Te Mako Orzecki reflects on this podcast from Janelle Riki-Waaka
In this podcast, Janelle Riki-Waaka explains how employing the good old number 8 wire mentality is at the heart of innovation using design thinking frameworks. She draws on the experiences of Māori and Pasifika navigators who traversed the Pacific and settled throughout Te Moananui a Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean). Our ancestors used not only technologies of the time to survive but also thrive. Janelle argues that these technologies and innovations still exist within our tamariki and mokopuna of today.
Janelle draws on that old knowledge and technology to make comparison with today’s Hangarau Matihiko and Digital Technologies curriculum content. As she puts it, “The end goal is for Māori learners to not only become consumers of technology, but also creators of technology.” There is a desire for Māori ākonga to be innovative in seeking solutions to any given problems by developing a framework that sits within their cultural paradigm and more.
A kaiako’s job as a facilitator of learning is to provide Māori ākonga with the opportunities to pursue these types of vocations and to set themselves up in their future career pathways.
Diversification is key in making this a success. This means more wāhine, more Māori, and more people of Pacific descent working in these spaces. It is imperative that various cultural lenses can provide unique perspectives. One way of developing locally-grounded, future-focused problem solvers is through design thinking.
Design thinking is a process that requires people to find problems or challenges that affect people and places and come up with solutions. These often derive from the needs of people and/or environment. It enables a collaborative way of working.
In considering what design thinking looks like from a Te Ao Māori perspective in our CORE Education mahi, we drew on Cliff Whiting and the design process he used in his art making. Similar to Cliff we used the Māori creation story as a narrative to understand and guide our initial design thinking process. This Māori view on design thinking was further developed for Kia Takatū a-Matihiko as Te Tukunga Hoahoa Whakaaro. As a snapshot, our iterative process consisted of design, testing, feedback, reframing ideas, and reflection. Our wish is to share this process with all kaiako throughout Aotearoa who want to use it with their tamariki, knowing that it has come from an authentic, bicultural perspective that is based and grounded in Te Ao Māori and mātauranga Māori.
In recent years there has been a notable rise in the number of Māori role models in tech and innovation industries who are upheld as innovative thinkers and leaders. People like Lee Timutimu (Ko Māui Hangarau), Kendall Flutey (Ngāi Tahu) who developed an online banker tool for primary and intermediate learners to learn money skills. Nikora Ngaropo for his outstanding work with animations and Hori Te Ariki Mataki (Ariki Creative) and the boys from Māui Studio who are doing the mahi in Ōtautahi. These innovators are leading the charge for our budding future Māori digital creators and leaders.