Newsletter: What did Nathan & Swetha learn?

March 2018 Newsletter

Redesigning How We Learn

HFLI 2018 Summer Design Thinking Workshops for Educators
Registration is underway and there’s a workshop that’s right for you! Early bird and group pricing are available.

Reach out to us at with questions.

Which HFLI Workshop is for Me?


Deborah Parizek

On the P21 Blog
What conditions need to exist to develop a school where all learners can flourish as innovators?

Jump over to the P21 blog where Deborah Parizek, HFLI’s Executive Director, shares her insights as a guest blogger.

Later this month, Deborah will be a featured presenter on Innovation Leadership at the P21 Patterns of Innovation conference, which brings together more than 400 educators from around the world in Napa Valley to develop and share effective practices in 21st century teaching and learning.




Three Lyons Creative Learns with HFLI Behind the Lens
Last summer, we engaged Three Lyons Creative to capture video of some of our Design
Thinking workshops.
And there was an unanticipated outcome.

In her blog post, 3LC’sLucia Wylie-Eggert explores how “they couldn’t help but absorb what was being taught and see the benefits it could bring to anyone engaged in creative thinking.”
Watch the video Three Lyons Creative developed for HFLI




Helping Those Who Want to Help Others
The Ford Thirty Under 30 program kicked off its 2018 program with an introductory session for the amazing nonprofit organizations that will learn alongside Ford employees.

For the first time, the program will include Ford employees and a nonprofit from Canada.

By connecting younger employees with nonprofits, the Ford Thirty Under 30 program taps into a growing interest among younger employees to be involved in their communities in ways beyond sending money to charitable organizations.

The focus for this year’s program is shelter and homelessness. All six of the organizations work in that space: First Step, Macomb Habitat for Humanity, South Oakland Shelter, Cass Community Social Services, Ruth Ellis Center, and United Way Toronto & York Region.

The HFLI team was inspired as we learned more about each organization’s work and had the opportunity to introduce them to the Design Thinking process. One participant even told us, “I absolutely hate group experiences, but this was wonderful! Thank you so much.” If their enthusiasm and thoughtfulness is any indication of how this year will go, it’s going to be a good one.


Detroit-area Teens: Designing Their Impact
In February, more than 30 high school students from nearly 20 different Detroit-area schools participated in HFLI JumpStart entrepreneurship program.

Working in teams and alongside mentors, participants designed, developed, planned and pitched mobile apps to help high school seniors transition to college. Their apps not only addressed obvious issues of finances and housing, but also the more
complex social and emotional challenges of transitioning from high school to college.

Nathan K., from Renaissance High School, remarked, “My favorite learning experience of the weekend was seeing the Design Thinking process actually come to life.”

Meanwhile, Swetha S., a sophomore at International Academy in Troy, appreciated the mentors: “My favorite experience was hearing the entrepreneurs in Michigan talk about their experiences. This is because it helped me understand how my path might be and it helped me relate entrepreneurship to something tangible.”

We are grateful to the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan via the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) Charitable Foundation Fund for their generous support of the February HFLI JumpStart learning



...and Gaining Recognition for Their Work!
Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies middle and high school scholars
recently received a total of 35 Regional Scholastic Art Awards. The total exceeds the number awarded to the school in any previous year; it is also more than any other school in Detroit received in 2018.

Dr. Lewis, their principal, is spot-on when he says that this achievement is powerful
evidence of the work of his students and their teachers:
“They have dedicated and talented teachers, an intensive visual art and design curriculum, a school-wide culture that values the different ways that people of color have influenced art and design, and learning experiences that introduce them to dynamic careers in which people of color are currently underrepresented.” (Gold Key Artwork by Anthony Patterson)



These Young Designers Need Your Support
Marc Petz’s Senior 3D Animation class at the Kent Career Tech Center is one of 10 national finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow program.

The video on the Samsung site shows their journey to create a virtual reality app that empowers educators and families to help students with autism develop classroom social skills.

Will you join us and vote for them daily in the community portion of the competition? Voting ends on April 2.

(P.S. We were thrilled when Marc shared with us that students utilized a workflow that modeled HFLI’s Design Thinking Process!)



OpportunityJob Opening: Design Thinking Coordinator
Our new teammate is out there somewhere. Will you help us fill this critical position?
Three BIG things our new Design Thinking Program Coordinator must possess:
1. Design Thinking expertise
2. Success in managing programs
3. Experience working with adult learners
As you read the job posting, whose name comes to mind? Take a moment and send the opportunity to them!








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