If we return to our Design Thinking Cycle of Action, we know that the innovation process starts (and ends) with observation, empathy, and inquiry. In that spirit, students have spent the last several months visiting various stakeholders involved in conversations around LA River revitalization.
Through their site visits, students learned to distill the information they heard about the LA River into common themes. What began as a somewhat overwhelming deep dive into a 51 mile river that courses through 17 different river adjacent cities all of a sudden became a more manageable place to investigate issues of equity, environmental justice, policy, and infrastructure in LA.
In an early brainstorming session, students used this Padlet to identify the questions and issues they were toying with on their SIP site visits. They later grouped these issues together and noticed that they could distill the issues into four major topic areas.
The topic areas are as follows:
WATER: How might we advance water conservation, water capture, and water quality issues as they relate to the LA River?
PEOPLE: How can river revitalization efforts take into consideration the needs of local residents and people in situations of homelessness along the LA River?
LIFE: How might we restore the natural biodiversity of the river and protect native flora and fauna along the LA river?
FUN & TRANSIT: How might recreation and transit along the LA River be understood and promoted as a way to increase access to green spaces in LA?
Students then sorted themselves into new SIP groups based on their interest areas. Over the next several months, Sequoyah students will continue to investigate
the LA River, this time with a specific issue area in mind. In this new iteration of SIP 2.0, students will reach out to organizations and individuals that work in and around these topic areas to continue to learn about the issue and start to develop their ideas for what their final Social Innovation project, design idea, or intervention will entail.