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Design Juniors + Start Up! Kids

Last week I was concerned about the progress of the summer academy program I’m starting, called Design Juniors. Not only did people not understand what design thinking was, they kept asking the question, but what will the kids beĀ doing?

Very valid question, and my answer was that, I didn’t know! I knew we would do some “design thinking” activities, but I hadn’t defined the challenge the students were going to work on yet. Last week, I held several meeting with people at different non-profit organizations around town, and they all seemed to have potential. One conversation, however, stuck with me the most.

Start-Up! Kids Club began just a year ago and is essentially a one-woman show with a growing program in 6 locations around Austin. The woman that founded the non-profit program has been getting requests for a summer camp, but she doesn’t quite have the capacity to do put it together and run it on her own.

This is where I step in. “Why don’t we just partner for the camp?” I asked, “We will teach kids how to launch their own businesses, and design thinking will be the underlying methodology we use.”

She was in, and now I’m working on putting together an outline for a two week course in the summer that blends design thinking and entrepreneurship.

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Next steps include tightening up some partnerships that are in the works and ironing out details like location and pricing so we can start selling spots for the camp.

In April, we are planning to run a retreat for students out at a place near Dripping Springs. This will be a teaser for the program and a way for us to test out some of the things we will teach.

In the meantime, there’s lots to do. Next week you can look forward to hearing what it’s like to run an ideation session with 9 year olds.