For an extreme finish, Fellows were split into four teams and given a 24-hour Design Quest focused on ethics in tech: “How do we ensure that technology works positively for the planet and people? Your intervention has to be capable of having impact at scale and also be actionable by you and your peers.”
For Day 5, Fellows met at the Ferry Building to go on a surprise field trip. After walking along Embarcadero and hearing the Bay’s environmental history, we arrived at Autodesk, a multinational software corporation with the type of fabrication labs that designers dream about. Our tour guide told us that the shop is open to all employees, and “our job, with access to this space, is to make awesome.” We saw 5-axis CNC routers and 3D printers of all sizes, as well as a wood and metal shop with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Fellows were delighted a few moments later when a fully “functional” R2D2 showed up in the next room! The proud designer came down to show us her paces - designed to be R2D2’s girlfriend in a film, the robot could “bleep bloop blurp” and move around.
Our first experience of the day was a visit with Qeyno, an inclusive innovation company focused on tech education. Qeyno’s Headmaster CEO Kalimah Priforce told us about their mentor-driven programs to help kids learn code, where students coming up with inspiring ideas such as an app to help stop bullying. Tech Equity week, Hackathon, and Moonshot are groundbreaking ventures at Qeyno to feed imagination, passion and “empathy spillover”, while creating opportunities for high potential youth in low opportunity situations.
#UnSchoolSF Day Three, told in four parts: Prototype-aganza, The Future is Already Here, Inclusion & Equity for Civic Change, and a Magic School Bus Field Trip!
Day Two kicked off with a deep dive on Systems Thinking, as Leyla guided the fellows through the complex, chaotic and beautiful ways in which systems exist in the world. Complexity is one topic mentioned a lot at the UnSchool, as a tool for understanding and activating change. Our fellows got to experience this first hand as they identified and then mapped out an array of complex systems.