ll be bopping to gorih not go it. No I love her musicality I’m not a huge fan of like her as a you know Kardashian type personality I’m not really into that. But.

45:04.25

Lauren Conway

Yeah.

45:07.31

Panela Leung

When you walk by every night Talking sweet and looking fine I’m there I mean that talking sweet and looking fine. You got yeah where am on hand girl that ah.

45:09.60

Lauren Conway

We walk by every night we wait. Um, inside. Oh, I love that so much all right? that makes me really really happy. Okay, oh, and a little bit of Mariah Trivia for you. Ah, so Mariah has a so she has what we call what vocalists call a strong whistle voice.

45:25.28

Panela Leung

Oh no, no.

45:32.99

Panela Leung

Ah.

45:34.96

Lauren Conway

She has a command of over five octaves which is pretty rare rare as far as vocalization and much like Minnie Ripperton who came before her she could technically be classified as a musical instrument in her album liner notes did you know that because she has such a white rain. Yeah.

45:39.76

Panela Leung

Um.

45:46.62

Panela Leung

Ah, I didn’t you know I didn’t know Excuse technique me a musical instrument. That’s so exciting. But I admire that.

45:53.27

Lauren Conway

So technically if you go above 5 5 octave range. You can be categorized as a musical instrument because you have so many octaves at your command and I was always super jealous.

46:04.25

Panela Leung

Ah, you know I’m never gonna be there I’m never will be there. My voice is doing what Joni Mitchells did you know it’s just going down and lower and lower. We will ask you piece you of cigarettes and I did i.

46:12.41

Lauren Conway

Yeah, yeah, yeah, same the same I’m pretty sure that by the time I’m eighty I’m gonna like sound like a 5 pack a day smoker just and I think I’m okay with that like I’m just gonna be like the cranky salty old broad like dead eye teenagers. You know that’s gonna be me.

46:21.64

Panela Leung

Yeah, I’m already. I know I know that’s me too. But I’m not smoking all the time which makes it seem like I’m not getting you know I’m not getting my do but being a teacher I don’t Time. So My voice is getting getting used in a different way. Yeah.

46:38.84

Lauren Conway

Yeah, well I cannot tell you how grateful I am that you took the time to chat here on the show today. This has been wonderful I hope our listeners have enjoyed the conversation because I know that I certainly have thank you so much for taking the time. Yes.

46:53.18

Panela Leung

In the duet, it anytime live nervous. Yes, exactly 1 need.

46:58.00

Lauren Conway

I think that’s actually the first time I’ve done everyone on startup hustle. So thank you for that. Oh absolutely. Well. 

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