Google Certified Innovator

 Wow, What a whirlwind 8 weeks it has been! My time at the VIA20 Innovator Academy has been incredible - it has challenged me, pushed me to think bigger and better and taught me that it's possible to foster a sense of kinship and whanaungatanga  through video call alone.

As the academy was virtual this year, we participated in 2 sessions per week. One was a design session, where we ran through the design thinking process and the other was a coaching session. Each week we discussed another step in the design thinking process, from gathering user data to prototype creation. There was lots of opportunity for discussion - we frequently made use of breakout rooms and got to share our ideas with an 'affinity buddy' who acted as a sounding board.

 I was fortunate to have Chris Harte for both sessions. He was a fantastic coach! Chris supported us throughout our journey and pushed us to think bigger and do better. I came to really look forward to his coaching sessions and catching up with the others in our group. We were grouped based on our geographical location, so I was in a group of six with other innovators from Australia and the Philippines. It is crazy how quickly we bonded despite never having met in person!

I would thoroughly recommend the academy to others. I'm really looking forward to the next phase - developing my prototype into a product and working with a mentor. 


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