Our Approach

our approach

HFLI provides custom-designed experiences and scalable initiatives rooted in culturally-responsive practices. Our expertise as an innovation learning leader and our empathy as a strategic ally is reflected in every touchpoint, every engagement along a continuum of immersive, hands-on learning.

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Our ENGAGEMENTS

Below are just a few of our collaborations designed to catalyze creative thinking, build confidence with practice, and take action for impact. Click on a story square to read a brief overview. Each is tailored for the participant group's needs and the desired outcomes.

You might want to sponsor a workshop or a series that looks a lot like one of these engagements -- or have us design something that looks very different. Contact us to learn more. We are here to listen, ask questions, and imagine possibilities. Together.

Engagements

catalyze
creative
thinking

build
confidence
with
practice

take
action
for
impact

catalyze
creative
thinking

build
confidence
with
practice

take
action
for
impact

catalyze
creative
thinking

build
confidence
with
practice

take
action
for
impact

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Special Sauce

Deeper Learning by Doing® centers the learner and creates a space for all to succeed. With every step we attend not only to what a participant learns, but to how they learn. This powerful design and delivery approach makes learning come to life. Colleagues call it our "special sauce."

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Deeper Learning by Doing®

Culturally
Responsive
Methodology

design
thinking

High
leverage
education
practices

culturally
responsive
Methodology

design
thinking

High
leverage
education
practices

Culturally
Responsive
Methodology

design
thinking

High
leverage
education
practices

culturally responsive
Methodology

We believe that everyone has the power to create; what they don't have is an equitable opportunity to gain the tools, mindsets, and skills to lead real change. 

HFLI breaks down barriers to lifelong learning and social impact by embedding cultural responsiveness in the design and delivery of every engagement. We make learning appropriate and effective for participants through inquiry, cultural knowledge, brain-based learning principles, and an understanding of systems and power dynamics. 

Our workshops for educators explicitly address culturally responsive education and help teachers connect with their students and nurture independent learners.

DESIGN THINKING

Wondering what we mean by design thinking at HFLI? We describe it as a collection of mindsets that enable/allow us to explore problems creatively, then reframe and act on them. A key point: it involves action, or “design doing,” as well as design thinking.

HFLI approaches design thinking in a way that:

-  Is open to and inclusive of other disciplines and methods.

-  Acknowledges the complexity involved in the process and doesn’t oversimplify.

- Introduces essential tools and strategies in an accessible way.

-  Continually evolves and expands.

The learning experiences we create and deliver embody this philosophy.

Design Thinking Process

HIGH LEVERAGE
EDUCATION PRACTICES

Our innovation leadership in this area grows out of our work rooted in creating powerful/successful schools and transforming learning, teaching, and leading.

Every HFLI immersive experience embodies thoughtful and progressive high leverage practices. We create deeper learning environments that are hands-on and developmentally appropriate. Our learners address relevant social challenges, use local people and places as primary resources, and build skills forward in an appropriate way. Play becomes a way of bonding travelers on a shared journey. Time is valued. And post-session follow-up is strongly encouraged and supported.

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Resources

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HFLI STUDIO PUTS RESOURCES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

We are actively developing HFLI Studio as your online source for:

- HFLI’s immersive, real-time learning experiences.

- Project collaboration across miles and over time.

- Impact tools, videos, and curricula you will use, come to love, and want to curate.

- Compelling content and optimistic ideas to explore.

Our vision is a place where you can nurture your team’s projects for social good and activate your personal capacity to lead transformational change.

HFLI'S DESIGN THINKING PROCESS, DEVELOPED OVER TIME

Wondering what we mean by design thinking at HFLI? We describe it as a collection of mindsets that enable/allow us to explore problems creatively, then reframe and act on them. A key point: it involves action, or “design doing,” as well as design thinking.

HFLI approaches design thinking in a way that:

-  Is open to and inclusive of other disciplines and methods.

-  Acknowledges the complexity involved in the process and doesn’t oversimplify.

- Introduces essential tools and strategies in an accessible way.

-  Continually evolves and expands.

These methods and mindsets go back decades; they draw from the work of systems thinkers, psychologists, anthropologists, design researchers, architects, and scientists to name a few. However, while there is increased use, investment and interest in design thinking frameworks in corporate, education, and nonprofit sectors, no common definition or agreement on the specifics of this methodology exists

The learning experiences we create and deliver embody this philosophy.

Design Thinking Process

Design thinking (and remember that also includes doing) is messy – it is not a closed-loop, it is not linear, and it is not static. Complex challenges require consistent circling back and around to check assumptions, reframe problems, and iterate on prototypes.

Over time our team has come to the nuanced understanding that design thinking actually looks something like this:

Design Thinking Process

And, when you include the talents and contributions of people, like this:

Design Thinking Process

HFLI's Design Thinking Mindsets
For Exploring Problems Creatively

learn by
doing

Mindfully activate your intervention to make progress in its development.

Be
Optimistic

Believe that positive progress is possible for even the most intractable problems.

Lean into
Discomfort

Embrace ambiguity and adopt a growth mindset, key to developing stronger interventions.

Drive toward Value

Focus on positive change to meet the needs of users/stakeholders.

Be
Mindful

Pay attention to and think intentionally about what you are doing, and when, why and how you are doing it.

Be Human-
Centered

Put the needs, feelings, perspectives and experiences of those you are designing for at the center of your process.

Explore
Deeply

Learn about other people and the context of their experienced challenges in order to develop a truly valuable intervention.

Collaborate

Bring together people of different perspectives, experiences and expertise in order to create a breakthrough intervention.

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