Students tackle homelessness at Global Vision Summit

March 05, 2016

On March 5th at PAAC’s Global Vision Summit, over 100 students representing 24 high schools gained a deeper understanding of homelessness, both locally and internationally. Students took a human-centered approach by using design thinking, facilitated by Oceanit and Yuen Designs. They built empathy, inquiry, and listening skills through interviews with community members who are currently or previously experienced being houseless. Those personal encounters changed their perceptions of the homeless by making it real and personal. They took this new knowledge and used critical thinking, creativity, and teamwork skills to generate ideas to address homelessness. They then presented their prototypes to their peers and members of the community. Three of these prototypes were later shared at a Housing and Homeless Taskforce Meeting. 

Participants also heard from a panel of local experts: Scott Murashige, Gordon Furutani, Duane Kurisu, and Kimo Carvalho, to help them better understand the current situation in our state.  Participants also gained an international perspective by examining how other countries have addressed homelessness. 

Participants commented that this event was informative, inspiring, and even life-changing! As a result of the conference, they are inspired to spread awareness of this critical issue and be more active members of their communities. Below are student reactions to the conference.

"I gained a more empathetic perspective towards the homeless, and increase my confidence that my generation can solve this problem."  

"The 2016 Global Vision Summit on homelessness was the best conference I have ever attended.... I was inspired that I could implement the strategy (Design Thinking) to work towards solutions for global issues, especially homelessness. One of the key components to Design Thinking is empathy, a step we too often forget to take into consideration when trying to address a problem. It was an incredible experience to meet Hawaii's homeless at the Global Vision Summit, to see the faces behind the issue. It reminded me of my experience back in PAAC's South Korea trip. I realized that world affairs in not just about the facts and policies, but it is about the people."

"I learned a lot about homelessness on a a state-wide and global scale.  I think we could learn from other countries and try to incorporate their methods in Hawaii."

"I gained the skill of empathy and listening without judging. In life, this is immensley important when experiencing new cultures, or just interacting with diverse people." 

Mahalo to Hawaii Pacific University for hosting our conference at your Aloha Tower Marketplace campus. Mahalo to our generous conference sponsors who made this event possible, and to all the guest speakers and volunteers. 

Check out coverage from Hawaii News Now, Honolulu Star Advertiser, and KITV news.

Venue Sponsor
Hawaii Pacific University

Design Thinking Coaches
Ian Kitajima, Oceanit
Raviraj Pare, Oceanit
Susan Yuen, Yuen Designs

Chad Blair, Honolulu Civil Beat
Kimo Carvalho, Institute for Human Services
Gordon Furutani, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (Ret)
Duane Kurisu, Aio Foundation
Scott Morishige, Governor's Office

Angela Acosta, Kailani Ablong, Janessa Aquino, Peter Borcena, Joni Lynne Celiz, Jesslyn Cheong, Misty Cordeiro, Cristina Herrera, Chong Jin, Kristal Kaku, Kyung Moo Kim, Patrick Lam, Jacob Nakasone, Victor Ong, Katie Pham, Aisha Price, Kevin Tangonan, Nathaniel Trinidad, and Kathlene Vitug